So it’s come to this. Are we this desperate to emulate natural media in a digital environment?
First an admission: I’ve fallen prey to the “natural media” digital phenomenon. I regularly use a Wacom tablet with my computer instead of a mouse to gain “pressure sensitivity.” I like it when iPad apps have some sort of “speed as pressure” setting so that my line work has some variation. And I tend to use my Griffin Stylus in lieu of my finger when I draw on the iPad. So yes, I’m guilty too.
But I always seem to fall back to physical materials and media when I want to really feel the surfaces. If I want friction, a piece of paper and a pencil or paint, brush, and a canvas is the place. Would this brush stylus really feel much different than dragging a feather duster across a window pane? Would I feel more like I’m creating “real art” because I’m using an input device that looks like a paintbrush?
To me, this is the very type of invention that re-emphasizes the perceived separation between artists who use digital mediums and artists who use traditional materials. It seems to say that the physical materials do indeed have it right and the best that we can do is simply try and emulate what they already do so well outside of the machine.