Digital Art: New Fronteirs

  • Caroline Box ’21

Upon hearing the words “design” and “art”, the immediate reaction many people have is that there is little to no difference between the two things. However, while there are many ways in which design and art overlap, both are distinct forms of expression.

At SHP, there are a variety of classes which introduce many forms of art or design. Despite being one of the more fascinating and intricate art classes offered, not many people know much about the Fundamentals of Design class. In this class, students learn a range of skills that all utilize the same program: Photoshop. As technology becomes increasingly present in our day to day lives, it is important to learn how to best make use of the many capabilities of these technologies.

The Design class offered at Sacred Heart uses these technologies to allow students to explore their creativity and learn new, useful skills. Projects include, but are not limited to, vector art, creative color, incorporating photography into design with the layering and blending of images, typography, scientific imagery, manipulation of physical materials in a digital manner, poster design, and an introduction to animation. Because of the range of different types of projects, and the endless possibilities within technology, students’ works always end up unique from each other.

One of the assignments in the course is to take one image, it can be a scan of a physical object, and manipulate it to create a different design using that image. In his advanced design class, Ryan Mo ‘20 scanned one single flower, copied the image and changed the colors, then layered these new images to create a design. What started out as something so small because a huge banner that is hung up in the design room. His project is a perfect example of the range of possibilities for creativity in the design classes at Sacred Heart.

The class is not limited to specifically producing art, and it also explores the difference between design and art, focusing on design as a form of creativity with a purpose. When talking to Mr. Quinn, he explained design not just as a form of art, but as creating something with a purpose in mind. One of the assignments in the design class is to create a poster that shares a message. While this assignment may seem simple, it is actually quite dense and goes beyond just the art of the project. Students are compelled to think about the targeted audience of their poster, and what exactly they want to share with this audience in order to accomplish a goal. With a captivating design, these posters can be effective and powerful. In this way, the fundamentals of design class is more than just creating art, but it is about creating something with a purpose. 

To Mr. Quinn, the best part about the design class is the wide range of skills learned and the designs produced by students. Because there are so many different types of assignments, students are able to learn new ways to use the same program, photoshop, each day. The design class is such a great way to learn new ways to use technology that we already know about. Exploring technology in a creative way can change the perspective on what we can actually use technology for. 

By Axel de Vernou

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