Monday, September 5, 2011

Digital Quilling

Well, well, well... I'd been wondering if it's possible to quill digitally. A friend recently sent me a link that proves indeed it is provided you possess the same mad skillz as the talented team at The Observatory, Creative Communications. An interactive agency in the Channel Islands, it handles marketing, design, and technical aspects of business growth for clients.

Computer generated quilling

The Observatory designers originally intended artwork created for the Artists Directory of the Jersey Arts Trust to be true paper quilling, but a speedier approach had to be put into play to meet a deadline.

Computer generated quilling

To best describe their impressive process, I'll loosely borrow The Observatory's technical lingo: The visuals were drawn up as a series of bezier curves which were then stylized into the typography. Once the Illustrator files were complete, 3D magic was worked in Cinema 4d.

Computer generated quilling

Honestly, as an avid paper quiller I don't have a problem with a computer-generated method. There's plenty of room for both types in this world. We're seeing quilled designs quite regularly in magazines, ads, and even as artwork on gift cards. (Target stores, I'm thinking of you.)

Computer generated quilling

Don't get me wrong... most of the professionally published quilled designs to date have been photographs of actual rolled paper, but some are suspect. That's right... it can be difficult to tell the difference. Either way, I think it's a huge plus that more and more people are being exposed to quilling, and in turn are questioning, "Hey, what is that?!"

How do you feel about digital quilling - are you cool with the idea or aghast?

26 comments:

Kavya N said...

This is surely the new era of quilling. Thanks to the creator for it taking it a step ahead!!!

SUGANTHI said...

It's so difficult to tell the difference Ann. I enjoy rolling paper ,these are beautiful but I would still prefer the real quilling with paper strips.

Vickie @ In My Head Studios said...

I am torn between the two. While I am Holy Cow impressed with the curves, lighting, and shadows of the digital quilling, I feel like they are harshing the handmade. ;-\ You quillers will be replaced by robots!

Maureen said...

I always prefer hand-made over digitally created but I think digital is inevitable (just look at photography). And I think it's important to keep in mind that digital does not equate to not creative. Creative minds find ways to use technology to benefit their art, not take away from it.

Heidi Smith said...

Although I love paper crafting, I have been going to digital scrapbooking more and more just for the cost and space savings.
I would love to find a digital quilling set that really worked. someone that would make the individual shapes, so that I can color them and put them together the way I want them. If anyone knows of a good kit like this, let me know. I will still continue to quill with paper (and scrap with paper) digital is also very fun!!

Donna Del Giudice said...

Digital graphics will never replace the inspiration that comes with working with your hands. However, I will not degrade it, especially when it introduces so many new people to the beautiful Art of Quilling. There are a few graphic artists who are now experimenting with the style that Yulia brought to everyone's attention. It will be interesting to see what they will do in the future.

Yakawonis said...

As a graphic designer and a quiller I am fairly well versed in creating digital art. There is a wide misconception that digital art is some how easier and less time consuming, then "hand made art". While it is undoubtedly faster to find some one skilled in 3d imaging software, then someone in that rarified class of quillers with the technical ability to pull this pice off; I am sure that the time used in creating this work digitally would have been about the same as traditionally quilling it.

One last thing that I think is important to note about digital vs. hand made. It is the imperfection in the hand made that makes it so special. It's what the Japanes call Wabi-sabi, an aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". That is what I love about qilling! the inconsistent un-even spacing of each coil as it unravels. Catching and glueing it at that exact moment of imperfect perfection. While not impossible to create using a computer, it takes a whole lot of work to achieve it!

Anonymous said...

hmmmm. awesome work but i love the handmade quilling patterns. The beauty of hand work is any day more than a digital one. I woulg go with the handmade quiiling.

Lorraine said...

Digital quilling gives the appearance of dimension on a flat surface. Hand quilling will actually give the project dimension. If I look at a paper ad I am delighted to see the intricacies of the digitally created work which is an art form of it's own. But, it won't take the place of the physically dimensional work. If given the option, I think, in fact I know I would prefer a hand quilled snowflake ornament for my Christmas tree rather than a flat piece of paper. But I might want to wrap my packages with paper that features digital quilling.

I would however respectfully disagree that the processes would take the same amount of time for a creator. If I look at the samples in the post, the same letters that appear in the work are quilled in the same way which leads me to believe that they are copied, which I have to think would take a considerably less amount of time to do rather than to recreate those letters by hand. The same would pertain to motifs that are repetitive.

Baukje said...

Wow! what a magnificent creation BEAUTIFUL!
Greetings Baukje

Allison Patrick said...

As someone who quills (Ann so kindly featured my Architectural Skyline a while back) and someone who also completed a degree in Architecture and is very well versed in digital art, I have to say I agree with Yakawonis that creating digital art can take just as long as physical art and shouldn't be dismissed lightly.

What I think Lorraine was picking up on is it sounds like these designers have taken their quilling, and made an actual typeface with it. So, you could essentially type on a keyboard and get a string of beautifully quilled letters, though as you pointed out each repeated letter would be the same.

When it comes to time, yes they saved time copying repeated letters, but we have to remember that at one point each letter was individually created, and that would take as much time as individually creating it with paper. (Actually, I think I could probably quill with paper a LOT faster than doing it digitally.)

So did they save time repeating letters and will they now be able to spit out long strings of text very easily? Yes. Did they still have to put in all the original time and effort to create those letters? Yes and that shouldn't be discredited either.

Personally, I think they are both cool, and knowing how to quill with paper I can't wait to try digitally quilling and see if I can stretch my skills a bit that way!

Allison

Kim said...

While I prefer the real paper quilling I like this idea! When I got a digital cutter my dad said I was "cheating" I told home its no different than him using an excavator instead of a shovel. You still have to use your mind and engage in the process. And, I would never try to pass an electronic cutting as one I hand cut. With regards to digital quilling I think its great!...as long as they don't try to pass it off as paper quilling.

Ann said...

while I think that digitally generated quilled designs are an awesome idea I don't think it can ever replace the real thing.

Carole Meisenhelter said...

quilling has been one of my crafty pursuits over the years, but so too has digital graphics. I'm not at all phased by this version of a much admired art. There's room for both, most definately! Great examples and someone with a real talent developed the programme to generate the font. Would like to think it was out there somewhere r us to play with. Make a great blog header don't you think? :)

Melissa said...

Very interesting! I'm not totally sure how I feel about it. It's the same as some of the digital letterpress I've seen (like what google did with their logo on Father's day). I guess it's great if it exposes more people to it and they decide they like it and do their homework to discover that it's typically done by a human. But in a way I wonder if it doesn't take something away from the hard work and many tedious hours that someone puts into a similar creation the "old fashioned" way. It makes it seem sort of disposable in a way; the people behind this design decided that they didn't want to wait for the real thing so they just created it with a computer, which was faster and probably a whole lot cheaper than getting a person to do it. It's not that I'm anti-computer or anything. Although this little rant has reminded me that I also HATE all the computer generated images showing up in movies these days! Sigh. Regardless, it's still quite pretty.

Lorene (just Lu) said...

Wow, this is amazing! I can't imagine creating designs this intricate either in paper or digitally... so I say I'm fine with both because both methods require a lot of work and talent! :)

pocket folders said...

I like this idea! It's nice that you introduced this digital quilling. I like paper and or digital quilling and Yes! I agree with you Lorene, both methods require a lot of work and talent.

LindaJ said...

I think Digital crafts have a place nowadays. It does take the skill and talent of a programmer and digital artist.Sort of the same way crafts by machine are done by someone who is skilled in that machine. But,to me, it's a faux craft but,it's still a skill.
That being said, a true "craft" to me is handmade. The true beauty of a handmade craft, is in the crafter taking the patience, talent and skill to produce something totally by hand and giving us the finished product to awe and admire.

craftingcreatures said...

"The music is not in the piano" is a quote that comes to my mind when discussing hand made vs computer. I love re-watching Toy Story because of the story, and am not deterred by the fact that it was all computer drawn rather than by hand, which I also love.

If the end design as a whole is lovely, I appreciate it, no matter how it was achieved. Personally I find this text just a little hard to read but other than that it's an arresting image that makes me pause, look, and appreciate the dynamic curves typical of quiling - perhaps all they wanted to achieve.

Traditional quillers can be proud of their craft, because "imitation is a sincere form of flattery". I am grateful for the widening audience of our craft.

Cecelia Louie

Nati said...

I liked it, I think any kind of art follows the trends of the contemporary world, but what is not
be missed is the essence ...
thanks for sharing!

Jan Castle said...

I agree with Carole M...room for both! If anyone knows where you can get a digital quilling font...WOW - think of the possibilities fo card making, etc.!!! I would love to play with it!
Jan Castle

Katie said...

to each their own. I prefer actually quilling, but I'm all about process. But someone who is into digital... stuff, this would be right up their alley :)

Madison said...

I don't like the whole digital quilling thing. It takes it away from being a true art and more of just a craft that a robot can do. I don't believe any quilling should be digitally created and hand made instead. I love digital stuff but digital quilling crosses the line. Quilling is an art not a digital thing!

www.madisonsquilledcreations.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ann for bringing this topic forward and enjoyed reading the views discussed.

I enjoy hand quilling and I would love to have a go at digital quilling, even though I am not very computer savvy.

I feel the as much as us hand quillers like to think our quilling should be considered an "artform", the artworld/artists do not. Maybe the artists/quillers out there doing digital artwoks will elevate the standing of quilling in the eyes of the artworld and bring it to the fore front of galleries and the commercial world.

There are many, many pieces of handquilled artworks out there that I consider to be worthy to be hung in galleries and to be recognised by the artworld, maybe the digital age is what is needed!!!!

Licia Politis

Robbie said...

Hi there. I was one of the 2 guys that created these images and just like to say thanks for the kind words.
For those of you that are interested in how they were made, firstly Paul (one of our designers) created the flat vector in Adobe Illustrator using the work of the amazing Yulia Brodskaya as a point of reference (http://www.artyulia.com/).
I imported this vector in Cinema 4D and extruded it, setup the lights and camera and experimented with the final look. As the 'Artist Directory' image was the final piece for a client, we decided to strip out all colours we'd previously used and have plain 'paper' against a grey background.
If anyone is interested in a more in-depth process, let us know at beobserved.com and we could do a tutorial.

Thanks again,

Ann Martin said...

Robbie, thanks so much for your comment. I shared it in a second post about digital quilling that you'll find here: http://www.allthingspaper.net/2011/10/quilled-card-and-digital-quilling.html

It's very generous of you to offer a tutorial. If you find time to do one, please let us know. I'm positive it will generate much interest.

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