Artists bring religious art to the digital world

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Technology has put new tools within artists' reach, giving rise to a new wave of digital religious art. These artists use social media to diffuse their work all around the world.

Each with a unique style, these artists try to communicate in ways that are accessible to young people today. Spanish artist Pati.Te for instance, became popular for her drawings, which resemble Disney cartoons and represent her relationship with God.

“I think having a life of faith is very important to be able to create this type of art. Above all because I firmly believe that the more personal and realistic art is, the better. And I see true beauty in art and in artists when they use it to express something personal and real.”

Trigo says that what people most value in her drawings is the authenticity and tenderness they communicate.

Venezuelan artist Richard Escalona is a pioneer in the field of digital religious art. He began in 2014 by making illustrations of Jesus in scenes of daily life. His signature style includes bold lines and bright colors.

Escalona wants to use his art to build bridges between believers and non-believers.

“We always try to keep up with trends and connect them to the Catholic or Christian reality. My intention isn't to get rid of the ideals found in Christian art, which are absolutely valuable and help bring us closer to God. Rather, I want to add something more, so that maybe a young person who isn't really into ancient art can see this (illustration of Mary) and say, 'Hey, I too believe in Mary, I can also follow her ideals, and I too can grow closer to God through her.'”

Other accounts have more specific themes. Supersantos and Polikipoliki for example focus on illustrating people in Heaven. They have vastly different styles, but the same objective: to depict those who have reached the final destination as role models for those still on the way.

Bringing people closer to God is the priority of these artists. Lola and Diego, for example, are a married couple who use their account, “The Fishermen,” to inspire others.

“It's a ministry. We consider it a ministry given to us by the Lord at a time in our lives when we didn't know how to serve him. We're converts, so you can say we fell off the horse (like Paul in the Bible). Both of us felt the need to work for God and His kingdom.”

Most of these artists say their works are an expression of faith, and that their art comes from prayer and a search for a relationship with God. That's what Natiilustra, a 24-year-old artist from Uruguay, says.

“What I try to do when I draw is reflect on how I feel when I connect with God and on how I see Jesus and Mary. They're my favorite people to draw. The Lord inspires me in a particular way through the Eucharist. Sometimes when I am receiving Communion, an image pops into my head, and I later try to draw it.”

With a variety of styles and techniques, all these artists try to bring religious art to the digital world, in a way that is appealing to young people in particular.



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