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Artist and teacher Judith Moncrieff first coined the term in the early 1990s, while an instructor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She used the term "tradigital media" to describe this merging of traditional and digital tools and "tradigitalism" as a name for this emerging movement. Moncrieff encouraged the use of this technique in her students, who used both traditional and digital media to combine everything from photographs of costumes to stills from videotapes of performing dancers.
Independently in the early 1990s, artist Lisa Wray was developing a series of work she referred to as the "Renaissance of Metaphysical Imagery". Prototypes of each work were made from copies, photos, or film negatives made in the graphic arts darkroom. In 1990, she visited the only two places in the United States with proprietary computer systems capable of assembling her prototypes: Raphael Digital Transparencies in Houston Texas, and Dodge Color Laboratories in Washington D.C. The first two prototypes were assembled by Dodge Color Laboratories on a Superset machine which was first developed by the Department of Defense. The final artwork was archived on 1" magnetic tape, and then output as an 11x14” color film transparency. Later, Wray discovered Judith Montcrieff and the term “tradigital".
Continuing use of the term
Since the early 1990s, use of the term has greatly expanded and been applied to many techniques used by artists.
In 2001, Animation World Magazine described tradigital television, and the impact of tradigital animation on pre- and post-production processes for television shows.
In 2002, the term “tradigital" gained traction when Jeffrey Katzenberg used the term tradigital animation to refer to the blending of computer animation with classical cell animation techniques. He mentioned the examples of animated films such as Toy Story, Antz, Shrek, Ice Age, and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Katzenberg believed that Walt Disney would approve of the changes tradigital animation brought to the way cartoons are made.
A 2008 article hailed tradigital creatives as the "voice of tomorrow", contrasting them with both "traditionalists" and "digitalists.” The author identified several distinguishing characteristics of the new art medium: voices not eyeballs; experience not messages; community not communication; utility and solutions not cleverness; collaborative not silo thinkers.
- WordSpy entry for tradigital.
- Randy Gragg, "Art students get a crack at 'Nutcracker'," Portland Oregonian, October 25, 1995.
- Lisa Wray, Judith Montcrieff, Unique Editions and Tradigital Fine Art Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine.
- Sylvia Edwards, "Tradigital Television: Digital Tools and Saturday Morning", Animation World Magazine, Issue 6.01, April 2001.
- Thomas Doherty, "Sense and Cinematography", The Boston Globe, Dec 12, 2004.
- Dave Kehr, "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron", The New York Times, May 24, 2002.
- John Canemaker, "SUMMER MOVIES; Flat Worlders Face the Horizon and See It's in 3-D", The New York Times, May 12, 2002.
- Jane Horwitz, Stallion vs. Iron Horse: A Galloping Good Tale[dead link], The Washington Post, May 24, 2002.
- Todd Leopold, "The 'Spirit' of a movie mogul", CNN, May 22, 2002.
- Nina Rehfeld, "Die Zukunft der Märchen", Die Welt, Dec. 1, 2002.
- Roger Moore, "The 'Spirit' of Jeffrey Katzenberg," The Orlando Sentinel, May 24, 2002.
- Manish Sinha, "Creativity in tradigital times", livemint.com Aug 14 2008.