Shop Talk

An Introduction to Glitch Art

Technology has influenced art dramatically over the years. It’s now easier than ever to create, reproduce, and share art with fans all over the world. However, there is always the potentiality of a malfunction or error that might impede the creative process. The goal is generally to avoid any sort of issue that might corrupt the art, however Glitch artists actively pursue and exploit these malfunctions.

While chaos is the main component in creating Glitch art, the most enticing designs are created with a bit of control and a plan of what the final piece should look like. In the piece below by Nicebleed, the Mona Lisa has been heavily glitched, although some restraint and control was used to not make the image unrecognizable. Many of these effects can be created in Photoshop using filters, liquefy, and distort tools. The piece on the right by Scarything, features subtle additions of pixel sorting. The effect can also be seen in the header image above.

“Mona Lisa Glitch” by nicebleed

“Now More Than Ever BW” by scarything

The aesthetic of Glitch art has even influenced those creating more traditional styled works. Contemporary oil painters and digital artists alike have recreated the effects that are often present in glitched works of art. This could include deformations and liquefy effects as seen below in the piece by katetova, or stray pixels and data as seen in the piece by lekchan.

“Floral Glitch II” by katetova

“Glitch 03” by Lekchan


Now that you have a bit of background on the glitch art, you are no doubt excited to learn more and even try to make your own. Below are a few links that will get you started on a long and creative journey, malfunctions and all.

Understanding the Glitch Art Movement by Mallika Roy

The Long Twisted History of Glitch Art by Miles Klee

Pixeldrifter – pixel-sorting tool written in Java by Dmitriy Krotevich

Glitchet Resources – tutorials and editing tools

Online Image Glitch Tool – glitch images right in your browser

Give glitch art a try and share in the comments below.

(Header image: Glitch by sublimenation)

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Art historian, burrito enthusiast, and Email Marketing Specialist here at Redbubble.