Is Ai Art?

Yes! Of course. Artists tell the artificial intelligence (AI) software what to make. Amazing AI art only comes into existence because of the skill of the artist.

Is AI going to replace traditional art?

Never! I love making art on the computer/ipad but it doesn’t compare to making art in the studio. There is nothing better than having your hands wrapped around porcelain clay or blending paints with you fingertips. The smells, textures and lighting of physical art are nonexistent in digital art. And there’s no way, artists are going to give all that up.

Records didn’t replace live concerts. Acrylic paint didn’t replace oil paint. Artificial intelligence applications are just another tool that will coexist with all the other materials and software artists use to make their art. 

AI Programs

Dall-e, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion are all artificial intelligence programs worth checking out. The way they work is a human enters text and the AI creates an image based on that text. Pictured below is the Dall-e 2 interface showing the text prompt used and the resulting resulting images.

I love seeing what the AI program spits out.  But despite all my years of making art, my Dall-e images are awful. I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’m just playing around and having fun. And this is why I love AI.  Anyone can jump in and try it out.  You don’t have to be an “artist”. You aren’t trying to make the world’s greatest masterpiece. Just type in some words and see what happens. 

Not An Artist

When we were little kids, we all loved making art.  But around year 6 of our brain development, we change from blissfully enjoying art to desperately trying to make realistic art. This is when kids get frustrated. They scribble all over their drawings, crumple them up and toss them in the trash. From that moment on, kids are convinced that they are not good at art. And this sentiment often stays with them for life. 

Despite the fact that there have been only a handful of artists that burst forth from the womb magically gifted with creative genius… the idea prevails that all artists are “born talented”. In reality, the people who are good at art, got good by practicing all the time. Artists become artists by constantly doing the work, honing their skills, challenging themselves.  Day after day after day.  

I think there are tons of people who would have been amazing artists but back in kindergarten they convinced themselves that they are not good at art. And it stuck. 

Getting Into Art

As a ceramics major in art school, I was in a drawing class where every single student was an illustration major. The teacher took me aside and told me the other students had thousands of hours of drawing experience under their belt and I’d never catch up in a semester. My goal was to focus on my work and to get better at making it. Without his advice… that class would have been a soul crushing experience.  

So I totally get that folks can be intimidated by the thought of taking an art class. And that’s the big difference with these artificial intelligence apps. The apps aren’t intimidating. The user has zero expectations because you have no idea what the computer is going to spit out. If the image is crap, you can click a button to see variations or just enter a new text prompt to get a new set of images.  It’s not stressful or intimidating. Just fun. Hours of being creative and making art without even realizing you are tapping into those skills. Your inner 6 year old isn’t yelling at you that you are no good at art.

I think is would be amazing if AI software became a gateway drug. Maybe folks will realize they are enjoying making art again. Maybe they will sign up for a pottery class or they will start going on gallery walks or get into collecting art. 

Humans are the only animals on the planet that make art. And hundreds of studies have confirmed that art heals us… so I am hoping that playing around with AI will empower people to reconnect with the arts which will become a positive, healthy, healing outlet in their lives.  

Great AI Art

The Twitter thread below is from Claire Silver’s first Artificial Intelligence Art Contest. Over 1,000 people submitted their AI art for consideration. Their work is phenomenal. 

Future AI

This post shows a future where Stable Diffusion is integrated in photoshop! 

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