Let’s kick off this AI-heavy issue with one of our own…
Cream Scene’s Chris James, aka Woood Nymph, mixes classical art and jello, a mumsy type medium.
We Talk AI Art
The Wood NymPH
IS AI ART? CAN IT MAKE ART WEIRDER?
Artificial intelligence has officially arrived and, like it or not, it’s here to stay. In fact, it’s only going to continue to become more advanced and more capable from here on out. As is the case with other advancements in technology, it’s arrival has sparked outrage and debate online and across the many industries that are affected by it, with one of the more common arguments being, “It will take our jobs!” But, how bad is it really? At the end of the day, there will always be the need for human’s ability to apply empathetic context for innovation, and instead of worrying about being replaced by robots, the more logical approach would be to accept that it’s here and learn to utilize this tool the same way we always have.
With so many AI programs out there performing a vast array of functions, it can be daunting trying to keep track of them all. My personal experience with AI is admittedly limited to text-to-image models like DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney. The beauty of these models is that you can use them with absolutely no experience, or you can really dive in and learn how to perfect prompt writing and use the endless keyword combinations that can help you perfect and manipulate them to get the specific results needed. These programs are all relatively new, and there are still some kinks to be worked out, but personally I’ve found that to be part of the fun of using them.
One way I’ve enjoyed using AI is by prompting portrait photos with descriptive word combinations, and the results are always off, producing characters with physical deformities or just outright nightmarish. Using these prompts in the free version of Stable Diffusion has generated images with a kind of lo-fi quality that I’ve found lends itself to the weirdness. Midjourney is one of the best models for generating characters, and it’s highly versatile for fine-tuning results. With all of these models, you can apply stylistic parameters to generate the type of image you want, whether it be photographic quality or to make it look like an actual painting.
So, the big question is: are AI images art?
There really isn’t a clear answer, as many people have varying opinions as to what art actually is, and there are valid arguments on both sides. The basic definition of art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination to produce works to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.” Based on that, if you are to consider AI as an art form, then it’s necessary to also consider that the creation of prompt commands is where user’s creativity lies and this is the aspect that would classify it as a skill. By perfecting prompt commands, users and artists are able to manipulate AI software to create images that would otherwise be unimaginable. When used as a tool to assist with other forms of art and design, AI can be extremely helpful for creating ideas or providing the framework for more hands-on mediums. As the discussion continues as AI becomes more prominent, regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, it’s safe to say that most can probably agree that this new technology is both fascinating and fun to use.
About Chris James
Chris is a graphic designer and visual artist who resides in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. He enjoys living a mostly hermitic lifestyle with his family while striving to perfect a range of visual art techniques, honing his culinary skills, and chasing the heels of technological advancements. His current interests include 3D design, animation, AI technology, and puppet making at the behest of his oldest child.