Based on my last piece, one might assume that I'm more optimistic about the future of AI image/art generation than not. Partially, that's true, but it's also true that I've held back a bit on the implications I have been feeling in a very personal way.
The truth is, the technology is just getting started, and its ability to mimic style and photorealism seems to make leaps every single day.
Where this gets personal for me is recounting the last few months regarding my level of creative output. The simple truth is, for whatever subconscious reason, I've let it get into my head, and I've been much less motivated to draw. And I mean draw anything. Sketches, finished work, anything.
I look at paper and pen, or tablet and computer, or paint and canvas and immediately think, "I could sit down and draw something cool today. Something that a robot could do in seconds, whereas it will take me 10 hours."
It's really in my head right now. I've talked to a lot of artist and illustrator friends who are having a similar experience. It's possible it’ll pass, but it's really hard to shake. It's not that we don't enjoy the process of creating. It's more that it feels a little defeating to know that machines are doing it at lightning speed and doing it better and better as each day passes.
It's a little like this: Imagine you are a sprint runner in track. You trained since age 10 and never stopped, and you are a very fast sprint runner. And then one day, a robot shows up to the track, looks at you briefly, and then faces forward, crouches for the start, and hears the starter gun. Suddenly that robot runs so fast that it's back to the starting line before you make it two feet forward.
There are probably better metaphors than that, but you get my point.
It's really hard to get out of my head even as I write this, given what LLM's like GPT and others can do, and what they will soon be capable of doing.
I felt like getting that off my chest. Thank you for reading. I'd love to hear your feedback. - Scott
I wouldn’t be too concerned about ai. It’s seriously overrated and over hyped. There will be a resurgence of organic art as there has been with organic food. After having time to play around with the tech myself I have discovered something interesting. First of all most of the people I have talked to about the tech show no interest in the tech. 2nd. If they do show interest in the tech they want it to draw cats doing stupid things like smoking a pipe and than say “awww dats so cute” 3rd. It takes a lot of work to get the ai generator to produce what you want and most people can’t describe how their day was let alone describe a South american Indian man jumping over a water fall into a cenote. And then when you can finally get the words together the ai generator provides something that is mangled and your heart sinks because you just wasted twenty minutes of you life producing garbage. In fact. Being a person with some experience in addictive behaviour I have discovered that generating art could possibly become a serious health concern. It’s addictive, kind of like hitting the slots at Vegas. You press the button and you wait to see what is produced and the majority of the time what’s produced is disappointment. Art is meant to be rewarding because of its creativity. Ai art is the opposite. It takes from you like a parasite. And that’s because I feel these generators are rigged to keep you using them. It’s a weird world we live in. That’s for sure. Hope this made sense. Cheers!
I think, at least from a “making a living” perspective, there’s something to be said about the connection you have between the artist and your buying decision.
The arts are a bit different in so far that it’s one branch of commerce where you don’t go looking for the things you want to buy, you go looking for the brand you want to buy from. “I want a USB drive”, so I go to Best Buy, Vs. I wonder what Scott drew lately. “I’ll buy something today”.
Sure the robot can create something real quick, and it could look exactly like something you would have done, but, YOU, didn’t make it.
From a motivational standpoint, I don’t know, maybe the above helps, or maybe you just have to ask yourself why you do the thing. If you draw because it energizes you and you love it, then the journey is more important than the result right?
You do it because it takes 10 hours, and I bet if it took you 10 minutes, I’d be a chore, not a hobby. Though I suppose we all know how you feel about chores ;)