Tag Archives: art

Might Upset Some People with this One

ICYMI the internet has been on fy-uh the last few weeks over the rise in popularity of AI generated art.

“It’s stealing from artists.”

“It’s already hard enough to make money as an artist.”

And a dozen more like this.

The thing is it’s not going away. We can yell and scream and rail against this thing but at the end of the day it isn’t going anywhere. At least not by force. It may peter out, will likely lose momentum as the new wears off but it’s not going to go anywhere by force.

Because if Disney, which protects its IP like a CIA casefile wasn’t willing to go after the creators of these art generators . . . well, I’m not sure what to glean from that but it definitely means something. Either they didn’t think it was truly theft/copyright infringement, they could see the future and realized the fight would be futile . . . there are a dozen reasons why Disney would decide not to throw their hat in the lawsuit ring but I think it’s incredibly telling that they didn’t.

I am not saying artists should roll over and just let it happen. But for generations there have been advances to the way we produce art and for every advance there has been a generation of existing artists who are angry about the new “technology.”

Technology in quotations because that includes things like synthetic dyes to replace cochineal bugs for making red paint. At every turn there has been some advancement that has upset the artists community.

And at every turn there have been artists who have embraced change and figured out how to make these new tools work in their favor.

Is it fair to train the artificial intelligence using the hard work of unsuspecting artists? Maybe not but I ask you . . . how did you learn?

Because I drew the same image of Taz close to 800 times in my teens. And I got to the point I was drawing him from memory. I knew where all the curves and angles belonged and I could recreate that drawing without a reference. And from that, I learned how cartoon drawing worked.

I still struggle to create my own images from my brain. I am never quite satisfied with what I come up with.

And you know what?

I’m also not 100% satisfied with what I get from an AI generator. I’ve seen some positively exquisite images come out of AI but I cannot find the right sequence of search terms to get the same level for myself.

Right now, people are using AI to submit to art contests and overthrow traditional artists. Maybe next year or in two years or five years, there will be contests solely devoted to AI generation and those images will be judged separately, leaving the traditional artists back where they have always been. Right now, the organizers of these art competitions were not prepared for AI generated images. Next year, they may compensate for it and create a new category.

What I’m trying to say is you can expend all the energy in the world creating petitions and filing lawsuits, or you can keep creating art for the love of creating art and understand that the people using AI generated images were never going to be your clientele anyway.

You are not losing customers to AI art generators. AI generators are just weeding out the people who don’t want to pay a fair price for the work you are creating. It’s actually doing you a favor. Because those “pay you in exposure” people now have access to free art, freeing up your time for people who are more interested in compensating you for your time and skill.

It’s all a matter of perspective. But the reality is this technology is not going to be forced out of existence. Embrace it and figure out how to make it work to your advantage OR rail against it and elevate your blood pressure. The way I see it, those are the options available as of press time.


feeling disadvantaged

I have been watching various artists in various mediums and I have come to a conclusion. Writers are at a disadvantage when it comes to unique marketing.

Consider, for a moment, the amount of time it takes to read a book compared to listen to an album. Consider the active, hands-on nature of reading a book compared to the passive nature of listening to an album while multitasking and doing other things.

But it’s more than just that.

Music and art are active creations. There is behind the scenes moments. There are riffs and drum fills. There are concept sketches and models. There are levels to what can be offered to fans or perspective fans. In reference to something like Patreon, you can offer the lowest level still photos from video shoots and upper levels can get previews of songs. Lower levels can get sketches, upper levels can get a discount on commissions.

I’m on TikTok as well and I see musicians sharing the progression of their songs. I see visual artists showing their creations in progress.

What do writers offer?

Time-consuming, passive content. I can offer up all the flash fiction in the world but people have to have time to read it. I’ll be honest; I love the concept of Patreon and I want to keep using it as an alternative to social media because social media is a flaming disaster. I want Patreon to be the home my fans go to when they want information. But I probably wouldn’t pay for what I’m offering.

On the other hand, the common consensus is that a majority of patrons don’t sign up for the benefits; they sign up to support the artist and don’t really care about the benefits. Which is why I have a “choose your own price” tier with no benefits.

I’m not comparing myself to other artists. I’m just comparing what I have to offer. I feel like if I could just hop online and break out a guitar to play for my fans, or set up a canvas and paint for my fans or offer drumming or drawing tutorials, I would not have to struggle so much to figure out how to reach people.

But I am not a specialist in anything. I’m the proverbial Jack of all trades. I am a Master of none and frankly, I don’t want to be. I don’t want to shoehorn myself into posting about the same thing all the time. I don’t have the kind of attention span needed for that. Unfortunately, not having a niche means I don’t have a ready-made content library.

So, I struggle. I search and scour for ways to make my art active and interesting in a world filled with people looking for quick bursts of dopamine and serotonin, who don’t have the time or patience for a slow burn.

It seems a little desperate to say this now but if you enjoy my content, please consider supporting my Patreon.