I have spent over 30 years trying to be creative. I have, neglected almost every other aspect of my life- Personal, financial, social, health. I have no children, I have no partner. I have few friends and only one close one.
I have made mistakes and I have more regrets than fountains have wishes. But what I do have is a some talent. I have developed some aptitude in my craft. I am reasonably intelligent, in no way a genius, creative or otherwise. And I strive to go through life with empathy and integrity.
I have thousands of things that I have created, only a fraction of which will ever be seen. And every one was a struggle. Every line was a map of a moment in time. A road I may not remember but the line is proof I traveled it. Every dab of paint was a decision, a triumph or a mistake made by me.
If the end result is something interesting, that’s great. If its beautiful too, that is a happy bonus. But that isn’t as important to me as each piece being an illustration of my process. What I did wrong what I did right. What I like what I hate. This is why appreciate but do not connect with a lot of conceptual, and concept art. For me the means are illustrated by the ends.
Look at a van Gogh up close and you can see what I am talking about. You can see his struggle in the paint. Is that a hair from the brush stuck in the paint? Is that a seed, or other detritus carried onto his canvas by a breeze in the field in which he stood? Did he tip his hat to a passerby and in doing so change the trajectory of his painting. Whether I am right in my reading of this map the work is more beautiful for the it.
Here in lies my problem with and why I reject the use of AI generated art in my process. I am not going to discuss the ethical considerations it is creating because ethics and morals rarely exist outside of lip service in marketing and PR copy when enormous amounts of money are involved. What AI does is It removes me from the part of the process that I find most interesting.
In prompting An AI I am reduced to the idea man. I am the art director. I am the patron. The AI might very-well illustrated the idea I had more beautifully and with more skill that I can hope to achieve. And if that is my goal then I have succeeded. AI is useful. But will I look at the piece in the future and find anything in which I can connect with? I will be able to go that’s cool I really got that point across. I will not be able to go, “hey that line is a little crooked because I sneezed while making.” I will never be able to question why I decide to paint the hair that color.
To paraphrase English potter, Greyson Perry, when he was explaining why he doesn’t have assistants said. “He couldn’t trust them to make the mistakes the way he liked them.” I cannot trust AI to make the mistakes the way I like them and for me that would make my use of it a failure in my eyes.
AI cannot replace me as an artist, any more that anyone else can. It can deprive me of a job which is not an issue as I am a ridiculously unsuccessful artist commercially. Besides, the jobs that are most in jeopardy hold very little interest to me.
What it can do is reduce my level of personal artistic integrity. And AI can only do that if I let it. And I will only have myself to blame, Not AI, or the amoral cooperate infrastructure that facilitates it.