Published October 21, 2022
[AI Art Weekly] Bob, what’s your background and how did you get into AI art?
I’ve been a writer since I was able to write, so I’ve always loved creating worlds with my words. During writer’s block, I turned to visual art – about three and a half years ago.
I began drawing with acrylic paint, then oil paints, watercolors and charcoal. It wasn’t long before I had a room full of canvases, that’s when I decided to try digital art. I started with a scene and a short animation in Unreal Engine and then spent most of the time in Blender. It was like making collages in 3D space. I also really enjoyed digital sculpting and especially making masks.
I tried a lot of things, for example glitch art has a special place in my heart because it’s actually a kind of protest against the pathetic beauty of perfection.
Then I got into AI art almost two years ago (that’s like forever in this world) thanks to Artbreeder. Before the age of text2image, it was the most well-known AI tool. Even then I was fascinated by it, but there was still something missing because it was practically just “remixes” of existing images. It wasn’t until I opened the first VQGAN+CLIP colab notebook that I really felt the power of this new tool in the art world.
[AI Art Weekly] How do you think AI animation will evolve in the near future?
There will definitely be an increase in resolution and therefore an increase in the amount of detail in each artwork.
AI tools will penetrate more areas of the art form. I’m especially looking forward to visiting the music world. There are already music generating tools and they are often hideously overpriced. I can’t wait to see what Emad has in store for us in this regard. Hopefully it will be a similar success story to what Stable Diffusion had on the AI art world.
In general though, it’s hard to say where this will go in the near future. Just look at how much progress we’ve seen since the first text2image tool.
[AI Art Weekly] Which projects are you currently keeping an eye on?
Usually whatever @StLaurentJr and @RedruMxNFT are working on.
Aside from those two, I don’t follow any project, but only separate works that make me stop for a while.
[AI Art Weekly] What is your favourite prompt when creating art?
I love to work with two things – emotions and muscles. In both cases it’s amazing to see how AI will interpret my idea.
You can see a lot of
desperation in my work because I like to describe the state of society this way. These are the actual words I use to get some deeper emotion inside of portraits.
[AI Art Weekly] What does your workflow look like?
Most of my art is a critique of society/elites/“superior men”/toxic culture. So my inspiration comes mostly from myself and all the ideas I want to express and the issues I want to highlight. If you start shouting around, you’ll only be considered insane. But if you show them, they’ll watch.
As for the process of creating my art, I try to do most of it directly in the AI tools. The Colab notebooks are amazing for this task, and these days I use PlaygroundAI a lot. You can play endlessly with one image, a fixed seed, and small prompt changes.
“This character would look amazing with a hat – I’ll change the prompt to add a hat to this character”, and so on. I play a lot with expressions to deliver the idea I have in my head.
I usually end up with something I already like, and play around with color, grain, and mood in Affinity Photo.
Otherwise I have a file full of different versions that I mix together – this one has a nice hand, this expression is exactly what I envisioned – I think you know what I mean.
When it comes to animations, I changed my workflow over time based on my experiences. At first, I had everything ready to go – like 6 different prompts that I had pre-specified what frame they would start on. But I dropped that because for me it’s much better to be more flexible in that regard. I enter the first prompt and if I like the first frame, I let it run. At some point, I turn off the rendering and see what the animation looks like and where it’s going. If I don’t like it, I delete a few frames and repeat the process. Then I add a second prompt and modify the scene. And I do that all the way through. So I have a lot more control over what’s actually happening.
[AI Art Weekly] Who is your favourite artist?
My favourite artists have created their own style with AI tools and every time I see their artwork it’s immediately clear who the artist is.
@DinBurns, @StLaurentJr, @stephanvasement, @phosphor, @RedruMxNFT, @nvnot_
[AI Art Weekly] Anything else you would like to share?
I can see a lot of despair around me and it’s in fact part of the AI hate too. People tend to “attack” when they feel the despair. In both cases – if they spent years mastering something and now they can see that everyone can express themselves and there’s no longer a “skill-barrier”, they feel the despair that they can be replaced if they actually have nothing new to give to the art world (doing the same thing over and over).
And from the other side of the fence there’s the desperation of those that cannot create something even with the complete freedom of AI tools. They want to talk, but they have nothing to tell.
So I would like to say to all artists that they shouldn’t let anyone interfere with their work and simply ignore criticism that is not constructive.
We are part of something new and we have the freedom to create like never before in the history of mankind, isn’t that something amazing?