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Linus Ekenstam
@LinusEkenstam Published February 10, 2023

[AI Art Weekly] What’s your background and how did you get into AI art?

My background involves starting companies and working as a product designer. I established my first company back in 2009 and have been involved on the Internet since 2004/2005. I was ahead of the curve on many of the major trends since then. I have a rich history of work in the industry, including serving as an early employee and senior designer at Typeform, helped to start up Thingtesting as the head of product and design, and more recently serving as the principal designer at Flodesk.

More recently, I have been exploring the world of generative AI, starting with GPT-2 and then GPT-3. My interest was piqued by image generation with DALLE2, and then my time playing with Midjourney led to a deep dive into the world of generative AI. It’s easy to spend hours creating in MJ, and I could say that I followed the internet’s “breadcrumbs” to find the next big thing.

Macro shot of a human eye, blue iris like a galaxy, window into the soul --ar 3:2 --v 4 --q 2 --upbeta --s 250 by Linus

[AI Art Weekly] Do you have a specific project you’re currently working on? What is it?

Since 2020, I’ve been dedicating my time to developing a mental wellness app for iOS called Sensive.xyz. It’s a scientifically-grounded mood tracker and journaling app that has helped a few thousand of people so far. However, it’s currently taking a back seat as I’ve started a new project with my partner and friend in October 2022. Our latest venture is a generative story-making tool called bedtimestory.ai.

We’re creating a narrative platform that enables users to create and share stories. It’s been a thrilling experience so far and the platform has already gained around 10’000 members, with about 20’000 stories created since its launch less than two months ago.

Our focus is on building out the basic features and improving the user experience. Our vision for the platform is grand and we feel that the world is our oyster. Currently, we’re working on enhancing text and image capabilities, adding more controls to the generation aspect, and developing a comprehensive editor. In the future, we’re also looking to add personalised characters and the ability to turn your kids into cartoon characters, which we believe has the potential to be very powerful.

Next, we plan to support more types of distribution channels, such as audio and video. But what we’re hoping the most for is a Midjourney API, so we can start integrating images made with Midjourney.

[AI Art Weekly] What does your workflow look like?

When it comes to my Twitter account and the work I’m doing there and in my newsletter, it stems from play. I experiment a lot with these tools, and I’m mindful of my approach when I explore and play. Sometimes, I find interesting learnings or outcomes that I try to capture and share. I’m humbled that it resonates with people. I never expected any of this to work or be interesting, but it happened and I’ve been building on that ever since.

[AI Art Weekly] What is your favourite prompt when creating art?

It’s difficult to say; I’ve been doing a lot of interior shots. For those, this prompt is great because you can adjust parameters as desired:

Home design, Interior Design in the style of a geometric, polymorph, Cutest vibe, colorful, magical, whimsical, surreal, fantasy, detailed, complex, polished, 8k, Octane Render, Unreal Engine, Realistic, Abstract --v 4 --q 2 --ar 2:3 by Linus

Another really nice concept I’ve been exploring is the art of Knolling, about which I’ve made entire thread about.

crystals, rose quarts, onyx, carnelian, jasper, prasiolite, agate, Knolling on white tray, white Background --q 2 by Linus

Then there is this funny series where I put batman in odd situations:

batman in a domestic setting, making pasta --ar 3:2 --q 2 --v 4 -- uplight by Linus

[AI Art Weekly] How do you imagine AI (art) will be impacting society in the near future?

It’s difficult to predict the future of generative art and AI, but one thing is for certain: the genie is out of the bottle and it’s here to stay. In fact, the term “generative art” may not even last long, as AI becomes just another tool in the artist’s toolbox. The pace of change will be so rapid and intense that it will be challenging to keep up with it all. We’re already seeing this with new breakthroughs happening almost weekly.

As we look ahead, we can expect to see higher resolution models and all issues we are seeing with hands and details will slowly be solved. The trend towards text-to-video, video-to-video, text-to-3D, and 3D-to-3D (most of which is already here) will only continue and become increasingly accessible and user-friendly. Additionally, I think prompt engineering may become less common as natural language becomes the preferred way to describe what we want. Maybe to some degree there’ll still be some prompt design going on, but I don’t think it will be like today.

The impact of AI on jobs will be significant, and some jobs will be affected sooner than others. For example, there was a recent announcement about an AI powered software that can perform Text-to-Figma (a design tool for digital designers to mockup user interfaces for apps and websites). We’ll just have to deal with this becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives. It’s important to start learning these tools now before it’s too late.

Text-To-Figma by Galileo AI

[AI Art Weekly] Who is your favourite artist?

I’m a minimalist at heart and admire the timeless designs of Dieter Rams and Jesper Kouthoofd at Teenage Engineering. When I was younger, I wanted to redesign everything around me - streets, lamp posts, sidewalks, houses, parks, and household items - because I felt it lacked cohesion. Now that I’m older, I’ve learned to appreciate the imperfections of the world.

I’m also a big fan of Brian Donnelly, aka Kaws. Lorena is an amazing female artist whose colourful art I admire. My current favourite creator on YouTube is @GawxArt. Despite his young age, he has already achieved a lot and I think we’ll be seeing more of him in the future.

Music is also a big part of my life. I think I streamed well over 100,000 hours on Spotify last year and enjoy exploring new genres, artists, and subcultures. I recommend KOKOKO! and Cheikh Ibra Fam for anyone looking for something new to listen to.

For relaxation, I often hang out on poolside.fm, which is run by my good friend @marty.

“The Wings of Hermes” by Lorena Eloizaga

[AI Art Weekly] Anything else you would like to share?

I think that’s pretty much it. You can follow me on Twitter and if you’d like a closer connection, consider signing up for my weekly newsletter Inside My Head. I look forward to seeing you all on the interwebs.

by @dreamingtulpa