Lisa Elliott
@LisaElliott_art Published June 2, 2023

What’s your background and how did you get into AI art?

Let me tell you right away - I am self-taught. You won’t find any tales of a long apprenticeship here :)

I’ve been surrounded by art since birth. My father was a fan of fine art, music, and theater, so our house was always filled with his creative friends and their works. We visited different galleries and museums every week. For that, I owe a huge thank you to my father.

Despite the artistic abundance around me, what captivated me most were the paintings that my father’s friend, Sergei Serp, created. He’s now quite a famous artist. I can confidently say that I owe my current pursuits to him and my father. These paintings were frightening and thrilling, stirring up so many thoughts and emotions in my young mind that the characters from these paintings began to appear in my dreams. I dreamt about them for many years. Each character had their own name, their own power, and so forth. The strangest thing is, these paintings are my only vivid memories from early childhood.

“Dynasty of Rock” by Sergei Serp

Naturally, as I grew older, I attended art school, from which I swiftly departed. My teacher didn’t share my artistic interests and constantly mocked my characters and drawings. In his opinion, a girl should be drawing flowers and cute pets. This experience at the art school dissuaded me from drawing and instilled numerous complexes in a 6-year-old girl.

I returned to drawing at a more mature age when I was battling depression, and nobody could help me. I took up oil painting, purchased an iPad, and learned to draw digitally. My hobby was supported by my mother, best friend, and boyfriend, who were always ready to accompany me to buy a new canvas or paint. At that point, I was aware of AI development, but I didn’t pay it much heed.

Years later, I began to discover more and more information about AI, and my friend, who had also become interested in it, was continually sharing more about it with me. So, I decided to try and learn to use these tools. I enjoyed it, and that’s how I found myself in this space.

Distorted perception” by Lisa Elliott

Do you have a specific project you’re currently working on? What is it?

I was asked to give this interview exactly when I took a short break as I need a little rest after each segment of my work. If I don’t, I feel like an assembly line, and my ideas and thoughts get confused. My last project was a failure, in my opinion, which I am not ashamed to say, so I want to get my thoughts together and then move on.

What drives you to create?

My memories and my recent experiences, which, I believe, resonate with many people. I posit that every artist incorporates their current thoughts and emotions into their work. What excites them the most, what they fall asleep and wake up with.

My happy family” by Lisa Elliott

What does your workflow look like?

I don’t follow a distinct sequence of actions. Images and compositions spontaneously appear in my mind. Occasionally, an idea may strike me in the middle of the night, yet I don’t jot it down, choosing to rely on my memory instead. Much of my work is inspired by childhood memories. Not always, but often. If so, I begin by sketching on my old digitized photos, refine the sketch using Midjorney, and further enhance the result with Procreate. When no photos are involved, I create an original image using Midjorney and refine it using Procreate. These are essentially all the tools I utilize. The order of operations constantly changes until I achieve the desired outcome. A single task may occupy me for over a week, which seems exceedingly slow to those accustomed to AI. If I’m not satisfied with the result, I start from scratch. This is why I’m not particularly fond of deadlines.

What is your favourite prompt when creating art?

The only trick I can really share involves describing the subject with different words in the same prompt. For example, in the work below, I achieved a satisfying result only when I entered the words mask and balaclava simultaneously.

Newlyweds” by Lisa Elliott

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

It seems to me that, in the near future, people will not stop being afraid of Artificial Intelligence, considering it a hoax for various reasons. People have always feared anything new, no matter which part of history we look at.

Any ideas on how that fear of AI could be mitigated?

Good question. I think the first step is education and the widespread dissemination of reliable information about the operation of AI and AI artists.

The second is resolving the issues concerning the legitimacy of using works to train AI models. As long as this issue remains unresolved, we witness significant negativity from artists. In my opinion, this arises because people fear job loss and potential redundancy, although the creative process of producing works with the assistance of AI hasn’t been abolished and probably never will. This seems to be a concept that people are reluctant to comprehend.

Lastly, familiarity plays a significant role. As people become more accustomed to AI, the fear will likely diminish.

Who is your favourite artist?

Among traditional artists, unsurprisingly, Sergei Serp, a representative of Necrorealism, which I have discussed previously. Additionally, Ida Applebroog, whose works I encountered at Queen Sofia Art Center in Madrid, profoundly moved me. Probably, after Serguei Serpa, this is the second artist who could arouse a storm of contradictory emotions in me.

Of the artists who use AI - @0_0_0_9, @Troy_Guenard, @solyaev, @axynchro, @palekirill.

“all the flowers are yours” by @palekirill

Anything else you would like to share?

Keep doing what you love, and don’t let other people influence your perception of your passion.

by @dreamingtulpa