[AI Art Weekly] Hey Roope, what’s your background and how did you get into AI art?
I’ve been working as a designer for the past 25 years, focusing on concepting and UX. Since “UX” is a very broad topic, I’ve also done things very broadly in relation to it: UI design, visual design, prototyping, photography etc.
Photography has been my main hobby for nearly 30 year. What originally drew me into AI-based creation was this somewhat fanciful idea of a “virtual camera”. I can go into the real world and point my camera at things in order to be able to tell stories - I should be able to do the same with this virtual camera.
I’ve been doing AI-based creations now for about 15 months, and it’s quite stunning to look at how quickly things have evolved during this time. I have a strong professional interest into this, as in being able to utilize various methods to assist me in my commercial work.
[AI Art Weekly] Do you have a specific project you’re currently working on? What is it?
My time is split between commercial work (working with several ad agencies, filmmakers, bands, directors etc.) and then the work that I can publish online. For the public stuff, there’s currently no big project…
Well, there is. My big project ultimately is to build up the capabilities to be able to create short stories. Small movies, animations, comics, using every trick in the book: create images, videos, animations, characters, voiceovers, music - Everything I do is kind of in service of this meta-project. Once all the building blocks are in shape, I’ll start putting them together.
But that’ll happen next year.
[AI Art Weekly] What does your workflow look like?
The workflow is constantly evolving. I get bored of doing the same thing, using the same methods, so I try to challenge myself and learn new tricks by evolving, changing something constantly.
But in a rough sense it’s usually a funnel. I have an idea, then I create lots around it, then I look at results, evolve my inputs, look at results again, filter down, edit, publish, rinse, repeat. I create about 100x more content than what I ever publish.
It’s not much different from how I do photography: I shoot lots. The “film” here doesn’t cost much.
[AI Art Weekly] What is your favourite prompt when creating art?
I’m not a “big prompter”, really. I don’t do these complicated chapter-long winding prompts. To each their own, of course. Not my personal style. I find that they narrow down the results too much.
Perhaps the biggest repeating prompt elements are when I go for photographic style. I add some photographic things to the prompts like
fuji velvia or
sigma lens or
nikon dslr – things you would find with photographic descriptions.
In general I try to vary my prompts as much as possible. I get bored seeing the same thing, so I don’t like using the same words. That’s also why I’ve been very much into Dreambooth training recently. Running your own model does more to the output style than almost anything I’ve been able to achieve with prompting alone.
[AI Art Weekly] Can you tell us more about your dreambooth approach?
Sure, I’m using the JoePenna notebook.
I run it myself through Visions of Chaos (wonderful Windows app to run AI code locally), it’s integrated into its Stable Diffusion code.
My recent training has been using the v1.5 checkpoint release, training that with custom material. Either using the
person or the
style classes (nothing too surprising!) I have a hunch that there’s lots of undiscovered classes there to train, we’re only scratching the surface.
Now with the Colab pricing change, I’m fortunate enough to have computers at home I can run almost anything locally. I haven’t actually used any colab for the past few weeks.
Shameless editor plug: If you’re like me and don’t own a fast enough GPU yet, I’ve put together a Tutorial on how to setup Automatic1111’s WebUI on Paperspace. The most affordable cloud GPU solution I’ve found and tried so far.
[AI Art Weekly] How do you feel AI (art) will be impacting society?
AI will have huge impact. Just about every person whose job nowadays involves sitting in front of a computer, they will get AI to help them get things done faster and easier.
“AI art” - “art” is an endless discussion which perhaps isn’t the time best spent for anyone. “Is this art? Is this not art?” – that’s ultimately not a meaningful question. What’s the point of asking that? What would happen if that question would “get settled” one way or another?
If one looks at photos, photographs, masses of photos are created every day. It’s safe to say that 99% of photos that are created “are not art”, but it doesn’t mean that these photos wouldn’t be valuable. There’s tons of reasons why people create and send photos to each other. I believe the same will be true with AI creations. Most creations are not art. Some will be. It’s really not for the artist to judge.
[AI Art Weekly] Who is your favourite artist?
It’s easy to create nice looking images that tell nothing about anything really. Telling something personal, or trying to tell a story, trying to say something with your creations, trying to make a statement takes more guts. Some people will hate it, laugh at it or ridicule it. Someone might actually be touched by it. Yin and Yang.
As for Non-AI artist I’m heavily into music, with a sweet spot for 90’s alt and indie rock. Hundreds of bands. Movies, television, books, illustrations. I don’t really have a shortlist of favourites – everyone influences each other. But if pushed, I’ll say David Lynch and Franz Kafka.
[AI Art Weekly] Anything else you would like to share?
I think a good question for each of us to ask ourselves is regarding style over substance. Are you spending most of your time focusing on the style or on the substance?
The AI methods – at least currently! – don’t yet give us the secrets to substance. Great substance works even with poor style, great style can try to hide the poor substance, but since great style will be accessible to anyone in the near future – MidJourney in 12 months will create an amazing looking artwork out of anything – it comes down back to great substance.
What’s your own substance? What do you want to say to the world?