The reason I’m exploring this style right now has a lot to do with AI. It’s done using only my own imagination and skills. It also goes against everything I learned in my advanced art classes in university.
This piece was a bit of an experiment and template. It’s not a new style for me. I’ve used every technique before in different pieces. But at present I’m trying to hone a particular style — a “signature style” — that really represents me. I would NOT want people to judge me on this piece alone, which is not in my top 10. Rather, I’m choosing an approach to hone and develop.
One way I work is to have an idea for a piece and use everything in my arsenal to make it as grand as possible. That’s kind of a “ends justify my means” approach. This is the opposite. I’m focusing on a best process to pursue in the hopes of getting grand results in the long run.
What I like about this approach is it’s 100% me and only me. Even compared to pre-AI art, I don’t use photo references, collaging, or digital sculpting to render imagery. I have to draw every stroke myself. At first I was only doing that, but I decided to allow myself to use rudimentary Photoshop editing tools as well. Nothing where the program does anything for me, but for example I can crop or expand the canvas, cut and move a piece if I want, etc. Those are things I couldn’t really do purely analog, but are also not magic and if you don’t have skills can’t make art for you.
Rather than hide, mask, compensate, or have some program do something for me, this style makes my limitations and shortcomings apparent. That is part of what makes human art human in a post AI climate. It is much harder to balance colors with this sort of rough pastel look than if I blur the colors with a digital painting brush. Every stroke is naked.
I’m partly exploring this because AI can do everything for you when it comes to producing the imagery, as in you don’t need to draw or paint a single pixel. This is not necessarily anti-AI. It’s more about separating the human from the machine. I could do this style similarly using physical means [not practicable now while I’m a sort of digital nomad], and that would have both advantages and disadvantages, but it’s definitely doable because I used to work this way physically.
If you are interested in this particular piece, I wrote a bit more about the content in a post about the original B&W drawing: New Art: Kiss of Death
If you’d like to see more of my broad signature style/approach, I created a gallery here: Signature Style.
I’m pretty sure AI in coming months or at best years will be able to learn my own style and beat me at it. Maybe not. But we can’t underestimate digital super intelligence. ChatGPT4, if you don’t know, has passed the Bar, and aced SAT scores. Technology is progressing at an increased speed. We might be dealing with AI that’s 10X as powerful in a few years, or even months. At some point enough intelligence and power to mimic human achievements will best us at absolutely everything. We already accept that we can’t hope to compete at Math, or spelling, or geography, with our smart phones. We let the Genie out of the box.
But if AI steals a style I developed. I still developed it, and as the human author, it reflects my actual mind and subconscious, my history of experience and training.
Now that I’ve more of less hammered out a procedure for putting these drawings in color, below is next. And I can’t imagine what it will look like in color. That will happen through the process.
I may have to do 6 or more of these types of pieces, and in color, before people start to “get” them. That’s to be expected. Variations on a theme make the theme much more apparent.
We’ll have to see where this leads. One thing I find intriguing is I have no ideas whatsoever what #4, 5, or 6 will look like [#3 is in the rough sketch phase].
Lastly, anything I’m exploring is not meant to challenge or denigrate anything anyone else is doing artistically. I enjoy a plethora of styles. My musical collection, for example, is very eclectic, from classical to rock to rap to world music, experimental, electronic, and so on.]
And if you like my art or criticism, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). See how it works here.
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