Artificial Images: AI and the Death of Art

One of the things that I find particularly sad is when fellow artists say that they want to use AI for inspiration…

I have written before about the homogeneous look of Artstation, or Marvel movies and CGI—where artists are trying to emulate a look, in order to get an “industry” job. It is understandable, because the artists are using the same tools and bounce between studios and projects. Artists also spend a lot of time studying each others work and taking influence from each other. My own artwork is not immune to this influence–and in the Internet Age, It is difficult not to be influenced–yet this is not the original meaning of the word inspiration….

When artists say they want to use AI (Artificial Images) generated images for inspiration, It seems they are used to this bad habit of regurgitating the same derivative ideas.– AI generated images are doing exactly that; pulling latent images from a database of billions and creating a mashup through a process called Diffusion. The Artificial Images suffer from an even worse homogeneity than the art that they are derived from, which is one of the reasons they seem so soulless and uninspired.

Many artists (especially young artists who are just learning the craft) will copy or imitate the art that they have seen—and maybe some of that original inspiration kindles their work…But as they mature, their work will draw from a liminal source, and their own art and style will emerge. What do I mean by this?

In my own imagination and dreams, there is an ineffable connection to something BEYOND—I don’t know how to explain, but the vision doesn’t really come from me. It is from somewhere else. It is a liminal experience, like a Muse has just granted me a glimpse of something, from a deeper reality, or world—It is given to me from beyond…As an artist, I TRY to bring it to life, with the limitations of my skills, but the inspiration is from somewhere beyond my self.

I believe that an Artist is somewhat akin to a shaman or seer—bringing a boon to the people from the visions granted to him. So inspiration comes from a special connection to the Muse (which is as close to putting it into words as I can). That is the value of Art, and why I think it is important to humanity.

The AI images are a counterfeit, soulless mockery of art. There is no connection to the liminal reality that I’m trying to describe, and so no message or vision to share with the people… We will be left with just this poor substitute in the place of Art.

Where there is no vision, the people perish…Proverbs 29:18