A series of brief conversations with prominent AI artists to get a behind-the-scenes view of the different ways that AI fits into the creative process
Brady Walker: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
noper: Hi, my name is noper, and I currently reside in my hometown in Florida, USA. Throughout my life, I’ve had the privilege of living in various places, but now I find myself back where it all began. From an early age, I felt an irresistible pull towards music and art. Drawing and illustration were my passions, and I spent countless hours creating intricate pieces with pen and ink.
As I entered high school, I discovered a new dimension to my artistic expression. I started taking my pen drawings and recreating them using paint. The sheer joy and timelessness I experienced while lost in the process made me realize that painting was a lifelong calling for me. This realization prompted me to pursue a BA in Studio Art at Florida State University, where I surrounded myself with like-minded creatives who helped me delve deeper into expanding my artistic horizons.
During my time at university, I also ventured into the realm of music creation. Under various project names, I released hundreds of songs, exploring the boundless possibilities that music offered. As time went on, my artistic journey led me to fall in love with creating art using stable diffusion and mid-journey techniques. Despite using AI as my medium, my art remains an intrinsic part of who I am. With each piece I create, I strive to merge my thoughts, emotions, fears, and inspirations into a cohesive expression of feeling rather than mere concepts.
My ultimate goal has always been to fully immerse those who view my art, enabling them to experience the depicted moment as if they were the ones present to capture it. Although communication has never been my strong suit, I’ve always hoped that my art could bridge the gap between the thoughts in my head and the outward expression. My art, for me, is the language through which I navigate life.
BW: What has AI allowed you to create that you never would’ve otherwise?
n: AI has truly transformed my approach to art, granting me the freedom to create without constraints. Gone are the worries of running out of paint, canvas, brushes, or any other physical materials. All I need now are my brain and my boundless creativity.
While I’ve always been captivated by the idea of realism in art, my personal painting style tends to lean more toward illustration. Achieving the level of realism I envision in my mind has proven to be a challenging endeavor. However, with the aid of AI, I can now bring my art to life in a way that is astonishingly close to being lifelike. The feeling of completing a piece that closely resembles a photograph, while not actually being one, continues to amaze me.
Each finished artwork feels like a window into a dimension crafted and meticulously perfected by my own hands. The power of AI enables me to achieve a level of realism that was once beyond my reach. Additionally, AI has become an invaluable tool when I’m on the go and struck by a moment of inspiration. No longer do I need to wait until I have my traditional materials ready, risking the chance of forgetting my initial vision. AI allows me to capture and bring to life my ideas instantaneously, ensuring that no creative spark is lost.
This integration of AI into my artistic process has expanded the horizons of what I can achieve and has opened up a world of possibilities. It has revolutionized the way I create, providing me with a limitless canvas on which to unleash my imagination and translate my artistic vision into reality.
BW: Can you describe your process from pre-idea to finished piece?
n: When a creative idea takes hold of my mind, my immediate response is to transcribe it into a prompt resembling an AI input. This serves as the starting point for my artistic journey. It compels me to delve into research, exploring various styles and techniques that align with the vivid image I envision. This process of exploration has remarkably broadened my artistic knowledge, introducing me to a plethora of terms, concepts, and styles that I previously never knew existed.
Expanding upon my initial prompt, I carefully specify crucial details: the lighting, texture, time, year, and any other aspects that contribute to the comprehensive vision. With my first batch of outputs in hand, I scrutinize the results, discerning which words in my prompt might have had a detrimental effect on the output. Gradually, I embark on a process of elimination and replacement, fine-tuning the prompt to bring it closer and closer to my desired outcome. At times, I may employ Photoshop to add elements to an output, utilizing the edited image as a new starting point for generating subsequent batches of images.
On average, I traverse through approximately 500 outputs, constantly refining and iterating until I achieve the closest approximation of my original idea. Once I have identified my favorite output, I meticulously examine it, employing Photoshop if necessary to eliminate any imperfections or blemishes. From this point, I enter a phase of deep contemplation, spending hours absorbed in the artwork, carefully evaluating when it has reached a state of completion that satisfies my artistic sensibilities.
BW: Do you have any practical tips for going from a total AI art beginner to a true AI artist? (Take the term “true AI artist” however you like)
n: If you possess imagination, you possess the ability to create art. Even if your imagination is limited, but you have an eye for universally appealing themes, you still have the power to create art. This applies to both traditional art and AI art. The key to mastering your chosen medium is through trial and error. Don’t be afraid of failure or consider it too much work. By learning and understanding the craft, comprehending how it works and how you think, you can become a master of it. Don’t be hesitant to experiment and don’t worry about others’ opinions. If you have a longing to create, do it for yourself. This is how you become a true AI artist, by turning your own visions into reality. The more you create art for yourself, the better you will become.
BW: Can you give our readers a few prompt snippets or style prompts to experiment with?
n: “__________ in a city from 1980, dynamic shot, in motion, paneling on walls, shag carpet, bright light from outside window, in a dream, VHS halo, uncanny, foggy, molten seen through windows, portrait photography, 1980s photography, lo-fi photography, glitch photography, emo album cover, photorealistic, analytical art, CG society, ( ( glitch art ) ), dribbble, Holga, iridescent gradient lighting, post-punk, Lynchian, nitid horizon, vapor, porcelain grid tiles, sunburst behind woman, deep focus, trending on ArtStation”