In this insightful interview, we delve into the world of InfiniteYay. His artistic journey, spanning from a childhood spent illustrating surreal concepts to his present work in AI, has been a testament to his perspective on art, viewing it as an avenue to capture and reflect the magic of existence and the beauty of our complex world.

The interview unveils his fascination with the limitless potential of AI as a tool to visualize the vast, intriguing worlds in his mind. His work exemplifies this approach, with art series such as “Neighbors” and “Forevers” that portray contrasting aspects of reality, from suburban life tinged with fantasy to the haunting complexities of the multiverse theory. 

The artist also shares practical advice for other creators keen to tap into AI’s capabilities. InfiniteYay highlights the importance of documenting prompts and the benefit of spontaneity in one’s creative workflow. Perhaps most importantly, he emphasizes the necessity of connecting deeply with one’s imagination and personal interests when crafting prompts, a process he describes as describing what you want to see in a way that incorporates elements you’re deeply connected with.

Brady Walker: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

InfiniteYay: Hi! I go by InfiniteYay. I’m an artist and Creative Director who has been exploring AI for the past year. I’ve been a traditional artist my whole life and have been working in the creative industry for the past 15+ years. 

I’ve always been interested in emerging technologies and digital art, so as soon as I found out about AI image generators, I knew I had to dive in. I immediately saw the potential for how it was going to change the world and wanted to be a part of where things were going. I didn’t quite know what would come of it, but after experimenting with several image generators, I felt compelled to share what I was creating. It felt so exciting to see these wild ideas from my imagination come to life and I guess I just wanted to share that excitement with others. I had no idea it would progress to where I’m at today and where the industry is currently. It’s been a wild ride for sure.

We Were Summoned by InfiniteYay

BW: Were you making art before AI? If so, what kind of art?

IY: Absolutely! I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a small child. My dad is in the art supply industry and my garage growing up was like an art store. I had access to endless pads of paper, pens, and paints; it was any artist’s dream. 

I would mostly draw intricate illustrations with fine-point pens. I created surreal, dream-like stuff with objects morphing into other things, crazy creatures, hyper-detailed patterns, and maximal scenes that filled notebook pages. 

I eventually started making posters for my band and other bands. This progressed from doing art for bands to eventually working for businesses, which led me into the creative industry. However, this past year is the first time I’ve taken art seriously in regard to building an audience and selling it. It’s been a dream come true, to be honest.

Come On In by InfiniteYay

BW: Where did the name InfiniteYay come from?

IY: I actually created an Instagram account with the name a few years ago. The intention was to curate art I thought was exceptional and fell within a certain dreamy aesthetic I was into at the time. Quite simply, the name is a celebration of the infinite awesomeness life has to offer. I’ve always been an overly optimistic person, one who chooses to focus on the infinite potential and beauty life has to offer. I originally intended for the account to grow into an artistic community that not only championed amazing art but also facilitated impactful, community-based art projects. I’ll probably still do that.

BW: Where are you based?

IY: I’m from the U.S.A., but I have been living in Asia for the better part of the last seven years. Currently, my family and I are working on settling in Japan. The U.S. is going through some tumultuous times right now, I mean the whole world is, but in our experience, Japan has been a safer and more enchanting place to raise a family than all the places we’ve lived in the States. Don’t get me wrong, I love so much about the U.S., but we’ve just really connected with Japan and I’m excited and grateful to be able to spend more time here.

NEIGHBORS #136 by InfiniteYay

BW: Of any artist I follow, I consider you foremost a world-builder. Can you tell me about the world(s) you’re building, if that is in fact what you see yourself as doing?

IY: That’s awesome to hear that it comes through. I’m still working on communicating the overarching vision I have for my artistic journey. It does indeed include building and exploring “worlds.” Humans love stories; they connect us. Some of the most meaningful art in history has had narrative elements to it, whether it’s a book, movie, or an art series with a deeper story behind it. 

One of the things I’ve been most captivated with AI about is its ability to quickly allow me to explore aesthetic worlds. I’ve often said it feels like you’re tapping into another realm. I think once you get the core of a prompt honed in, you can change bits of it to explore these worlds from different angles and develop a story.

I’m extremely interested in using AI to connect with my imagination and bring to life worlds and stories that I deeply connect with in some way. I think as the tech improves, we’re seeing a more pure vision of each other’s imaginations. It’s really exciting. I love seeing everyone’s wild ideas. I just want to keep exploring using AI to access my imagination and build crazy worlds for others to step into and connect with.

FOREVERS #109 by InfiniteYay

BW: Is there any underlying story or mythology to your work?

IY: I still feel like I’m learning how to express the stories I truly want to tell. I think largely, I aim to shine a light on how magical life is. I think we all get too caught up in worldly day-to-day things and forget how wild and magical it is to be alive. Like, it’s totally insane that we even exist at all. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been aware that there’s something magical going on. We all call this magic by different names, but it’s there. Whether you think it’s God, the universe, a simulation, or whatever you may think, I believe most would agree something more is going on here. And this “magic” is largely absent from the day-to-day monotony of life. I just hope my art and creative projects inspire others to dream, to look at life in new ways, and to tap into this magical side of life more often.

BW: Tell me about your Neighbors series. What’s developing over the course of this series?

IY: I grew up in the suburbs. To grow up in the suburbs with a super wild imagination always felt like a stark juxtaposition. My surroundings were not terribly inspiring, and all the houses looked the same, yet here I was, sitting around drawing fantastical worlds and creatures. With this series, I wanted to explore this juxtaposition with AI and delve into familiar suburban environments featuring crazy creatures and unexpected situations. It was a really fun process, and I loved all the bizarre places I went to in this series. It was definitely a little more rough and experimental than some of my past work, but I wanted to focus on pushing the crazy ideas and less on perfection.

WAIT by InfiniteYay

BW: Forevers is considerably darker than Neighbors. Where did this series come from? What ideas are you developing with it?

IY: As much as I’ve always aspired to create magical, playful work, the darker sides of life have always slipped in there. With this series, I was really focusing on exploring an infinite realm where all things exist simultaneously. Where light and dark, macro and micro, all are connected in a coherent way. 

I’ve always been intrigued by the multiverse theory that says there could be an infinite number of universes and dimensions with all possible realities playing out at the same time. At the time, I was really into exploring the idea that AI allows us to tap into the unknown that connects all things. So in Forevers, you see all that coming together with people interacting with smaller worlds, large mysterious creatures, transforming environments, and different worlds colliding in unexpected ways.

THE ARCHITECT by InfiniteYay

BW: You quite deftly incorporate horror tropes into a bright, colorful, whimsical world. How do you think about balancing these two extremes in your work?

IY: You obviously can’t have light without darkness. I think the magic of life really shines in the areas between extremes and how they exist together. It reminds me of how sometimes people laugh during really dark times. It’s the absurdity of it all. 

I also think some of the shows from my childhood really embraced combining darker and lighter themes together. Shows like Ren & Stimpy, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Rocco’s Modern Life; these shows were just as creepy as they were fun and playful. They really made an impression on me. I always like work that has levels of complexity. Simple art can be amazing, but work that challenges me or gets me thinking on deeper levels often embraces these themes of duality.

IT’S ALIVE by InfiniteYay

BW: What are your inspirations outside of visual art?

IY: Outside of visual art, I’m really into music. I’m a musician myself and digest new music just as extensively as I do art on a daily basis. There are a lot of parallels between the two, and some of my best ideas come while listening to music. I’m also deeply inspired by traveling the world with my family. Gaining insight into other cultures and ways of thinking has been invaluable as an artist. Honestly, most of my work extends from just thinking about life, all the unanswered questions, and how everything is connected.

BW: What’s in your art-making toolbox?

IY: Most of the work I’ve released has been created using a combination of Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, DALL-E 2, Photoshop, After Effects, and a variety of different upscalers. I also incorporate some of my personal traditional art and photos into my AI art.

BW: One thing I admire about your work is that, unlike many AI artists who create simple portraits or landscapes, you create dense and deeply imaginative scenes. What’s the process for creating these heavily populated pieces?

IY: Thank you! I love a good portrait or landscape piece, but for my art, I try to develop complex worlds that really pull you in. I’m more interested in creating scenes that feel like something is going on, even if it’s not clear what it is. I like pieces that feel like a glimpse into another world and have a candid, in-the-middle-of-a-situation feel to them.

LET’S PLAY by InfiniteYay

BW: How do you systematize your creative workflow? Do you document your prompts and rework them?

IY: I do document my prompts. Midjourney, for example, keeps track of all your prompts, so it’s incredibly useful when wanting to go back and rework an older idea. I like to think of these AI tools as a quick way to access my imagination, so I often use them in a very casual way. I’ll have an idea, quickly open up a tool, and get to creating. 

I work best in random bursts; I’ll get inspired and work on an idea until it’s in a good spot. Not forcing myself to create and just creating when the inspiration hits seems to work best for me. Although, ideally, you can cultivate a routine practice of getting in the zone to be inspired and create.

BW: Can you tell our readers a little bit about your prompting best practices?

IY: My favorite tip to give is to really try and connect with your imagination and all the things that make up your unique perspective. Meaning, make a list of all the things you love: your favorite books, feelings, times of day, places, things, songs, colors, objects, art styles, movies, vibes, etc. Then string them together in an interesting way that paints the picture of a scene you’d like to see. 

Prompting is literally just describing what you want to see. The more you can describe something that is filled with all the things you’ve ever deeply connected with, the more likely you are to create something that you connect with. 

With AI tools, you can create just about anything in any aesthetic. I think the key when making art or something that feels meaningful is figuring out a process that pulls out something uniquely you that you connect with in some deeper way. There are tons of great technical tips out there, but this is a good one when it comes to subject matter and direction for your explorations.

A Special Place by InfiniteYay

BW: What do you hope people feel or take away from your work?

IY: I said it earlier, but I really just hope to inspire people to tap into the magical side of life more. To dream more and think outside of the box. I hope my art can make someone smile, laugh, or be amazed in some way. I just want to bring joy and magic to life, even if just for a moment.

BW: What’s in the near future for the art of Infiniteyay? Are there other tools or mediums you plan to expand into?

IY: I plan to stay on the pulse of the newest tools and practices and explore the boundaries of what’s possible with AI. I aim to refine my artistic purpose more and how I communicate it with those who are interested. I want to deepen the worlds I build and explore. 

The designer side of me is craving to build more interactive experiences around the worlds I build, so I’ll probably be diving into that more soon. I also plan to develop some community-based projects that bring other artists together to create something uniquely meaningful together. I also have big dreams to develop physical experiences around the worlds and projects I’d like to build. There’s a lot to do! I’m always feeling inspired.

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