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4 Artists Open up About AI and the Way forward for Their Craft

The AI artwork motion is in full swing. And whereas it has a fair amount of controversy hooked up to its identify, there’s merely no going again. Billions of individuals throughout the globe are utilizing applications like Midjourney, Secure Diffusion, DALL-E, and lots extra to interact in creative expression each day and on a scale that humanity has by no means earlier than witnessed. And, given its penchant for embracing new know-how, the NFT group has taken to those instruments as shortly as anybody. Because of this, we’re now beginning to see a proliferation of NFT artwork whose creators have infused their work with AI on a minimum of some stage — and we couldn’t be extra excited.

Since 2023 crested into view this month, Web3 futurists and crypto skeptics have speculated about traits that may pop up because the yr progresses. A lot stays unsure, however few would doubt that artwork made with generative AI tools will play a large function within the NFT house this yr and past. With that in thoughts, we spoke to 4 artists within the NFT group to learn the way they started utilizing AI instruments, their creative processes, and the way they view the extraordinary debate surrounding what they do. Don’t sleep on them.

Stephan Vasement 

Stephan Vasement is a Bangkok-based visible artist with a background in scriptwriting and pictures. Beginning his NFT journey as a collector on fxhash, Vasement started experimenting with AI artwork instruments with buddies when he stumbled throughout Disco Diffusion, a clip-guided diffusion model for picture era, in the summertime of 2022.

“On the time, I don’t suppose we had any grand targets or ambitions,” defined Vasement whereas talking to nft now. “We have been merely having fun with the end result and promoting the photographs for a symbolic payment to one another on Objkt and Versum. Then, the group started to develop, and regularly we got here to what we have now now. I used to be amazed that AI can generate so many distinctive photographs and that the chances of making new artwork are countless.”

Splash Flower via Stephan Vasement
Splash Flower through Stephan Vasement

Produced by a mixture of Midjourney, DALL-E, and Secure Diffusion and drawing closely on influences from movie administrators like Andrei Tarkovsky, Peter Greenaway, and Robert Bresson, Vasement additionally finds inspiration in music for his items.

“I believe these traits assist me create a sure environment of thriller,” elaborated Vasement. “With their assist, I can shortly immerse the viewer in my world. A very powerful factor I need to obtain is the sensation of a stupendous, magical, and memorable second that may keep within the viewer’s reminiscence for a lifetime. I consider that everybody has such moments, largely from childhood.”

Vasement's One Minute Before Twilight
Vasement’s One Minute Earlier than Twilight

With the launch of Vasement’s C Sequence on Objkt in July 2022, he started to be a focus for artwork lovers and collectors within the NFT house. To create the collection, Vasement “went underneath the hood” of MidJourney to make vital modifications to its algorithm, which resulted within the distinctive type the collection reveals.

“I had not seen anybody else doing something related, and now nobody will be capable of — in one of many Midjourney updates, the loophole I used to be working by was closed,” defined Vasement.

C-43 via Stephan Vasement
C-43 through Stephan Vasement

Whereas he nonetheless has practically 500 ready-made works from the C Sequence in reserve, Vasement is wanting towards the longer term, at present making ready drops for an upcoming launch on Basis that honors the collection however takes his work in a brand new path. Commenting on the current explosion of controversy surrounding AI artwork instruments, the artist was matter-of-fact.

“By no means apologize for utilizing AI. Now we have nothing to apologize for or be ashamed of.”

Stephan Vasement

“I merely ignore the dialogue,” Vasement provided. “It’s not vital in our time, particularly within the NFT world. We talk with collectors straight, and we don’t have intermediaries who attempt to restrict our means to share or promote our work primarily based on their beliefs. I counsel everybody who works with AI and isn’t certain they’ll arise for themselves to keep away from this matter. And most significantly, by no means apologize for utilizing AI. Now we have nothing to apologize for or be ashamed of.”


MemoryMod is a Brooklyn-based CGI artist with a background in digital sculpture and rendering, VR growth, and photogrammetry who has created digital sculptures for Marvel and Netflix productions. Whereas they started their creative journey by exploring analog media like 35mm pictures and portray, MemoryMod’s skilled profession has taken them deeper into the world of coding and movement graphics applications. A normal fascination with new know-how drew them to the crypto and NFT house after they found Ethereum in 2017. MemoryMod started to see the potential of AI artwork when Secure Diffusion got here out in August 2022 and allowed customers to run this system on their computer systems regionally.

“At first, the prompting was the enjoyable half, however the factor that obtained me actually excited was the flexibility to coach my very own fashions and information the output towards a extra private type that I recognized with,” MemoryMod stated in an interview with nft now. “My present type has at all times been there; it has been current as a possible concept and aesthetic since my first investigations with AI. That’s the fascinating factor about AI: it means that you can develop latent concepts fairly quick. Despite the fact that the refinement of the work, primarily based on iterations, does take time, my experiments with custom-model coaching allowed me to develop my distinctive type. The consequence was the creation of my Genesis Sequence.”

MemoryMod Genesis 088
MemoryMod Genesis 088

The identify “MemoryMod” stands for “reminiscence modification,” referring to the interactive dynamic that comes with AI instruments. MemoryMod sees this dynamic as a playful one, taking one thing acquainted — like a reminiscence — and modifying it to create one thing distinctive and particular to an artist’s most popular type. Their aesthetic closely references sci-fi and Cyberpunk themes, and the artist believes their identify embodies the interaction between know-how, artwork, and the intimate and private present in these traditions. When describing their influences and creative inspirations extra particularly, MemoryMod factors to iconic productions comparable to Blade Runner, Ghost in The Shell, Mad Max, Snow Crash, and Autogenic Dreaming as standouts.

“My Genesis Sequence rests closely on type, character, and variety,” the artist says. “I hope folks relate to this distinctive envisioned world and discover it authentic whereas additionally discovering a way of marvel in it.”

MemoryMod’s work has been well-received, with “Stemma,” the artist’s entry to Claire Silver’s second AI art contest, taking third place in that competitors. MemoryMod’s present work is finished in Secure Diffusion on custom-trained fashions. Sooner or later, the artist plans to combine their workflow into different digital applications and discover extra animation methods by experimenting with applications like TouchDesigner and AfterEffects.

Stemma via MemoryMod
Stemma through MemoryMod

“The fascinating factor about {custom} coaching fashions is that it appears to evolve your complete mannequin,” MemoryMod elaborated. “Use the identical immediate earlier than and after coaching — ideally one that doesn’t embody the phrases used for coaching — and a glimpse of common change will present itself to you. I discover this course of thrilling, particularly after coaching the identical mannequin 5 to seven instances after which possibly merging it with different educated fashions. This has a robust impact on your complete final result and may result in each anticipated and surprising outcomes which can be enjoyable to play with.”

Addressing the crucial headwinds the AI artwork motion at present faces, the artist pointed to historical past as a information. They famous that disruptive know-how has at all times been met with concern and concern for the way it would possibly change the lives of the folks most carefully linked to it and the world broadly.

“I believe we have to proceed thoughtfully and thoroughly going into the longer term.”

MemoryMod on AI’s Future

“The introduction of the photographic digicam and mechanical reproducibility again within the 19th century sparked many debates across the function of subjectivity within the creative course of, in addition to conversations concerning the manners by which this know-how reconfigured our relationship to time and reminiscence themselves,” MemoryMod provided as a mirrored image. “AI already types a part of our world and practices and can more than likely solely develop into extra built-in into all elements of life going ahead. How this alteration will proceed to manifest on the earth of artwork, science, and each day interplay is but to be totally realized, however the potentials make me each excited and anxious. I believe we have to proceed thoughtfully and thoroughly going into the longer term, fascinated with our personal moral place with respect to this highly effective technical instrument often called AI.”

Information Velvet

Information Velvet is a graphic designer and UI/UX designer who stumbled onto NFTs in early 2021. Combining their love of information visualization with an affection for panorama and Japanese tradition, Information Velvet started experimenting with Artbreeder, CLIP-guided diffusion, Midjourney, and Secure Diffusion ensuing within the artist’s first AI NFT assortment, Datascapes.

“With the arrival of NFTs, I noticed that artists may now lastly do what they love and make an revenue from it,” stated Information Velvet whereas talking to nft now. “Earlier than, this was accessible to solely a handful of highly regarded artists. However the NFT alone wasn’t sufficient as a result of my drawing abilities don’t permit me to deliver my concepts to life. And that’s the place the AI kicks in.”

Data Velvet's Spectrum of the Universe
Information Velvet’s Spectrum of the Universe

Whereas describing their immediate craft (the particular means they craft the prompts that go into AI artwork instruments like Midjourney), Information Velvet notes that they spend numerous hours attempting totally different conceptual and syntactic combos to attain a desired consequence. “My course of is all about discovering a gem amongst lots of of shards,” they underlined. They’re additionally adamant that AI artwork instruments have enabled their present creative trajectory to exist.

“If everyone seems to be an artist and creator to some extent, possibly we’ll discover ourselves in a extra empathetic world.”

Information Velvet

“My entire artwork journey wouldn’t be doable with out AI,” Information Velvet stated. “You probably have an concept however can’t implement it due to numerous limitations, and you then get a instrument that helps you lastly get your concepts to life, that’s an awesome instrument. AI artwork helps lots of people as a remedy. It’s essential for a human being to know that he’s able to creating issues, even when he’s solely ‘writing phrases.’ And most significantly, I believe artwork helps foster empathy in folks. And that’s one thing we desperately lack in as we speak’s world. If everyone seems to be an artist and creator to some extent, possibly we’ll discover ourselves in a extra empathetic world.”

Jenni Pasanen

Finland-based visible artist Jenni Pasanen offers within the ethereal. Melded with AI, her NFT art work is haunting and serene, continuously depicting summary beings and surroundings that wouldn’t be misplaced in a fantasy novel. With a background in design and animation, Pasanen has experimented with digital portray for the final 15 years. She started educating herself about crypto and NFTs in 2020, creating her first assortment in March 2021.

cloud-like being with head in hands
through Jenni Pasanen

“Across the similar time I used to be launched to NFTs, I additionally found AI artwork,” Pasanen stated in an interview with nft now. “I used to be mesmerized by the countless potentialities the medium may supply, and it instantly resonated with me. I knew I had lastly discovered my house in artwork. From that second on, I’ve been utilizing AI as part of my craft. It was the lacking piece I had at all times been searching for. By combining AI and digital portray, I’m able to deliver collectively my passions for artwork, know-how, and information. AI serves as each my paint and my muse; it’s an infinite playfield of creativity, permitting me to dive into my creativeness.”

Future via Jenni Pasanen
Future through Jenni Pasanen

Pasanen makes use of Photoshop and Artbreeder as her important creative instruments of alternative, the latter of which makes use of BigGAN and StyleGAN fashions. Pasanen compares her workflow between Photoshop and AI to a “layered cake,” with inspiration beginning with an summary generated AI picture. Transferring to Photoshop from there, she layers and combines photographs with digital portray. Fascinatingly, as a substitute of starting a bit of art work by “scribbling a multitude on canvas to seek out inspiration between the shapes and contours,” as Pasanen described it, she has changed this preliminary stage with AI, letting the fashions do the messy scribbling for her.

On AI’s controversial entrance, Pasanen advocates for extra understanding each methods.

“Open dialogue and studying from [one] one other is at all times frequent floor for constructing a future collectively.”

Jenni Pasanen

“In addition to conventional artists studying how AI works and what it’s, AI artists also needs to study the origin of the instruments and perceive and listen to out the issues coming from the non-AI artists,” Pasanen emphasised. “Open dialogue and studying from [one] one other is at all times frequent floor for constructing a future collectively. AI remains to be such a brand new instrument, and the dialogue remains to be in its child footwear. There isn’t but only one proper reply.”

Editor’s be aware: The creator owns NFTs from a number of artists talked about on this piece.

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