I've been at this a few years now, mostly exploring what you can do with neural style transfer - here are three things I've learned :)
1) The AI is just a paintbrush.
It’s a really trippy paintbrush. It’s a paintbrush that can more easily reach deeper into visual associations and feelings than almost any other paintbrush available.
But at the end of the day, it’s a tool for expressing what you want to express.
There’s a lot of talk about AI replacing artists - and, AI probably will replace some of the more mechanical aspects of art.
But not the magic itself.
There’s some AI art that’s sold for obscene amounts of money (link) - but that’s largely because it’s still a frontier in the art world. In my opinion.
The machine itself can’t summon the intention or the creation energy of the artist.
Nobody wants to pay for machine output unless there’s something else behind it too.
2) Art vs Technique
In making highly technical art, it’s easy to get lost in the “technical” part of it. I often separate AI art (and used to do the same with LED art) into “channeling” and “technique”.
It’s hard to stay connected to source when I’m holding a house of cards in my head at my laptop.
So I try to figure out what wants to come out of me first and set a strong vision to follow before I start working.
Sometimes all I want to do is experiment with technique. Feed the machines lots of different inputs and see which ones go somewhere interesting.
This is great, but it produces chaos.
I’ve found that it’s best to have waves of this, and then, with all of that technique available, go for a long walk and connect with what I really want to make.
And then hold that vision and stir up all the chaos and form it to that.
But don’t let the technique drive the vision - explore the technique, and then let the vision form the art.
3) Body Love
It’s easy to get sucked into an hours-long rabbit hole with neural style transfer experiments.
It’s easy to get caught in lots of cycles in my head and my fingertips and my laptop and the rest to my body more or less forgetting it exists.
And, most of the best ideas come from closing my laptop, going outside, and reconnecting with my body.
Letting it stretch. Move. Run. Move however it wants. Trusting it to work its’ own kinks and knots out.
Having been a very cerebral programmer on a journey of reconnecting with my body - forming your relationship with your body is one of the best investments you can make.
It you want to connect to source and open up your creative flows, every improvement in your relationship to your body is a force multiplier.
Also, I’m considering putting together some online classes on how to use AI tools to maximal effect. If you’re interested, reach out and let me know :)