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Spiting the AI

If you aren’t chronically online [like me], you may not have heard about all the issues with AI art. If you aren’t sure why it’s a bad thing, a quick synopsis is that for AI art to work, they have to steal artwork from human artists in order to mush things together to create what people are generating. It isn’t like they are taking from public domain works, and that is obscenely shitty, especially since of course corporations are cutting ties with human artists to use a machine that makes wonky ass hands and regurgitates soulless garbage made of art that was actually nice and had thought and composition behind it. It’s the art of equivalent of me writing a book by stealing good sentences from bestsellers. I mean, it’s a new book. Who cares where all the good sentences came from, especially if I changed the names, right? See how stupid it sounds when you change art to writing. We call that plagiarism. My advice for this is DO NOT FEED THE MACHINE. Don’t play with AI generators, don’t use those photo changer apps because they are AI also, and if you have Adobe or other art programs, double check that your settings are such that it isn’t stealing your data/files to feed to their AI machines.

As someone who values equity and the arts/humanities, supporting AI goes against everything I stand for, and using it, even casually, spits in the face of every artist who works hard on their craft and is trying to make a living and those who spend hours on their art as a hobbiest. Yes, I will fight people over this. Go use AI to make a machine that will do my taxes and leave the creative stuff to human beings.

Anyway, this is not meant to be a rant about how gross AI art is, though I could spend a lot of time doing so. The reason why I bring this up is because one of my goals for this year is to get back into art, drawing, and crafting. I crocheted like a machine in 2020 (though, ironically machines cannot crochet as it’s too difficult), but I sort of burnt myself out on it. Last year, I had intended to do more art, but I ended up focusing on getting back into writing and really didn’t do anything besides my bullet journal spreads/doodles. That isn’t to say that isn’t art, but it wasn’t what I had intended to do.

All through middle and high school, I took art classes, to the point that in my senior year, I was in Portfolio Art (senior year, you took all of the art classes class) and Arts and Crafts (which was like ceramics, plastic canvas, basket weaving, etc). Art has played a pivotal part in my life, and during college, I wasn’t able to take any art classes because the vast majority conflicted with my science labs. In the fourteen years since I graduated high school, I have lost that muscle memory for art that isn’t craft-focused. My hope is that I can do more little pieces, play with the supplies I have, and just enjoy art as a process. Aka, not cry over my lost muscle memory and rage quit when it doesn’t go well. At first, I know my art will look terrible, and that’s fine. The whole point of doing this is to reawaken that side of me, enjoy the process, and work toward improving in a very loose, fun way.

Something I want to put out into the universe is that I would love to sell planner stickers one day. I absolutely adore sticker sheets of cute but mundane things, and there are more niche stickers I would love to have that don’t exist in shops in the US. Maybe one day I can make some fossil stickers or ones of amphoras and Grecian urns. We’ll see.

At this point, I have Posca acrylic paint markers, needle felting kits, plastic canvas kits, and Himi gouache sitting in my basement waiting for me to use them. I don’t know how much I’ll post about my art journey this year or how far I’ll get, but I hope you will join me in recapturing the childlike glee of making art.