Art and Design Featured Political Commentary

The tactic of destroying the meaning of words

Replied to Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture by Elaine VelieElaine Velie (

Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.

It’s a known authoritarian practice to undermine the meaning of words: in this case, applying the word pornographic to an artistic masterwork representing a biblical figure in the nude. At the same time, they are diminishing the cultural and historical value of art; art and history are threats to them that must be suppressed for their narrative to reign.

Il David is an important work to study in European art history, and frankly any curriculum that omitted it would be questionable.

Nudity is not the same as pornography.

Art and Design Political Commentary

Climate commentary map art

Liked Petrofuture Gallery by JeffreyJeffrey (

The Petrofuture series of maps is a work of parody…taking old pieces of oil company advertising and propaganda, and turning it back on itself.

Using vintage gas station maps as a base, I add 66 meters of sea level rise, the highest predicted by the IPCC if all the ice sheets melt.

Art and Design Business

Link pairing: AI trained on stolen art

+ to see if your work has been used to train an AI

Art and Design Science Fiction

Science fiction visual worldbuilding with AI

Liked THE VESARION-3 AI PROJECT by Jesse Rockwell (


Being that the Neo-Texzalius civilization is at least a thousand years more advanced than the human race, there is much we can learn from their technological, and spacefaring achievements. Earth Scientists aim to forge a working relationship to acquire these advanced and extremely capable technologies, which will serve a huge benefit to humanity.

I like the consistent style throughout the project, the old book/journal look with ink illustrations somewhat a la Leonardo da Vinci. The organic art nouveau inspired drawings suit AI generation, as does the alien civilization theme, which can both probably be visually more forgiving of weirdness in rendering. The muted color palette with mostly blue and red/orange looks good. Reminds me a bit of Dinotopia in approach. A hint of Shaun Tan in the dreamlike world vibe? The architecture is at once grandiose, classic, and confusing without seeming threatening. Kinda like the statue world in Piranesi, wings and wings of ever so slightly different style and layout.

Art by Jesse Rockwell
Art and Design Society

Will “good enough” AI beat human artists?

Replied to

The problems of relying on AI art

AI leads towards visual convergence when trained on generic material not unique to different cultures or styles, always going to come up with the go-to visual and nothing unique unless instructed by a human. Will continue to allow the current visual paradigm to dominate. Sometimes the archetypical rendering is fine, the unique elements are somewhere else, but relying only on that will not create new visions of the future for sci-fi renderings.

The computer is limited by the input it receives, and cannot make estimations outside of 1) what it is given 2) what the scientist-academic nudges it to do 3) the scope of the project…

It cannot adequately have the dataset to make everything, because it’s limited to who can give it that data and how that data is acquired. So much of what artists are inspired by come from non-digital, non-archived sources: stories from our ancestors, inherited cultural modes, language (which affects our metaphors and perceptions of time and philosophies), animals wandering around, sensory experiences, memes, etc…

Basically, what I am saying is that just like humans, the AI is limited by its inability to access information it doesn’t have.

— Reimena Yee, The Rise of the Bots; The Ascension of the Human

Will good enough win when it comes to art? If it’s between free and paid, the free version may be good enough for a lot of commercial uses…

Is convergence enough to stop “good enough”?

In other creative fields, art is already converging to homogeneous looks and sounds:

To minimize risk, movie studios are sticking with tried and true IP, and simply adding onto or remaking existing works.

Will illustration and the visual arts follow the same trend? For some commercial art needs, the purpose is to fit a tight-fit visual niche — think romance book covers, or organic food packaging, where the goal is to communicate quickly what category of product it is.

But, some art — like magazine covers — does need to stand out. Distinctiveness is part of the goal. This is where creative work can persist despite “good enough” in other areas.

Will AI-created artwork achieve its goals?

Example: cover illustration

The art on these covers is pretty enough but the type is bad:

If you just need a placeholder cover these seem fine, but I’m curious whether these are enticing enough to sell books. Probably something you could use for a lead magnet, something you’re not selling but just want to have a cover in the Kindle library.

Example: comics

Some fine vibe-setting panels for a comic, but not super useful for storytelling, the panels are too similar, and how good will it be at action? I can’t imagine it will naturally generate unique poses and dynamic angles to keep scenes visually interesting. Just a few pages of this feels slow-paced.

If this is the only kind of art it can produce, it will only be useful for indie literary type comics. I think what’s going on is that grand vistas look impressive and are hard to draw, but the AI’s problems are also more apparent at closer scales, where it adds weird distortions or things don’t align we’ll. Our brains can ignore or fix the problems in a vista, but they’re impossible to ignore when they’re the focal point.

I would guess, like Ursula Vernon, AI will be a tool to reduce workload for artists needing to draw complex environment panels, and an asset library for rendering environments. In current state Vernon found it needed a lot of post processing.

This art style looks beautiful now, kinda Monstress – esque / movie concept art, but I suspect that the more people use it, the more generic it will feel and people will value art that’s clearly created by a human / has its own visual style.

Implications for the industry

This tech could push down editorial illustration prices so only newbies who live on starvation wages will be able to compete with AI, plus high end artists who can retain boutique clients that value uniqueness and want to signal that they are a luxury publication / brand, so the middle career folks will disappear. Or, will only high end creators with distinctive appeal be able to keep working and all junior creatives fade out?

If you’re a creator, you either have a style or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re simply a gig worker. And if you have a style, there’s a computer program that’s going to not only encourage people to copy your style, but expand it.

For some, this is going to lead to enormous opportunities in speed, creativity and possibility. For others, it’s a significant threat.

— Seth Godin, Unprepared as Always 

Not yet, but…

I’d say AI is not good enough *yet* for most use cases, but it will get better over time. In the long run there will be less work for creatives actually producing their own renderings (linework, painting, photoshoots) and more the art direction angle of knowing what prompts to give the AI to get what you want, plus correction of obvious rendering errors.

At the low end of the scale, a broader range of fields will be impacted (logo design, basic graphic design) — will enough small scale jobs be accessible to early career folks that the industry won’t collapse in 20 years, because no one was able to get the experience?

Art and Design

Surrealist zebra art

Liked Morris Hirshfield (1872–1946) (Design is fine. History is mine.)

Zebras, 1942. An immigrant tailor, slipper manufacturer in Brooklyn and self-taught artist who took up painting at the age of 65, Hirshfield attracted a great degree of attention during his brief career as an artist (1937-1946). His pictures were embraced by the Surrealists, collected by Peggy Guggenheim, and featured in a highly publicized one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943. Via American Folk Art Museum

Art and Design Resources and Reference

Museum Digital Art Collections

The Met



New York Public Library

Art and Design Humor

Map of the ocean

Liked “Map of the Ocean” Print (Poorly Drawn Store)

Welcome to the ocean. Here’s a map. Please note: This is not a real map. 

Amazing 😄

Art and Design

Ukrainian ornamental folk art

Liked UNESCO – Petrykivka decorative painting as a phenomenon of the Ukrainian ornamental folk art (

The people of the village of Petrykivka decorate their living quarters, household belongings and musical instruments with a style of ornamental painting that is characterized by fantastic flowers and other natural elements, based on careful observation of the local flora and fauna. This art is rich in symbolism: the rooster stands for fire and spiritual awakening, while birds represent light, harmony and happiness. In folk belief, the paintings protect people from sorrow and evil.

Onions by Iryna Ulianivna Pylypenko, 1979 – reminds me of Rifle Paper Co Anna Bond’s floral compositions
Maria Tykhonivna Shyshatska, 1976 – this color palette definitely feels very seventies 🙂
‘Ladies’ choice’ by Fedir Savych Panko, 1983 – this makes me think of Disney’s Cinderella for some reason? Maybe making that up 🤷‍♀️

Came across Petrykivka’s decorative floral motifs through UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage.

Art and Design

Carved ink landscapes

Liked Lee Hyun-Joung Painting Collection | Original Art | Galerie Sept (

Famed for her iconic paths, Hyun Joung Lee’s work reflects her childhood memories in South Korea, her studies in fine arts at Sejong University in Seoul, and her goldsmith training in Paris. She developed her own artistic language and techniques while working with traditional Korean materials.

Very cool illustration style – reminds me of scratchboards. I like that her subjects are ambiguous — could be cresting waves of water, could be sinuous ridges of land. She creates so much depth with her dramatic lighting.