Monday 26 December 2022



Throughout my life I have heard the following three quotes spoken by so many people I lost count. 

Many of those people were of the older generation and have died now. As I aged I heard people younger than myself say the same things too. 

“What I enjoy is watching artists draw. That process of creativity. It’s like magic.”

“I wish I had the ability to bring pictures to life the way artists can do.”

“If only I had a way to tell all the stories I will probably die before I am able to share.” 

The first quote shows how AI art has not killed artists.

The second and third quotes require humanitarianism to recognise how keyword-prompt-based AI-art makes that possible.

But the very best quote relating to this batch goes to  Aaron outside a nightclub in west Wales. 

“Do you see those people? All of those are people who do not know they are artists yet.”

Some of them are going to produce visual ideas which will blow our minds and launch the new era of human creativity to get us out of the cultural stagnation we face. 

How do you know you’re living in a cultural stagnation? Over half a century of superhero movie remakes proves it. 


(related blog series)




ON AI ABC  (art business culture)




FTR I am not Anti-AI



This blog is one of a series covering the online Anti-AI-Art protests of late 2022. Links at bottom of page. I myself am not one of the protestors. 

My position in relation to the protests is unique in that I happen to be the person who technically owns by legal process the logo which the anti-AI-art protestors are using without my consent. 

I also happen to be a traditional artist and somewhat expert on art history and theory having studied it extensively both in University and travelling Europe and beyond. 

This record is intended toward the effort of Art History surrounding the important event of AI technologies beginning to impact and affect Human culture. At time of writing it is late 2022.  

PART ONE : overview

It is a hate mob.

There are dozens of them. It may be possible to sue one of them as example to the others. 

Is that just? Is it fair? 

By far, most of them will get away with it . 

What else are this mob capable of? 

I have been harassed, insulted, doxed, blocked, ridiculed and persecuted across multiple platforms on the internet. 

What did I do? 

I copyrighted a logo. 

I informed people they are in breach of international copyright laws regarding their use of my intellectual property without my consent. 

I did a FYI so they could make an informed decision about their own activities.  

That’s all I did. 

I believe I behaved with honour to protect my assets in a commercially driven society, to protect individuals who were perhaps initially unaware they had been acting illegally regarding their not owning the logo nor having consent to use it. 

I have been targeted by a hate campaign as a result of that. 

The anti-AI-art protestors, not all of them but a core group, continued using the logo even after I had brought it to their attention. 

That is a hate-mob. 

PART TWO : results are in

screenshot from Twitter

When I made this statement :

You do recognise the ‘one rule for all’ rule is relevant to both sides of the line, right?”

I purposefully meant by it, that the community is voting on a matter of integrity. 

Evasion of copyright laws must be one rule for all.

It would be corruption to expect one rule for ‘our’ side, a different rule for ‘their’ side, of a line we are upholding from a moral stance. 

Largely, that’s all this is; gatekeeping and virtue-posturing by disgruntled people seeking empowerment through collective anger. The protestors feel devalued so they are attempting to devalue others. 

This  behaviour is observed less often in other primates and more often in quadrupeds specifically those species characterised with lizard-cat-like eyes. 

Studies show it to be the limbic region of the brain which has been triggered into fight-flight-freeze-fawn response, in this case fight-mode. 

Funny and frightening perhaps. Be aware it affects us all a different times. Once that mental circuit has been triggered the reptilian behaviour becomes an automatic response with no higher mammalian mental functioning. It’s a big problem for Homo sapiens affecting all of our communities and cultures. Every individual. 

PART THREE : the burden of proof 

Here are the poll results:

35% Yes, sue for IP theft 

65% No, accept community claim 

2:1 Against legal proceedings. 

Twenty-three votes. 

I did not vote on it myself. 

Many of the protestors didn’t vote, their having already blocked my Twitter account by way of avoiding confronting their own criminality. 

The poll ran for a week, the longest Twitter enables for polls. During that time I posted links to it, in fairness to both pro- and anti- AI-art groups in Twitter. The anti’s are more motivated due to the climate of hype surrounding the issue at the time. 

20% of the people who saw the poll voted on it (Twitter analytics). 

These polls  are not an exact science. The results of this poll should not be considered accurate to the many people involved in the art community. 

What do the results mean? 

The results mean the anti-AI lobby has decided it is acceptable for a minority part of the wider community to seize private assets (copyrighted design work) and force it toward becoming public domain property, by disregarding the existing legislation protecting the intellectual property of an individual or company, and using the property anyway when it suits them. 

The purpose of their campaign is to protest against people doing that. 

That double-standard is what I have a problem with. 

"The man of wisdom is never of two minds;

the man of benevolence never worries;

the man of courage is never afraid."


PART FOUR : what should I do about it? 

More than their illegal use of my IP is the contradiction, lack of integrity and lack of accountability these protestors have for their own actions. 

That actually concerns me on an intellectual and moral level more deeply than the harassment they have caused toward me for my attempts to uphold my right to not have my property ‘stolen’, to borrow terminology from the protestors themselves. 

There is a phrase in the British legislation and European Human Rights Act; “the right to enjoy property”. 

My amusement from observing this situation, which I must say has been enjoyable. Largely because of exposing the protestors for the hypocrites they are. 

Observing from my ivory tower, emotionally detached and comfortably numb while a horde of morality-monsters burn pitch-forks below, I contemplate how in post-modern art theory (of the late 20th century) is a reflection of state empiricism. Both share an idea that cultural-engineering can be regarded a work of art. 

Any intellectual pleasure derived from this farce is a rewarding pay-off for having technically been robbed  and harassed by a fear-driven hate-mob. It is perhaps the only thanks I will get for it. 

Meanwhile the logo itself remains legally bound, despite the protestors knowing infringement of international legislation. My FYI blog went viral and has been seen by nearly 800 people (to date) according to the Blogger statistics. 

They know. The protestors are either self-responsible for their own informed actions or they are diagnostically ‘delusional’ and ‘a danger to society’. 

screenshot made 26.12.2022

PART FIVE : gallery

Here are examples of some of the more exciting derivative artworks the protestors have made while evading copyright legislation. 

I have included this for posterity because my own appreciation of Art is that Art is subjective and goes beyond bounds of liminal comprehension and formal restriction. 

Derivative images used non-profit within International Fair Use Policy for Educational Purposes. This is an Art History blog. 


(related blog series)




ON AI ABC  (art business culture)



Sunday 25 December 2022


On AI - Art Business Culture 

I am a grass-roots small start-up company. 

I cannot afford to hire a full time artist at a wage because I am not myself earning a full time wage. 

I am trying to get off benefits. I have significantly less than average income. 

Industry artists have more money than I do. The same people who are hating on me for disagreeing on an opinion about technological impact on culture. 

I am in the situation they fear to be in. Please take a moment to consider that. 

When I have been able to hire freelance illustrators and coders to boost my company and its assets, I have done so. I am an employer. As my company grows I intend to continue hiring in skills I do not myself have. 

I am an artist myself. I do not always have TIME and FOCUS to achieve ticking all the boxes, largely because my passion is the written word. I recognise my own art style is not always the best solution for some projects. 

The advent of AI art has meant I can very quickly diversify my range and increase my schedule exponentially. The end-of-the-tunnel for projects suddenly comes into view as actually being achievable in my own lifetime. The use of text and visual by use of keywords and prompts  is perfect for my working method. 

It costs me significantly less to use an AI art generator than to hire an artist. 

As an artist myself my approach to AI is as an exciting design tool with which I want to make images which I feel are ‘mine’ in the same way I am not tracing or copying pictures made by other people when I use any other medium. I want to push the limits of the tech to find out what it’s capable of and what I’m capable of doing with it. 

I most certainly do not want to create pictures which look like they are made by another artist in the style of another artist. Although the concession toward house styles is necessary: it is because of the viewer / consumer identifying it as something they want because they are familiar with it instead of rejecting it for being too alien. Within art history this happens a lot. 

Artists whose work was initially rejected as being too alien includes Mozart, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Rothko, Pollock, even Rembrandt broke the mould, Poe, Lovecraft, Huxley, the Pistols… There are so many others across multiple of the creative fields. I am sure you can name half a dozen yourself if you’re above average intelligence. 

These innovators are remembered by history as being culture-changing pioneers whose work is now considered as the classics and the masterpieces, not only because they were technically highly skilled but also because they did it their own way. Obviously they are the respected and inspirational figureheads from whom we should be learning. 

AI is like any other tool. It can be used for good or bad purpose. It is the purpose to which it is put by Humans which discerns the difference. 

I never intend to use AI to ‘rip anyone off’ the same as I have never ripped anyone off without using AI. Even were I of mind to do that, it would be the human at fault and not the tool. 

It alarms me how other people cannot see that so clearly and continue to shift blame for fictional potential crimes onto the technology and then extend that onto anyone who positively, safely and legally uses the technology. 

In terms of mental health the appropriate description for that behaviour is ‘delusional’ and also ‘a danger to others’. These are diagnostic criteria. 

I am not saying people won’t use the technology antisocially, of course they will. That doesn’t mean I am bad for using the technology safely. 

Does someone really have to state this? In 2022 the answer is yes, we have to defend our rights because delusional people are trying to take them away from us and are harassing us for exercising them. I have proof of that. 

What AI means for my company is my projects can see the light of day instead of shelved until my death. It gives me an opportunity I never had before. 

What AI means for my company budget is those scraps of coin with which I hired artists and coders can now be spent on marketing my product (and coders). 

My opinion of this is secondary to the goal of achieving a marketable product to get me off benefits and launch my career. 

I was told in Art School I am “an ideas man.” Ideas float through the air and are useless unless they are turned into something useful. 

Does this mean I value traditional artists less or will stop making my own art? No of course it doesn’t. AI generated art has its place the same as everything has its place. This is the law of Dharma. 

People who hate AI and hate those of us who do not hate AI would be happier to recognise that. There is still a healthy vibrant industry of people hiring artists with their skills. 

With AI the cultural change is that previously unheard innovators have been give a chance to step forward. 

That is how we avoid cultural stagnation. AI heralds a Renaissance, not a death toll.


(related blog series)




ON AI ABC  (art business culture)



Saturday 24 December 2022

On Real Art

“BOKOR” image copyright 2003
Charcoal on $5 A1 paper
(It’s ‘life-size’)
Evidence of my technical skill
such as it is. 

I am of a generation of academic artists from the Da Vinci method who predate ‘digital art’. 

The phrase ‘real artist’ used to be applied to the artists not using computers. Their criticism was “digital art is not real art.” 

As an art historian I am giving voice to that generation, my teachers, very few of whom remain alive in 2022 although their memory and teachings most certainly do live on through their students application of knowledge and technique. A direct lineage to the founder of our Academy. 

It is amusing to watch younger generation who emerged after the innovation of digital art, now claiming themselves to be real artists, pitted against emerging technological progress of AI. In many cases they are saying the same thing as did many of my elders; “computers will take all our jobs away.” 

Back in the day there were several replies to this debate, which the younger generation of digital artists appears to have not yet thought of.

“They said the same thing about photography 100 years ago.” 

But quite the contrary: it liberated artists. Impressionism and Expressionism emerged among countless art movements during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Others said: 

“Art is innovation. It’s a poetic and practical response to the Human condition. We adapt and survive or we die out.” 

My favourite however is this:

“Art is deity. It is a fluid energy. The living are its paintbrushes, our lives it’s canvas. Those who live this way are real artists. Others are fakes. They are copyists or they compromise for commerce. They won’t accept Art is a spiritual path of discovery. The quest of; what is Art?”

Today people mention to me:

“But good sir, there is so very little of your handmade art uploaded and available for our perusal on the internet!”

“Why yes.” I reply, “It is that way on purpose. In the old days we were taught foresight and critical thinking as part of the tradition. It is integrated into the study, the practise and development of the techniques. Sadly we do not see so much of that remaining in the digital era. It is a tragic loss.”

This may be a good posteriori way to understand the difference between Modernism and Post-Modernism. Modernism was a direct attack on accountability. Post-modernism is the culture which emerges as a result of that. 

The elemental symbol for this era is petro-plastic. It’s qualities: mutable, useful, toxic, requires processing, expensive, polluting, multi-functional. 

The socio-psychological symbol for this era is advent and refined forms of Narcissism. 

My favourite quote from Peter Robinson:

“To other people, the object is the art. To the artist, Art is a trail left behind in pursuit of answering questions we cannot put into words. That is why we make it. We are driven to make it. Then we relate to Art as a consuming energy. It flows through us, takes over our lives. Techniques are a way of refining our expression of it to get its message out.” 

The relationship between Art in all it’s forms and the Human need for storytelling should in my opinion be the focus of the emerging cultures attitude toward art. The AI technology has enabled the making of  storytellers of us all. Nobody owns that; expression of soul and situation is a Human right.


(related blog series)




ON AI ABC  (art business culture)