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  • Writer's pictureGerard Kunkel

Creature Comforts – a multi-platform AI creative expression

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Since I was young, I’ve spent my early mornings and my late nights being creative or working on self-improvement. Sometimes it’s been reading up on some new tech area, writing software code, learning a new programming language, dabbling in music, or some form of art. And recently, I’ve been spending way too much time being creative late at night with AI.

For me, generative AI is a tool. And much like my view of computer graphics back in the late 80’s, this new tool could have a profound impact on the arts in the coming years. Just as I did in 80’s and 90’s I embraced new tech and explored how it could be used to further expand the creative process. As part of that exploration, I’ve started a series that follows a single theme called “Creature Comforts”.

Creature Comforts is an art series that combines multiple AI solutions with digital image editing tools, along with my artistic skills developed over more than 50 years of hobby, education and training, professional career, and now passion. The Creature Comfort series is based upon a single simple imaginative thought where the world evolved with man not being the dominant species that developed and built everything around us – but rather, it was all sorts of other creatures. These creatures then built a comfortable life for themselves in the same way that humans have attempted to do. The thinking behind Creature Comforts is not a new idea for me. This is something that I’ve carried for a lifetime. Even as a child I pondered how different would this world be if some other species of life dominated earth, yet had the capacity to create all the creature comforts that we enjoy in the present day?

AI has given me an amazingly good set of tools for creating the comfortable scenarios that I envision that other dominant species might seek out. As I develop these individual expressions in the series, I prompt an AI tool with a description of what I see in my mind’s eye. Some tools are better than others are getting the process going. In some cases, I’m successful early on at expressing what I envision with a simple prompt. However, some require a great deal of trial and error, and the addition of more descriptive information in the prompt to bring out the detail or feeling that I’m seeking.

BTW, if by this point you’re thinking that I’m just any other person that can write an AI prompt… I actually studied art and design and had a very successful career as an art director in NYC, designing for some of the largest and best-known magazines before learning to program computers and switch careers into cutting edge tech. And, I’ve been blessed with the ability to design, draw, and paint at a very proficient level. AI tools to me enable me to get to my mind’s vision more quickly – and allow the creative process to venture into many more possibilities because no matter how good my traditional skills may be, my hands can not be as fast as my AI tools.

I’m not stopping with what any one AI tool creates from my carefully considered prompts. It’s just a start. From that beginning I am further refining with additional AI prompts to add more details or modify specific regions. In many cases I am combining AI tools by feeding a starting image into another AI tool as training material. I’m also using Photoshop to make some adjustments by hand. The final artwork is then composed in another application to apply my branding elements and add it to the family of images in this series.

This approach is quite similar to the mixed media art that we have seen many artists employ, often to very good effect, in their pursuit of what they see in their mind’s eye. In my case, it is entirely a digital medium.

At Next Media Partners, we’re employing the tools available, while also designing new tools, and helping our clients explore both the use and development of digital tools that make sense for their business. While there is the possibility of great disruption as a result of new technology, there is also a great opportunity for improvements and expansion of productivity – and creativity. NMP is always evaluating and exploring the possibilities. Let’s get together and work on next!


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