Being a hugely successful artist and influencer, with as many as one reader of this 'ere blog and a similar wealth of followers on 'social meeja' I’m often asked; 'Is that funny smell you?' to which my answer must, perforce, remain 'Sorry. I’ll go and stand downwind of you, til it’s finished oozing'.
But the kind of question I’d like to be asked would be one like; 'So, stío. You big hairy influencer you. What do you think of this DALL.E then? Is it going to be as detrimental to the working artist as the flushing toilet was to the dung haulage industry?'
My answer might surprise any young scampsy jackanapes venturing such a query. Because I am, in fact, all for DALL.E.
Many’s the time I pen a learned treatise on this site, spending hours hewing golden phrases from the very letters of the alphabet, little deterred by the knowledge that no fucker will ever read it. Apart from myself, obsessively checking for spelling mistakes. Such labours are futile enough, without the added chore of having to find some pretty pictures with which to break up the wall of turgid text.
Now, as an artist of note [C flat] I should, where appropriate, illustrate these posts with my own fair daubings. But, that would add even more creation time to an oeuvre which almost certainly started out as an idle 'Wouldn’t it be fun to write an article about…?' musing and with which I subsequently became bored halfway through the first paragraph. And which I’m only carrying on with because 'I’ve come this far. I might as well finish the bloody thing!'
Hence, I usually end up scouring the internet for some suitably apt images which I can drop in to brighten the place up a bit.
This has two disadvantages:
1: I feel morally obliged to credit the person whose website I stole the image off. And that implies some kind of approval of 'whatever it is' they rant, froth-lipped about,. When, in reality, all I’m approving of is the fact they paid for some shitty piece of clip-art, thus removing the watermark and saving me from having to do it.
2: I can rarely find the exact image I had in mind. So nearly always end up having to settle for an approximation… or for faffing about in Photoshop, collaging something acceptable together from a few different sources.
Step forward DALL.E – 'The Artificially Intelligent Art Producing Internet Sex Robot'… er… or something like that.
Armed with an account on the DALL.E website, I can type in a description of what I’m looking for. For example 'a big-eared loon, writing a blog post no-one will ever read. In the style of a 1940s cartoon' and… as if by magic…
DALL.E will also come up with an image which is almost entirely not what I had in mind. The difference in this case being; not only that I don’t have to give DALL.E any credit [although I do anyway] but that DALL.E only produced the artwork in question in response to my textual prompt.
So I can kid myself on that I’m still the real brains and artistic talent behind the operation. And that DALL.E is merely my humble apprentice, carrying out the instructions of The Master while The Master himself conserves his finite supply of genius by not having to waste time actually painting in the boring bits like the sky and the grass etc. It’s much the same working relationship between imaginative genius and plodding doltish assistant as has existed throughout history, between apprentices and Grand Masters such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Rolf Harris.
So, speaking as an artist, I don’t feel at all threatened in the slightest by the advent of DALL.E. Without me he is nothing!
For those of you who haven’t guessed already; all the illustrations in this post were generated by DALL.E. [The captions are the prompts used]. So, now I’m off down the pub, while DALL.E cleans all the paintbrushes and puts them back neatly in the renaissance-issue jam-jars.