Saturday, May 27, 2023

Resources for Art Styles

One positive outcome of the growth of generative AI is an awakened interest in art styles: how to learn about them, recognize them and name them. 

For example, I had never heard of chainmail art, but here's an actual piece by Dave Austin. It's made by hand from metal wire, link by link.

Here are some examples of AI-generated images inspired by chainmail art, courtesy Twitter user Anonymouse, who has compiled helpful lists of styles of art and photography to use as inspiration.

Anonymouse has got about five collections so far on various Twitter posts. In his collection #2, for example, he's got ASCII Art, polar panorama, mosaic style, and Fresnel Effect.

Another rich vein of styles is Aesthetics Wiki, which defines and illustrates everything from Barbiecore to Dark Gatsby. This online community seems to be fueled as much by cosplay, anime art, and toys as it does by AI, but apparently the team at Midjourney took a lot of inspiration from these communities when they were developing their tools.

Every art school—and especially every design school—should offer classes that explore these art and photography styles, putting them in context without judgment. 

Have you found other resources for learning about art styles? Please share them in the comments.


pat said...

I see a lot of discussion online about how AI is stealing artists' distinctive styles. You seem very enthusiastic about AI, but doesn't it present a real threat to the artists who created these styles?

James Gurney said...

Pat, AI is a complex and nuanced discussion that I've talked about elsewhere on the blog. Bottom line is that yes, AI can easily mimic styles, but styles cannot be owned (and that's as it should be). Copyright refers to the specific expression of an individual work of art and that should be protected and respected. I'm not "enthusiastic" about AI but I'm intrigued by it, and I recognize it presents plenty of threats and opportunities.