AI is Taking Over. What Does This Mean for Artists?

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@johnsuder created with Midjourney v4

Let me begin by saying I absolutely love what’s happening in the AI space. I started playing with image generation on DALL-E last year. The results were…meh. But it was fun, and I saw the possibilities on the horizon. I continued to experiment with DALL-E, I tried Stable Diffusion, then I discovered Midjourney and that’s where things really took off. Then ChatGPT was released to the public. I do a lot of writing for my job, and AI has helped me create better content faster. It’s not an end-all/be-all (although someday it might!). AI for writing should be used as an aid, not a robot, to finish your work. The combination of writing and imaging tools used in concert is an amazing thing.

“The enemies of progress are those who maintain the status quo, resist change, and cling to outdated ideas, while the rest of the world moves forward.” — Unknown

AI and Art

AI is helping artists worldwide to create new and original pieces of art. It’s helping them create new and exciting worlds, stories, and visuals they could never produce. AI is also helping writers with their work by suggesting new and creative sentence structures and words. It’s also assisting musicians in creating sounds that they could have never done before. AI allows people to explore new worlds of art and allows for more creativity and innovation.

Why Should Artists Care?

Artists must take the time to learn and understand AI and how it works, as this knowledge will be invaluable for them in their work. Major companies are already using AI to create new products and services, and it will only get bigger. By understanding how AI works, artists can use it to their advantage and create artwork that can stand out from the crowd.

True Art Is Not Going Anywhere

Hear me out: AI will never replace things crafted by hand. Sure, we already see electronic exhibits filled with motion and color, but how can you compare that to a beautiful painting, drawing, or sculpture? No AI can replace the personal touch of an artist. Art is, and will always be, a form of expression that a computer cannot replicate.

My Personal Art Struggle and Backstory

Things are moving so quickly, and I wondered how this would affect my art production. While I love to sit in Midjourney and crank out wild imaginative images, it is not the same as a pen to paper or brush to canvas.

For the last 11 years, I have been a hobby lettering artist. I have loved letters, lettering, and typography for as long as I can remember. I was a graffiti artist briefly in my youth, and I embraced lettering and posted almost daily for about five years.

The ‘problem’ arose that I spent much more time playing with the latest shiny object on the computer and iPad and less time putting pen to paper. I slacked off and eventually stopped posting. I also noticed a shift on Instagram, which was once the haven for artists to share their work — it’s now a TikTok ripoff filled with vapid videos and memes.

As things have accelerated these past few months, I’ve thought about what would make me stand out again in the blur of the AI art movement. I’ve decided not to fight the tide — I’m still all in on AI tools — but I need to take a step back to my roots and have the discipline to step away from the computer and get back to the (literal) drawing board.


AI is already taking over many aspects of everyday life, and art is no exception. AI can provide an excellent opportunity for artists to explore new ideas and create unique pieces. However, it is still important to remember that there is no substitute for the human touch in art. AI can only be an aid to assist in the artistic process, not to replace it.

Follow me on Twitter.
I write stuff on my blog and post art on my website and Instagram.
I also have a newsletter called Awesome Things. I think you’ll like it.

John Suder is a graphic designer, illustrator, and podcaster from Philadelphia. John is the Director of Marketing at SUMO Heavy Industries, an eCommerce consulting firm, and the host/producer of the long-running daily podcast ‘The eCommerce Minute'. John is also the host/producer of the ‘In the Ring’ podcast, a long-form podcast featuring interviews and insights from leaders in the eCommerce space.

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