Life, as it’s known to do, has thrown a few curveballs as of late. 

When you have upheavals in life, its best to stop and take stock of what’s happening, how you’re feeling, and most importantly – what the fuck you’ll do about it.

As you reach a ‘certain age,’ you begin to think about legacy. 

This is especially vital for creative people: 

What did I leave behind? 

Will anyone appreciate my work when I’m gone? 

Hell, does anyone appreciate my work NOW?

I had trouble answering those questions.

The honest truth is that I have not challenged myself creatively far too long. 

I’ll give COVID partial credit for that: during lockdown, I worked at my day job and then basically sat around instead of hustling on a new business idea or creative projects. Prior to COVID, I would post an illustration almost every day on Instagram.

Since I wasn’t hustling, my design firm, Resolve Media, slowly withered away, and my last dependable client retired (she was with me since 1999!).

I sold the domain and walked away. 

Fast forward: My ‘day’ job involved a lot more writing and less design. I enjoy writing, but it doesn’t ‘scratch that itch’. Then I got hooked on AI – spending hours at night writing prompts. Made some cool stuff, but nothing I’d hang on a wall.

I can’t remember the last time I got sucked into an engaging project. And to make matters worse, my ADHD is off the charts.

It makes me sad (and angry).

It makes me feel like I’m wasting my God-given talent.

Ok, John, so what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to put in the work!

I’m going to make art for myself and hopefully some happy paying clients again.

Happiness is a choice. You can CHOOSE to be happy. I will refuse the negative thoughts that push me down and discourage me.

Art and design will once again become a priority in my life (next to my dog, Bella, of course).

This morning, in a moment of frustration, and then clarity, I put it all down on paper and am putting my mission statement out there for the world to see.

Here it goes:

  • I know my worth: I am not underselling myself, giving discounts, or lowballing my work.
  • I am working on establishing my personal brand as a designer and writer. I will post and engage with my audience daily to build my following.
  • I am choosing precisely who I work with. If you dislike or are uncomfortable with who you work with, what’s the point?
  • I reject imposter syndrome and trust in my abilities as a graphic designer. 
  • I am starting a new business idea as soon as my last idea fails. I will refuse to give up building my businesses and try everything until it works. Success is the only option.
  • I deal with creative block by getting away from the desk and going for a long walk or to the gym.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s a complete waste of energy. 
  • If I’m delaying or don’t feel like working on something, I give myself 15 minutes to get started. Completing the task is more satisfying than procrastinating.
  • I work when my energy levels are at their peak to maximize my day and be able to do things I enjoy.
  • Health and fitness are top priorities. It requires absolute discipline when it comes to food and alcohol, with zero alcohol as the baseline.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. we’ll see what the next 6 months bring.

If you’re looking for a designer and illustrator with over 30 years of experience in print, web, and marketing communications, give me a shout.
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My portfolio is here.

@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.