The future of art?

Over the past couple of years, huge digital transformations have been made in the art world. Terms such as the metaverse, NFTs and crypto have become daily conversations, compelling artists to keep up to date with the world of 1s and 0s.

This technology is even revolutionising the way that some art is created, with many artists now experimenting with the medium of artificial intelligence (AI).

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For those uninitiated, AI art is created using a specific programme where users enter a line of text known as a ‘prompt’. It is created without the need for paint or pen tools. Simply enter a prompt such as ‘Van Gogh’s Starry Night and the Eiffel Tower’, and watch as the programme scans thousands of related images before generating a new image based on what the AI has learned. This process usually takes less than a minute.

Shraddha Chaurasia, an Art Director at a strategic digital communications agency in Dubai, has recently started experimenting with the world of digital art. After a period of feeling the need to ‘switch off,’ she got into creating AI art.

Using a programme called Midjourney, Chaurasia starts off with a colour theme, a unique location and the idea that she wants to convey.

But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Chaurasia tells us, “It’s a very long process of trial and error as, at times, the words you’re using are not being interpreted by the AI in the way you think they would be”.

Some of her pieces take three hours to make, while others take around a day and a half.

When not working or creating, you’ll find Chaurasia volunteering at Stray Dogs Centre in Umm Al Quwain. Much of her work is influenced by her love for dogs, “Nothing quite beats visiting a shelter in the middle of nowhere on a Saturday morning and having 15 dogs running towards you,” she tells us.

Chaurasia also runs the Stray Dogs Centre TikTok account and is working on some new filters and posters in order to raise proceeds for the shelter.

The use of digital tools is hotly contested in the art world, with much debate of the legitimacy of skill and whether it can be considered ‘real’ art.

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“AI art will never replace real art,” says Chaurasia. “I think it will remain a tool to help artists achieve what they want on the canvas faster. It will cut down on tedious research time and will allow artists to focus more on the creative aspect,” she adds.

Futuristic Dubai is Chaurasia’s favourite creation. Using predominantly aqua tones, the artwork depicts what the digital artist imagines Dubai will look like in the future. Another one of her works gives viewers a glimpse of what the city would look like if covered in a blanket of snow.

The limitless possibilities of the medium is perhaps what makes it so interesting. Facing hurdles when the platform produces unexpected outcomes can be argued as a creative challenge in itself and overcoming these would indeed require much skill.

But should we even look at the world of AI art with such a serious lens?

“Experiment and have fun” is Shraddha Chaurasia’s message.