May 30, 2023

Amli Art: Rekindling Your Creativity and Finding Community with AI

Step into the captivating world of AI Art with Amli, a trailblazer in the industry. This extraordinary artist's journey to greatness has been anything but conventional, filled with intriguing secrets, formidable challenges, and boundless dreams. In this exclusive interview, Amli unveils the inner workings of her artistic process and shares insights that will undoubtedly deepen your admiration for her craft.

Amli Art: Rekindling Your Creativity and Finding Community with AI

Realm AI: Hi Amli (@amli_art), can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in Al art?

Amli Art: Sure, happy to share. So I actually started my creative journey in theater. I was acting on stage from the age of eight, and that was my dream, you know? One that I pursued all the way to Penn State, where I majored in theater. However, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness in my early teens, and over the years, it really started impacting my life. Not long after college, I found myself having to reimagine my future, so, I turned to visual arts to fill that creative void and taught myself painting and Photoshop.

As my illness progressed, I had to make more and more concessions - moving from paint to watercolor, from easel to digital, and even from visual to writing. By early 2022, when I discovered Al art, my creative output had dwindled, which profoundly affected me.

But, you know, I was lucky, I stumbled across the fantastic Al art community on Twitter. They're so supportive, kind, and open. They helped me learn how to use my first collab notebook - this was back in the StyleGAN and Disco Diffusion days, quite daunting, really. Those "easy-to-use tools" (like) DALLE, MidJourney, (and), Stable Diffusion didn't exist back then. But the community really guided me through the tricky parts, and when I ran my first prompt, it was a revelation. Finally, I found a way to rekindle my creativity by using a tool that could shoulder the heavier part of the creative process while allowing me to stay invested in the creation. It was clear to me then what this technology could mean for the disabled creative community, and I haven't looked back since.

Realm AI: Let me say that I am glad that AI helped you rekindle your creativity. Your comeback is inspiring because you choose not to give up and eventually found a way to do what you love doing

Can you describe your creative process when working with Al?

Amli Art: Well, my process is the same one of chance and uncertainty that I used in my traditional art. I usually start with a theme or a feeling, but no clear end goal. With traditional art, I would put my brush to the canvas and see where it led me. 

Al amplifies this process - it's a journey of continuous discovery, a dance, and I love that. I particularly love iteration. It's rare for me to stick to a single prompt, or even a single program for that matter. I enjoy jumping between tools, creating images with SD, using ControlNet and different models, iterating on them, mixing them up in MidJourney blend, then going back to SD, creating a bunch of similar styles, customizing a model, and then doing it all over again, It's the same with animated works. 

Right now, I enjoy using LumaAl to create a NeRF, and then applying a style overlay using Kaiber or ControlNet. Or, for instance, making an image, popping it into Adobe Aero, walking out to the woods, creating a VR with the image, recording that, coming back home, and running that video through ControlNet. For me, it's about exploration and discovery, seeing where the process takes me on any given day: I like to push the tools to their limits, to see what those boundaries are, and use them to my advantage.

Realm AI: What challenges or limitations have you encountered while working with Al in the artistic field? How do you overcome them?

Amli Art: Well, the biggest challenge, I'd say, is the sheer number of tools and learning to use them all. You'll find almost every Al artist grappling with it. The pace of development in this field is just staggering. Every time you feel you've hit a wall creatively because the tech can't do what you want, you'll find someone in the community has come up with a workaround or new program the next day. The trickiest part is keeping up with it all. There's just so much to learn and explore.

Most folks suggest sticking to one tool and mastering it to avoid spreading yourself too thin. It's sound advice, really, but I can't help myself! So, I guess I don't really overcome the challenge. I'm always on the hunt for the latest tech, eager to try it out. But curiosity is really my creativity's best friend, so it works out for me.

Realm AI: How do you see Al art evolving in the future? Are there any specific areas or techniques you are excited to explore?

Amli Art: This is a tough one. Mainly because I believe it's nearly impossible to predict what AI will bring in the future. Right now, we're living in a familiar paradigm, trying to envision the future of Al based on what we know. But what's more likely is that we'll soon find ourselves in an entirely new paradigm, one that we can't fully comprehend yet. It's like trying to predict the global cultural impact of social media at the dawn of the internet. We couldn't, because there was nothing like it before. I think the next decade will bring us something just as unfathomable.

However, there's one area I'm excited about, which feels like the next logical step- multimodal tech. Imagine Al integrating writing and image creation, allowing you to seamlessly generate a graphic novel, both story and images. Or models that can take an illustration and seamlessly insert text into it, like a title, which aligns with the tone of the image itself. I think we're not too far from this.

Realm AI: What do you hope viewers or audiences take away from experiencing your Al-generated artwork? What kind of emotional or intellectual response do you aim to evoke?

Amli Art: Well, coming from an acting background, (I) usually like to weave a story into my work. As for what audiences take away, I'll be honest, I don't really think about it. Let me clarify. When I was young, I wrote a poem that won a national contest. It got published, and when I heard my poem being analyzed and interpreted by the publisher, their insights had no connection to what I had in mind when I wrote it. That's when I realized, I can't control how others interpret my work. Each person will bring their own perspective. So, I don't create my art with the intention of evoking a specific reaction, I create it for what I want to express myself.

Realm AI: What advice do you have for aspiring Al artists who are just starting their journey in this field?

Amli Art: Well, my biggest advice would be to dive into the community. Hop onto Twitter. Discord Instagram, or any platform you're comfortable with and start interacting. See what others are doing, and don't hesitate to ask questions. The community, I assure you, is the most wonderful part of doing Al Art. Their enthusiasm and kindness will guide you through the initial hurdles. Once you're there, just jump onto a platform and play. Don't worry about getting things right. Embrace those happy accidents.

Realm AI: What makes you curious enough to want to try a new Al tool?

Amli Art: I guess I've just always been a curious person, it's kinda part of who lam, but I get that's a bit of a vague answer.

Let me put it this way instead - what types of tools pique my curiosity enough to make me want to learn them? Now that's a toughie, but I'll give it a shot.

I think the tools that really grab my attention are the ones that provide an answer to a question I've got. I first started learning Al because it answered the big question, "How can I keep creating?" But as time went on and I started to get the hang of a tool, lIl sometimes hit this roadblock where I’ve done almost everything I can with it. And then, I get this urge to add something new, like, let's say, animation, or music, or maybe just a bit more control over the output. And that's the beauty of it, you know? The moment there's a desire, there's probably an Al being made for it. So, I ask around, get some suggestions and just dive in. I'd say my curiosity is largely driven by my purpose, by the desire to create.

Of course. I'll be the first to admit that every once in a while, I see some shiny new tool popping up on Twitter and, well, I get totally swept up in the possibilities it presents. I guess that's just the nature of curiosity though right?

Realm AI: Before now, had you heard about Realm? And what do you think about the product - a social platform for creatives to create and meet like-minds?

Amli Art: I am ashamed to say, I hadn't heard about Realm before now. But I'm all for anything that helps bring people together. As you might've guessed, I'm a huge fan of “community." It sounds like a great platform. I'll definitely be adding it to my ever-growing list of things to check out.

Realm AI: Are there any specific projects or collaborations you are currently working on that you would like to share with our readers?

Amli Art: By the time this gets published, who knows what I'll be working on? If you're interested to see what's up, check out my Twitter @amli_art or my Twitch channel I try to stream weekly, although I've been pretty swamped lately and may have missed a few!

Realm AI: Can you share your top 3 Al artworks with us?

Amli Art: By this do you mean, my favorite Al works I have made? Or did you mean Al art ever made by anyone? Or did you mean to write Al Artists?

Realm AI: I am asking for any interesting and fun art you have made recently!

Amli Art: 

Realm AI: Who are your favorite Al artists on Twitter?

Amli Art: Oh no, don't make me pick! I honestly can't.

Well, everybody in the AllA DAO of course, they are all amazing. Although, I'm more of a 'member in name' at this point, since I've been super busy lately and haven't been able to give them the attention they truly deserve. And a special shout out to my close friends @bl_artcult and @illustrata_ai, whose work not only continually astounds me but who have been my rocks through this whole journey.

But lately, I've been on an Al Animation/Film kick, mainly because of the #diffusetogether Peter Gabriel Challenge that Stability is running. I mean, there are some people doing just incredible work in that field. Artists like @_vnderworld, @PromptMuse, @andreoshea, @sagans, and @hollyherndon - they've really caught my eye.

But, if we're talking about who holds a special place in my heart, there are two people I absolutely must mention - @tomlikesrobots and @coffeevectors. They're true explorers in this field, and honestly, I really look up to them. They've got this curiosity and spirit of discovery that I really admire. So yeah, those would be my picks

Realm AI: Finally, do you have any long-term goals or aspirations as an Al artist? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

Amli Art: Well, let me see. My long-term aspirations really lie in education and promoting these tools, you know? I don't harbor grand ambitions for myself as such, I just love to create, and I'm going to keep creating, regardless of whether it's for a MOMA exhibit or just a casual tweet on a Tuesday afternoon. It's not about where it ends up, it's about the process.

What truly matters to me, what really gets me excited, is the idea of helping to empower others by sharing these tools with the world. Seeing the amazing work that comes out of the community that I've contributed to in some small way - that's the biggest reward for me.

But, if I were to let my mind wander a bit, dream a little, I guess I see myself possibly making these tools, learning the developer side of things. It's an exciting thought, but let's be real, there's only so much time in the day, right?

But who knows? The future holds endless possibilities, and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.