(Feature image: Théâtre D’opéra Spatial by Jason Allen Jason Allen via Discord)

Image creation has been exercising our minds here.

We have been working on a project that required the client to imagine the visuals since the shots, with unusual angles and perspectives, don’t exist at all.

In older days, black magic marker concepts did this perfectly.

With a few felt tip lines, clients had to think what shots might look like.

The freedom of expression this offered made for lively, creatively stimulating, meetings. Trust and looseness were the currency of these meetings.

Now we have Google Images, Shutterstock, Unsplash and Getty. Not the same as their literality and precision often takes away, rather than adds, to an idea.

More importantly, on the side-lines revving up, new AI image-creation tools, such as DALL-E, Imagen, Stable Diffusion, Craiyon, and Midjourney now exist, or are in planning.

These will have vast sets of images gathered from around the web to be able to produce anything one can dream up.

Art directors and artists beware. At present there seems to be many landscapes, NFT look alike art, and er... monsters. Early days though.

With thanks to Midjourney.com 

Through a million posts and memes, these tools have become the new face of AI.

Anxieties about origination and authenticity

Understandably people are getting worried. Is the person who entered generated art into a fine-art contest in the US (and won) a cheat or a talent?

Artists and designers in gaming, film, TV, design, press, print and advertising have got to tackle another incursion into what was once holy creative space.

Apparently, some art communities and marketplaces have banned AI-generated images entirely.

Two issues:

 1. The spectre of unemployment

Tech, again, may displace current analogue skills of traditional production.

Being able to create machine-made, infinite, realistic imagery each time might soon become a USP in agencies especially when traditional production is so expensive.

Never mind magic markers, it’s the entire creative process that currently goes on in content creation that might be either potentially enhanced – or challenged.

No more overseas shoots, lunches with your favourite photographer, or drinks at Cannes with the film production company….

The creative worker’s job may literally just to come up with an idea and let tech totally take over. Like a pilot uses auto.

2. Humanity, originality and authenticity

What will the artistic costs of AI be? Will computer generated shared references lead to visuals in which everything looks the same?

Being able to generate images that look like photos, paintings, illustrations or 3-D models doesn’t make someone an artist, or good at painting.

But it does make them able to create instantly and cheaply what ‘real’ artists produce.

Which goes against everything we – especially in luxury branding – value highly.

In luxury brand and design agencies – like their client creative directors and craftspeople - people work very hard to make their visual imagery new and unique.

So as AI develops and possibly changes the visual language of luxury, it will be interesting to see how luxury’s time-honoured values of history, craftsmanship, quality, scarcity, and cultural capital are expressed.

Welcome to the creative brand team, AI.

And maybe… why not?

Creating culture takes teamwork – individuality is out

  • Beyonce’s new “Renaissance” album has 104 writers including Terius “The-Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant, A. G. Cook, Syd, Skrillex, Drake, Right Said Fred and Leven Kali.
  • The Beyonce song “Alien Superstar” has 24 songwriters. One song 24 writers!
  • Rolling Stone says: “The overwhelming trend in the music industry over the past decade is the near-complete decline of the solo singer-songwriter pop hit, and the near-complete dominance of songs written by committee.”
  • The Guardian says, in films, it is end of the auteur.
  • Artists use teams to make their art

“Artists habitually set up workshops that employed a team of artisans, sometimes in a veritable production-line of art making. It is a stereotype that the gifted artist is a single-minded outsider, and therefore by definition, wonderfully incapable of collaboration”

Indeed, several contemporary artists make their work using helpers and technicians, eg Koons:


Image credit: Jules Verne Times Two / julesvernex2.com / CC-BY-SA-4.0 

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Anew are a luxury branding agency for ambitious businesses of excellence. Whether it’s insight from research, strategic brand thinking, a new brand name and logo design, messaging, online and offline content or website development, we help companies increase brand profitability through sharper insights, distinctive propositions, creative ideas and faultless execution.

We are particularly adept at working directly with luxury brands, business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs who are committed to sustainability, outstanding quality and craft.

Based in the heart of London, we'd be delighted to meet for a coffee, either face-to-face or virtually, to discuss any new projects you might be considering.

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