A country that keeps making technological innovations during the war. A country that doesn’t stop fighting for freedom and democracy. A country that expresses itself in so many artistic ways, no matter what happens. It’s all about Ukraine. We’ve been impressed by the way AI can be used to create beautiful masterpieces. Ukraine.ua made a super engaging post about Beata Kurkul making AI art in support of Ukraine.
We didn’t just enjoy it, but we also interviewed Beata to learn more about it. Will AI replace digital artists? This is what we’ll need to figure out in the nearest future. Currently, more and more users are giving it a test spin.
So, exactly which AI did Beata use?
The AI art has been created by use of MidJourney.
MidJourney is an impressive AI tool that will create artwork based upon the user’s keywords and guidance. You can connect to it via Discord, for which you will have to be logged in. What follows is a collaborative process between AI and the artist: the more detailed the instructions, the more detailed the end result will be. MidJourney always gives you four generated images; after selecting one, you can further tweak it until you get to the desired result. The final piece can indeed be impressive from an aesthetic viewpoint.
Q: There is an ongoing trend to exhibit works at NFT auctions in support of Ukraine. Tell me, do you plan to do it as well?
A: I have been doing this almost since the beginning of the invasion – there were several auctions where my works were presented so far.
Q: It would also be interesting to hear how exactly these arts were created, how did the very idea to create them arise?
It is all about intuitively pressing the buttons, then rinse and repeat, and see what comes out in the end.
A: There is a name for this method, and it is called the “method of scientific randomness”. It is all about intuitively pressing the buttons, then rinse and repeat, and seeing what comes out in the end. Only later can you go to read the manuals, should you so choose.
It was not interesting for me to create any landscapes or characters. I’m a military artist and, naturally, I’m interested in how useful this experiment would be for my “arsenal”. Therefore, it is natural that one of my first text requests for AI was “the Ukrainian army”. Wheat field and sunflowers included; these elements are very Ukrainian.
Q: I saw from the comments that MidJourney was used to create the artwork. As I understand, this is an AI model of a closed beta test with its own dataset?
The MidJourney team has now opened the beta test for everyone.
A: It is no longer closed; the MidJourney team has now opened the beta test for everyone. It is enough to have an account on Discord because all the work takes place there. There is a limit to the time spent working with the neural network, though. A certain number of working minutes is given for free, then you have to choose one of two plans: Basic or Standard. The money is not exorbitant, in my opinion – 10 or 30 dollars a month for two types of subscriptions.
Q: How does the process of creating such a picture with the help of AI go in general? I think it would be of great interest to our readers.
The key lies in the process of providing the correct text prompt.
A: The key lies in the process of providing the correct text prompt. The better formulated is and the more detailed it is, the better the result will be. What’s nice and cool is that a MidJourney account has access to a shared gallery where you can view the work of others, as well as the text queries that were used in the creation of other people’s work. In the first stage, the AI gave me 4 sketches. I chose a couple for the AI to develop further. Several iterations were then completed until I saw a version that I liked.
Q: Can anyone draw something there, or do you need the skills of a digital artist for this?
Artistic skills are not really necessary, although they certainly contribute to the improvement of the work.
A: Anyone with enough patience for this process can be creative with the AI. Artistic skills are not really necessary, although they certainly contribute to the improvement of the work. Knowing the composition or understanding the perspective will allow you to choose a potentially better version of the final product. And understanding how to describe textures in a few words will improve the quality of the text query, and consequentially, the final artwork.
Q: Do you have other paintings created with AI, and if so, where can we find them?
A: There are other pieces; I originally post them on my Instagram page, and then on Deviantart and Artstation as well. The artworks are not bulk-published though, I like to take my time with potential images and tweak them bit by bit so that the final piece will properly correspond to my own vision.