Being an artist has always been a competitive profession. Dante always struggled and persevered, never imagining how hard it would be to make ends meet while pursuing his passion. His effort and skill in graphic design helped him get an edge over the competition. Soon, Dante no longer had to struggle to find work as he grew older. He got married and was able to put a down payment on a beautiful house in Miami, Florida. There, his life as an artist surged and he found a job at an advertising agency. With a stable life, Dante and his wife, Paulina, had a new addition, a baby girl named Lily. His career allowed his wife to stay at home with their daughter. Everything seemed to fall into place for Dante and his family. However, the world evolves at a rapid pace. Those who can’t move with it are left behind and helpless.
It all started when Dante lost his job at the local advertising agency. The company had recently invested in an AI program that could create eye-catching visuals and designs at a fraction of the cost of human employees. At first, it seemed like the company had made a wrong judgement. The AI program was often producing inaccurate visuals and just added more work for the company. What the employees never expected was how fast the AI would adjust to the new environment. Through new developments and updates, the AI became increasingly more accurate. One after another, employees were being let go until it was eventually Dante’s turn. The CEO made it clear, “we appreciate the contributions you have made to the company throughout your employment. However, the company would rather put its money towards cheaper alternatives.” With an empty desk and a packed car, he started his slow drive home.
Feeling defeated, Dante returned home to his wife and daughter. He had always imagined himself as the breadwinner of the family. With a sense of guilt, he arrived home knowing that his family had lost its only source of steady income. The only choice he had was to look forward to a future that he was unsure of. At first, Dante took on some commissions while searching for a position as a graphic designer. However, as time went on, he found himself taking on more and more commissions. The competition in the world of freelance was fierce, and it seemed like the number of available artists rose while the number of commissions kept dwindling. Even the city itself seemed to have more and more artists trying to find places where AI art couldn’t reach.
Dante was able to support his family through the money he was making doing freelance work, but even that began to dwindle. At first, he believed that his luck would turn around. Eventually, Paulina began working at a grocery store while sending Lily to her grandparents’ house for babysitting. While it helped them survive for a few months, the mortgage payment and bills never stopped coming. Soon, he had to start taking money out of his savings account just to make ends meet.
Dante quickly realized that he needed to refine his technique and speed if wanted a chance to compete with humans and AI. To stay in the rapidly-evolving industry of art, Dante spent countless hours studying the latest trends and techniques in graphic design. Whenever he wasn’t taking a commission, Dante was constantly practicing to improve his speed and experimenting with new styles and mediums. If he wasn’t practicing or working, he was searching for a stable job that hasn’t been engulfed by AI. Despite his hardest efforts, he could only go so far before hitting a wall. AI-generated art improved just as fast as his art. No matter how much he practices or how much he tried to improve, he simply couldn’t compete with the convenience and cheapness of AI-generated art.
One day, Paulina told Dante that her brother wanted to talk to him. After a quick phone call, Dante couldn’t believe what he had heard. One of the few places that were untouched by AI-generated art was the art galleries. The galleries were able present the work of the underrepresented artists around the world. While it seemed like an easy solution to present your skills as an artist to the world, the only people able to participate in these events were those who had personal connections to the gallery and those who could pay absurd amounts of money. That’s why it surprised Dante when he heard his brother-in-law say, “my friend’s father has an art gallery that has been searching for real talent. When he mentioned it to me, I knew you’d be a perfect fit. You better put in your best effort!” With that conversation, Dante saw some hope that he desperately needed.
Dante jumped on the offer and began his work immediately. If he was able to show off his artwork in a pristine gallery, how long would it be before his inbox is filled with offers? He could finally turn his family’s life around. While AI-generated art destroyed his life, he knew that it had elements which appealed to a certain audience. Similarly, he knew that there were people out there who disapproved of the changes in art, seeking out art made using the mind of a person. If Dante could reach the right audience, he won’t have to worry about AI affecting his career. Putting his thoughts to rest, Dante diligently worked over the next few days.
When Dante showed his completed work to the gallery owner and his son, they were impressed at his skills and welcomed him to the gallery with open arms. At the gallery, he met with the other artists and started setting up his artwork. Dante knew that he would never get to have another opportunity like this. It was now or never. That evening, the gallery opened up and people were pouring in. After a few hours had passed, the artists began giving speeches about their lives as artists until it was Dante’s turn. Dante spoke to the crowd and said, “art has been my passion all my life. I almost believed that my dream of doing art until I died ended when my work was replaced with AI-generated art. While I resent AI for causing me to struggle, art has always come in a variety of mediums and styles. The world is always changing and we have to change with it. That is why I stand here, a proud man who hasn’t backed down from change!” With the applause of the crowd coming to an end, the speeches ended and everyone quickly dispersed.
Dante’s performance brought him some commissions from the viewers of the gallery. However, he wasn’t able to find steady job no matter how hard he searched. He knew that he couldn’t live solely off art and provide for his family. Soon, he began looking for work outside of graphic art. He was able to find a steady job as an office worker that came with a decent pay. As he settled into his job, the work began piling up. Each day was a repetitive cycle of waking up, going to work, coming home, and going to sleep. He no longer had the time to invest into art and slowly stopped taking commissions altogether. This was Dante’s new life.
In his office, Dante would ponder while looking out of the window. How much longer would it be till his meager job as an office worker would be replaced? Would it be some new form of technology or something that’s already been created? Dante gazed upon the streets of a city that used to be filled with art. Now, many of the artists have already moved on to other cities, trying to desperately search for a way to secure a steady income. To Dante, the city seemed empty and lacking in prosperity from all those years before. He would say to himself, “is this just how life is? It drains our bodies of our personalities and life until we are just old machines?” Dante knew that he couldn’t hold onto a life devoid of human emotions, especially for Paulina and Lily.
Whenever he found the free time, Dante would make small art pieces to hang around his house. Soon, Dante began hanging portraits around his office and giving some pieces to his coworkers and friends. He could never stop AI-generated art from spreading worldwide, but he could help humanity hold onto the emotions and images that art pieces provoke. The world evolves at a rapid pace and humanity must evolve with it. However, that doesn’t mean people should evolve to become inhuman.
Pal, Kaushik. “5 Ways AI is Changing Art.” Technopedia, 1 Feb. 2023, https://www.techopedia.com/what-is-the-impact-of-ai-on-art/2/33399. Accessed 18 Mar. 2023.
My story is about the effects of AI art on artists, that is why I read this article to learn about how AI is changing art. AI art has become easily accessible to the population and allows art to be obtained quickly and easily. This has shifted the art market with AI pictures being sold and affecting the way people view art. With time, AI is able to adapt and improve its quality, blurring the line between manmade and AI generated. The article showed me that AI art will never stop improving in quality, speed, and understanding, eventually dominating the art market.
Kelsey. “Vincent Van Gogh: A Life of Struggle and Success.” Huckleberry Fine Art, 2023, https://huckleberryfineart.com/vincent-van-gogh-a-life-of-struggle-and-success/. Accessed 18 Mar. 2023.
I am modeling my main character around Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh, while regarded as a famous artist in the present, was underappreciated while he was alive. He struggled with poverty and only sold a single painting in his lifetime. The article showed me how even being skilled at art doesn’t mean others will be able to appreciate it. Similarly to my main character, their art careers end with them feeling like failures as artists.
Nijman, Jan. Miami: Mistress of The Americas. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
My story takes place in the subtropical city of Miami, Florida. The book talks about the historical significance of Miami and different geographical areas. Additionally, it talks about how the city was shaped into its present-day form. I chose Miami as my story’s setting due to it being an urban region that is known for its beauty. By using this urban area in my story, it will show the impact AI art can make in an active community.