Life has been busy lately with thoughts of the future, teaching and client directed artwork, family and friends, and, of course nature. It seems to be a seesaw motion up and down, back and forth, looking for clues that have brought me to this present point in my life. Indeed musing but I was alerted with an epiphany today. I was naively aware of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on daily life in both good and detrimental ways and had not given it too much thought. ‘Naïve’ being the operative word.

Members of the Association of Medical Illustrators are discussing the affects of AI and machine learning on current and very near future profession trends impacting healthcare and visual communication. What I was not aware of is the ease at which visual images can be created literally in seconds upon typing in descriptive phases, adjectives, and hashtags into sites like Midjourney ai and DALL-E2. There is where the magic happens or reminds us of what really is UPON us.

While the generation of those images is of your choosing and at first glance are mesmerizing, the finished results seem artistically unauthentic when compared to the resultant output our ideas transform into from our traditional and digital tools. Granted digital art is created on a computer with special effects, filters and brushes. Considered by some, this artistic approach misses the opportunity for pure expression compared to classically accepted tools: pencils, sable brushes, acrylic, oils, and watercolor media. Yes, my digital mandala nature art is created on a computer but in my directed and hopefully creative art style—I start with a series of ovals. I do not use special brushes or filters as I build my plants and animals from there, with additions of self-made patterns and designs. The idea and art are of MY choosing and making and NOT those authored by a roving internet robot. Years of training, direct observation, and inspiration have taken me down my chosen path. I am going to stay with that path. I embrace the creative and intellectual challenges that come with it all. This leads me to many artistic beliefs, reminders, and directives for artistic peace of mind:

Embrace comfort in the process of the creative act

Apply meaning to the images you create

Ponder what is just around the corner

Stay true and authentic

Reach down into your well of experience and inspiration

Dispense with your inner critic

Do not compare yourself to others

Stay true to the things that make you happy and fulfilled

Be inspired by others without thinking you must be just like them

Look for common ground in uncommon connections

Strive for authenticity

Embrace anticipation in your search of artistic expression

Explore your past for inspiration

Cast off permissions based on perception

Make art “play” and not “work”

Separate process and destination

Learn from mistakes

Seek and savor serendipity

Balance the Teeter-totter of work life and art life

Credit your mentors

Borrow knowledge and pass it to others

Be both a teacher and student in all that you create

I think I will stay within my intended circle and direction. The outcomes of my concentrated and cherished efforts are shown in these two latest nature prints:

Daytime Desert Nature Panel

Nighttime Desert Nature Panel

I will continue to see what nature provides and be inspired by it, NOT guided by what my own descriptions and adjectives could be if offered to impersonal robots. Wander with wonder in nature and embrace her purity—All My Best!