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New Cat Art Collaboration: TET's Cats Paintings and OpenArt AI Model Workspace (Photobooth)

TET Cat's AI Generated Art. Two Orange and white tabby's with a butterfly and flowers.
TET's Cats AI generated art trained on my own art style.
Way back in the early 2000's I started painting stylized cat artworks to illustrate some cat themed poems I'd written, that I exhibited and sold online in an exhibition titled 'Sleeping Cats' in 2004. You can see all these early works in my Flickr Album. Many are also available to buy as prints in my RedBubble Store.

Leading on from that I began selling my paintings on ebay where the cat themed works were almost guaranteed to sell over any other subject I painted. As a result I became some what known for my cat art to the point where people would commission me to create images of their own pet cats in my cartoony style.

Flash forward a decade (almost two at this point) and I haven't painted any cat themed art in years. To be honest I haven't done any traditional painting at all in years.

In the last couple of years AI image generators have really caught my attention. Specifically that they are able to recreate new images in the style of any artist whose images they have been trained upon. While there is a whole other debate about the ethics of training an AI on artist's images without their consent or any kind of compensation, what has interested me is the idea of training an AI on my own art.

One of the first AI's that made this easy for anyone to try is Open Art's AI Model Workspace (formerly known as PhotoBooth). All you need is a minimum of thirty images for training your unique model. The training itself takes around thirty minutes to an hour depending on how many images you upload. Note that Open Art's model isn't free and it is a small monthly fee to keep your trained model from being deleted.

If you want to try this for yourself Leonardo.ai now offers a similar tool as part of their free subscription plan.

Since I have no further plans to paint more cat themed artworks but I would really like to be able to offer new works in my style in my RedBubble Store, I thought I'd try training a model based on my cat art.

I won't  go into the step by step details here. If you are interested in the specifics of the process I wrote a detailed post in my Animation and Video Life Blog called, Whose Art is This? Training an AI to Make Fun Cat Images in My Art Style Using Open Art's PhotoBooth AI Workspace.

Open Art Workspace AI generated TET's Cat artworks.
If you compare these to my actual traditional
art paintings they very much capture my style 
except in a more nightmarish, surreal way.
What I found was, the artworks that the AI came up with that looked most like my style were well realized 'nightmare fuel'. 

The cats looked like my cats but, because I tend to have limbs flaying all over the place (in some spectacular 'flutterby' leaps), I think the AI got confused and tended to add more limbs, tails, and other body parts, than any cat really needed.

I could never get the AI to produce a coherent cat with four legs, attached in the right spot, one head, and one tail, when I was strict on the AI's settings.

However if I gave the AI a little more leeway and let in some other influences, from different artists and art techniques (specifically going for an impasto, painterly look), I was able to get cat images that were still in my style but with a more 'beautiful' aesthetic.

I would go so far as to say these artwork generations were even better than any new cat artworks I may have painted myself, were I to start painting cats again.

The works that came out best were ones that took some influence from artist Josephine Wall and the impasto painting technique. In my detailed post on my other blog (mentioned earlier) I compare these images to Josephine's work and I think she would be hard pressed to see her style within them.

TET Art generated by Open Art with some influence from artist Josephine Wall and the Impasto Painting technique.
These generations are clearly influenced by my cat style but also draw from artist
Josephine Wall and the Impasto painting technique. Some still have too many limbs
but others make for very 'beautiful' looking art in their own right.

While we can debate the merits of whose artwork these generations actually are, I mean they're trained on my art and I wrote the prompts that generated them, I think the images themselves are wonderful. I would hang any of them in my home as a large, featured artwork.

As such I've collected together the best generations, upscaled them, and put them into my RedBubble Store under the category of TET's AI Cats and Butterfiles. If you would like to own any of these images they're available to buy as framed and canvas prints. Stickers and other lifestyle products like mugs, coasters, phone cases and more are also available. Click here to view the whole range.



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