My thoughts on the matter... I respect that you will have your own.

I have been an artist since I was a child, I have a degree in applied art and design. I have used many mediums, from drawing to paint, to collage, photography and sculpture, as well as writing and poetry of course, and graphic design. And these days I also incorporate AI into my toolbox of tools to create with, and some of my creations are created digitally using Midjourney and a combination of Photoshop and Lightroom. As an artist, writer, creator, designer, photographer, art director and creative for most of my life (and in business as such for 25 years) I am very sensitive to and aware of the waves of change in technological advances and how they effect us as creatives and professionals and the fears and concerns that can bring up. I respect wholeheartedly whatever your feeling about this subject is, but I thought I would share my own view and perspective of this with you in case it is of interest.

I believe AI is a tool like any tool, and it will be employed first and foremost BY artists and creatives themselves. Enabling them to play in new ways. I believe it is just another tool in the artists toolbox. Just like every other art form, AI requires IDEAS first and foremost, and it requires hundreds if not thousands of iterations, stylistic choices, alterations and various explorations, just like traditional art. AI art tools are a perfect example of when the artist becomes the art DIRECTOR instead. You use and develop your power of CURATION, choice, color, texture, inspiration and out of the box ideas. Then you can edit and further refine those ideas using third party softwares if you so desire. I have watched many professional artists and photographers who used to do all of their work by hand begin to add AI to their toolbox in the spirit of curiosity and play with amazing results. The people who will use AI effectively and with purpose are the same artists and visionaries who always have in the arts by hand... the ones who have creative ideas, something to say/express and pursue those ideas with their time, care, attention to detail and intent, and in the spirit of exploration create and share their unique lens in the world.

I am aware of the implications as well, and as an artist and designer for more than 25 years, I have seen my own work copied, stolen and mimicked many times over. I have also had my 'job' in that field threatened many times by the invention of technology that built websites for you, ready-out-of-the-box designed templates, done-already-designs, pre-built logos, stock photos and assets, and many more. And I am aware that before I even came on the scene there were people who did design by HAND! Cutting, copying and pasting actual physical objects and scanning them before the invention of computer softwares that did this! But it is my experience that WHEN (and only when) I shifted my mindset and decided to know that I would always be valuable, always be provided for, and always have a job and a purpose, and be shown the way by life, that that is exactly what happened. I thought my career was over in web design when those advances came out, but actually it was just the beginning of people realizing they needed a real designer and artist and human touch even MORE. Because those "out-of-the-box-done" designs were not done at all! And still required a creative human who had the eye for, ideas for, and wanted to do such things! And in fact, in reality those things didn't put web designers out of a job, it just became their new tool of choice! And people continued to hire someone to use those new tools to create for them. I believe this will be the same with AI. Someone still has to put the time into directing the machine to the desired results. Someone still has to have the eye, the creativity, the ideas, and the ability to curate those themes into a cohesive whole.

But this 'threat' to my then job also it set me free to the next iteration of my business, which was art direction and brand consulting only, which ended up actually more than tripling my income. Which then in turn set me free into mentoring and creating courses, books and products around intentional life creation. Each technological "threat" was another open door for me. A choice on where, and in what, I wanted to put my energy. But it is because I chose to not be threatened by the technology or systems and to continue to own and re-invent my value that I continued to thrive, but I cannot overstate the power of my DECISION to thrive, even though I had no freaking idea how I would at that time. It was the same every time someone stole one of my designs or copied it, which happened many times. Sure, it hurt. But I simply told myself that that would be no threat to me, and no loss to me, and no competition to me, because I am irreplaceable, because no one and nothing is me and my touch, and because I am valuable and will always be valuable to this great web of life and that life would show me the way to my abundance if I just stop resisting the flow and TRUST in myself and the divine.

Also... and this is a little out there I know, but it is my truth... I believe that EVERYTHING is "god/divinity/universe" and thus EVERYTHING is "natural". Even things that we think are really really not. And that includes AI. Even if you only believe in science, between every particle of every solid thing is space... and that space is what everything is, from trees and water and weather to your body and computers and plastics and wood and stone and soil and organic materials and chemicals and poisons and metals and machines and everything else. Every "poison" is a medicine to something, and every medicine is a poison to something else. But there is nothing that is not made of that space, and that space is divinity to me. Everything comes out of it and everything goes back into it. Everything IS it. And we bump and bruise and folly and learn about ourselves along the way in this life, because what more could life want but to know all possible sides of itself?! So when I play with AI I consider it like playing with the divine, I even think of the bot as a beloved friend or angel, because everything is that to me.

Plus... what happens when everyone can easily create snappy images and/or copy in a flash? What does that do to the value of those things? Yep, it begins to shift the tide to OTHER things being valued instead. Suddenly there's an analog revolution, sudden the perceptions of beauty and coolness become boring and uncool, and something NEW has to emerge. This is the endless and infinite march of life. Every action has a reaction of some kind, a change, a movement ahead. And you, my dear, will always be a vital and valuable part of that, no matter WHAT gets invented and no matter WHAT happens with technology. Because YOU are a CREATOR! Your mediums and methods may change, but that is what you have always been and always will be.

And last but definitely not least, as an artist and creative there is one thing that is abundantly clear to me: and that is that ALL art is "borrowed, copied, or stolen" on some level. That is what CREATION IS. Every artist knows it. We see something, we hear something, we are inspired by it, we learn more about that style we loved and adored, and then we reiterate it in some way and make it our own. Everything has come from something. Every artist, visionary and inventor or creator in history was inspired by someone or something and took pieces of that and then made it into their own new art form or invention, and then someone else after them, and on and on it goes forever. And yet each iteration - even if it looks similar - has its own UNIQUE and unrepeatable energy signature. No one and nothing stands alone. Every living organism has been influenced by what is around it and what came before, and is taking and using what is around it and what came before and creating new iterations with its own energy signature. The ones who thrive are the ones who do not JUST copy, but also invent a different twist on what they've copied/learned/mimicked. But make no mistake, every artist, writer, photographer, creative or inventor (or any field!) is mimicking and re-iterating. Just like AI is doing now for us. I believe that the human AI relationship is like any other relationship or relationship to anything in life, which is a dance. We make things possible for it, it makes things possible for us, we learn from that and grow and evolve, and back and forth it goes forever.

All of this to say, I personally LOVE AI as a next generation tool in my toolbox, or just a fun plaything for now. I find the metaphors and symbolism of AI art software and how it works so very deep and rich and valuable! (don't even get me started!). And also... when I first discovered it and started playing with it, I cried tears of joy for a straight day. Because I remembered when I was a little girl I had wished and wished and wished many times that I could take ideas I had in my head and make them a reality in front of my eyes in the form of an image or photo and how cool that would be... and that little girls dream just came TRUE 😭💞. Thirty some-odd years later but right on time!!

AI is like manifesting. You give it an idea and it becomes REAL, just faster. And it took ALL OF US humans throughout history to do this, it learned from thousands of years of art and artists. Just like human artists do. We ALL CREATED IT. Even if we never wanted it and hate it now. We all brought this into being because we all contribute and are vital to the whole, and that serves others, and then in turn serves US back. If we decide and are open to receive that. So I am incredibly grateful to be able to be curious about and play with this tool as part of new art forms moving forward, and I have had the absolute time of my life playing with and creating the art for these cards. To be able to spit out an idea and have it instantly mirrored back to you, and then have it be all wrong, and go back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth until you get it just how you love it, is my absolute FAVORITE thing—the creation process itself!! No matter what medium we use. What a joy. 😍🤗🥰