I’ve been thinking a bunch about versatility lately. I’d been putting some thoughts together on the subject, but then I thought it would be fun to let the open ai chatbot take a crack at it instead.

So I asked it to write me an article about the strengths and weaknesses of being versatile as told from the perspective of an illustrator who’s spent most of his career striving to do so.

And it did a pretty decent job!

“As an illustrator who has made a career out of being extremely versatile, I can confidently say that it has both its strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, the ability to work in a variety of styles and mediums has opened up many doors for me and allowed me to take on a wide range of projects and clients. On the other hand, it has also presented its fair share of challenges.

One of the major strengths of being versatile as an illustrator is the ability to adapt to different clients’ needs and preferences. This can be especially beneficial for freelancers, as it allows for a diverse range of income streams and can help mitigate the risk of relying on a single client or industry. It also means that I am not limited to one particular style or medium and can experiment with new techniques, allowing for continual growth and development in my craft.

Another strength is that it keeps my work interesting, It allowed me to take on a wide range of projects, from children’s books to editorial illustrations, and from advertising campaigns to murals. It keeps my creativity and motivation high and avoiding falling into a routine.

However, being a versatile illustrator also has its drawbacks. One of the main challenges is trying to establish a clear brand or niche in the industry. It can be difficult for clients to understand your specialties or areas of expertise, which can make it more challenging to market yourself and your services. Additionally, constantly switching between different styles and techniques can make it harder to achieve consistency in my work.

Another challenge is that it can be harder to create a “personal signature” in my work. Since I have a wide range of styles and mediums, it can be difficult to create a coherent body of work that feels cohesive.

Despite these challenges, I have found that the benefits of being versatile far outweigh the drawbacks. The ability to take on a wide range of projects and continue to grow and evolve as an artist has been extremely fulfilling for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Damn. Nailed it. mean id have said a lot of it differently, but thats pretty much the gist. After saving so much time not having to type all that out, I felt it was time to use this for more important things.

So naturally, I asked it to write a story about a legendary art battle between Frank Frazetta, Norman Rockwell, and Moebius and how they used their masterful skills to compete to see who is the greatest artist of all time!

“Once upon a time, in the land of art, there lived three legendary artists: Frank Frazetta, Norman Rockwell, and Moebius. They were all known for their incredible skill and mastery of their craft, each with a unique style and approach to creating art.

One day, an invitation arrived, inviting each of them to participate in a grand art battle to determine who was the greatest artist of all time. Frank Frazetta, known for his dynamic fantasy illustrations, accepted the challenge, eager to prove his worth. Norman Rockwell, known for his nostalgic and heartwarming depictions of American life, also accepted, eager to show the world his artistic capabilities. Moebius, known for his surreal and otherworldly illustrations, accepted as well, wanting to showcase his imaginative vision.

The day of the battle arrived, and the three artists were ready to show off their skills. Each of them were given a theme and a blank canvas, and were given a set amount of time to complete their piece. Frank Frazetta began with a breathtaking painting of a barbarian warrior charging into battle. Norman Rockwell, responded with a nostalgic scene of a family gathered around the dinner table. Moebius, presented a surreal and otherworldly scene that captures the imagination.

The judges were awestruck by the level of skill and creativity on display. Each artist had put their heart and soul into their pieces, and it was impossible to choose just one as the greatest of all time. They recognized that each artist had their own unique style, and that art can be appreciated in different ways.

And so, the three legends returned to their studios, their names forever etched in the annals of art history. They continued to inspire and create, their work celebrated by audiences around the world for generations to come.

The end.”

“The land of art”! I love it!

Then I asked it to write me  a movie outline about a video game concept artist who gets unwittingly caught up in an international crime syndicate and must use his illustration skills to design concepts that help him to defeat his new enemies and save the girl he loves

“Title: Art of Deception

Act 1:

Our protagonist, Alex, is a young and talented video game concept artist, working on the next big hit at a small, indie gaming studio. He’s an introverted and solitary individual who finds solace in his work, and is currently working on a new project that he’s very passionate about. But one day, while working late at the studio, he accidentally discovers a hidden message in his art files, which leads him to a mysterious woman.

Act 2:

As Alex investigates, he discovers that the woman is tied to an international crime syndicate, and that his art has been unknowingly used as a code for their illegal activities. Alex also discovers that the woman he’s been corresponding with is in danger. Determined to help her and stop the crime syndicate, he sets out on a journey to find her, using his illustration skills to uncover their secrets.

Act 3:

As Alex delves deeper into the criminal underworld, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous and deadly game of cat and mouse with the crime syndicate. He’s forced to use his artistic talents to design concepts for new identities, hideouts and disguises that help him stay one step ahead of his enemies. Along the way, he starts to build a team of allies, including a former member of the crime syndicate and an undercover agent who also working to take them down.

Act 4:

As Alex gets closer to rescuing the girl he loves, he finds out that the crime syndicate is planning a major heist that could destroy the city and many people would get hurt. Alex and his team now have to race against the time to stop the heist and the organization.

Act 5:

In the climax of the story, Alex and his team launch a final assault on the criminal organization’s stronghold. Using all the knowledge and skills they’ve gained along the way, they take the fight to the criminals in a pulse-pounding action sequence. In the end, Alex emerges victorious and rescues the girl he loves, the organization is defeated and the city is safe. As a bonus, Alex finds out that the game he was working on was inspired by the real-life events and gets an idea to make the game more realistic and fun.

The End”

Damn gotta ring my agent up because I’m sitting here at the Ai loom spinning Hollywood GOLD.

Lastly, thought I’d go with something basic, so I asked it to teach me to draw.

“Drawing is a skill that can be learned and developed with practice. Here are some tips and techniques that can help you get started:

  1. Start with basic shapes: Before you begin drawing a complex object or scene, break it down into simpler shapes. For example, a person can be broken down into a circle for the head, ovals for the torso and limbs, and cylinders for the arms and legs. By practicing drawing basic shapes, you’ll build your ability to see and draw the world around you in terms of those shapes.
  2. Understand the concept of negative space: Negative space is the area around and between the subject of your drawing. Paying attention to negative space can help you create more dynamic compositions and ensure that your subject is in proportion.
  3. Use reference material: Use photos or real-life objects as reference when you’re drawing. This can help you with accuracy and perspective.
  4. Practice with different mediums: Drawings can be done with many different mediums, such as pencils, charcoal, pen and ink, markers, pastels, and paints. Each medium has its own unique properties and can be used to create different effects. Experiment with different mediums to find the one that you enjoy working with the most.
  5. Try to practice regularly: The more you draw, the better you will become. It’s important to be consistent with your practice and work on your drawings regularly.
  6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process, so don’t be discouraged if your drawings don’t turn out the way you want them to. Instead, use your mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow as an artist.
  7. Lastly, find inspiration everywhere, and don’t limit yourself to a particular genre or style. You can learn from other styles and mediums and find your own voice.

Drawing can be challenging, but with persistence and practice, you can develop your skills and create art that you can be proud of. Remember that it is a process and don’t be hard on yourself, enjoy the journey.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

But all that madness aside, thought I’d also show some artwork I actually made recently with my eyes and hands.

Painted a couple of these small “tondo” panels for an upcoming group show at Harman projects in NYC aptly named “Tondo”.

Don’t paint round stuff often but I do enjoy it when I get a chance.

Painted these both on gessoed paper mounted to 1/4 inch thick circular acrylic discs I bought off of Amazon. It worked out great as I like working on gessoed paper, and the panels provided a nice lightweight and rigid backing.

I wasn’t initially sure what to do so I painted this self portrait as kind of a warm up. Painted it one pass and didn’t spend too long on it. I’ve done enough self portraits now it’s familiar and while I wouldn’t say easy, it’s easier than a lot of other stuff.

The other painting I did was based off a photo I took a few years back of a fire at lake crescent here in Washington State. I’d been saving it for a rainy day and the circular composition just really lent itself well. I painted it in three passes.

First pass was to lay the base in and get the gradient to work.

Once that was dry I painted some of the illuminated trees and the flaming one.

then once that dried, I came in and painted the silhouetted black foreground trees.

This painting was all about trying to match the values to the reference as closely as I could to get that pop and make it feel like it was glowing.  It was also difficult keeping the surface clean and relatively clear of hair and dust. I kept it covered and lightly sanded in between each pass which helped a lot, but I share a studio with four dogs so there’s definitely some stuff here and there.

Hadn’t initially intended to send the self portrait, but the gallery showed interest in showing both so I went ahead and shipped them.   

I’m kind of excited to show these as I’m not sure I’ve ever shown anything in New York before. It opens the 21st so if you’re in the area be sure to check it out! There’s a lot of really talented folks who are participating, so it should be a cool show.

Happy new year all. Who knows what this year has in store but here’s to hoping it’s good.