Support Real Artists.

Shiloh Connor
3 min readDec 26, 2022

I liked AI art in the beginning.

I thought it was cool that by feeding an algorithm images, you could teach it to create. I thought it could be used to help us learn more about how consciousness and art are inherently linked, as well as a fun little thing to mess around with.

But.. Then stuff started to go wrong.

Artists from all over the internet discovered their works were being fed to the algorithms companies were creating- without their consent. Their styles and labors were stolen, and many felt as if their creative labors were exploited with no benefit to them. It was disrespectful. But there were also AI art generators that didn’t use Stable Diffusion, and therefore lacked the ethical dilemmas.

And I heard all sorts of arguments from folks on tiktok about how “people won’t stop commissioning real artists just because AI arrt exists, AI art lacks the unique quality and heat human-made works possess.”

Well, this brings to why I am making this.

Justin Roiland, famous for his involvement in Rick and Morty and its spiritual sibling Solar Opposites, recently discussed in an interview that his team used AI Art for making in-game visual assets in the new shooter- High on Life.

This is why that’s a problem- Justin Roiland hates labor unions. The most notable instance was his dishonest and childish tantrum against the Animator’s Guild, which made him look like an imbecile.

This is setting a standard that if you don;t want to hire artists for certain jobs or want to avoid dealing with the Guild, the IWW, the NWU, or other creative labor rights groups, you can just.. Use an AI, in a professional setting. There was an author of TikTok who said the fear and hate of AI Art was irrational, because creators would rather pay for something real by a human, than use an AI- Roiland has proved that mindset incorrect.

Imagine you wanted work by a specific artist. But oh, look, they ask for payment, how unfortunate. If you wanted to be a monster, you’d get an open source algorithm for an AI bot with stable diffusion, feed it nothing but the works of that artist you want to replicate, and then you have a bot that can closely emulate their work. And because you can’t copyright an art style and there are no precedents set in court for lawsuits over this kind of art theft, there would be nothing the artist could do about it.

The best explanation for the issues of Stable-Diffusion fueled AI art comes from youtuber Mali-Malware.

AI Artists don’t feed their own art into the AI to teach them, they take from others, and in many cases it’s without their consent. These frauds are not the source of the AI’s creative ability, they’re thieves with some programming knowledge.

This opens the floor for price gouging, for AI Art Bot handlers to smother the market. It opens the floor to union-busting asshats to threaten to automate our industries. It’s disingenuous, selfish, and utterly worthless.

I am probably biased. I’m an artist myself, I create for a living. But we need to remember that we are in late stage crapitalism, that the wealthy will dive the deepest depths of depravity. Worker solidarity protects worker rights. And I definitely sound like a filthy commie, but it would probably be because I *am* a filthy Commie.

If you love art, support artists. Retweet our works, comment on our content, donate to our patreons, buy our stuff. It’s worth so much more than you think.

Stay safe, stay smart, and I’ll see you around.

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Shiloh Connor

Freelance Artist, Writer, and Activist looking to start a conversation!