It is a bit absurd to write this, but it must be said. Part of being creative is knowing when to stop.
From AI art advocates, I have heard over and over again that we can extend beloved pieces of art to infinity — whether it’s the Mona Lisa, or the cover of Abbey Road. In some ways, I can understand! Around the age of 6, I wrote my first short story based on Ursula K. Le Guin Catwings. I think it’s still in my dads attic.
The edit is a great way to get started if you’re a creative person for the first.
It is a tradition that derivative work has been valued for ages. Clueless, the teen girl classic, is based off Jane Austen’s Emma. The Wind Done Gone is based on Gone With the Wind, while Wide Sargasso Sea is based off of Jane Eyre. All literary criticism, it could be argued, is derivative because it relies on the existence of another work to interpret.
There have been many tweets in recent months about people who are doing this type of work using AI. I’m not surprised that people are using AI to “extend” the background of the Mona Lisa, or on the famous cover of Abbey Road. The excitement surrounding these types of AI art can be laudable. The rush of creativity is ! It must be a world-changing experience if this is the first time you’ve encountered it. You know, I am a writer because it is my job.
In that spirit, and for those of you thinking creatively, I would like to introduce the concept of the edit.
You draw boundaries when you create something. Many of the words I have removed from my posts on this website, often thousands of them. It’s sometimes because I want to respect my readers’ time. Even though I love a particular sentence, it may not serve the piece. Other times it’s just because I have something going on.
Take the Mona Lisa for example
Henry James’ Turn of the Screw is the most famous example of Up to Something. The reader fills in what they think is most frightening by filling in the missing pieces. Calvin & Hobbes Noodle Incident, which is often cited but never explained, works in the same way. It’s a deliberate choice of art to leave something unfinished or make a certain crop.
Take the Mona Lisa for example. Take the Mona Lisa as an example. One of the most common words associated with the original is “mysterious”. There’s a half-smile and the fact that never delivered. And there was the famous heist where the painting disappeared for two years. The lack of an outline makes the face appear more realistic. Also, the absence of eyebrows and the work around the mouth and eyes give her an ambiguous expression. There was an ongoing debate about the realness of the landscape in front of her. It’s moody painting suggests that the battle will continue for a long time.
Let’s now look at Kody’s version made with Adobe Firefly. The background is much larger, which draws attention away from the fine detail that makes Mona Lisa so famous. The woman whose portrait it was is only a torso, with no legs. It emerges from a cloud-like dark blob. The addition of the landscape actually detracts away from the vision which has fascinated art lovers over many years. There’s but it doesn’t do anything. is bad art .
Young is making fan art. The Kody Young version of the Mona Lisa fills in what the original artist chooses to leave off. Many derivative works rely on this — such as Wide Sargasso Sea – but they don’t pretend to be “the rest” of an artwork. Young is not only confused about the use of a background but also about what art is.
There is no need to add more background for the Mona Lisa because its purpose is clearly stated in the front. The painting is named after her! Marvel movie fans may prefer long stories, but they don’t have to be. You can enjoy many stories. It is certainly possible to create interesting AI art. Even interesting derivative AI artwork — but creators must think carefully about what they leave out and when to stop. Computers do not supply purpose. People do.
The artist stopped for a specific reason. There is no “extended Mona Lisa”. Maybe the reason for stopping was wrong, or perhaps that stop point did not work. The original version is the full version. If you want to create a derivative work that is meaningful, it should have a purpose.