Watching through Thought Slime’s latest video it occurred to me that people who dislike generative AI art, don’t even understand those who do enjoy it and find nothing wrong with it. In this video, Thought Slime came up with a pithy comeback to the strawman they erected: “No longer are you gate-kept by the extremely costly fee of…a pencil.” (2:10) they say mockingly.
The truth is that that as the rest of that video explained, there is, in fact, a very high cost associated with doing manual art well: Time.
Doing decent art, even if mediocre from the perspectives of experienced artists, can easily take years of one’s life and there’s a lot of people who just don’t have this amount of time. Like it or not, the capitalist system we live in is exploiting all of us, and most people will never have the time to follow this passion.
So this mocking strikes me as not only misguided but also extremely privileged. Thought Slime has been fortunate enough to land onto the crossroads of skill, talent, time, race and upbringing that let them make a successful career out of making Youtube videos and Twitch streams. They are now turning towards all the wage slaves of the world using Generative AI and declare “you know that fun thing you like to do for yourself? Stop doing it unless you’re willing to sacrifice as much as I did”.
“Stop having fun unless you have money, or time”
Sure, people will argue, “but if you like art, then making art should be fun for you!”.
This is nonsense!
Not everyone likes doing art. Some people just like consuming art. Some people don’t have time to do learn to do manual art at all. Some people are neurodivergent or disabled in certain ways which forbid them from doing it altogether.
People like seeing pretty things. Do you know what they like most of all? Seeing pretty things that came from their own brain. Imperfection of the final result is besides the point. Generative AI allows people to do this quickly and painlessly, with almost every kind of PC one has available.
So some people just like to put something close to what they have in the thoughts onto (digital) paper and show others and say “this is what I thought of, what do you think”? There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no need to go to these people and tell them that they’re bad people unless they have a couple thousand hours or more to spend.
I saw, If you just like putting your own thoughts onto drawings with minimum fuss, go nuts. There’s literally no harm in it. And if you like making art, then do that. If you like both making art but want to do it faster, then combine your skills with Generative AI get the best of both!