I pray everyone had a successful New Years celebration. For me it was a perfect relaxing evening with my sweetheart. We literally did nothing for a few hours but hang out by the fireplace. It was sooo good. Went to bed at my usual 9 pm and up at the usual 4am to bring in the changes for 2024. And there are certainly changes.
First, the Digital Art Goes Rogue magazine...it is being shelved. The content I would normally spend 30-40 hours a month curating and assembling will just be absorbed into the weekly newsletter. So, the weekly newsletter will be longer, hopefully organized enough you can choose what you want to consume and what you want to pass over. Keeping in step with the theme of change, the newsletter will no longer be called Divulgations. That name will change to the Rogue Artist Bulletin. This name fits with other branding I will be doing for my online courses as we come together as a community. The community is Rogue Artist Brigade. What is the Rogue Artist Brigade? I will explain below.
Over the holiday break I had the time to reflect, analyze and goal set like everyone does. I was very picky and intense in terms of auditing my time. Not just where it was spent but how affective I was in working towards the goals I have for living my best creative life. The magazine was intended to be a way to serve a community of like minded artists, give a platform for teaching and sharing, a serve as a creative outlet for writing. It did the job but was not serving near enough people. After a few months of soul searching, I opted for these changes. So, what is a rogue artist and what is the rogue artist brigade?
While I am still working on the "manifesto", I am thinking a 1st Q completion date on that, I can give you a short definition from my perspective. Life is difficult, fraught with many challenges that we face on a daily basis. I see a rogue artist as the messenger soldier bringing light and love to the world, a task that gets more difficult by the day. A rogue artist in this context is a fearless warrior, an intrepid explorer of the inner terrain of mental road blocks. This is in addition to the physical aspect of being a rogue artist; one who fearlessly mixes traditional media, digital media and maybe, although certainly not a requirement, some A.I. Another words, an artist who uses many tools and many different mediums combined to allow the work only they can produce to come to fruition.
We are a member of the Rogue Artist Brigade, a clandestine rebellion against the tyranny of self-doubt, the oppressive regime of procrastination, and the barbed wire entanglements of negative self-talk. Our days are a constant campaign against the forces of resistance. We wake up to the blaring sirens of fear, engage in fierce skirmishes with procrastination, and face down the artillery of critical voices. But just as a rogue soldier finds strength in solidarity, the Rogue Artist Brigade provides refuge and support.
The Rogue Artist Brigade share strategies, celebrate victories, and offer aid when wounded by a self-inflicted doubt. They remind each other that the battlefield is within, and the true enemy is not failure, but the fear of it. They know that every scar of self-criticism is a badge of honor, every conquered mental block a testament to their resilience.
Rogue artists: In essence, they are the embodiment of creative courage, the pioneer of their own artistic liberation. They are a beacon of hope for anyone who has ever trembled before a blank canvas, a whisper of encouragement for those paralyzed by fear. They are the proof that artistic freedom is not a distant dream, but a battle waiting to be waged against the resistance camouflaged as fear, self-doubt, self-criticism, procrastination, perfectionism, imposter syndrome, anxiety, depression and a number of other enemies of the mind.
So, if you hear the call of the Rogue Artist Brigade, grab your fellow freedom fighters, and join the insurgency against the tyranny of the inner critic. Remember, every act of creation is a victory, and every conquered fear is a brick in the path to artistic liberation. Fellowship. Alliance. Collective. Cohort. Brigade.
That explains where I am going. When I look at all of my strengths and weaknesses this is where I want to be. A full blown S.W.O.T. analysis bores out the same conclusion. As far as content the bulletin will continue in two venues, mixed media art techniques and overcoming resistance. Both arenas are broad. Mixed media for me is primarily acrylic, oil and cold wax, encaustic, resin, pan pastel, photography and digital painting. On the path of overcoming resistance, it will be psychological tools, creative strategies and using neuroscience as a weapon. These are the areas I am most interested and most experienced in and where I can be the most effective in serving.
100 days of art.
I am kicking off the year with 100 days of art. This has the potential to be transformational. I invite everyone to join me. Rather than host one myself this year I am going to be a part of the challenge by Art Resin. You don't have to be a resin artist and the art you create can be any medium. You can use #100DaysOfArt on social media so others doing the challenge can find you. It should be fun, and just what I need to kick off the year.
Catch our weekly 100 Days Of Art vids my YouTube channel. Follow us on Instagram at @artgeekteaching and don't forget to tag us and use the hashtag #100DaysOfArt. For those of you on Facebook, please join Rogue Artist Brigade FB group and share your work with our community!
Midjourney V6 release
The AI image generation landscape has been significantly advanced with the introduction of the V6 alpha model by Midjourney...in some ways. The new version represents a major leap in the development of AI imagery technologies. It's important to note that this is an early-stage release, yet the improvements and discussions it has initiated are significant. Many people are stoked! I hold some reservations. With change being the theme of today's bulletin, here are several changes/enhancements worth mentioning:
- Improved Prompt Adherence and Length: The new V6 version excels in following longer, more detailed prompts, which is essential for users needing intricate image creations. True.
- Enhanced Coherence and Model Knowledge: You likely will notice a significant improvement in the coherence of the images produced and the model's understanding, leading to more contextually appropriate results. I have found that to be true.
- Advancements in Text Drawing: The model has made strides in text generation, though it still trails behind DALLE3. One little hack is to enclose text in "quotations" and use settings like --style raw or lower --stylize values for optimal results. True.
- Refined Upscaling Techniques: The V6 introduces nuanced and innovative upscaling options for images for sure. Does that mean I no longer have a need for Topaz? Maybe.
The v6 model already supports various features like adjusting aspect ratios, style variations, and blending modes. Over the next few months, Midjourney plans to reintegrate certain v5 features such as image editing tools (pan, zoom, vary region) and enhance the /describe feature. It is a bummer I lost those and I find myself moving back and forth from v6 to v5.2 or whatever the last version is called.
Prompting techniques in v6 have evolved from previous versions for sure. Midjourney suggests we adapt to these changes for effective use, emphasizing the importance of clear and specific prompts while avoiding superfluous terms. The v6 model's enhanced photorealism has sparked debates and concerns about generative AI technology, particularly regarding image rights and the creation of deepfakes. It can now produce highly realistic representations of well-known brands, celebrities, and public figures. For me I have found that some of the portraits I have done are a bit funky. I can't really explain it. Many are incredible but some, usually with middle age peeps and older, seem more fake. It is something with the skin. I will try to have some examples of what I mean next week.
In addition to (mostly) realistic images, v6 has shown a remarkable ability to mimic distinct animation styles from famous anime, cartoons, and blockbuster movies. It can even create new scenes and sequences. This is a challenge for me as it raises more questions about intellectual property rights and the fine line between fan art and copyright infringement. As the quality of AI-generated content improves, it presents new challenges for lawmakers, legal experts, and creators in balancing creative freedom and copyright laws. I think there are still legal and ethical ways to utilize v6's capabilities, and the technology itself shouldn't be held responsible for potential misuse. Just like my take on digital art, it is a tool. Don't just press a button and have the software do the work. Change it, put your hand to it to make it yours. Otherwise, is it really your art? You have to have a hand in it in my opinion.
One thing to keep in mind is, like previous alpha versions, changes in v6 will be frequent and may occur without prior notice as they progress towards a full release. As always also note that v6 may initially be slower and more expensive than V5, but this is should improve as the model is optimized and approaches its final version.
That is all for today. I have a ton of things coming so stay tuned! There should be a free three-day course for subscribers next week.