In an incomprehensible twist, an illustrator has been banned from a Reddit forum for posting art that closely resembles an AI-generated image

On December 27, Ben Moran, a digital illustrator based in Vietnam, published his first artwork titled Inspirational in Warzone, on the r/Art subreddit on the social news site Reddit. However, in quick order, the artist would find their artwork removed from the forum for violating its strict policy on not sharing AI art, followed by a ban from a community of 22 million people.

catch? Moran’s artwork was not created by artificial intelligence. Instead, it was actually part of it A committee It was taken over by their studio, Kart Studio, with Moran serving as lead artist. For this particular illustration, intended as a book cover, Moran used Photoshop to rework an earlier draft created by a colleague. They said of the process: “It’s like fixing and presenting an image at the same time.” The artwork ultimately took about a month to complete.

Moran was naturally struck that the illustration was the work of an algorithm, “not because my artwork is being compared to AI art,” they told Artnet News in an email. “I was shocked by the responses. It really hurts to receive these words as an artist.”

On Twitter, Ben Moran provided “proof” that their artwork was not created by AI. Photo: @benmoran_artist on Twitter.

Upon receiving the ban, Moran contacted r/Art officials to contest the “punishment”, offering to provide evidence, such as layered PSD files, that the work was not created with the claims. to me screenshot Sharing via Twitter, one moderator responded from the subreddit, “Even if you draw it yourself, it’s pretty obvious the design is AI driven and it doesn’t matter.”

“If you’re really a ‘serious’ artist,” the message continued, “you need to find a different style because a) no one’s going to believe you when you say it’s not AI, and b) AI can do it better in seconds, what could take hours.” .

Moran was subsequently muted by the moderator and banned from contacting them for the next 30 days.

Since AI generators like Midjourney, DALL-E, and Lensa started gaining mainstream popularity in 2022, images generated by text algorithms have proliferated across the web. But growing alongside the rise of AI art has been a set of protests against various services’ abuses of authors’ rights and undercutting the cost of the art process, which in turn could lead to actual artists being denied jobs.

For these reasons, r/Art has prohibited AI-generated art from being posted on the forum (which could lead to a user being banned), a ban similarly enacted by other subreddits, including r/Illustration and art platforms like Inkblot and Newgrounds.

Inspirational in Warzone It is also created by Moran in an often aesthetically pleasing way produced by generatorsA fantasy scene, drawn in a Renaissance style featuring ethereal female figures. It is possible that such animated works, which are common on platforms such as DeviantArt, may have been used as training sets for AI generators.

But the artist he trained with Lee Kent And the names of the illustrators Ruan Jia And Piotr Jabloński As inspiration, he emphasizes the handmade quality of their work. “My process is just… draw,” they said.

References Ben Moran used in the creation Inspirational in Warzone. @benmoran_artist on Twitter.

r/Art moderators did not respond in time to Artnet News’ request for comment, but one reported it Vice That subreddit was dumped or trolled after Moran’s series of tweets about the ban. They said, “If we want to reverse course now, that says online trolls can dictate the state of society, which we’re not okay with.”

“We don’t necessarily have anything against AI art,” they explained. “But when people can pull it off quickly and easily if that’s allowed, the sub element just becomes AI art fairly quickly.”

Moran, for their part, is no different. They recognize how AI as a tool can be a game-changer for the industry, although “not for the art community and artists.” It’s also very likely that they won’t be writing prompts into the generator anytime soon. “Visual art should be created with pen strokes,” they stated in a December 18 Instagram post, “not from commands created with a keyboard.”

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