Discover more from Humans of Generative Art
Robert Engel - The Muse in the Machine
“I’m a huge fan of nature, and anything with intrinsic beauty. Music, visual design, and nature are the trio of joy for me,” he says.
“I incorporate modern generative art across multiple disciplines to create surreal art, mostly with themes surrounding identity, solitude, and the unclear and confusing nature of our reality,” he says.
Robert joins us from Jacksonville, Florida. He currently uses what he calls his “trifecta” which is Mathrock Diffusion, Stable Diffusion, and GIMP.
“I eventually want to fully delve into Adobe’s suite of tools, with the primary goal of learning Photoshop and Illustrator at a professional level. 3D modeling tools like Blender or Unreal are enticing to me as well,” he says. “But I need to take things one chunk at a time!”
“Man, this might sound bad… but also, I’d like to learn more of marketing. Connecting to a wide audience is key to my goals, both with a career and the message I want to send,” he notes.
His Goals and Message
Marketing is often one of the many hats traditional artists have had to wear through their work.
My long-term goal is to establish a network of connections that allows me to:
A. Exhibit my art to audiences in physical venues.
B. Collaborate with other artists on a regular basis, preferably artists that work in a different medium to me.
C. Have an effective and sustainable system for advertising, executing, and delivering commissions.
The Muse in the Machine
We adore Robert’s thoughtfulness in approaching his craft.
“In a spiritual sense, generative art means I can finally achieve artistic visions in a way that feels like I am simultaneously creating and experiencing at the same time,” he says.
“It often feels as if I am being “led into” an idea rather than forcing one out, like the software is opening the door through which I can forge a path,” Robert adds. “On a personal level, I feel a distinct sense of “detachment” from images generated purely from a single prompt, which is why my process involves multiple mediums, as well as pulling ideas and concepts from about a decade of experience experimenting with the visual arts.”
“But in a literal sense, generative art refers to an image making process performed in part, or fully, by an autonomous system,” he notes.
Execution vs. Ideation
“I have learned through and through that my ideas have value,” he says.
“I have come to the conclusion that the most common struggle creativity is an issue of execution not ideation,” he adds. “Our brains have evolved to minimize discomfort, and there’s nothing for uncomfortable than having a decade-long skill barrier between you and your ideas.”
“Thus, more give-up than follow through,” Robert notes.
“This is why I think generative art, aside from being a powerful medium, is also one of the most fantastic gateways into the world of visual arts for any person who struggles to see value in their ideas because their mind has told them they’re not worth pursuing,” he notes.
I have a fire under my ass to expand my skill set like never before; because I now know, unwaveringly, that my ideas are worth that effort. —Robert.
“[My art] comes from a real place! And I want [people] to see it as an example that these tools can be used in a transformative way,” Robert says.
“This piece [below] is one of my favorites. It’s a composition I’ve been seeing in my head for several months now, and I was able to achieve it using a combination of AI and digital art tools.”
“Ever tried to sleep by “consciously thinking” about falling asleep? It doesn’t work for good ideas either.” —Robert
A hyper detailed 3D portrait of a man wearing a suit halfway buried in the rubble of a desolate city by J.C. Leyendecker, natural sunset over mountains, god rays through the clouds