Yew kin dew eet!

Hey there, reader. It’s been a while since we just stopped to chat a bit about you. By the way, you’re looking great. Is that a new hairstyle? It’s nice. I’d offer you a cookie, but this web site is a strict no cookie zone. And before I get into talking about you, can I just point out that there are no auto-play videos trying to distract you with ads? There’s no flashing banners or attempts to monetize you, my dearest, most favoritest (totally a real word, shut up spell-check) person in the whole world. You come here to read me, and because of that, all of this lack of exploitation is because I respect you. No, it’s because I love you. Because you are special.

So, I want to talk to you about A.I. and you. By now, other artists have told you our side of things. Corporations are stealing their work and feeding it into machines to “train them.” You also have to have seen by now that what gets cranked out is pure shit. But the same corporations keep insisting that with enough time, all that crap will somehow become quality.

Set that aside.

Environmentalists have no doubt told you that the energy needs of these technologies is a climate disaster, and that they are sucking power from the grid so hard that brownouts and blackouts are going to become more and more common. Corporations don’t even have a pithy comeback for that. They just don’t care.

But set that aside, too.

The message sent to you, reader, is that these genius billionaires are just “leveling the playing field.” It sounds so cool, right? But that’s framing, and what these assholes are doing is belittling you. “Leveling the playing field” translates from marketing into rich asshole as “You don’t have the talent to make art. Let us steal talent from artists and give it to you, loser.”

NO. Reader, that is simply not true. You want to write a book? You can do it. I should know, I’ve written a fair number of them, and then sold hundreds of them all by myself. I spend a good portion of my time playing video games, reading comics and books, and I’ve written so many books despite my lazy slacking ways. You can too. All you have to do is sit down and put one word on a page, and you have taken the first step to being a writer.

You want to make a web-comic? Go look at the first weekly installments of most web-comics, and what do you see? Simplistic poses. Minimal backgrounds. Basic facial expressions. Fast forward to the present installments, and they all look way better. These days, getting your first web-comic out there gives you better than average odds of getting it turned into a cartoon or live action series. Companies are looking for your art to inspire them. You can do it. You can make that comic you’ve had brewing inside of you since middle school.

You want to make a video game? Reader, there are great games made by just one person all the time, with credits screens that read like a cartoon joke:

A game by Dave
Art by Dave
Music by Dave
Programming by Dave
Catering by Dave’s wife

You can make a game like them, or make one with a few of your friends. You don’t need A.I. You don’t even need money. Get a 3D program like Blender for free, look up free tutorials on YouTube, and get in there. There are all kinds of game engines that let you make a game for free, and others who only ask for a cut once you’re selling games. If it hits well on one platform, you can port it to others and keep on making new version of the same game, so then you can fund the next game with your profits.

You. Can. Do. It.

Really, that’s most evil part of this A.I. scam. Yes, it is evil that rich people want to steal from artists, who are frequently struggling financially because other corporations take huge cuts to distribute their work while paying the people who make the art as little as possible. But that’s why I’ve always been indie. The store gets their commission, and I get what I earn, fair and square.

But today, this isn’t about me. It’s about you, and how these evil lying sacks of shit are trying to kill your dreams and tell you that you can’t do anything without their scam products. Reader, don’t you believe a word of “leveling the playing field.” If you want to be creative, you can. You don’t need an A.I. product to give you a prompt or a whole story, or badly drawn artwork, or some shitty chiptune that would make a first year musician cringe. You can do whatever you want without those assholes. All you have to do is believe in yourself, sit down, and get to it.

I believe in you, and I’ve seen thousands of people just like you rise up on their talents and their efforts alone. I know you can do it, too. Now get out there and stick it to the man by making liars out of them every single day.

You got this, reader. Or, should I say, artist?