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It is the Artist who paints - why AI will never replace us.

There's a lot of talk on AI tools, from Midjourney to Writing apps.

How they're super quick, super accessible and create super results.

I'm going to share why they're not as hype as you might think and why the limitations of these tools lies in a fundamental reason tech-fiends seem to overlook.

Sunset Commute - Sydney, Australia [taken by me] circa. 2018

I'll start with Midjourney (MJ) - there's no doubt the program can create some slick looking images.

MJ is a tool - it does what it is told - searches what it is told - within the parameters you set for it.

MJ as a tool, is limited by your imagination and the resources on file.

At a more professional creative level, MJ is limited by your understanding of composition, colour theory, design, story, theme, contrast, art styles (complimentary and conflicting)...

I could go on, but you see the point.

Deeper than this, AI tools like MJ dilute something I'll call "The Contract" between Audience and Artist.


Art, all art, from theatre to photography, music and storytelling, adheres to an intuitive, human contract, a contract that asks:

"Do you see what I see? Do you feel what I feel"?

An Artist is presenting their world view and asking an audience, intuitively or overtly... "do you see what I see"?

We want to connect - this is the foundation of all artistic expression.

Chlidren scrawling their first family portraits want their parents to recognise them.

Professional Artists never leave this child behind, finding more sophisticated methods through song lyrics, essays or scultpture.

The Contract remains the same.


AI tools, while slick, sexy and accessible, in many ways pervert this contract; MJ is specifically guilty of this sin.

As a Creator, to ask a program to compile an amalgamated image from a key word search, shifts the Contract from... "do you see what I see"?

To... "do you see what the machine sees"?

It's subtle and many may think 'who cares'... but it's for the same reason CGI has become passé.

An informed, experienced, crafted vision is supplanted by a quick, cheap and easy tool to "look cool".

The result (in my opinion) is almost always less impressive, less impactful, less emotionally connected and just less good.


I might get hate, I might get snickering and sneers, but I'm prepared to play the long game on this one.

Shakespeare's collected works have survived well over 400 years; scripted in aimbic pentameter and shaped the course of English as a language.

If/when AI produces anything original of comparable quality that survives as long... I'll eat my words.

For those who attempt to use AI to take this bet, you will very quickly realise, tools are only as good as the tradesmen and AI can only replicate what it has on file.

Neither of which will develop the creative thinking, skill, discipline and craft it takes to conceive, produce and publish anything of exceptional quality.

Let me be clear, this is not to hate on AI.

It is to very clearly define the difference between the tradesman and the tool, no matter how fancy the tool may seem.

It is the Artist who paints... not the brush.


Christopher. S. Sellers: Creative Thought Leader + Founder of the Six CREATIVE Skill Sets

Director + Lead Creative @ Black Bulb Creative


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