Making Crow Men

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I’ve always been captivated by the whimsy of animals with human traits. Perhaps it’s a thread from my childhood, woven through with memories of ’80s toys like “Maple Town,” where bipedal animals donned clothes and lived out human tales.

There’s something deeply ingrained in the way we use animals in storytelling for children, a universal language that transcends gender and culture, imparting life’s lessons through characters that are relatable yet safely removed from our human complexities.

"Rabid Dogs in Space 05" Created using Midjourney v2

Morphing man and animal at different percentages creates an almost uncomfortable sense. The above images where we see primarily man with animal morphs, is almost primal, adult, uncomfortable and evocative.

Skip a few galleries below where the crow takes on more of the form, and it starts to be less unpleasant to look at, almost quarky and cute.

It’s these balances in design that fascinate me: The power we have as creators to conjure up emotion by dialing left or right a little less or more. AI enables us to expedite this process and come to switfter conclusions on the tonal style of our work. 

My fascination took flight with crows, those avian storytellers of the natural world, which I blended with human forms to create something that felt both ancient and playfully modern. Early AI, with its unrefined brushstrokes, understood what I wanted to see in a way that was uncannily intuitive. It conjured a gallery of creatures that were mature in theme yet childlike in execution, their emotional resonance clear and unburdened by the strictures of anatomical correctness.

Today’s AI, much like a developing artist, might strive too hard for realism, losing that raw, organic spark in the process.