Reviving “American Man” Concept Art

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In the vast tableau of creative processes, revisiting a past aesthetic can often feel like trying to catch lightning in a bottle for the second time. Yet, the introduction of AI’s /tuning feature has changed the game, allowing me to resurrect the visual language of a project steeped in the most potent themes of our times.

"Rabid Dogs in Space 04" Created using Midjourney v2
"Rabid Dogs in Space 05" Created using Midjourney v2

‘American Man,’ a screenplay I penned in 2019, is a narrative braided with threads of masculine and feminine toxicity, gun violence, and the fragile psyche of mental health in America. The visual motifs I had in mind needed to be as charged and provocative as the themes themselves.

The imagery of robust male centaurs, brandishing firearms and American flags, emerged as a symbolically rich tableau, representing a dichotomy of freedom and ferocity, myth and reality. To encapsulate this vision, I turned to a style that is as timeless as it is dramatic—the chiaroscuro. This technique, characterized by its high-contrast play of light and shadow, was not only about aesthetics but also about the interplay of darkness and illumination within our society.

With the original concept having been a photobash, I approached Midjourney AI with a blend of anticipation and nostalgia, prompting it to follow the trail I had blazed years before. The style code it generated was a revelation, not a mere echo but a resounding evolution of the original vision. The AI tuning did not disappoint; it captured the grit, the gravity, and the stark intensity that the subject demanded.

As I reflect on this creative resurgence enabled by AI, I find myself both exhilarated and introspective. The ease with which AI allowed me to revisit and refine an old aesthetic makes me marvel at the potential of this technology to act as a bridge between past inspirations and future innovations. Yet, it also prompts a meditation on the role of the artist in this new era—where does the balance lie between our creative impulses and the capabilities of the tools at our disposal? The answer may be as complex and nuanced as the themes within ‘American Man’ itself, inviting us to explore not just the limits of our imagination but also the ethical and philosophical implications of our ever-expanding artistic horizons.