The Artist’s Dilemma: The Disappearance of ‘Good’ Art

Artists’ roles in entertainment continue to diminish.


ZilvinasKa, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This is a piece by Egmontas Bžeskask, a graphic artist. His art pieces are known for their expressiveness, specifically their energetic vibe and sense of joy.

What is Art? What do you do when you’re bored? Do you find yourself watching a TV show? Browsing music? Or doodling in an old sketchbook? All these activities are forms of art. 

Everyone has created art at some point of our lives. Whether it is drawing on a sheet of paper, a car window, or on the sidewalk, we have all created art at one point or another. Some take it further and choose to pursue it as a career. Unfortunately, those who choose to pursue the arts are faced with one dilemma — a lack of demand in the art field. 

Battling “Uniqueness”

According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, growth of employment in the craft and fine arts occupations are expected to increase by 6% in the next decade. This is great news for aspiring artists, but do these statistics mean anything in the first place? Artist employment may be growing, but so is the number of aspiring artists. 

Growing competition between artists makes it seem as though job growth for artists is decreasing. However there are simply more and more talented artists rising to the challenge. It takes more effort than ever to produce “original” and “compelling” art. At some point, it feels as though every idea in existence already has a corresponding piece that illustrates the concept to the best of its potential. 

“The more you make things, the more your voice will become a collection of those influences and start to feel unique,” said Michael Riley, in an article in Art + Marketing, a writer who found a way to help overcome the difficulty that he faces when he finds himself unable to come up with new ideas. 

Originality comes from a combination of existing work and a person’s individual interpretation of it. Adding a unique or personal take on the piece is what allows for an artist to feel satisfied with their work, having obtained their idea of “originality.” This concept is one that many artists find themselves relying on without realizing it. At stages where an artist faces lack of motivation, they often find themselves looking back to their past works or work from other artists which leads them to copy or redraw until they find themselves with the drive to create something new. Even so, many find themselves struggling to find the “right” ideas. This is where AI technology comes in.

Art generators “can create original, realistic images and art from a text description. It can combine concepts, attributes, and styles,” Dall-E claims on its website. Dall-E is one of the most popular AIs that allow users to generate art for free. Its popularity rises among artists as a source of inspiration. 

Rise of AI 

Websites such as Jasper and Dall-E prove to be more than competent in the creation of art. The possibilities are endless; they are able to create pictures from just a couple of words inputted. Within these creations, users are able to remodify the image to their liking by adding in elements for the AI-machine to incorporate into the selected image. Moreover, it takes little to no skill to use these machines. With any simple phrase, an endless stream of images are generated in what seems to be an instant. 

The introduction of AI art was indeed revolutionary. In mere seconds, multiple images can be generated through the input of anything from a string of words to a paragraph describing the exact image desired. Longer descriptions allow for better images with more detail. The websites were surprisingly good at incorporating all the aspects listed by the user without causing any individual element to overwhelm another. Jasper and other AI generator websites have made a huge impact on the creative process by offering endless inspiration. However, the art community has also begun to find that it may be doing more harm than they had anticipated. 

Losing Meaning 

The creative process of art has not been the same ever since the release of these AI’s. It is unarguably one of the greatest advancements that was brought into the realm of arts. And yet, there is already a major flaw. Traditional artist Aaron Cao ’23 realized this, noting that, “The tribulations, the blood, sweat, and tears that the artist has gone through to be able to produce such a work are all factors that help distinguish themselves from AI art, which kind of feels empty and lifeless.” 

Simplistic colors and shapes are used here to create a minimalist vibe, something that AI struggles with, as it is unable to fully analyze human emotion and therefore unable to create engaging themes. (Jasmine Chen)

Specifically, Cao refers to the great care and consideration that artists take in choosing specific shades of colors and individual lines, each conveying its own message. AI art, however, takes ideas from existing images and merges them without being able to utilize the emotional aspect of art. This, unfortunately, remains a minor problem to the untrained eye, which makes up the majority of an audience. 

With people already assuming that digital arts are easy, it has become increasingly difficult for artists to maintain their job positions in the entertainment industry, as the use of AI-generated art machines become increasingly popular. Because businesses and corporations expect artists to have an easier job now that they are able to use AIs to do some of their work, their expectations for artists drop. They lose their value, and companies shift their focus away from them, meaning that they receive less funding than they already do. This has especially great impact on the artists in the film industry.

Artist Treatment in the Film Industry

Joe Walker, winner of the 2022 Best Editing Oscars Award, made a speech regarding the negligence that some categories face. “It went down well, I thought of the speech. And yet I saw it go out and they cut the beginning and the middle and the end of it. And that’s an irony we all stand together in the academy with equal strengths[…] and I feel strongly that that was a disservice to our 8 categories that were not televised live,” he said. 

Joe Walker holds his Oscar Trophy as he speaks about his receiving of the award. (Beccaw1, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

The lack of attention given to movie editing and backstage productions make it extremely difficult for these artists to get their story out to the public –  film companies are unable to  obtain recognition for their struggles. It’s also worth noting that winning an Oscars award does not do the same for a backstage production crew as it does for an actor. 

When an actor wins, production companies will be more inclined to hire the actor, whereas they would see an Editing Oscars Award winner as ‘expensive.’ Hence, they hire multiple smaller editing production companies to take on a large project. The result of this is a mess, and it becomes painfully obvious to viewers. The Royal Ocean Society posted a YouTube video recently to highlight this issue. They mention Marvel Studios, in which they preponed the release of Avengers: Endgame without notifying their VFX studios. The lack of communication due to the sheer amount of studios that have to work together makes the work way harder than it should be, in addition to the disrespect that VFX artists already receive. Their work is not only not being taken seriously, but their roles in the production process of films are neglected as well. 

In a YouTube video from Parker Walbeck, a full time filmmaker, viewers are able to see editing productions of two very similar video scenes done by different numbers of editors: 1 and 10. The comments greatly favored the one-man job, many of them arguing that the editing done by one person made the scene a more intimate and immersive experience for the audience. This issue gets even worse and even further out of hand when taking a look at larger productions. 

When multiple editing production companies are hired to work under one large production project, it is easy to get scenes mixed up. It makes it extremely difficult for the manager to keep track of what’s happening in each individual hired team. 

So What? 

Artists are not recognized with the respect that they deserve. Their roles are taken lightly and the arts crumble as a result. This is not only seen in big industries like the film, but in practicality as well. At its simplest form, art communicates. 

In an art blog published by Eden Gallery, they wrote that art is “a form of expression that has the power to change people’s perspectives and shape society. It is an important part of our daily lives, as it helps us to better understand the world around us.” 

Even the outfit you chose was likely chosen to give off a certain impression of yourself. Without knowing it, art seeps into our daily lives. This gives us all the more reason to protect it.

Artists are not recognized with the respect that they deserve. Their roles are taken lightly and the arts crumble as a result. This is not only seen in big industries like the film, but in practicality as well. At its simplest form, art communicates.