Thinking about the artwork on the podcast today, and how I’d like to get something that isn’t procedurally generated. I used one of the early generative tools for it (forgot which one) when I was trying to get it launched, and while it helped, and I like it overall, I know the “look” of the generative art isn’t necessarily for everyone, and might be an active turnoff.
So, thinking of a couple different approaches:
- Photography (plus a little editing):
Take a picture, of something that roughly matches, and then process it so it keeps the same overall “feel”, but had a human involved in the steps rather than an automated tool.
Pros: not AI generated, original to me, own the copyright
Cons: at a certain level, what’s the point? What’s the difference between something that’s procedurally generated, and something that’s heavily processed? They’ll end up looking similar by the end of it, with the original barely recognizable. If one of the benefits of the generative tools is that they automate the work, as we’ve argued several times on both the podcast and on this page, then what’s wrong with using the tools?
- Contracted Work:
This would involve finding one of the many artists accepting commissions to create am icon, a logo, some splash art, something like that. I’m fine with this, even though the cost might scale, depending on what (or how much) I’m asking for. Licensing might be an issue, and terms of the agreement. Copyright to the artist, obviously.
Pros: something that looks good, created by a professional, business to an artist.
Cons: negotiations, cost, rights to the work. Obviously this gets done and happens all the time, but it’s still outside my experience. And the ability to change and modify the work for different contexts, like special podcast episodes, or for different places (Podcast v Youtube v here, frex).
I’m not against it, but I’m still a little wary.
Using an art tool, like Canva, Moho, or something similar to create the work. This is what I’ve been using for everything aside from the banner and logo for the podcast. Again, not bad, but limited, especially with my artistic skills and Canva’s free options. I’m not 100% happy with the look of stuff that I’ve created. Maybe that’s a me thing, but I know it could be better as well.
Pros: Already started down the path, would have ownership of the material as well.
Cons: Doesn’t look great, kinda sends off an amatuerish or unprofessional vibe, cost could increase significantly to possible little effect (if the issue is with my “eye” or style more than the tools).
Could be (or “can” or “is”) a massive time sink, spending hours doing something outside my skillset where I could be working on the writing and recording. So, perhaps not the best use of my Friday nights?
And there may be other options I’m missing. But it feels like this is where I’m at at the moment with respect to the art for the blog, podcast, and YouTube channel.
I’m excited that there’s an opportunity to try new things with each of the above options. But I’m a little worried by each of them too.
I think the best way might be to explore each one in turn, and see which one gives me a result I’m most happy with (without breaking the bank, of course!).
I’ll link back here, and update, with examples of each as we give it a shot.