Surf art created with AI

surf art and ocean tropical art made with AI
beach seascape ai

The day came I had to try creating surf art with AI’s help.

In my best life, and in this blog, you’ll notice I aim to focus on the beautiful life outdoors. However, I can’t deny I’m a bit of a geek and I like to be in the know of trends and new tech. And when I can get to try them, I must jump in, even if for a small dip.

So I had to ride the new hype of AI technology, now that it’s still kind of free. The results, here in this post.

What I’ve been trying is the apps by Openai, both the ChatGPT, great for texts, and DALL·E, which can generate images following a description that you provide. Wanna see what happened and how? Let’s break it down.

What can AI do for you?

Things I tried for fun

I wanted to challenge the bot and see what it could do or how it could be useful. So I started asking it to give me ideas for this blog, writing captions for Instagram and product descriptions, as I’ve read how useful it could be for marketing and content.

The writing is nice, coherent, but a little fluffy. However, it could be really helpful, specially in getting started with brainstorming ideas and even crafting better descriptions (both for product listings or in literary writing).

The potential is real. I encourage you to try it, ask for something random, something that makes you curious. You can get it to explain you a natural phenomenon, or you can ask for anything as you’d do with Google, and it may give you the response you’re after. Not all of them will satisfy you, you won’t know the source, but it will be understandable, well-written and probably on point.

During my testing, I discovered it is biased in favour of Tesla for example. And if I’d ask for presents ideas, it can be way too generic. I also tried to find artists or websites and it would just make them up.

underwater view of palmtrees, surf art created with ai

Underwater views

Things that I could even post

For writing content, it looks like gold (but of course, it will be cheap gold). I mean, it can generate OK content so easily, and because you can ask for modifications, it will refine it itself. For example, I asked for a list of surf movies (this could perfectly be a post in itself – just maybe not the one I would write as it won’t be based on my experience, knowledge and criteria). It gave me as many as I asked for. After that, I told it to add a synapsis, an overview of what they were about. So I got this:

  1. “The Endless Summer” (1966) – A documentary film that follows two surfers as they travel the world in search of the perfect wave.
  2. “Big Wednesday” (1978) – A coming-of-age story set in the 1960s, following three friends and their shared love of surfing.
  3. “Morning of the Earth” (1971) – A documentary film that captures the laid-back surfer lifestyle and culture of the 1970s.
  4. “Five Summer Stories” (1972) – A documentary film that tells the story of five surfers and their experiences in the sport.
  5. “The Seedling” (1999) – A surf film that explores the relationship between a father and son, both surfers, and the impact it has on their lives.
  6. “Surf’s Up” (2007) – An animated film that tells the story of a young penguin who wants to become a professional surfer.
  7. “Bustin’ Down the Door” (2008) – A documentary film that tells the story of the pioneers of professional surfing in the 1970s.
  8. “Step into Liquid” (2003) – A documentary film that explores the world of surfing, featuring footage of surfers riding waves in various locations around the globe.
  9. “Riding Giants” (2004) – A documentary film that tells the story of the evolution of big wave surfing and the pioneers who pushed the limits of the sport.
  10. “The Present” (2014) – A surf film that follows a young surfer as he travels around the world in search of the perfect wave.
  11. “The Guns of Navarone” (1961) – A war film, not a surf film, It tells the story of a team of commandos who are sent on a mission to destroy a German fortress during World War II.
  12. “A Deeper Shade of Blue” (2011) – A documentary film that examines the history and culture of surfing, as well as its spiritual and philosophical aspects.

It is acceptable, and it gave me some titles I didn’t know about that I will have to look up. Again, for the surf films that are on the list and that I actually know, I’d highlight some different aspects. But is good to go for maybe less personal blogs and website content for businesses and SEO purposes.

Write me some surf artistic stuff

Then I tried something that would hit closer to home. Firstly, I asked the chat to write an article about World Snow Day and how that winter wonderland and skiing could be compared to the feeling of summer and the waves and foam. It didn’t go very well, since it’s difficult to relate one with another without human experience and without defining more thoroughly in the input. It needs more help to know which are the details and sensations that one would find similar (that are not really objective). The chat also has a great tendency to make lists. As popular as they may be for blog posts, I’m not such a fan of them.

So, I made it write a poem about surfing (for summer surfers in winter, which I think I should call myself so – yes, I’m ashamed):

water beach photography with ai

” The waves crashing at my feet

As I ride the swell and feel complete

The sun on my face, the salt in my hair

Surfing is my escape, my solace, my prayer

The ocean is my playground, my sanctuary

Where I find peace and tranquility

The rhythm of the waves, the ebb and flow

Is where my heart and soul truly know

water beach photography created with ai

But as the days grew shorter and the nights grew long

I knew that my time here wouldn’t last long

The leaves turned brown and the wind grew cold

Winter was coming, and my heart grew old

I packed away my board, my wetsuit too

Said goodbye to the beach, and the ocean blue

 I know that I must wait for spring

To feel the warmth, to hear the ocean sing

But until then, I’ll close my eyes

And dream of the waves, the endless skies.”

What do you think? Should I let it write my ideas? *wink

Of course, it does resemble or sounds familiar, but it works. I decided to make something out of it, just for fun, and posted it as a reel on Instagram, with also a fabricated caption.

We are seeing some uses, right? Don’t know what to write under a picture? Need hashtags? Let the chat do the “thinking”.

Use AI as a… friend? Mentor?

Need a pep talk about something? Ask for it. It won’t be your next coach, but maybe you just needed another voice telling you the same thing you already know. Do you need advice on a decision about your life? It wouldn’t be good if it would decide for you, but at least it tells you things to consider, so it can help you reflect… But, please, take everything with a pinch of salt. You’ll see, though, that the advice it’ll give you can’t be labelled as bad advice– it is, in fact, quite similar to what just any random person would give to a stranger.

abstract wave created with ai

Creating the surf art images

So what about the image generation AI? It feels so surreal to know that there’s software capable of creating the image that you have in your head, just by feeding it a description. May it be a photo, a drawing, a painting or a 3d render… it promises to do it all. It isn’t so simple in practice, though.

I tried the DALL·E AI (which you can also try for free) and, while it’s quite interesting, it also needs a lot of trial and error to generate something you like, which may or may not resemble what you had in mind.

Here in the post are all the images I made with it, which I also used for the reel above. In trying to make surf art, well, it failed when trying to add surfboards or surfers. But generating landscapes, wave inspired work or beach images was slightly better. So, the conclusion is that it’s still worthy to get a little creative with AI.

Some images looked kind of quirky. Some others weren’t so bad… But this is just my experience, I’ve seen projects made by other artists and designers which looked great –I’m guessing they spend a little bit more on resources and time. But we are testing the possibilities here! And they are growing, that’s for sure.

The artworks aren’t the final piece I’d hang on the wall but they could be used as a reference, inspiration or as part of greater pieces, specially for digital content. Clearly, there’s a lot of room for generative AI to create digital content or help on producing more of it, as quantity is such a relevant factor in today’s rapid media consuming world.

beach photography digitally made

Have fun!

For me, the better use I find in it is inspiration and curiosity. It makes a great tool to spur your imagination and brainstorm your ideas. It helps clarify what you are trying to achieve or say with a work. And it could also get you started learning or exploring some ideas or interests.

Do you need help to be organised? Learning SEO? Being more creative with your shopping list? Chat with it and you may actually realise what was in the back of your mind. Or it may give you new clues on where to dig deeper. It may also give you a different perspective that complements your initial idea.

For the creation of images, I do love how the blue plumerias and tropical leaves came out! If you’re in a hurry and need quick references for illustrating or generating and image, this can be life-saving.

These pictures below are my favourites and I can see them being perfectly useful. They could be used as backgrounds with layered text or to design digital assets for bigger design projects.

Are you ready to try it? Is it exciting or frightening? Will you join in exploring this new tools?

Anyway, keep inspired (by the real world and nature prefereably) and sea you soon,

~ L·S

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January 29th, 2023