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Art Toys, Abstract Art and Recovered Backups




Abstract art created with GIMP QBist.

Using GIMP QBist


Art inspired by "This Artwork Does Not Exist"

My Back-up filing system, such that it is.


After playing the frustrating game of "What's on that USB key/SD Card" with a baggie full of such (unlabeled of course) items, I found a bit of great news! Several directories of art that I thought I had lost, I had actually backed up! I hadn't bothered to label them because, well, my filing/labeling/naming conventions leave a lot to be desired.
One of the directories I found was art I created using an open source image editor called GIMP. In the mid-1990s, I was a huge proponent of open source and as part of that interest, I transitioned from physical art media to digital. GIMP was how I made that transition.
More than a photo editing program, GIMP actually allowed me to create art from scratch. I created dozens of abstract art pieces using its various plug-ins and filters. One of my favorite filters was actually more of a toy to a lot of people - "QBist".  QBist would generate random fractal and gradient images, 9 at a time. You could click the images over and over until you got an image you thought you could make something interesting with.
QBist was part toy, part art prompt and part Rorschach test. What does it look like to you? A flower? A bottle? A butterfly? Even if you only liked the colors, you could still use the rest of GIMPs features to create "Tiny Planet" distortions, more fractals, textures etc. 
The first 4-set are images I created in the 90s and continue to sell to this day. They're on my other accounts, not Orionlodubyal - since they're not really fan art or pop art. They don't sell well, or very often, but when they do, I'm always so nostalgic. I still play with QBist, but these days it's mostly as a prompt to make something else with it. Those works are hardly recognizable from the original QBist render.
The second 4-set image is a brief "where and how" to find the tool in GIMP, which is still free. If you'd like to give a try, I recommend it! It's sort of fun and weirdly compelling to create abstract fractals and shapes - if nothing else to give our over stressed brains something else to think about! The 4th image, bottom right, is the "finished" artwork. I changed the color, lighting and texture to create something I liked (finished in PhotoscapeXPro because it handles larger canvas sizes better than GIMP does.) I did it very quickly, so it's not particularly exciting artwork, imo. But you get the idea.
These days, GIMP has a bit of competition in the art-generating sphere. AI has progressed so that you can use websites like "This Artwork Does Not Exist" - https://thisartworkdoesnotexist.com/ to generate random selections of what the AI thinks abstract art should look like. These images are much to small to use on a printed medium, but if you generate something fun, you can always repaint it on a larger canvas. 
The 3rd 4-set are artworks inspired by what This Artwork Does Not Exist. They're quite different from QBist, and repainted from scratch from those original, tiny images. Again, these are partially art prompts and partially Rorschach tests. When reloading the webpage to create more images, I catch myself thinking "car" ,"bug", "window", etc. Sometimes I just get a set of colors I like, and work with that. It's mostly for fun, but every once in awhile I generate something worth working on. 


 

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