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  • Writer's pictureMagik Chance

Between Light and Shadow: The AI Artistry of Seven Gray Sparrows


Seven Gray Sparrows’ (@foxtrotfrog) hauntingly beautiful art has been a personal favorite of mine for some time. We talk to Sparrow about her art, inspirations, and aspirations.


All art in this article was created by Sparrow.


Q: What motivated you to start creating AI art?


A: I've been a "pen and paper" artist all my life and I started getting interest in digital art in the early 2000's - playing around with Bryce and Poser. The tools were often expensive with a steep learning curve... Then I happened to come across the DALL-E release mid-2022. Again - super hard to get into the program at the time! There were a few free ones available but the one that really got me started was WOMBO until Stable Diffusion released their model open source and the fantastic Divam Gupta made his DiffusionBee interface available for Mac users.


Q: What programs do you use to create your art?


A: A variety at the moment. I bounce between Clipdrop (that offers SDXL), Midjourney, and DiffusionBee (which runs locally and lets you import your own StableDiffusion choice of model).


Q: Where do you find inspiration for your art?


A: Lots of different places. Things I see around me (nature and museums) - I live close to a reserve so things like the play of the afternoon light or finding a little cluster of mushrooms are all inspiration. I love impressionist and surreal art so that is also a strong inspiration. And I am a deep dark fantasy fan so that plays a lot into my work.



Q: What do you hope people take away from experiencing your art?


A: I hope people find my art inspirational and beautiful. I like to bring darkness into beauty and beauty from darkness so there is always that element of yin-yang conflict to my art that I hope is visible in what I do.


Q: What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of creating AI art?


A: This one got me thinking. I think when I got started, there was a lot of pushback saying that this "wasn't real art", which I found challenging to deal with. I'm very comfortable now that this is, indeed, real art! Now I think the most challenging thing is finding sufficient time to dedicate to research and practice for my artwork, especially as I have a day job!


Q: Are there any creative AI projects you’re currently working on?


A: It will come to no surprise to anyone that I have a deep interest in fantasy and the occult so I am experimenting with those particular styles. Anyone who has followed me for a while will recognise a few common characters and themes in my artwork - the autumn witch, the warlock, the fox and the moon, the dark priestess, and the midnight ball. I am trying to find a particular style that brings all these to life. I am also trying to get a level of style consistency between Midjourney and SDXL which is a challenge.



Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to get into AI art?


A: Experiment. A lot! You need to find which models and tools "resonate" best with you and your particular style. You also need to think how much time you can realistically devote to this. I've had to carve out dedicated time for my art as a very mindful and intentional exercise - both to make sure I get the time to work on it - but also to make sure it doesn't completely take over my life!


Q: How might people support your work?


Engage with me on Twitter and Instagram :) I love meeting new folk and seeing new and different artists on my feed.


Thank you, Sparrow, for talking with us! If you would like to ask Sparrow more questions or just leave a comment, you may do so in this X thread. Be sure to follow her on X!

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