Interview with Lisa: AI Cat Artist (@aicatcorner)
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AI cat artist Lisa Obermayer shares her inspiration, love of cats, and her art with us in this interview about creating digital art.
Lisa lives in Germany, where she works in a residential home for people with drug and alcohol addictions, as she enjoys being able to help others. In her spare time, she cares for some of the cats in her neighborhood, including one that’s 15 years old, and creates cat-inspired art in her free time.
I recently asked Lisa to create an image for Cat Care Checklist of a cat girl walking through a forest surrounded by butterflies. The images she came up with have a slightly retro quality and lovely soft colors.
With the tagline, ‘All art made by an AI and me,’ Lisa’s Etsy shop is packed with vibrant images that are full of life. Let’s find out more about Lisa’s art!
Tell me about your art. What is your process when creating your images?
I started with traditional art a few years back, and I’ve only recently come across art that is generated with the help of artificial intelligence. Although I didn’t expect much, I tried it myself, and the results blew me away. The images looked so good that I decided to sell them, and I opened my Etsy shop AICatCorner.
Which artists or movements have influenced your style?
There are countless talented professional artists who show their art to the world through social media nowadays, and I’ve been following many of them on Instagram or deviantart – so I have been influenced a lot by viewing all of their amazing art.
I’m especially in love with more stylized art that doesn’t use any refined line art and thus has that cute painterly style that I like so much. Let’s see if I can find an example: sparkle by hyamei on DeviantArt or foxgirl by cbernie.
When it comes to traditional art, I love love love old paintings, especially portraits, and if I had to name one artist that I like, it would be the paintings of Alfons Mucha, for example, his “Four Seasons” from 1896. I mean, look at those super graceful poses he gives his characters; aren’t they just beautiful!? The only drawback is: he didn’t paint any cats!!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
If you want to get into AI-generated art, be prepared to do some research on how to communicate your prompts in a way the AI will understand. Don’t give up if it doesn’t show the desired results at first; you will get the hang of it for sure!
Do you prefer to work on a single piece at a time, or do you have multiple projects going on simultaneously?
I don’t work on a single piece at a time. Instead, I choose a theme, for example, “Egypt.” (I plan to do an Egyptian series next.) Then, I try lots and lots of different variations. I have dozens, if not a hundred, files that fit the theme, and the best 4 or 5 images will make it to my Etsy store.
Can you tell me about any challenges or obstacles you faced while creating your art?
There are some obstacles when working with an AI for the first time. The biggest one is: will the AI understand what I am trying to achieve?
Often, a very brief description of what I am trying to get will result in the best images. The more detailed my request is – the more room there is for mistakes. So, I give the AI a general direction and let it figure out the rest by doing what it does best: being creative with my prompt.
Do you have any pets?
Currently, I don’t own any pets – however, there are the friendly neighborhood cats who visit our home, and they get a lot of love and attention (and a treat if they demand one, of course. :-))
There are four cats in total! The strongest and boldest is Sir Henry, who is never shy about asking for an extra meal. Then there is his sister, Mauzi; she is a very mellow cat, and she is okay with waiting until it’s her turn in the treat queue. Momo is the tiniest black cat with a fierce temperament that even Sir Henry has to watch out for. Last but not least, there is the senior cat of the bunch, Socks, a tuxedo cat with white paws, who isn’t a big eater anymore but still enjoys a cozy spot to sleep on in the house. (She is snoring peacefully right next to me at the moment.)
Do you hope to evoke a specific emotion or feeling in viewers through your art?
Absolutely! I evoke a specific feeling depending on the theme of the painting: sometimes, it might be a carefree feeling that a friend’s sincere smile would give you.
Other times, a more serene feeling that makes you feel an emotion of awe and admiration. I choose a composition that is pleasant to the viewer’s eye and adjust the lighting.
Lastly, I extra carefully choose the facial expressions of my cats and characters because I think it plays the biggest role in whether or not the image will turn out interesting for the viewer and if they experience the emotional response I am aiming for.
Do you have any cat stories to share with us?
“No cats in your bed ever!” was the one big rule my Mum set for our cat when we were little. And I remember very well how eager we were to break this rule whenever my Mum wasn’t at home. We would let our cat sleep wherever he wanted but had to listen carefully for the car coming back. We’d then hurry the cat back to the kitchen, where he was supposed to be so that he could have a few extra cozy minutes in bed in our kids’ room. By the way, the rule still stands 30 years later (!!!), and I’m still negotiating with my Mum. (Don’t tell her about Socks!)
AI Cat Art: Final Thoughts
Thank you Lisa for agreeing to be interviewed. You can visit Lisa’s Etsy store AiCatsCorner and have a look at her cat inspired art. She also has an instagram page @aicatcorner.
If you’re interested in reading more cat stories check out our cat chat, news and interviews page.