AI is replacing artists, and here’s the proof

Fears that AI will replace digital artists are now a frightening reality, as leading concept artist Dofresh discovered by accident. It’s the threat to jobs that many artists have been warning off, and there’s now proof that some studios are prepared to use AI tools to replace experienced artists.

Dofresh, an experienced freelance concept artist and illustrator, received a call from an advertising company who needed his services. They hadn’t worked together in a while but the conversation continued. It was all going well until the company representative said they had only reached out because their “in-house AI technician was too busy”. They were therefore ‘forced’ to “find an artist”. (It’s something we cover in our feature ‘The future of AI art‘.)

This was a red rag to a bull for Dofresh. As a proponent of no NFT’s and no AI, Dofresh was not the person to be speaking to about this. It caused him concern, writing, “I’m really starting to think I need an emergency plan. And quickly.” You can read his Twitter thread below.

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AI replacing the need for artists is becoming an increasingly familiar story. The number of jobs that are referencing AI is increasing and it’s having a direct impact upon creatives throughout the creative industries. 

Even if artists might object, it is after all affecting their livelihoods and their ideals, there is no hiding the fact that AI is becoming embedded into the workflows of many projects, all around the world. The fact AI tools are now embedded in most creative apps, including Firefly tools in Photoshop and Premiere Pro just goes to show that there’s no hiding from this tech. 

“within a few years, art will probably be a hobby for wealthy people, and definitely won’t be able to make a living.”


Maybe it’s too late. Dofresh laments, “I am afraid that even with laws protecting artists, the damage is already done” and “within a few years, art will probably be a hobby for wealthy people, and definitely won’t be able to make a living.”

Do you agree with Dofresh? Some artists foresee a rise in the value of physical media and handmade design. When we previously asked a studio head, Final Frontier’s Chris Colman, he was clear, telling us AI allows “art directors to fail fast, meaning that, we can show a lot of concepts and clients can rule out what they don’t like”.

The future looks uncertain, and many artists are feeling anxious. Where is this heading? No one really knows, but it’s clear digital artists will need to adapt, perhaps developing a traditional and digital art skills workflow AI can’t compete with.

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