The sun hung high in the cloudless sky, casting a golden glow over the bustling tourist resort. The air was filled with the rhythmic sounds of crashing waves, laughter, and the occasional seagull’s calling. On the vibrant boardwalk, a small crowd gathered, drawn by an artist’s skill and the promise of a unique memento. Among them, a vacationing couple decided to seize the opportunity for a special keepsake. A young girl was chosen as the subject for the caricature. The artist skillfully portrayed her in a whimsical style, exaggerating her features with a playful touch. The girl giggled as the caricature took shape, her boyfriend watching with smile as the artist brought out the joy and vibrancy of the moment. As the artist added the finishing touches to the caricature, they both admired the artwork, delighted to have a unique and personalized souvenir of their vacation. Nice, ain’t it?

Have you ever been portrayed, or perhaps tried portraying somebody? This always felt somehow difficult, whether sitting still on a chair for an hour or two, or playing an artist and walking that fine line of exaggeration. What makes a great caricature? Well, they are definitely silly! Silly and personable, but not disrespectful or overdone. Ultimately, a good one is a blend of artistic skills, observational acuity, and a keen sense of humor that results in a visually striking and entertaining representation of the subject. Is generative AI able to meet the demands?

Shikoba, an expert AI prompter in Midjourney and a passionate explorer of generative AI jumped right back at it! The new release proved to be quite skilled in that too!

“a comically exaggerated portrait of a [Dua lipa], highlighting humorous and quirky features. Embrace caricature-like elements and playful exaggeration to bring out the humor in the subject’s appearance – v 6.0 – s 50 – style raw”

Hell yes! Who’s next? Please welcome, sergio casciu and his Mona Lisa.

How about the might Messi or the the Rocket Man? Ofc!

Shall we go somewhere near more classy, black and white, pencil-made creatives? Allen T has called the shots on MJ with its ability to mimic the style. It went wild!

Isn’t that great?! The v6 has come a long way to become really great at generating caricatures! But, what’s may seem decent and fun for many, is bad and terrible for others. Allen T‘s thread fostered a productive and insightful discussion about the quality of AI generated the caricatures and their merits. A professional and experienced caricaturist, cartoonist, fine artist, and illustrator Adrian Teal commented on the above creatives saying that they are simply terrible, being “still a million miles away from making them fully resolved and successful caricatures”. Why is that? Well, he raised a point worth taking into consideration.

“A.I. caricature is symptomatic of a wider obsession with turning the creation of art into a quick fix. But great art comes from protracted effort, trial, and error. “

It is unfortunately very common for Joe Public to differentiate good art from terrible art as Teal says, and that is due to many factors, among which one really stands out.

“But I have to be honest and admit that we caricaturists must shoulder a big chunk of the blame for the generally dismissive, ‘just a bit of fun’ attitude towards caricature. It pains me to say it about my chosen art-form, but the majority of the human-generated caricature from which A.I. learns to create its likenesses is, frankly, terrible; ergo A.I. caricature is also terrible.”

The above AI-generates sketches seem like the ones we could spot on nearly every corner of the bustling tourist resort from the beginning of our story. Is that something bad or terrible? Hard to say yes 100%, on the other hand it is impossible to oppose it either.