Interview with AI artist Mohamad Alaw


Mohamad Alaw is a Devops Engineer by day and AI prompt engineer by night. We had the pleasure to chat with him about his magnificent AI portraits, full of vivid colors, raw textures, and captivating eyes.

With a keen eye for portrait-style imagery, Mohamad brings to his AI art a sensitivity and depth that is rarely seen. We talked about his thoughts on AI's role in enhancing artistic expression, the surprises and rewards of creating with AI, and his advice for fellow creatives embarking on this creative journey.

Devops Engineer
📍 Nashville, United States
Mar 9, 2024, 4:51 PM PT
Interview by Paula Vivas

Can you share with us your creative background?

Growing up with a father, who was the Dean of fine Arts department at a local college, opened my eyes at an early age to drawing paintings. I started drawing at an early age, and I found a lot of joy in doing it, I would spend hours immersing myself in drawing cartoon characters, and superheroes from comic books. Eventually I filled up the walls in my bedroom with poster-sized drawings.

When my family purchased a Pentium computer around the time I was in college, I started teaching myself 3D design, and that became my new hobby. I used to leave my computer running overnight so it could finish rendering an image or a short video.

Later in college, I purchased my first digital camera and acquired yet another hobby, photography. I fell in love with photography, 20 years later I still love and practice photography, my latest camera is a Fujifilm X-T5 that I use to document my family’s life.

Has AI impacted your photography hobby?

No, my photography style didn’t change much as I mainly use my camera to photograph my family and friends.

I like portrait style images, so I technically utilize my photography style in my AI images as opposed to the other way around.

How did you begin your journey with AI?

It was strictly based on curiosity, I started playing around with Copilot on the Bing app on my phone and was blown away by the images I was able to create. I created my Instagram account Focus Art @Focusart80, and started posting the images that I was creating.

I then started following a few more AI artists and noticed that they use a tool called Midjourney, so I made the transition to it.

Could you describe your learning and experimentation process?

Initially I was just experimenting with prompting, then I started watching some YouTube videos about some of the tips and tricks on how to prompt on Midjourney.

I also did a lot of reading on the Midjourney guide page.

Any particular YouTube video you’d like to share?

I follow this channel: TheoreticallyMedia.

In what ways do you believe AI enhances the creative capabilities of artists?

I truly believe that AI unlocks a lot of possibilities for everyone.

Not everyone has the tools (camera gear, lighting, and other resources, etc.) to create the images they want, but by using AI tools, they can describe what they want the image to look like, specify gear, camera, lighting, color palette, etc. — the possibilities are endless.

What aspects of the creative process in generating an image with AI do you find most rewarding?

The element of surprise, some of the images that AI tools generate are amazing. I am always blown away by some of the images I’m able to create.

Can you share some concepts for prompts that can help achieve great images?

I always include the type of the shot, like close up shot , mid body shot, etc. I also specify the camera make and model, and sometimes the lens.

Do you see generative AI as just a major tech breakthrough akin to what photography was, or as a deeper paradigm shift?

I honestly think it’s a paradigm shift. I think businesses and individuals will reach out to AI Prompt Engineers like myself for advertisements, wall art creation and eventually even portrait creation. It is way more cost effective and the ability to play with an unlimited number of prompt options will unlock so many possibilities.

We are just at the beginning of this evolution, and I can’t wait to see how things will change in the next 5-10 years.

How can your pioneering AI art work, and that of others, encourage designers skeptical about AI?

I highly recommend for everyone to give it a try, it has unlocked so many possibilities for me.

I often start with an idea and end up with something I believe to be even better than that initial idea.

It is a process where you can build on and modify. Unlike photography where sometimes you need to capture the right moment in time (facing the sunset during that golden hour and no passerbys or awkward smiles), with AI you can start anywhere and build on that by modifying your images until you are satisfied with the result.

Do you find inspiration in real-life elements or from other AI artists and imagery as well?

I would say it’s a mix of both, I love utilizing part of nature in my images, and I’m always impressed with some of the AI work that others create.

The Top 3

Top 3 words to describe your AI-generated work

Top 3 AI creatives whose work stands out to you

Top 3 improvements you wish to see in current AI tools

Top 3 advice for creatives considering starting to experiment with AI

Thanks Mohamad for sharing your thoughts with us! Can’t wait to see what you keep creating with AI!

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