Interview with AI Artist Dafne Ederveen


For our first interview ever at Charis we are really excited to talk with Dafne Ederveen, Miss D, a professional photographer and camerawoman from Amsterdam and a prolific AI artist, able to craft scenes with AI that blur the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

Photographer & Camerawoman
📍 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mar 5, 2024, 4:58 PM PT
Interview by Ana Ramon

Can you share your journey from being a commercial photographer and camerawoman to venturing into Al-generated imagery?

At the end of January 2023, a colleague of mine told me about Midjourney. I saw what it could do, and from that moment, I wanted to create images that I couldn’t photograph or that I had wanted to for ages. In fashion and portrait photography, you always need other people to cooperate, but with this, I could do it all by myself, no matter what time it is.

For several years my creativity stood still, and now I can let it flow again.

I’m having fun with this new tool, and my creativity is back again. and I’m learning new things, and that’s always good.

How does your professional experience and skills influence your approach to creating Al-generated images?

I’m looking at the Midjourney tool as a photographer. In my prompts there’s always something about light, and something about nature, the location, flowing fabrics or structures.

I grew up in the analog era, and I learned a lot about different films-types and cameras so I do use a lot of my photographic skills in my prompts.

Can you describe your creative process in generating images with Al? How does it differ from your photography workflow?

It’s different from a photographic assignment. As a photographer, I have to work together with other people and listen to what the client wants, and mistakes can be made.

When I start creating AI images, I begin with a mood or feeling and keep going until it moves in the direction I had in mind. However, sometimes the program completely surprises me, and I end up going in a totally different direction. Sometimes it doesn’t work out at all, so I stop and go do something else, and then, after some thought, it suddenly works again.

If I have no idea where to start, I begin by blending images, my own images. Most of the time, nice things appear, but then it’s more like a grab bag. Nothing is wrong, but if I don’t like it, I delete it and just start over.

Do you view imperfections in AI art as flaws to fix or elements that add to its charm?

All my editing is done in Photoshop; sometimes I correct things, but only minor ones. If a girl has four or six fingers, I let it be.

I’m not pretending it’s photography or something ‘real’, so I accept what MJ gives me. However, if I don’t like it, I just keep searching for something I do like.

After significant updates, I go back to V4 (that’s where I started) just to see the magic dreamland again. Because with every new update, it’s a struggle to find your own style again.

How did you learn to master AI image generation? Which resources were most useful?

There’s only one answer to that, YouTube.

I learned a lot and still do, by watching YouTube tutorials. And by trying, if it doesn’t work, try again, and again and again.

Any specific YouTube channels or videos you want to recommend?

On YouTube I watch by search what I want to know. I found these guys regularly: Matt Wolfe, Theoretically Media, and
Future Tech Pilot.

How do you think Al technology is impacting the commercial photography industry?

I can already see changes, and I guess it will change a lot more. I keep looking at this as a new tool amidst all the ongoing changes. I think (and hope) it can all co-exist.

Are you leveraging your Al images for commercial purposes (or do you plan to)?

Not yet, but I would like to do that too. I’m an image creator, so whether it’s a photo, film/video, or an AI-generated image, I don’t mind. As long as I can create images, moving or still, I’m happy. 😉

How might generative imaging’s growth affect cultural views and value on art, whether traditional human-made or AI-assisted?

I find this a difficult question.

I know there’s a lot of anti-AI sentiment and AI hate out there, with people saying AI is not art.

A lot of things aren’t art. Maybe the inability to trust whether images are ‘real’ is what makes people angry? (But that also happened when Photoshop was introduced.)

I have one question for you:

If you like an image, does it matter how it’s made?

For example, if I take a photograph and blend it with AI-generated images, the computer can’t do that by itself; it needs a human mind. So, I’m looking at it differently, I guess.

And I don’t know if you’ve tried creating images with Midjourney. It’s not as easy as it seems. Midjourney has a default style I don’t like much, and I have to work very hard to get rid of that style, especially after every update.

Is that an answer to your question? It’s an interesting discussion, for sure!

The Top 3

Top 3 words to describe your AI-generated work

Top 3 AI creatives whose work stands out to you

There’re so many that it’s hard to choose, but…

Top 3 improvements you wish to see in current AI tools

Top 3 advice for creatives considering starting to experiment with AI

As AI-generated art continues to evolve and find its place in both the commercial design industry and broader culture, Dafne’s insights and work invite us to consider what we value in art and how digital tools can expand, rather than limit, our expressions and appreciation of beauty.

You can check more of Dafne’s AI image and videos on her portfolio or Instagram account: miss_d_daydreams.

Thank you, Dafne, for generously sharing your journey and insights with us, opening a window to the limitless possibilities that awaits at the crossroads of creativity and AI!

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