I’m a politics junkie. I follow the news like crazy. A part of my job is to be a sort of raconteur, and a part of that is being able to talk about all sorts of topics around the world. I try to keep my artwork out of politics, specifically because I don’t want my Instagram feed and comments to become like Twitter. I also want my artwork to be fun, to be enlightening. But the news coming out of Gaza is just unavoidable. A genocide is happening at the moment. 29,000 unguided bombs at one the most densely populated places in the world the size of Las Vegas. There’s a difference between antisemitism and an opposition to the actions of the genocidal government of Israel. The actions of Israel isn’t making itself safer. A peace deal will make it safer. A peace deal with Egypt made it safer. A peace deal with Palestine will make it safer. The only difference is Israel wants more Palestinian land and they greatly outgun the Palestinians.
I hate the Hamas. I hate the actions that Hamas did on October 7. It was senseless and shameful. But Hamas does not represent all of Palestine. Collective punishment is a war crime. And what Israel is doing is a war crime. The bombings are not affecting the tunnels. And they’re certainly not affecting the Hamas leadership who aren’t even in the country. All the bombings are doing is hurting innocent Palestinians, most of whom weren’t even born when Hamas was “elected” into power. God help the Palestinians.
One more thing, I resent what President Biden said when he said that Israel was the safest place for Jews in the world. For one, the US and the Israeli governments’ actions aren’t making it any safer. And second, it’s a very obtuse if not discriminatory view of the rest of the world. You know where Jews are safe? The US? You know where I’ll bet they are safer? In Canada. Heck, even South Korea is a safe place for Jews. If anything, Benjamin Netanyahu is placing a giant target on Jews and Israel by his actions against Palestine.
Just entered a couple of art competitions to start my 2024 early. I haven’t been very active with my art lately, just posting my art online on Instagram and not much else. What can I say? I’ve been lazy. But yeah, I’m going to try to be more active on 2024 and get out there. It’s just that I haven’t really been inspired to make one cohesive body of work, just spurts of one work here and there that functions by itself and doesn’t really complement one another. At least in my opinion.
Hey, how are you doing? I never really got an answer to that question, so I guess I’ll just update you on how my life has been since a long time ago. Well, first off, I’m still in Seoul. Officially, I work and live in Seoul as an editor, but I do a ton of other tasks around the office. I’m more like an English-speaking Swiss army knife working with different departments in my company regarding their English needs. Although I’ve been living in Seoul for a long time, my Korean is still quite basic. To be frank, I do not practice speaking, so I find myself lagging terribly in Korean skills. I still try and can get by with my basic skills, but anything deeper and I get lost. It’s been a while since I’ve been home in Canada. It’s not so much that I don’t miss Canada but it’s expensive to go home and my family is scattered everywhere. The last time my siblings and I got together was before covid. This was in Hawaii when my grandmother passed away.
Speaking of passing away, my mother passed away many years ago. It was pancreatic cancer. It was terrible. She didn’t have much time from diagnosis to her passing. I regret not being there for her throughout the whole ordeal. I did visit Canada a couple of times however, but I regret not doing more for her. Since her passing, there’s been an occasional void that is felt in our lives, and personally, I sometimes wake up emptier than usual.
I got married to a wonderful woman. She’s Korean. We get along just fine, but a part of me suspects that she drinks regularly just to be able to put up with my bullshit. I’m not saying that I don’t drink. I drink on occasion and could hold my drink well, but I don’t do it on a regular basis. I’m not saying we don’t get along well either. As I said, we get along just fine; it’s just that I’m full of shit. I love her and I love her family. I’m forever grateful that they welcomed me, a foreigner that barely speaks the language, as a member of their family. Her mother treats me as if I’m one of her children. God bless that woman.
I have no children. I don’t need nor want children. I am a child myself.
Art-wise, I’ve been doing shows and having my work in publications. I used to do shows once a year until recently. I’ve changed styles and I feel like there’s really no cohesion in current my pieces to make a compelling exhibit. I did publish three collections of my work during covid however. So yeah, I think I’m content knowing that when I die, my work can still be found out there. But while I’m still alive, my work can always be found here on my Web site and on Instagram where I’m more active. A couple of years ago, I got offered to do a residency in Bali, but it would’ve been too long for me to do and still be able to keep my job in Korea.
I don’t really go out much these days. If anything, I’m happier when I’m working knowing that whatever I’m doing is earning me money. I think I went out way too much when I was younger and wasted too much money. Now, I’m happy to just go home after work and maybe spend time in the gym. Yes, fortunately the building I live in at the moment has a gym in it. It’s quite convenient. And that’s not the only self-care I’ve been doing. I’ve also been seeing a therapist regularly to vent all of my issues. I would write more about it, but that would be too much information and frankly too long and boring, even for me. He helps me out a lot with my bullshit, but not everything. I still often wake up hating myself for one reason or another.
I don’t have many friends and don’t keep in touch with people from back then. This is what’s great about my therapist. He fills that need, and we don’t need to get drunk together. Anyway, I’ve lost touch with people. That’s why I was surprised that you found me here of all places. Well, I hope you’re doing well.
Looks like I’ll be visiting Canada this year. I haven’t gone home for over five years now, partly due to covid, partly due to life in general, but yeah; to some of my relatives, particularly my nephew and niece, I am nothing but a story. It would be good to see them and be an uncle to them if only for a week or so.
It would be good to see my sisters and friends again. The last time all of us siblings were together was during my grandmother’s funeral. That was a couple of months before the world got hit by covid. I don’t have any big plans in Canada other than seeing my sisters and my friends either. Just be home, have Canadian meals, and be with familiar faces.
I miss Canada so much. I miss Winnipeg so much. It would be good to be home again, even for just a little while.
My work now has me using AI image generators in an experiment to replace human artists. It is an attempt to save both time and money. I can’t say I’m totally happy about the assignment, but I understand it from the company’s perspective. I don’t enjoy the prospect of using AI to replace human labor, but I certainly see some of the benefits of using AI image generators, at least in my job. It just makes me worry a bit however about the future. For now, it’s images and artists. What’s next? Writers and editors? Yikes!
Anyway, here are some of the pros and cons I found working with AI image generators, at least as it pertains to my work.
-Saves money and time. No back and forth between writers and artists.
-Anyone can make edits to an image, not just the artist. If a writer has a problem with an image, they can generate an image themselves.
-An image generator will never beat an artist with a consistent style, but a mediocre AI image generator is better than a mediocre artist. And if I’m working with two good artists and five mediocre artists and dealing with their schedules, etc. It is better to cut my losses, average out to mediocrity, and just use an AI image generator.
-If I’m still using an artist, instead of describing how I want an image to look for an artist to draw, I can just generate it and have them draw it.
-I’m cutting off artists.
-AI image generators are sampling/stealing images from the Internet.
-AI image generators can be very dumb. They require very specific instructions, sometimes even on very obvious scenarios.
-Figures on images often stare directly at the viewer. They can be very posey.
-Speaking of posey, the men and the women can often be very idealized. Women all kinda resemble Margot Robbie and all men work out, have sexy jawlines, and perfectly trimmed beards.
-Fingers and text are hit and miss.
-The default male haircut appears to be a pompadour.
-Some objects are just somewhat incomprehensible to AI generators. Corded phones have messed up buttons and cords that lead to nowhere. Wall thermometers have nonsensical numbers and symbols.
-There are random errors in images. Sometimes they can be fixed simply by hopping onto Photoshop, but laziness gets to me and I just get the generator to create another image instead.
-Computers don’t fully understand subtle truths about the world that make it natural, like the average number of cats in a person’s room, or the amount of utensils hanging in a person’s kitchen, etc.
-More work on my end. If this becomes the norm, I become responsible for generating images instead of just instructing artists what to do.