Linktober, the daily Legend of Zelda art & creativity event of October, is here to help you and creators around the world grow and flourish. Our event and community are incredibly supportive, creative, welcoming, and encouraging, as well as open to new ideas. That being said, we are against the use of AI (artificial intelligence) art in our events and community. This article will explain why we are and what to do about it by answering a few questions. See them just below.
Why is AI art a problem currently?
There are a handful of reasons why AI art is a problem, and they are being worked on as we type this. First, a large amount of the images in the AI datasets are stolen or rather accessed and referenced without expressed written consent. That means that the hundreds of thousands or more images inside the datasets like LAION-5 were taken off the internet without the creators of those images knowing about it. That is immoral to begin with. Inside those datasets are images of art works from famous painters, who are now dead, but cannot give their consent to have their work accessed nor are artists alive or dead being paid for the use of their images and work. This continues to be immoral. There have been AI users who have used images they generated as actual consumable content. That means people have generated images, even full books, using AI and then sold them at shows, online, or had them trademarked, copyrighted, or published. As in the images they generated from AI programs that access other work illegally, are being sold to the masses. This is beyond immoral. To sum it up, that is making money off of stolen images that these people did not actually create. It took them no time, no talent, no skill, no knowledge, and no money. Fortunately there is legislation in the works to help us independent artists out there with AI art as it was recently decided it could not be trademarked or copyrighted.
If AI art is art, then why is it banned from Linktober?
This is an easy one. Linktober is an art event that is all about creativity and is a community of independent creators. Those who use AI to generate images are not creators, no more so than those that input equations into calculators and claim they solved the problem. Our event is a way to promote and encourage creativity of all kinds and for all ages. It takes years for most of us small artists to hone our skills, tailor our crafts, develop styles, and learn techniques. Using AI to generate images in seconds completely defeats the purpose of joining in on the fun of Linktober. Everyone who participates in Linktober takes hours to days to create their work, instead of seconds to generate without the mess or the fuss. Linktober has a purpose as well. I (Joel) built Linktober initially as a way for artists to not only see their art improve in 31 days but to help with time management too. When creators do all 31 days of any of our calendars they get to see improvement and changes in their own creations from day 1 to day 31. It really helps build skill and confidence for creators of all ages and stages. As for time management; creators set aside time each day dedicated to the art they create for Linktober. That means they have adjusted their schedules, their lives, to be able to create on a daily basis. Using AI to generate images for Linktober is a cheat to everyone including the user generating the images.
What happens if I use AI for my Linktober art?
That’s on you…really. At that point you are stealing not only from artists all around the world and on the internet, but stealing from yourself. You have chosen to not learn anything, not gain new skills, not make new friends. You have likely used AI for Linktober in an effort to gain followers which is like eating a doughnut. You get the instant satisfaction, sure, but later on realize it was all just empty and did no good for you. What we will do is ban you from our event, our community, and ever being involved in any of the open projects we do. You will effectively be blacklisted not just from our creator community but by the reputation and association, many others. This will all be on you for doing it as we will do nothing besides block your accounts and ban you from Discord. You will be done with Linktober and we will be done with you.
Are there ways to use AI art appropriately?
Yes, as reference. There are ways to use AI to generate images that are useful to creators. There are ways to use AI art as a tool. There are ways to use AI art morally. As I said, reference is the key to doing it right IF at all. Creators out there will use AI to generate images they can use for reference of things like backgrounds, perspective, and even posing of characters. It is and will be a great tool when AI no longer uses datasets of stolen images. For now, using them for reference will mean that you would recreate the parts of the images you need to use in order to make your finished pieces. As long as you are not tracing, and you know how to use reference correctly and morally (a separate blog coming soon) then you should be fine. It is being used for your own learning and as a tool, which is what we independent artists are really waiting for. AI is not for you to just generate images of your favorite franchise in a different style to see what it would look like out of curiosity.
People post game streaming captures for Linktober, but I can’t use AI?
Yeah, that is right. While players did not create the games they do create the scenarios of which they share and most if not all of them end up being unique. We (Linktober) might not reshare in-game videos but that doesn’t mean they are not allowed. Playing the games still takes a lot more effort than generating imagery based on stolen art from thousands of artists living or past. Afterall, without the games themselves we wouldn’t even have Linktober.
The Legend of Zelda has always been creative and pushed boundaries, so much so that an entire creative community has risen up around the world surrounding it. Linktober manifested from that and is here to perpetuate it, creativity, community, and fun. If you aren’t having fun something might be wrong, and it is okay to contact any of the Linktober Rangers to talk, for questions, or if you need help. Join our Discord, follow us on social media, tag along for the main event during October, and keep enjoying the legend.
May the Triforce be with you.
Special thanks to captain jesticles stealer of AI art on pinterest for the images