An expert artist spent 100 hours creating the book cover image, but is accused of AI

At the three-year-old Kart Studio, situated in Vietnam, Minh Anh Nguyen Hoang, 30, is the primary artist. After obtaining an economics degree in 2019, Hoang, who does art under the moniker Ben Moran and learnt how to sketch properly. The artist was blamed for using the AI tool.

“I started getting serious about painting when I realized I could be good at it. The artists that mainly inspire me are Ruan Jia, Huang Guangjian, and Piotr Jabłoński” — all contemporary fantasy illustrators. As a result of their lack of confidence in their spoken English, Moran stated during an email exchange, “Drawing was merely my interest when I was a kid.”

Due to a design they were paid $500 to create for the book cover of fantasy novelist Selkie Myth; Moran is now at the heart of a Reddit dispute. Myth, a 31-year-old Nebraska resident, stated, “I’ve ordered a lot of artwork with [Moran] because they are very, very good at what they do.” “They are an absolute steal for that quality and commercial use.” Myth intends to utilise it for his upcoming eleventh book, which he stated will most likely be titled Mandate of Heaven.

By email, Myth asked Moran to create the piece that would become so divisive in late July. The final piece, which Moran adapted to Myth’s specifications after reviewing four choices. That was completed on September 7; in mid-October, completed the cover design. “It takes me a month to fix and complete it,” said Moran.

Moran, a sporadic Reddit member, decided to promote themselves in late December.

So they uploaded the nearly finished design of the sculpture, A Muse in Warzone, to the 22 million-user subreddit r/Art. The r/Art subreddit admins promptly banned them after discovering that they may have used AI-generated art, which is prohibited.

Moran emailed to clarify that they didn’t used AI and attached link to portfolio

The moderators were ignored when Moran emailed them to clarify that they hadn’t used AI and sent a link to their portfolio.

A Professional Artist Spent 100 Hours Working On This Book Cover Image, Only To Be Accused Of Using AI

A mod responded to Moran’s comment on Twitter with, “I don’t believe you.” They said that even if Moran had painted it, it’s “so obviously an AI-prompted design that it doesn’t matter.” The moderator signed off the message with, “Sorry, it’s the way of the world.” Moran was then silenced, preventing them from advancing their argument.

A message from BuzzFeed News asking the moderators of r/Art for comment on why Moran was banned and why they didn’t offer Moran the chance to show their work wasn’t artificial intelligence (AI) generated received no response.

Myth, who manages a sizable Magic: The Gathering subreddit. He thinks the mod was being a “jerk.” But also working in a challenging situation where AI-generated art is obliterating human-made art and taking over public areas.

Moran claimed that their engagement with the moderators left them feeling conflicted. On the one hand, they remarked,  “I was happy because, honestly, the AI is so powerful, those artworks are incredible. Like me, AI art is learning from the best, but better and faster. Being compared with AI art means my work is kinda good.”

However, Moran also experienced a pinch because they had collaborated with Myth for more than 100 hours on the project. They stated,  “I want to show my hard work to the community,” they said. “And [it] being accused of being an AI artwork is just like telling me that I’m a random guy and all of my job is just typing some words to have a painting in one or two hours.”