Coffee Sketch Podcast

142 - New AI Tools, Mind Mapping, and Resolutions

January 01, 2024 Kurt Neiswender/Jamie Crawley Season 6 Episode 142
Coffee Sketch Podcast
142 - New AI Tools, Mind Mapping, and Resolutions
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Show Notes Transcript

Wrapping up Season 5 and Welcoming Season 6: New AI Tools, Mind Mapping, and Resolutions

Jamie and Kurt reflect on the completion of the 5th season of their podcast and the launch of season 6. They discuss their use of novel AI tools to generate intriguing results based on their handcrafted sketches, comparing them to typical text-based prompts. They also explore ideas in their creative process, especially the exercise of re-listening to prior episodes and looking back at those creative moments for inspiration. They talk about the benefits of being patient versus the resilience and breakthroughs in their work.
Looking forward to the new year, they also share their respective resolutions, with Kurt choosing the word 'patience' and Jamie opting for 'mettle'; both ideas complement each other and reflect their shared passion for their podcast work.

00:00 Introduction and Season Recap
00:52 Discussing the Interstitial Space
05:34 Exploring the Concept of Podcast Seasons
09:21 Reflecting on the Year's Episodes
10:21 The Role of AI in Sketching
12:37 Coffee Talk and Geography Riddles
17:59 Reflecting on AI Use Over the Year
20:47 Exploring New Software and Sketches
21:14 The Art of Sketching: The Pantheon
21:50 AI in Art: A New Experiment
23:00 Reflecting on Personal Growth and Achievements
24:48 The Evolution of AI and Its Impact on Art
25:18 The Intersection of Art, Architecture, and AI
25:45 The Role of AI in Enhancing Artistic Expression
28:19 The Future of AI in Art and Architecture
31:40 Reflecting on the Creative Process and AI
44:37 Looking Forward: New Year Resolutions

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Kurt on Twitter - https://twitter.com/kurtneiswender

Kurt Neiswender:

Hey Jamie, how's it going?

Jamie:

Welcome to the beginning of the end. Profound

Kurt Neiswender:

scared nervous now.

Jamie:

No, no, no, no. Just the end of season 5 and beginning of season

Kurt Neiswender:

6. It's, it's in the past. Yeah. So it's right there. It's already been. It's already been uploaded. Although there'll probably be some clips to be made that you will that you're dying to have. Yeah. So that we can promote a couple of season 5 episodes. But yeah, this season 6. This is the New Year's because this won't. Yeah, we have to, you have to front load it a little bit, right? So you got, yeah, this is, this is the time for this and then post it. We all know

Jamie:

how timely it is. We're in that interstitial space. Do you feel like we're, we're trying to get inside and outside at the same time? Yeah,

Kurt Neiswender:

it's the, it's the. Like we were talking about in the, in the green room, the pre pre show is the week between Christmas and New Year's is sometimes kind of a limbo.

Jamie:

But yeah, I don't know if Kurt's going to show back up to the

Kurt Neiswender:

show. That's

Jamie:

on the other side. Yeah. Because he goes down these rabbit holes. like inward thoughts of technology and other

Kurt Neiswender:

podcasts. So boot, boot up the old you know, Reddit, Reddits, Tik Toks, Reds,

Jamie:

software. This is the one time of year. Yeah, that that Kurtz figures out all the accounts he has that he hasn't touched in a long time and then goes and like, just, just dives right in.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah, there was, that's exactly what happened. There was something I was looking at and I was like, when was the last time I touched this? And it's literally you know, the same time every year. This. This limbo land. Oh, man. Well, you know, so this is the you know, sometimes the green room is, it feels like limbo and, and in that, am I out of the green room or not? So now I have to focus a little, a little harder on the episode. So the this is our traditional, we have very few traditions that we stick to on this, on this show. So, but one, one is, which is, yeah. Emerges the favorite of mine, at least this, this new year's episode, because we entitled it the resolutions, something with, you know, like new year's resolutions. That people make and so by the end of this episode, we will have picked a word that represents individual resolution between, you know, for 1 for Jamie 1 for Kurt. So that's stay tuned for that part. And then in the in between, we will talk about. A sketch and coffee and coffee, and perhaps the deterrent lines, maybe,

Jamie:

oh, okay, we're going to get a little bit.

Kurt Neiswender:

We'll do a little sports. Yeah. You know, we could become enemies frenemies. If the lions can face. Yeah, I've been following this bracket bracket ology and getting nervous about broaching the subject with you.

Jamie:

We might have to have a bet because we did a bet last year. We did. And we saw, and we saw that we

Kurt Neiswender:

saw how that turned out. It did not pan out in Kurt's favor in my favor at all at all. But now I'm, I'm a little more invested. I'm not even a native Michigander. Point at the point. For

Jamie:

those who are not getting the privilege of watching the live stream or the video I have learned that when more than one Michigander is in a room, they will tend to raise one of their hands and use the other hand to point where they, where they live on. Apparently, this is a map. Yeah, their hand becomes a map.

Kurt Neiswender:

Well, we had this fun moment with our friends at the she builds podcast. Yes, because 1 or 2 of them are it's just 1. just 1. She's from

Jamie:

this side. See, you guys know this stuff. Yeah.

Kurt Neiswender:

Michiganders. So we, yeah, we had this fun photograph photo moment at the conference. Talk about, it was fun. We have, we, we did talk about trying to pull off a joint podcast, but they're too.

Jamie:

They're way, they're like. I mean, I was pretty prolific, like, this year.

Kurt Neiswender:

Man, I was looking, and they talking about season 10 or 9 or something.

Jamie:

I don't know, like, you know how I tease you about the math? Maths. Yeah. I think, I think some of our other architecture podcast people have some problems with counting seasons. So, I don't know if this is like a writer's strike, kind of, you know, or too many people went onto the streaming platforms and misunderstood how seasons actually work. Like, you know, for television, or for shows, or for things that would have seasons. Like, Like the etymology of a season, you know, is usually related to the year, not the season, like, because otherwise we'd have four seasons, right? Like, if we were just going to season seasons, then we could do the spring season, the summer season, the fall season, and the winter season, which in Texas.

Kurt Neiswender:

How could we do that? Well, in Texas, that's why we do only one a year because Texas only has one season.

Jamie:

Yeah. We like basically summer

Kurt Neiswender:

and I couldn't find as defined by Jamie, but the maybe we should do four seasons and, and, and. And have four pieces of merch for each season.

Jamie:

Oh, yeah. Get to drawing,

Kurt Neiswender:

Jamie. Gotcha. The winter season has got to be a hoodie. Okay. More, maybe. You know, spring season, like, we're foreshadowing with t shirts. The spring season. But it's kind of like fashion, you know.

Jamie:

Blend fashion. Ooh, yeah, see, but see, that's the whole thing. Fashion. Like, they, they understand the seasons, right? And they went, they went, they didn't go with, like, the television season, or like, the, the, you know, that kind of season. They went to the season seasons. But the podcasters, the podcasters, they've got some new funny math.

Kurt Neiswender:

So, yeah, the more divisible. What, you know, like maybe say 10 or 12 episodes, I guess. I don't know. Maybe let's do, well, we don't have to do the math now because that would be a struggle, but you know, 142 episodes divided by X then establishes whatever amount of seasons we could potentially have. Right.

Jamie:

Yeah. That's how division that's division. Yes. That's division. That's

Kurt Neiswender:

good. Oh, look, look, let's see. Let's, let's get some, let's get some insight. Or outside knowledge here from,

Jamie:

Oh, yeah, well, I mean, there are those who do do kind of batch recordings. And, and, and then in those batch recordings, kind of, they become almost like thematic. So I think, I think you're on to something there. And, and those could effectively become sort of like seasonal or seasons. We the collective, we, yeah. I don't know why I did like a, like a Christ pose here or something but like Soundgarden but no, the the you know, we don't necessarily. Work with a script you know, well, I mean, have you met Kurt? I mean, like, or me, I mean, both of us schedules it's, we, for, for the folks who are tuning in to one 42 and not starting at the beginning, you're totally fine. We're not, there's no judgment here. We've hopefully gotten better. At 1 42 and if you've stuck with us the last, you know, few minutes please don't judge us either, but yeah, Kurt's in Flint, I'm in Austin, we've only actually recorded one episode, it's only one still, right, but yeah, in the same

Kurt Neiswender:

space, I, I would, if you, if you count that one, I think that is then the one,

Jamie:

if you count that one, yeah, that's the one I'm counting on it.

Kurt Neiswender:

Okay. Is it, is it a season of one?

Jamie:

Yeah, no, it's not a season. All right. Cause that would be a theme of us being in the same place at the same time. We have done stuff. No, I shouldn't say that's not true because we did do some stuff in San Francisco together. And so I got to change my math. That's true. What was I talking about? Oh, so yeah, 35, 35 episodes this year,

Kurt Neiswender:

buddy. That's right. That's right. This is our recap. It's almost, let's see, it's more than biweekly. So that's a good thing. Average. We're talking about averages. Maths again. Right. So, yes, thanks. Thank you. And, and yeah, for 35, I think it's one of our more prolific years. Seasons. Yes.

Jamie:

Yeah. One of our more prolific seasons.

Kurt Neiswender:

Even, even. And I, you know, I have a goal in mind for next year. Oh, gosh. Which is really, it's, well, I typed 50 into my little note taking application. 40. I typed 40, but now I want to make it 50, but I'm not a, necessarily seeking numbers as, as much as enjoying having these conversations. But the

Jamie:

numbers that, yeah, you know,

Kurt Neiswender:

we don't chase them. So that's why there's no schedule. There's no script, but we do have a knack of pulling it all together. Without well, we used to have a, a sort of script, but we didn't, we don't, we don't need this because we have, we have the imagery, we have the sketches, right? So we'll get to a sketch or two

Jamie:

words, a thousand words. That's right. And not just in an AI, not just an AI prompt, not just an AI prompt. It's. Oh,

Kurt Neiswender:

or is it, will it be, maybe, will it become, wouldn't it be great if there was an AI approach? Can you just make this sketch in the fashion of Coffee Sketch

Jamie:

podcast? I think I have to, you probably could. I, I think I have to start to train it. Like find, you know, find the right one to like, okay, so look at these sketches and give me a new one.

Kurt Neiswender:

Well, we'll, we'll talk about, I think wolf, wolf pre, wolf

Jamie:

pre, wolf prex. Oh, are you doing what I do now? Are you doing what I do? Like terrible, terrible pronunciation and

Kurt Neiswender:

spelling. I always, that one, his name. I always, I think it's Pricks. I don't know. Now I'll go, I'll go with Pricks. So we can at least lean on our North American status for not having friends with that name, but the I think they've trained their own AI machine learning model on all their body of work. And then I've started to generate. That's, I believe I've, I've seen some posts from them and I think even our friends over at Arkiespeak, Evan and Cormac have talked about that. Maybe just Evan on his other podcast. Anyway, kind of interesting, but, you know, eventually, I mean, all the coffee skit stuff is out there in the world. And so if it, if the image is out there, it will be picked up anyway. So I'm getting ahead of myself. First, we need to talk about coffee, but maybe that's. Why I'm getting ahead is I'm on my third cup and I've almost drank it all in the green room, but I can't go make any more. So it's almost gone. I'm going to just describe that. I'm still working through my, my bulk order of bulk pickup of that birds of Paris. It's pretty good, you know getting near the bottom though, because, you know, we have three cups before noon.

Jamie:

So I was going to say three cups in, can you, can you describe it with a little bit more detail this time? Like the notes. Well. Oh, you're smelling it.

Kurt Neiswender:

It has a little chocolate smell with a little bit of like a tart fruit, a little tiny, tiny, tiny hint. You know how they say they mix in cranberry or, well, not mix in, but the aroma of like a cranberry. It's kind of like that.

Jamie:

Oh, okay. I'd

Kurt Neiswender:

be down with that. Yeah. Yeah. And maybe that's because of the chocolate scent, but anyway, it's like, it's a medium roast. It's like, it's pretty good, you know, for I'm gonna have to keep that one in the memory banks so I can go back and get some more, but yeah, it's, it's subtle. It's not, it's not overly recognizable, but it's, it's not, and there's nothing about it that would say, no, I'm never going to have that again. And it's almost as good as Coffee Sketch podcast coffee, but it can't be as, as good.

Jamie:

No, definitely not. Yeah, so I, I ended up in anticipation of this episode and, you know, like like we were just saying, you know, we don't script things, but sometimes we do prepare. And so in preparation, I did do a re listen to the first episode of this season. Speaking of seasons and, you know, the words in which we chose, but also and that was really kind of the reason it was kind of wanted to kind of see what those early themes were and thoughts and then kind of how, how we did. But it was interesting because I revealed that we, we were able, or we're supposedly getting like a physical Tim Hortons in Texas, a Timmy's. And I don't know if that's actually happened yet. If it has, I missed it this year, but it, it, it, it spurred me to go ahead and make that impulse buy and, and get myself an extra bag of coffee just to brew for today, not just for today, but for, you know, specifically to have today so I had, I have Scott, I've got the Timmy's.

Kurt Neiswender:

Did, did you, did you have some last year? Is that what it is? I had some last year. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that was, that was the memory. Yeah. Memory is returned. Tim Horton's got, well, up here in Michigan, up here on the hand, we do have Tim Horton's all over. There's one just

Jamie:

down the street. Get out that red pen and just start marking the map.

Kurt Neiswender:

Why is your hand covered in all these dots?

Jamie:

It's the way I find Tim Hortons. That would be funny. That would be a truly Canadian, like, sort of joke and commercial. That would be like a Bob and Doug McKenzie kind of, like, you

Kurt Neiswender:

know, yeah. I've probably used this joke. Or this riddle before, but what is the first country, if you drove directly south from Detroit, that you hit? Canada hooks around south. So if you went directly south of Detroit, you would actually cross into Canada before you hit Mexico. Okay. See? So, anyway. It's like a

Jamie:

geography

Kurt Neiswender:

joke. Yeah, like a geography, it's not really a joke. I guess it's a, yeah, more like a little riddle. So, so I forgot. Well, we, we've made it to the point in the

Jamie:

episode where has

Kurt Neiswender:

lost the thread. Yes. Pass pass on the riddles. Well, we should probably so we were talking about AI before we went off

Jamie:

on and and we talked about it in that first episode of this season to interestingly enough And and it I would say it is worth You know, going back and kind of, you know, for yourself going back and kind of, you know, hearing yourself sort of talk about what you were thinking you might do with it this year and whether or not that actually happened or not and sort of, no, no, I think, I think there was just some skepticism on

Kurt Neiswender:

both of our parts of.

Jamie:

Because it was, I think what was happening, just like you were just describing with that, that week off, that sort of interstitial space in the calendar where the architect actually takes time off from work, work and, you know, indulges in sort of the, you know, creative rabbit holes. And at the time last year A lot of folks were playing with dally and mind journey or whatever mid journey. I always want to say mind. I always want to say mind journey. Wouldn't it be better as mind journey? So mid journey and, and posting all these sort of rando. You know, experiments that they were generating just from text prompts. So you and I were both having sort of a discussion, we'll say of, of what, what our impression of that was and, and then you actually. And this, this is, this is jogging the old memory banks here. You actually said, you know, I actually, you know, try to prompt asking it to do a coffee sketch. Right. And, and in that, then we, then we critiqued the weird AI and probably were pretty rough on it. You know, as jurors, but it was okay, it was fun. The

Kurt Neiswender:

yeah, actually, here, let me share the screen real quick, because I'll do the wide shot. I mean, for those that are watching, we, you know, we started using this whiteboard for all the sketches and things we brainstormed for the year. And as you were describing, you know, the first episode is up here in the upper left corner, where that AI sketch is created. So actually you can't see my mouse, huh? Maybe you can now, right? So that was the, you know, but that brings up a point of, of concept. Or the thought process behind prompts, how to create prompts in order to draw out the outcome that you want from the sketch or sorry, from the software, I guess from AI, but the, that, so that's been interesting as, and as we go segue into what we're going to talk about today is over the course of this one year. How much I would say improvement has been made in refining input, output of prompts and even the software. I mean, the software you used is not the same one I used in the beginning of the year and probably didn't even exist, you know, 12 months ago at the beginning of the season. aNd and so, yeah, let me, let me zoom in to your sketch sketches. And I'll put this to the side for a second. sO you have, so, which is fun. Cause you know, last episode we talked about the Pantheon, which we were able to post on Christmas day. Yay. And, and so Jamie created a new a new sketch. Of the Pantheon from the outside, which is a beautiful sketch vignetted with this, that's a word vignetted, but it has this sort of fuzzy edge as, as you know, by hand drawn sketches go. I mean, it creates a nice sort of atmosphere, experiential feeling to the sketches, kind of like what we talked about last, last episode. And then on the right hand side is the output from the AI. Tool and you'll, you can describe this. And you sent me these I think, well, you posted it on your Instagram, but you also. Sent me the sketches as a photograph. And at first I thought you had water colored the sketch, you know, just set because, you know, we had been talking about, or you had been sort of hinting at like these little experiments that you were going to head into for the new year at this rabbit hole thing that we've been talking about. And so it looked like a watercolor or it looks like a watercolor. And if I zoom in a tiny bit. But then you told me that AI generated or maybe I saw your post, but so anyway, so maybe you can describe more about the the, the content of this experiment and how, how it got us to today.

Jamie:

Yeah, no, I, I think that was the, I mean, I think what you've described is, is pretty accurate is that you know, some of what I. Suggested at the very beginning of this year was giving myself the grace to think of myself as both an artist and an architect. You know, and, and also giving myself the grace to kind of count the victories for myself, but for myself, not necessarily for others. And sort of when, you know, I wanted to try and do experiments, it's okay to do them. And to kind of push myself in those kinds of veins and realize that I've accomplished things in the past that I'm proud of that end up being the foundation for the, for where I am now and where I want to go next. And who I want to be next, and that it's just sort of a constant building of that and, and it's okay to, to look back at those things and say, yeah, that, you know, that was good. I'm glad I did that, you know, whether it was an experiment or, or something I accomplished. And so this year was sort of, you know, at least, at least the very beginning, that was sort of my thought of where I was, you know, trying to project forward. And and giving myself the space to do that. And, and kind of the self encouragement to do that. So, you know, here in the, in the, in the late part of the year I've wanted to delve into the AI but was looking for, you know, I was playing with sort of some of the text prompts just to, just to kind of get a better understanding of how the different systems were reacting to things. I was reading a little bit about you know, ones that are more effective than others you know, because some of them have sort of, there's a positive prompt and a negative prompt and and, and, and things like that and different And you're right to say it too. There's a lot. There's been a both a proliferation of the A. I. Getting smarter, which is sort of natural to this whole process. The machine learning that it's doing is based on being able to get at more of these things and doing it more and more. It's the practice, right? Just like a sketch. It's the practice. But the, the other aspect is the proliferation of the actual systems themselves. So many, many more, many more developers are creating more platforms to, to try this. And so, yeah, the, I think that the one situation here was just that I found a a platform. That you could actually take a visual prompt. So my own artwork and manipulate it with a text prompt. And and so it was just sort of, you know, yeah, exactly. You can't spell Jamie without a I and it's not Jaime folks. It's Jamie. But, but maybe I need to change my name. Is that what you're trying to tell me? But, but yeah, so so this is that, that, you know, result. And, and I, I tried to pick up a sketch that I thought would, having played some of those experiments out just in text. Tried to pick a sketch that I thought would be, you know, for lack of a better term, easier to achieve a result that might mimic art and mimic my art in a sense. Like if, as we've talked about on, on the podcast many times, a lot of the sketches that I do in the sketchbook are quick their impressions either of a place I've been or a place I'm thinking of, or a concept that I'm thinking of, whether for work or for, you know, personal use. And that might eventually become something, excuse me, right?

Kurt Neiswender:

Becomes a presentation tool or,

Jamie:

or yes, something, something that I, that I use again or I mean, oftentimes I'll, I mean, I'll draw something more than once not necessarily with the coffee sketches, but like, I'll do the coffee sketch and then I'll draw it again on a bigger, in a bigger format. And when I do it in the bigger format, it changes. So there's always this evolution of it. So it's never the same image even if the subject is the same. And so I viewed this experiment with AI and sort of the same way was how can I take something that I, I drew very, very quickly and purposefully and. Altered it through this means and with, with the, with, with a desired result in my own mind and wanted to see how close I could get it to that. So there was, I think, and I think that's, that to me was the light bulb moment was using the machine tool to get myself there quicker. But with purpose and having a picture of it already in my mind as well. So you know, of course, there's, there's aspects of it that, you know, I don't have control over. I was, I was pretty excited about how this, this kind of turned out as an experiment.

Kurt Neiswender:

Well, in order to solve it. Add in the general idea of AI that we've sort of began the year with and now ending the is this tool. I think it's called viscom, right? V. I. Z. C. O. M. Which I think our friend Cormac at park to speak was they were just talking about it as well. And his some of his posts. With his sketches, which we need to have him on because, you know, while he doesn't post his own artwork enough as frequently, he's a fantastic sketcher. But, but anyway, that aside, the the interesting, the, the part that intrigues me more now is that it, the input is something you created that is then processed through the AI for a new outcome, right, the output. is something different based off of your sketch input versus the beginning of the year where things were text based inputs that generated visual outputs, which I'm not, you know, it's a big debate, right? Like whether the intellectual property or the artistic capacity or. What's not capacity as much as like the ability, I suppose, of the prompter or producer, but this, I find a little more one to one input output because it, it's sort of based in the sketch. That is, you know, input into the system similarly, like to our, like going back to the middle of the season with our talk with SketchUp and how they now have integrated AI into the, into. SketchUp, which I don't think anybody else is doing to where it'll take the SketchUp model and then produce some rendered images of a model that somebody has drawn in SketchUp. So it's a very similar created input by, by the artist or the designer, which is then processed versus, you know, say typing in because it's so anyway, so there's like a. I don't know.

Jamie:

It seems a little more well, it's, it's, it's less curation. Yeah, it's, it's less, less letting the machine curate. You know, or using your prompts to create a framework for curation merges images together into a new image. It's less of that and, and more of having some origination to it. You know, you're, you're creating an origin point. And the origin point is the original piece of artwork, or in SketchUp's case, you know, the model as it stands. And so there's, there's a, there's a creative act at the very beginning of the process. And then you're, you're letting the tool be a tool. yOu know, not letting the tool be the creator at that point. And, and I, I would say that there's still debate on whether it's becoming the creator and, and how much of that is actually creation versus you know, stealing for lack of a better term. And, and so I, I don't think all that's resolved in my mind or your mind, you know, based on, you know, what we're talking about here today. But I, I, I liked. That this was, you know, and I, like I said, I, I purposely tried to set this one up with a result in mind and tried to use the tool to get myself there and, and I think that that was a, a, maybe a different approach, you know but there was some intentionality with it on my part whether. I wanted to take this image and, you know, try prompts that would push, push the drawing much further as a concept past what's on the page, you know, that's not, that wasn't necessarily my objective this time, but it might be something that I might try and experiment with in the future.

Kurt Neiswender:

Well, because you have, as you said, the origin point, you know, where you started. From the sketch, and you now have this as maybe a step in between to something else. So we'll, I mean, that, and so we can wait for that, because that would be fun. And you can see that the progression, I guess, kind

Jamie:

of like your other,

Kurt Neiswender:

the hand drawn format you were talking about, where you take a sketch. Maybe make a larger version of it. You know, it, it won't be exactly the same. So there's still, it has a very similar workflow, but so what was the prompt anyway, that arrived at like this outcome? Cause I'm always interested about how the, I'm not really, I don't feel like I'm very good at making AI prompts. Like, and I haven't really messed with it as much, so I'm sure with practice, like people get better. But cause there's a couple of faculty and the Dean at, at Lawrence tech where I'm teaching that are kind of exploring. These tools and how to integrate them as idea generation. And so they're like constantly, you know, refining prompts and things like that. But anyway, so for myself, I, I feel a little lost in that generation. So what did you come up

Jamie:

with? You, you would ask me that, you know, on the episode. Yeah.

Kurt Neiswender:

Well, was it basically because did you forget because you ran through so many.

Jamie:

Yeah, I mean, I again, yeah, it's a, you kind of get to the point where you, you try a bunch and then you realize some words are not sending it the right direction. So then it's changing the series of prompts. But. More about editing them and you know, again, this is still all experiment on my part But some of the ones I mean, I did know I wanted it to have a painterly quality And so I was trying things like watercolor as a prompt I might have kept that in on this but there were some where it just sort of it got into a kind of a space Where I was like, no, no, no, you're missing it. You're not you're missing where I'm going with it And so it was me kind of interacting with with it. Sepia. I ended up using sepia on this as a prompt, which I think gave it much more of the tonal quality that I was trying to get for the buildings in my own mind. And I, and I like what I, what, you know, you haven't mentioned it yet, but I, I, what was interesting to me and I'm curious what your reaction to is you know, we've, we've spent a lot of time talking about how I have experimented with rendering skies. Or rendering water and I was really impressed at how the A. I interpreted the sky that that I was sort of creating here and the fact that it recognized both sort of shade and shadow that was in sort of the cross hatching of the sketch. And sort of where the light source was coming from. But also how it treated the clouds in the sketch and kind of recognizing that they weren't birds. They weren't some other random, you know, thing. Or they weren't smudges and and sort of treated them like the clouds that I was hoping that that was the effect of the sketch the original, you know, black and white sketch and and they kind of almost have a little bit of an ethereal kind of quality to them. So that was, you know kind of a. You know, call it a happy accident, but it was also there was some intention on my part to try and get to that point.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah, the, this is the 1st thing that made me think that it was a watercolor of yours was looking at the sky, comparing the lines. So yeah, and then I started to, you know, you squint your eyes and scrutinize it a little bit closer. buT yeah, yeah, it's kind of funny, huh? If Bob Ross were alive today, what would he say about happy accident in AI? But the yeah, it's very interesting. I, and, and. It's, it's funny how it's very close to the sketch, but also sort of moving on to something else, right? Like you know, the, the introduction of color and interestingly, I mean, like you said, like even the people, like it took the little, very subtle gestural forms that you created for people and it added more detail, you know, that made it even more. human like. It's very interesting.

Jamie:

Yeah, I did have to tell it. At one point that there was a cafe in the foreground because it was, it was having, it always knew those, those two people that are in the foreground were people. It always picked that up. But it didn't kind of, it, it made it sort of a, a mess. Of shapes and materials right behind it. So that, that was, that was part, that was one area that I, I did have to alter the prompt a few times to try and, and, and I landed on that. I was like, well, I'm just going to tell it exactly what it is and see, see how it reacts.

Kurt Neiswender:

Well, did you tell it was the Pantheon? Did you use the word Pantheon? Because I wonder if that would influence. Cause it could pull photographic imagery that's named, you know, I don't know how it works, but, you know, I wonder if that would, anyway, you know, it's just really interesting to the, again, the, the sort of the input output and the iterative, I wonder if that could be, I mean, this is a whole, we could go on forever with the application of, of, of this into a traditional architectural process. But, you know, one thing. I'll say about my students is that I've noticed that their, their version, their, their idea of iterative process, right? You know, like, as you mentioned with your multiple sketches and and for us, as students, you know. Making model after model after model that, you know, further refines it is there's, and I'm not trying to knock the students, but they don't necessarily perform because of digital software tools, you know, 2D, 3D stuff, the iterations are there, but they, they don't like it's not frozen you know, they just kind of keep adapting the one model, which. Right. It'd be good or bad, but, you know,

Jamie:

anyway, it, we, you know, we have talked about it. It's, it's a, it's a different workflow in and I think there are ways to improve ours, you know, if we're sort of, if, if, if it's an us and them kind of situation, there's a way to improve ours but there's also a way to improve theirs. And sort of what you're getting at is that, Okay. Sometimes those earlier ideas are ones that have a real wonderful nugget of information in them. And it's, it's a piece of the project or a piece of the sketch or a piece of the drawing or a piece of the creative idea that's really fantastic. And I think that the iterative process that, that you and I are more familiar with is, is it, it allows you to go back in time easier to mine, literally mine, those earlier ideas for pieces of them rather than kind of seeing each idea or each iteration as a whole. You know, we're, we're not necessarily seeing it as a whole each time that we work on it. And, and I think that that's, that's just the way I've I've come to recognize these coffee sketches is that they, they are that for me. And especially, and we've talked about it in, in, in, in a prior episode, we're talking about scale and. Sort of the challenges of drawing at certain scales and what that, what that forces your body and your mind to do in that creative act. And so the fact that I'm doing these in very, very small sketchbooks with very different tools in some instances will change that creative act. But then when you jump and scale to a much, much larger canvas, that also changes the creative act. And for, for me, it's, it's being able to go back and mine those earlier ideas that I might have really liked something about in that small sketch that I'm not getting that same quality when I go to the bigger canvas and, and recognizing that difference and trying to, to to iterate to get that back into the project is really, really important on that. That process is, I think, very, very different. With sort of digital modeling, you know, there's there's a point where you're you're sort of seeing it as a creative whole. And it's it's I think you can do it. And I think a lot of people are very adept at doing it. But I think it's harder when, when that's more of your workflow to to mine earlier iterations for those little smaller pieces of a project. You know, from, from, on the, on sort of the, in, in the creative act. And we're not just talking about like program pieces or something like that. It's, it's those aha moments where, you know, you've done something and you're like, Oh wow, that's really, you know, and, and in that moment you, you recognize it as something special. Yeah. Related to whatever you're working on, but then, you know, you continue to iterate and you almost kind of lose it in that

Kurt Neiswender:

digital, it's like, it's like if you were frosting a cake and you, you, you know, the spatula blends around, I'm trying to make some sort of lay person relationship to the, the idea of it, you know, once you smooth the frosting out, you, you can't necessarily go back. Yeah, you kind of iterated past what it looked like before, but,

Jamie:

Well, and I think the other thing too is, is being able, you know, to, there is a skill and seeing it and seeking it out and, and I'm not sure where that comes from you sent me a text message late last night. Which was awesome. And I'm so happy that you found it. I, We're, we're going to do like a mystery science theater 3000 when that, that thing comes out and we're going to, we're totally doing a, like a dual watch. That's going to be brilliant. But I totally remember, you know, sitting down after school and watching that show and, you know, the encouragement to draw and to try stuff that. You know, was just in your head was you know, and being able to fail and in the next moment, try it again. You know, working without a net, it was like that show was just absolutely amazing. And I think that that's, that has, you know, it left an indelible mark on my process. I will say you know, at least, you know, recognizing that I can iterate. And I can trust my instincts. Even if, you know, you don't always find yourself doing it as you get older life

Kurt Neiswender:

getting in the way. So, and, and we should probably segue to our, our resolutions. There's so many other things, topics, you know, because patterns, we didn't even talk about patterns, like, but those little fragments of the design proportion, you know, something just works out. It's like. Christopher Alexander's pattern language, right? Like, there's a little moment, but anyway, so again, that's for later, you

Jamie:

know, you know. Well, and the mind map and the mind mapping that you've been doing of trying to, you know, Kurt is currently rereading pattern language. But doing it in a way where he's, he's sort of mapping his own process and his own iterations. And learning from it you know, so it's not all true crime subreddits and podcasts for Kurt during the holidays.

Kurt Neiswender:

I digress in constructive ways too. So, so the word, do you want to go first? Do you want me to go first? I'm going to let you go first. Okay. I, I prepared since we've been doing this so many, so many years now. But in, in this. I stumbled across an interview and I'm not going to bring up, you know, I was watching it on YouTube and it doesn't really matter who, because it's somebody that's pretty well known, but I don't want to associate, you know, create some sort of tangent. But the word patients and understanding the use of the word patients. Often gets substituted for perseverance, right? And in, in, in incorrectly, let's say, so people try and use the word persevere, like they had to push through something to arrive at a better place. But patients. As it was described in this interview is more fitting when say, what we're doing with this podcast and moving into season 6 and and so I want to apply the word patients in how. We have been approaching this podcast as, as something we do for fun. We enjoyed the conversation in that. And also that we've not really put the pressure on it to succeed in the eyes of numbers, right? Like, Oh, a million views or a downloads or, you know, so many followers and this and that, and we've never really. That's not our emphasis, our emphasis has been on creating this conversation about the art of architecture, the drawings, the process, all that stuff. And, and so we've been sort of naturally patient, you know, we, we, we, we, we established that sort of ground rule, but I think it's framed in the word patients. And, and so we've already been, we've kind of been practicing. This this sort of patients, but I want to continue doing that and over time, you know, regardless of you know, these benchmarks of numbers, which I don't I still don't want to try and seek that seek that out. But over time, you know, the, the, the mark will be left, because of how we establish this in the 1st place. So that's kind of, that's my resolution is continue this, that process that we have and have fun with it. There you go. 2024.

Jamie:

I love it. Yeah. Well, and I love how you describe that. Relationship that you've seen in, in the podcast to kind of, you know, who you are and how, and how you think about it. And I, and I think that you're, you're absolutely right. You know, we're, we've not we've not sought to be anything more than what we are. Is people who are passionate about art and architecture and about process and without pretension you know, we, we joke around about it. But we, but we, we do take our, our, we do take this practice. Very, very seriously. And I don't think you can do, you know, five going on now, six years of a podcast without also taking this a little seriously to you know, we, we joke about not having scripts and things like that. But you know, this is, it's a passion project for sure. But it's one that we do take absolutely seriously. You know, there's, you know, neither one of us are would espouse trying to be perfectionists, but I think that in our profession as creatives there's a, there's a level of that inherent in our work anyways, and in our personalities. So, you know, we, we do want to create something that's good and valuable both for ourselves, but also for the people we share it with. And so we, we appreciate those who listen and reach out to us. We're always excited to hear, you know, what, what people think. And it's, it's a good reminder for us about what we're doing. And, and I think that that sort of brings me a little bit to where I started this episode talking about kind of a re listen to of the beginning of this year and the word that I chose and, and the grace that I wanted to give myself in that process. And I too actually saw like a short little video of somebody talking about kind of. sort of interview, you know, kind of recapping their creative year and and almost talking about resolutions in it. And the way that they described the journey of a year and being able to look back on even the year before and, you know, really Summed up a lot of what I was hoping this year would would do for me creatively and personally, professionally, too. And so I think in that, in, in some respects that that certainly happened. But I think that. The, the word that I chose this time was, and of course I pick a word that like I've realized for a podcast, you know, Jamie, you're going to be talking. And so, you know, grammar and spelling and pronunciation are not your highest level skills. So the word I picked was metal. Like not heavy metal, not metal, like meddling, but metal, M E T T L E, metal. And, and, and part of it was I, I thought about this coming year as a way to, in effect, double down on what I was doing last year, or this, this year, this, you know, 2023. anD realizing that when difficulties do arise, and they always arise in everybody's life in different ways, is that sort of like what you're saying about patients patients would work as well. It's, it's, there is an equation, you know, there is an equating to perseverance. And I think that In metal, maybe is a better word for me in that sort of sense is that it's I don't want to lose my spirit in being resilient. iT's not just about, you know, surviving something or pushing through something. It's about still being you all the way through that process, even if it's hard. And even if it's not appreciated. Or if it's difficult or if the results aren't exactly the way you want it's not losing yourself in that. And I think that that's part of, you know, what I wanted to give myself the grace to do last year. But I think that metal seemed like a, an appropriate word. It's, it's, it's not as verby as, as I've been in the past, but yeah. The, I think that that's sort of where, where I've, I just want to give myself the encouragement to stay the course and then push and then push a lot farther.

Kurt Neiswender:

I like the metal. No, it doesn't get used a lot, but I think you're, you're onto something. It's cause it's kind of funny how there's been a really good episode. This, you know, this one here, which kicks off season six, but it's sort of also. Recaps the entire year that we've, you know, this, this season five. And, and for your, for your own, just to, I just want to re flash the screen again, just to remind you, you know, 90%, 95 percent of these. Little squares are your sketches, right? So for the, and this is the whole year, right? This, this little whiteboard is, is this entire, just this one year, this season. So now I have to archive it and we're going to start a new whiteboard for next year, but it, I mean, you know, look at the trajectory. We haven't talked about all these sketches, but many of them since you put out 35 episodes, but the yeah, I think I'm with you on the middle. The push through while remaining yourself. I think it complements the. The idea I, I came up with in the patient's word worth the conversation about that. So it's kind of funny how you go through, I don't know, sound too I don't know, esoteric or out there in the, in the, in the, in the psychology of people, but you know, you go through. Life and, you know, you and I've become friends really quickly and over the past, I don't know, it's been 10 plus years to 10 years and and then just, you know, doing, having this podcast as something we do together is, is something that we both. Appreciate, I mean, I appreciate, and I know you do and, and that it, it never gets boring. And, and so some, you know, it's kind of funny to, to pick up an anecdote of a conversation I had with somebody I connected with at the AIA conference, an old friend, and, and I told him that we've been doing this for five years on the podcast, you know, the podcast itself. So, and so, you know, so many episodes and at the time, a hundred. Plus, you know, and, and their reaction was, how do you keep doing it? And I said, I don't know. It's, it's not that hard. It's really fun and it doesn't get, it doesn't get old. And I don't, I don't think a lot of people can say that. No,

Jamie:

I, I, I mean, I, I, I, you know, I love you like a brother and it, it's certainly that's the, you know, the, the feeling is mutual. I mean, it is absolutely fun. The experience of doing this as sort of, you know, our creative outlet, you know, this is the collective we and that, and that. You know, this year you pushed me to accept the fact that we, you know, want to try and, you know, interact even more with, with others, you know, through technology. And so the streaming, which we experimented with this year and I think we'll experiment with even more. We have lots of things that we've, we've wanted to do that. We haven't even gotten. aNd so, you know, this is you know, this has always been fun and I think we'll always continue to be we're not going anywhere, folks. So season 6 is around the corner. anD with many more episodes, we're not even going to tease stuff. It's not about that this time, but happy new year, buddy. And happy new year to everybody else out there too.

Kurt Neiswender:

Thanks. I love you like a brother. Happy new year to you. And to all the watchers and listeners.