With a portfolio colored by iridescent aesthetics and a touch of unease, Carly Fridhandler, aka Scorpion Sorbet (@scorpionsorbet) has created a captivating style with her AI artworks. A senior art director at an advertising agency by day, Fridhandler has a keen eye. That along with Midjourney and a technique she calls “reverse prompting” enables her to achieve her unique artwork. We talked to Fridhandler about her creative process and what lies ahead in the AI art community.

What first inspired you to work on AI-generated art?

“I’ve always been a highly creative human. I’ve explored various artistic pursuits such as painting, drawing, origami, photography, and even cross-stitching. However, none of these activities held my interest for more than a few months. The moment I encountered Midjourney, I realized that I had finally unearthed the ultimate means of channeling my creative expression. This platform seamlessly integrates my passion for mathematics with a demand for a profound understanding of artistic direction, allowing me to skillfully navigate the course of its outcomes.”

How have you seen AI-generated art evolve since you first started working in this field?

“I started creating ai-generated art in October 2022 when Midjourney was on version 4. Presently, it has upgraded to version 5.2, showcasing a remarkable advancement that is both frightening and awe-inspiring. However, that comes with a growing apprehension within the community towards the discernible “AI aesthetic.” My objective remains the same since the beginning: to ensure that my creations diverge from the typical AI appearance, maintaining a distinct Scorpion Sorbet touch in all my pieces.”

How did you learn about making AI art? Did you have any training?

“I am entirely self-educated in this field. Since I began, I’ve spent countless hours after work (I’m a senior art director at an advertising agency) to the meticulous process of rendering, consistently refining my techniques and honing my distinctive artistic approach. To date, I have rendered over 17,000 pieces.”

Can you explain the creative process behind your AI-generated artworks? Do you leave anything to chance?

“It’s a delicate dance between seeking precision and embracing the element of surprise offered by algorithms. I envision my role as setting the stage—a pristine white room—where I carefully select the colors, elements, style, and emotive themes. However, I also leave room for chance to play its part. It’s like a Vegas slot machine, where I have the agency to determine the outcome, yet the spinning reels introduce an element of delightful uncertainty. I love those unexpected moments that arise, the anticipation of a winning combination.”

How long does it normally take to create one of your artworks? Can you walk us briefly through the process (without giving any secrets away, of course)?

“That truly depends. Sometimes it’s pure luck and something incredible renders out immediately. Other times, one piece can take hours or even days. I will explore and output hundreds of variations over and over until I find the exact one I want to share.” 

What kind of AI models or algorithms do you use in your artistic creations?

“I employ a consistent foundational prompt set that I’ve dedicated nearly a year to refining. Building upon this foundation, I incorporate additional layers that use camera settings, tone variations, and various elements. A couple of go-to prompts that I frequently use include “iridescent” or “holographic.”

How did you come up with your visual styles or themes? Do you have a specific process for this? 

“My personal style is still evolving but we have reached a stage where the emergence of AI-generated art has its own distinctive aesthetic. For me, as an artist, my objective is to challenge and break away from this overarching AI aesthetic.

“To shape my personal style, I have used a technique I call “reverse prompting.” Instead of explicitly conveying what I want the software to produce, I intentionally use prompts that perplex it. I juxtapose disparate elements, intricately weaving and layering prompts until I experience that instinctive gut feeling.

“While there are certain recurring themes in my works, such as iridescent colours, emotive social elements and surrealist details, I ultimately curate and share pieces where my intuition guides me, believing that if I am moved by it, you will be too. I think that’s the true essence of a Scorpion Sorbet piece.”

Are there any new technologies or developments on the horizon that you believe will greatly enhance the capabilities of AI-generated art?

“Right now, our community is diving heavily into Runway Gen-2, one of the first commercial AI models to generate short videos from text or images. Right now, it’s not perfected, but the moment we achieve the ability to effortlessly craft lifelike video sequences from a solitary image, we’re going to see remarkable creativity.”

12. Do you think your work has commercial appeal? Have brands gotten in touch with you, for example? 

“Definitely, yes. I’ve been fortunate to receive interest from a couple of well-known brands and am currently engaged in some exciting projects.

“While not exactly commercial, I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with talented musicians such as Scout Larue Willis and TT The Artist. Additionally, I’ve been lucky enough to be featured on the front cover of D by La Repubblica, as well as having my work displayed in galleries in Paris, Shanghai (Fred & Farid), and Milan (Red-Eye Magazine).” 

Who are your favorite AI image-makers?

“That is a really hard question because there are honestly so many incredible ones. To name a few I would absolutely check out @psymulate, @h.s.wren, @helpthelemon, and @zetabytez .

Where do you go to stay updated with what’s happening regarding AI + creativity?

“The majority is through this inspiring community of AI creators. We collectively exchange tips and techniques, providing help to one another. I also create AI challenges for the community which has been really rewarding. 

“The future is an exhilarating realm of endless possibilities. I am so grateful, as a deeply creative individual that I have found the ultimate way to express that.”

Carly Fridhandler

Discover More