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  • Date
    21 MARCH 2023
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    Introducing Federico Donelli: The Art Director Blending Fashion and AI


    In the world of fashion advertising and communication, Federico Donelli stands out as a true visionary. With years of experience in the industry, he has been at the forefront of creating stunning visuals that capture the essence of fashion and lifestyle.

    But it's not just his creative flair that sets him apart. Federico has recently been delving into the world of AI, using it to create mesmerizing visuals that blend the cool classic with the contemporary. His AI Photography has been making waves in the fashion world, with streetstyle and 90's looks that transport you to the cool streets of New York City or Los Angeles.



    One look at Federico's work and it's clear that he has a keen eye for style. The AI kids he creates look like they belong in the iconic Chelsea Hotel or are on their way to a concert in the Lower East Side, with leather biker jackets and denim taking center stage.

    But what sets Federico's work apart is his ability to seamlessly integrate AI into his creative process. His use of AI Midjourney has allowed him to create visuals that push the boundaries of what's possible. It's clear that he's not just using AI as a gimmick, but as a tool to enhance his creative vision.

    In this interview, we get to know Federico Donelli better and learn more about his approach to art direction, fashion advertising, and the use of AI in his work. We delve into his creative process and learn about the challenges and opportunities that arise when blending traditional art direction with the latest technology. We can't wait to learn more about his journey and see what he has in store for the future.



    Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where did you grow up, what did you wanted to do when you were a child, what do you do and where are you located now?

    I am an Art Director. I work in Fashion Advertising and Communication. I grew up in Italy and in the last few years I lived in New York and Los Angeles. Currently, I am in Milan. When I was a child my father wanted me to become a Computer Scientist, but I always had a passion for Advertising. I recall recording commercials on VHS and hacking printed ad campaigns with markers, scissors and glue.  



    Do you recall when and how you First consciously encountered AI?

    I first started to question AI when I read Asimov's 'The Positronic Man' and encountered the Three Laws of Robotics. I must have been around 16. Probably since I studied sociology my interest in AI has never been limited to its technological side, but also to the existential questions it poses. 


    Can you briefly walk us through the development process step by step of your latest work? Where did the idea come from?

    I approach image creation as if I were art directing a photo shoot. So in prompt design, I consider all the different components that contribute to the final image like: scene, action, posing, camera shot, framing, angle, casting, location, styling, light, camera model, lenses, film, author, mood, popular culture references etc. 

    I experiment with different techniques of image injecting, blending, remixing and seeding. Although, I find that pure prompting yields the best results. Inspiration comes in the same way from my Art Direction practice. The concepts are basically what I like to shoot with traditional photography. After creating the images I treat them the same way I typically work, by adding handwritten texts to provide context and suggest a narrative. Aesthetically, I play with cut-outs, photocopy effects and other techniques.    



    What software did you use to create this project? What challenges did the image present?

    I work mainly with Midjourney. I am interested in extreme photorealism, so there are two kinds of challenges at this stage of technology development: control and differentiation. Even though the tools are impressive it’s obvious to an expert's eye that we still have big improvements ahead in order to reach what we can do with traditional media. But we are on the way. 



    What inspires you as a AI artist?

    I don’t consider myself an AI artist. I am a creative that uses all the media he is interested in to create stories and portraits. 


    What is your favorite subject in AI? For what reasons? What are you looking for when generating?

    AI is just another form of media that allows me to portray what I like: the aesthetics and personal intimate stories of young subcultures and tribes from different times and places, strongly influenced by music, cinema, art and fashion. 


    What are your artistic ambitions?

    While traditional photography and filmmaking will always remain a part of my practice, my goal is to fully embrace new tools and technologies to make the most of the current state of development and use them as an alternative to traditional photography, depending on the project's goals.



    Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

    So far, I haven't seen anything that truly blows my mind. The reason is that many traditional artists are intimidated by the perceived threat that AI poses to their art because AI requires a different skill set than they currently possess. On the other hand, many AI artists come from tech-driven backgrounds like gaming, which often emphasize fantasy and imaginary worlds and creatures.

    However, I appreciate the work of existing traditional artists like Charlie Engman that embrace AI tools to push the boundaries of their traditional media aesthetics. 



    From your personal experience, what is some advice you could share with aspiring AI artists?

    My advice to any kind of artist is to not just scratch the surface. Master the medium through study and practice, and then use it to express your unique perspective on the topics and themes you care about, always challenging the status quo. Once you have mastered the technique, go find your own angle and signature. 

    What do you think about NFTs?

    I am not allowed to talk about NFTs after I made my girlfriend buy an Ozzy Osbourne CryptoBatz for a couple of grand.

    What can we expect to see from you next?






    Interview by @gloriamariagallery