- 24 APRIL 2023
- GLORIA MARIA CAPPELLETTI
- Image by
- SCORPION SORBET
Scorpion Sorbet: exploring emotions through the lens of minimalistic surrealism
Welcome to RED-EYE, where we bring you interviews with the most creative minds from around the world. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Carly Fridhandler, also known as Scorpion Sorbet in the art world. Carly is a talented artist and art director, currently based in Montreal, Canada, with over 14 years of experience in the advertising industry.
Throughout her career, Carly has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Adidas, Nivea, Walmart, Lululemon, and Cirque du Soleil, just to name a few. Her impressive resume also includes co-running a design agency in Adelaide, Australia, for four years.
In addition to her work in advertising, Carly is known for her innovative use of AI technology in her art, which has garnered attention from art enthusiasts and tech enthusiasts alike. We at RED-EYE have been blown away by her work, and we're excited to learn more about her creative process, how she integrates AI into her art, and the inspiration behind her unique style.
So, without further ado, let's jump right into our conversation with Carly Fridhandler, aka Scorpion Sorbet.
What is your favorite subject in AI? And for what reasons?
I like exploring emotions through the lens of minimalistic surrealism. I don’t think of scenes or objects; I have a moment of extreme love or powerful reflection that forces me to express it in a creative wildfire. I like to work within the themes of loss, intimacy, social shifts, psychology, and violence.
You’ll always see a juxtaposition in my work - soft pastels with iridescent textures paired with a woman drowning or a cozy Tokyo street cart with a 15 ft hungry tarantula, for example. All of these are meant to challenge the viewer with extreme discomfort in a comforting environment.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where did you grow up? What did you want to do when you were a child? What do you do, and where are you located now?
My name is Carly Fridhandler (aka Scorpion Sorbet), and I am an art director working in advertising living in Montreal, Canada. I’ve been working in agencies for the past 14 years. I also co-ran a design agency in Adelaide, Australia, for 4 years. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some high-profile clients like Adidas, Nivea, Walmart, Lululemon & Cirque du Soleil, to name a few. When I was younger, I dreamt grandiose ideas of starting my own fashion line, becoming an indie pop star, and even breaking the world record for the smallest origami crane ever made. Unfortunately, I haven’t succeeded yet lol. I have a family packed full of creatives, including my mother, who is a highly successful studio artist, my uncle, who is an incredible graphic designer, and my great-uncle, who won an Academy Award for animation. I like to think everything I ever wanted to do was inspired by creative expression.
Do you recall when and how you first consciously encountered AI?
A colleague at my agency first showed me Midjourney back in October of 2022. I was completely blown away by the limitless possibilities. The fact that I could instantly produce something that’s been hanging out in my mind for a while was a pivotal moment for me. I realized that this would fundamentally change how we create. One of the first things I ever rendered was a Scorpion Sorbet, hence the name was born, and gone was all my free time.
Can you briefly walk us through the development process step by step of your latest works?
Generally, concepts hit me out of anywhere. It could be an emotional reaction to a film, a song, an unpleasant interaction, a morbid curiosity, or even just scrolling through Instagram or TikTok. My latest series “Bold Glamour” stems from that. It’s a statement on the harmful beauty standards created by undetectable beauty filters - like the “Bold Glamour” filter popularized on TikTok.
So once I have what statement I want to make, I always post in thirds to tell a broader story. I generally work out the specific elements I want first, then I use my set of personalized camera settings and color palette to begin the rendering. From there, it becomes very mathematical, which I love. I’ll alter a prompt order over and over and test the same results to see where the hierarchy of elements gets placed. always go by my gut. If I feel something, then I hope you will too.
What software did you use to create these artworks?
I work primarily in Midjourney, but sometimes I'll use Photoshop if I feel like my work needs a little something. I might add grain, tweak the colours, or even add type if it helps convey the message.
What inspires you as an AI artist?
I'm inspired to tell authentic stories and give people a glimpse into the way I see the world, even if it's hidden at times. It's a medium that allows me to express myself fearlessly, boldly, and instantaneously.
What are your artistic ambitions?
I don't concentrate too much on the future; I've made that mistake before. For now, I hope to keep creating works that resonate with people. I'm a highly ambitious person but for now, I’m excited to see where my work takes me and how far I can push myself in this medium.
Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and why?
I'm deeply inspired by performance artist Marina Abramović because of her raw, fearless confidence, particularly her piece Rhythm 0 from 1974. I also love photographer Barbara Cole, specifically her collection called Surfacing, which features underwater shots of women struggling to keep their heads above water. The collection centers around themes of triumph, survival, and self-actualization. Finally, I adore Mu Pan, a Chinese American artist who creates large-scale, epic, and violent paintings. His work was showcased in the film Midsommar, and he inspires me to not be afraid to shock people.
From your personal experience, what advice can you share with aspiring AI artists?
Get to know your community. Reach out to other AI artists and share insights. I've been lucky to get to know some incredible creators from all over the world. I even started a collective called Cult, where we share pieces every week based on a set of selected prompts. Most importantly, be fearless and do it for yourself, not for the followers. Challenge yourself with each piece of artwork and try to say something instead of just showing something. Render out the real.
Interview by Gloria Maria Cappelletti