Cypherville's art is created using an AI-powered CLIP-Guided Diffusion (Coherent) model. This process involves using multiple sets of advanced prompts for each piece, which the AI processes with the longest available iteration. Each piece takes between 25 minutes and up to 3 hours to generate. The pieces that take up to 3 hours are processed multiple times with additional prompt tweaks to target different results, resulting in longer processing times.
The work initially involved a fair share of prompt experimentation, followed by optimization and, most importantly, curation. I believe that with AI art, the curation process is one of the most important parts of the creation process. It allows me to integrate myself into the artwork beyond the technical aspects and truly claim the work as my own once I connect with the vision. Curation is a way to distinguish myself from other artists by making a strong statement through my unique style.
Where did it all begin? I created the art for Cypherville between May and June 2022. My initial goal was to create a poster for a fictional sci-fi/fantasy movie as an experimental project. It was odd considering I'm not usually a fan of sci-fi, but that's what I wanted to do given I had recently watched a movie by a famous producer that inspired me, and I found the task to be a challenging one. So I decided to take on the challenge for myself. Why not?
What happened, however, is that creating with AI can result in cool and unexpected outcomes that do not always align with the artist's original intention or vision. So, I became fixated on achieving my desired outcome, rather than accepting whatever the AI generated. My goal was to make the AI work for me, not the other way around. After 7-10 days of experimentation, I created my first robot, now known as the creatures of type "Cypher". I was so thrilled with the results that I spent the next 15-20 days developing more characters purely for my own enjoyment. However, since I make art as a means of escaping from myself and my life, eventually the novelty wore off, and the dopamine rush subsided to the point where I moved on with my life and left the artwork untouched in a folder with no further intention. That's how the visual aspect of Cypherville came to be.
After the ordinals protocol arrived in early February 2023, I found myself swept up in the craze with everything happening fast. While I always hesitated to publish my art on Ethereum due to ideological reasons, I couldn't resist the idea of having my art truly on-chain, on the best chain of all, namely - Bitcoin. I had a few other artwork that I was considering publishing, but when the concept of Cypherville: Tales of Bitcoin maximalism struck me, I went all-in.
The name "Cypherville" derives from the word "cypherpunk," an integral part of the Bitcoin ethos. The Tales of Cypherville (storytelling) were inspired by the fact that I had always imagined these creatures as being part of a movie, so making stories involving them felt natural. Furthermore, since the art had been created some time ago, I felt that adding storytelling was a good way to introduce new ideas and references to current events. Finally, the longevity concept, which is unique to Cypherville and specific to the ordinals protocol, came from the desire to keep the mystery by not revealing all the pieces of the collection at once and to offer a unique experience to collectors.
What I like most about Cypherville is that it embodies how I see my own creative process in general. I don't force or impose creation on myself; instead, I let it come to me naturally when I need and feel it. This collection truly captures the essence of how I perceive my art, as something that follows, evolves, and grows with me over time. Sometimes, there are long dormant periods between the seed idea and the publication of the final work, during which I need to live my life to find the missing pieces of the puzzle. It is only then that I can truly understand what the art means to me and allow the vision to find me akin to the Cypherville universe as we know it today.