Visual Artist, Neptunian
Sun Sign: Aries
Venus Sign: Pisces
I would blindfold myself, create random scribbles on a blank piece of paper with an ink pen and then draw myself out of it. After a year, I compiled all these surreal, Lovecraftian dreamscapes into one coherent story, then finally curated a soundtrack playlist on Spotify for readers to listen while enjoying the book.”Wilfred
Wilfred Lee has a variety of talents. From graphic art, to stand-up, acting, and even music, the creative world has been a life-long passion of his. He graduated with a degree in Animation from Seneca (York University) and went on to spend some time in South Korea, where he worked as a teacher, caricature artist and even as a video game concept designer. Like a true Aries, he enjoys taking the initiative when it comes to his goals and isn’t afraid of trying new things. After coming back to Toronto, he began doing some stand-up and working in film, all while balancing a career as a freelance artist.
“I currently do digital illustration and most recently Promptist Art: the method of interesting prompts and phrases to feed the AI algorithm program and let it interpret words into a visual format.” Promptism is an art movement based in modern-day technology as a response to the idea that traditional art was no longer relevant to society. The goal behind it is to transcend the boundaries of traditional art, by using AI technology in a way where it can co-create with the artist. In many ways, Wilfred’s work is very much Neptune-influenced, which has a lot to do with his Venus in Pisces. Since Pisces usually have the ability to channel energy and implement different dimensions of our universe into everyday life, this paves the way for making art something transcendent, rather than solely about self-expression and entertainment. Instead of art becoming for the sake of it, art takes on a more spiritual element.
“Ever since I’ve been involved in AI art, I’m constantly thinking of unique phrases. I’m inspired by anything and everything, like movies, environments, photographs, conversations, and other artists, to see how I can express it through the AI algorithm. Once inspired, I dive straight into the idea and test it out, then create iterations, and refine. Exploring deeper into the rabbit hole of results will always bring back amazing results.” Wilfred explores many styles, including but not limited to Solarpunk, Weirdcore, and Nostalgiacore, depending on the project involved. “It’s also been fun to remix pop cultural icons like Spiderman and Dr. Strange with these varied aesthetics to push the mediums and explore the endless possibilities.” For him, the goal is to come up with something that can connect with viewers on a “collective, unconscious level”.
One way he likes to participate in the AI art community is through platforms like Discord and Clubhouse. “It’s also one of the most collaborative artistic communities I’ve been involved with, which is amazing to have as an artist, regardless of personal level.”
In 2019, Wilfred published a graphic novel called Pareidolia Gateway. He came up with the concept by exploring a technique called ‘Pareidolia drawing’. This drawing technique originates from pareidolia, which is the human ability to see recognizable shapes in certain objects or spaces, such as being able to make out the shape of an animal in a curtain, or the now-classic man on the moon image. This is something quite common for Venus in Pisces, since they’re generally known for being able to see beyond the physical world, and somehow make the unknown relevant to our everyday life. As Wilfred describes it, “I would blindfold myself, create random scribbles on a blank piece of paper with an ink pen and then draw myself out of it. After a year, I compiled all these surreal, Lovecraftian dreamscapes into one coherent story, then finally curated a soundtrack playlist on Spotify for readers to listen while enjoying the book.”
In the art world, pareidolia is something that’s likely always existed, since already many of us tend to come up with inspiration out of seemingly random, everyday things. Carl Sagan’s theory is that this ability stems from our “evolutionary need to recognize, often quickly- faces. Somehow, our mind tries to make sense of the disconnected patterns and shapes around us and most often these incoherent dimensions take the shape of a human face. [It’s] a psychological response to seeing faces and other significant and everyday items in random stimulus.”
Currently, Wilfred spends his time between doing comedy and improv at Toronto’s Second City, and exploring the visual arts. “I’m constantly exploring different mediums to expand my limitations as a destiny for personal growth.” He’s also very much dedicated to the AI art scene and wishes more people would become aware of this area of the art world, since it’s rapidly becoming more and more popular. “What we can create with just words has elevated anyone regardless of traditional artistic skill to express their unique creative perspective. It’s already changing how and what we view as reality.”