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The Catalog of Fantastical Instruments

For a few months I've been using Leonardo AI to create images of "musical instruments." I provide a prompt that includes something about one or more instruments and an art style. After accumulating more than 250 images, I thinned the collection to the 42 images I liked best. I asked for a surreal style. While there are many surreal artists (Max Ernst, Jean Arp, René Magritte, Yves Tanguy, and others), Leonardo appears to be most influenced by Salvator Dali. At least that's what the color scheme suggests to me. I like that style. I think it complements the theme of musical instruments.


My experience with generative models thus far is that the results are often distortions of reality.

For example, images that contain humans might show them with extra fingers or an arm that

isn’t placed quite right. Scenic images might contain objects that float or otherwise don’t obey

physics. I tried to harness this tendency when I created these images. The instruments are indeed fantastical.


This image is supposted to be a double bass. I think that's why it is one huge instrument with two fretboards. Perhaps the one on the left sounds like an electric bass and the one in the center an acoustic? Then what is the appendage on the right?


The harp almost looks playable. I love the etheral setting and painting on the harp. There is an extra appendage, but perhaps the musician can sit there?


It seems appropriate to show the viola in a still life with viola-shaped flowers. This image shows Leonardo's tendencey to conflate two meanings of a word.


If you want to see all the images, get The Catalog of Fantastical Instruments, which is available in print and PDF versions from Magcloud:

If you want to try your hand at creating art using an AI platform, see https://leonardo.ai

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