Images and content © 2022, 2023 by Robb Schmidt


What the heck's a Jacek Yerka?!

When I first started creating with A.I., I had absolutely no idea WHAT a 'Jacek Yerka' was! I would see it in other people's prompts and assumed it was probably an artist's name, but as I had never heard it before, I couldn't be sure.

Of course an eventual Google search cleared it all up for me, and I found out that Jacek Yerka is this amazing artist from Poland. He paints fantastical fantasy landscapes that often have bizarre creatures in them, among other things.

I was an instant fan of his work, and often found myself going to Google to look at his paintings for inspiration, (like what you can see HERE). Just going through them will take you away to Yerka's wonderful world of imagination!

I soon found myself using his name in my own prompts and almost always loved the things I created when I did. I found myself using 'Jacek Yerka' in more and more of my prompts, eventually getting to where I am now, pretty much sneeking his name into every prompt I write!

I think I should emphasize here that I am not trying to copy Jacek Yerka's artwork or even the style of it. Furthermore, I don't even think his artwork or style COULD be copied using an A.I. platform, it's just too unique. The reason I use Jacek Yerka's name so often is because I enjoy the AI's 'interpretation' of his work, and how it affects the outcome of the artwork I create when doing so.

Sometimes Mr. Yerka's name is the only artist name I use in the prompt, but more often than not it is miXed in with several other artist's names, as I like to see the various results I get when doing so, and I have created my favorite combinations which give me my own 'look and feel' of artwork. Dare I say it? - My own 'style' while creating with AI.


Now I know the nay-sayers to AI artwork say that it's not artwork at all, and folks who create with AI are not artists. They say that we have stolen the images we create, by using a system that rips-off artist's styles and intellectual property. I don't see it that way at all, and I think these people are a bit uneducated as to how the AI actually goes about teaching itself.

I can't really blame them, as I had similar thoughts about AI art before I actually looked into how it is accomplished. I used to think people would write a prompt and then the software would somehow go out into the internet and take a snip of that picture, a dash of this picture, a bit from there and another bit from here, and magically miX all the pieces into a new picture. But that's not how it worX at all.

Instead, the AI has already been trained. It has 'scraped' millions upon millions of images on the web, and done its best to categorize those images into words and names. And it hasn't just looked at traditional artists' personal work, it has looked at a plethora of different kinds of images.

When I invoke Jacek Yerka's name in a prompt, the AI reads it and does it's best job to create the rest of the prompt's instructions from what it 'remembers' Yerka's style to be like from the images it has already associated with him. Of course it doesn't even come close to what Yerka paints, but it might have some similarities to his works, such as buildings crowded together, something seen in a few of Yerka's pieces.

I have heard what it does described something like this: The AI software acts a lot like a human brain in the way it learns. It 'sees' images and retains influences from them. Just like how a person might look at a dog, and then draw it from memory, the AI does the same thing, though much faster and usually better than the average human does.

When a human being learns how to draw or paint images, they do so by looking at other people's work and other assorted images, and so does the AI's software!


I made the above image, "Permanently Parked", with Jacek Yerka as the sole artist name in the prompt. I remember the prompt being quite simple, something like, 'black car with orange marigold flowers', then adding, 'in Jacek Yerka style', to the end of it.

I have no idea if Mr. Yerka has ever painted a black car or, for that matter, an orange marigold flower. But if he ever has or will, and decided to combine the two, I imagine it as being a better job than this image portrays, and likely far more interesting!

But as a stand alone image that I created using AI, Permanently Parked is quite wonderful in its own right, (if I do say so myself), and I couldn't have created it without using Jacek's name in the prompt. I just couldn't get that 'look and feel' by using any other artist's name.

I think the point I'm trying to make here is that when I use Jacek Yerka's name in my prompts, I am not trying to duplicate his artwork in any way, nor would I ever want to. But I do enjoy the results when I do use it, as a stand alone and when miXed with other artists.

I don't know if Jacek Yerka is aware of how often his name is being used in A.I. prompts, but I suspect he probably has a good idea. And I don't know if he has a negative or positive view about it. Maybe one day though, if he googles his name, he will stumble upon this blog post of mine and see that A.I. doesn't pose a threat to him or his fabulous artwork.

In fact, I think it has the eXact opposite effect for established artists like him, giving them eXtra eXposure that they couldn't get in any other way! People like me will look them up, learn about them, become huge fans of their work, and maybe even make a web page about them!

The more people who know about artists and their work, the more popular an artist and their work will become!

Read a brief bio on Jacek Yerka and his work in his own words HERE.
Visit Jacek Yerka's website, "Yerkaland", HERE.

Thank you Jacek Yerka for your work and inspiration!