I bought the domain name MisterX.ca way back in 2003. Originally I just used it so I could have a personalized email address: MisterX@MisterX.ca - which I thought was pretty cool at the time.
A couple years later my wife sent me a link to a snowflake making site. You could create a flake, place a message on it, then add an email address to it. A link to your creation and message would then be sent to the recipient. They could, in turn, write a message back to you on the flake and you'd get an email in your inboX if they did. Pretty basic stuff.
Of course after I got her greeting in the mail and checked it out, I had to make a few of these flakes myself. Being a compulsive doodler, it was a perfect online passtime, and it was fun trying to draw designs with my mouse. I soon taught myself how to draw perfectly straight lines with my mouse and immediatly began getting encouraging messages from the other people on the site. I soon found myself starting to visit it regularly.
Then I 'discovered' that these flakes could be made to animate, and that the animations could be thrown in reverse and then back into forward again, which resulted in amazing flashy worX of art! I later found out that even the creators of this snowflake making website didn't know this could be done. That is when I was suddenly overwhelmed with "how'd you do that" comments. I couldn't really describe what I was doing on the limited space the snowflakes gave us, and I couldn't possibly answer all the people asking me the questions about it.
That was when I decided that I should try and teach myself how to make a web page and get it on the internet. I could describe what I was doing, add a few pictures for reference, and when someone asked me how I did something, I could just direct them to the web page that I had made about it.
So I taught myself how to create basic HTML pages and how to upload them onto the web so others could see them. Oh my gosh, it was like magic to me when I saw my first page published, and I eventually became addicted to creating these pages and seeing how 'artistic' I could make them! I ended up spending thousands of hours writing articles about the art of snowflake making, making an artistic looking page to place the article on, and uploading it onto the web.
To my surprise, (and the surprise of the snowflake site creators), my instructions began to become super popular. Instead of just doodling a snowflake and moving on, people would become addicted to making flakes and learning all the tricks I had published. They would stay on the site and make thousands of them! Instead of just a few 'flakers' on the site at a time, it would become dozens, and then hundreds, and at least once, over 1000 people at the site making snowflakes!
I would even hold contests, where the flakers would try to nab certain flake numbers and could win cash and prizes for doing so! These contests were insanely popular, and when one of those special flake numbers would approach, the flakers would all release their flakes at the same time, trying to get the special number. This often resulted in over 500 flakes being made PER MINUTE! MisterX.ca had become a huge success, getting thousands of hits every day and resulting in MILLIONS of eXtra flakes being made at the snowflake site, and I had even become a sort of flaky 'superstar' with hundreds of fans!
This was, of course, a LOT of hard work for me. Instead of being a fun hobby, MisterX.ca had become a JOB. I started to feel like I was a slave to it, and my enthusiasm started to dwindle. I left all my content up for new flakers so they could learn the tricks, but slowly started to stop publishing new pages at the rate people were used to.
Then one day, (thankfully, in retrospect), the creators of the snowflake making site decided to edge me out of the equation. To this day I really have no idea why, as I and my flaky fans had made their site a huge viral success. I think that perhaps they didn't like an outsider having such an influence on their creation. They completely revamped the programming so that my tips and tricks became irrelevant. No longer did a newcomer have to learn how to do the tricks, they were easily accessible to everyone now.
This really ticked me off! After all the hours I had spent promoting their website, making it a huge success, this was the thanX I got in return! What they hadn't planned for though was that their new programming also ticked off all the 'regular flakers' who had spent so many hours fine tuning their own flaky skills at my site, only to have them taken away so everyone could do them with no effort at all. They left the site in droves, which fiendishly left me with a wonderful warm feeling inside!
That was it! There was no longer any reason for me to leave my pages online, and I certainly didn't feel like promoting someone else's website that didn't even appreciate it. I removed all my hard work and put up a rather generic "come back soon" page here at MisterX.
I didn't do anything with the site for years afterward, though I still had my cool email address! I thought I would one day use it display my digital artwork, as I was now drawing online with my mouse, a skill acquired at the snowflake site. But, as the old saying goes, tomorrow never comes, and I never got around to actually making another version of the site to show off my digital drawings gallery. It was always more fun to create the drawings instead, so that is what I did online for all those years.
Then, around August 2022, I somehow discovered the Deep Dream Generator, which is an A.I. Art creating website. When I found it, there were 2 ways to use the site. There was the original "Deep Dreams" version where you could input an image and the A.I. would poop-out a new version of it, often on the psychedelic side, where images of animals and other things would magically appear in the new images. And there was also a "Deep Style" version, where you would upload a base image, and then a style image, and the A.I. would take the textures of the style image and add them onto the base. This was the version I got addicted to, and I spent months trying to get it just right.
Then, just as I was finally getting the hang of it, the Deep Dreams creators introduced a 'teXt to dream' option. This is where the user types in what they want the A.I. to create, with a prompt, (a written description of what the A.I. should create). I was HORRIFIED! Just when I was finally getting the hang of how to create with Deep Style, the site had a new way to create, which really took off. I had no desire to learn this teXt version, it was way too complicated for me, but everyone was doing it and the Deep Style quickly went out of style on the site.
Everyone was creating text to dream images. When I looked up prompts from other A.I. sites, they were long and complicated, often calling up artist names that I wasn't familiar with. It seemed to me to be an impossible task. I wasn't ready to take a university course in art history so I could type out a fitting prompt for the A.I.! But, as I tend to do, I began eXperimenting, and to my surprise, a complicated prompt wasn't needed at all.
I would try simple prompts like "A black and white landscape by Jacek Yerka" and be AMAZED at the results! Then I got daring and would add artist names that I was familiar with, like Salvidor Dali and even Dr. Seuss, (which have since become favorites). WHOA!!! I could hardly believe the things I was making! Others on the Deep Dreams site also began noticing my worX there, and I began to once again gain actual 'fans' of my creations. I was truly delighted, and again became hopelessly addicted to another digital art creating medium.
All was well, I was creating artworX that were wonderful, (in my opinion), people were enjoying them and giving me encouraging likes, and I even often appeared at the top of the Deep Dreams site in the number one position in "trending", and sometimes even in the "best" catagory. Life was good!
Then in May 2023, it came to my, (and the others on the DDG site), attention that our artwork was being relentlessly RIPPED OFF, especially by one woman in particular. She was selling all of our artworX on one site as downloads, for a very economical $4.00 each! What an insult! She was claiming that she had made them all herself, and they could be used to print and frame, in blogs, and even in books! What a %$#@*!!!
All of us DDG artists united, and we complained to the wesite admins where she was doing this, and it resulted in her plagiaristic page being taken off line. Yay, success!
Then I discovered the same woman was selling our artork as NFTs, (non fungible token). This would give the buyer eXclusive rights to the image, if, of course, they actually owned it! The nerve of this #$@%*!
THEN, to top it all off, I discovered that another user of the DDG site was taking my images, reversing them horizontally, and then feeding them back through the DDG site as a base image, using my eXact original prompt so they would come up with a technically 'original' image, but it looked eXactly like my image did, (eXcept as a mirror image with ever so slight differences). Then they were posting the new image as their original design at Deviant Art and thanking everyone who commented on it. SHEESH!
That was the straw that broke THIS camel's back. I had to remove my online public gallery from Deep Dreams. It's so sad that I had to do this, as I was really gaining a wonderful fan base there, and many of my images had achieved over 500 likes. I was so proud of how far I had come in under a year, but enough was enough. I couldn't keep creating and publishing my worX so others could take credit for them.
So, what to do? How do I make this horrendous negative into a positive again? Well, you are looking at my answer.
MisterX.ca now has a new reincarnation. It is finally the gallery for my artwork that I always wanted it to be. I will update it weekly with my new creations, and I will eventually add my past digital creations to it. I will create a blog section where I can add articles about A.I. artwork and other things I find relevant and interesting, and I will NOT become a slave to it!
It's a new world for MisterX.ca, and a new creative outlet for me! Enjoy your visit here, and if you feel so inclined, please share the URL online to help me garner traffic. I don't eXpect MisterX.ca to ever again be as popular as it was in its glory days, but I certainly WILL appreciate any traffic it gets now, as I'll know people who visit here will be here to view and appreciate MY artwork, and the other goodies I choose to publish here.
If you've read this far, you are truly a trooper, and I thank you for your interest : ) Please come back soon to see my new images and where MisterX.ca is headed!
With kindest regards,