21 April 2024

An unparalleled collaboration: Hairdressing meets AI

In the constantly evolving world of art and hairdressing, collaborations often result in groundbreaking innovations and mesmerizing creations.

However, when the visionary Hungarian visual artist and creative director János Deri joined forces with the renowned Spanish hairdresser Jorge X from the exceptional X-Presion Creativos, the result is nothing short of extraordinary. Their remarkable collaboration brings together the realms of AI and hairdressing, pushing the boundaries of creativity and storytelling to new heights.

Today, we have the privilege of delving into the fascinating world of this remarkable partnership as we sit down for an exclusive interview with János Deri. As an AI Art & AI Film Visual Storyteller, János brings a unique perspective to the creative process, while Jorge X’s expertise in hairdressing adds an exciting dimension to their joint endeavors. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind their phenomenal collaboration and explore the intersection of art, technology, and hairdressing.

Can you tell us about your collaboration with renowned hairdresser Jorge X on the creation of your video collection (see below)?

I noticed Jorge when he liked my work on Instagram. I enjoy looking at the profiles of my followers, including Jorge’s. I was overwhelmed by his work. I don’t come from the industry myself but have previously worked in design and image editing, so hair creations, like bizarre sculptures, possess their own magic for me. A magic of form and color that enriches those who wear it. Anyway, we got in touch to follow each other. Then we talked about possibly doing something together. That’s when I came up with the idea of using Jorge’s work as inspiration and combining my motifs and his to create something entirely new.

What inspired you to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) tools into your video creations?

I come from the film sector, where regular projects require immense effort. Usually, a huge crew, camera, light, stage, actors, makeup, etc., along with the corresponding technology, are needed. I have always experimented, especially as car brands use large, elaborate visual presentations. AI is a welcome technological extension of creativity for me. It has strong limitations, but the playground is so vast and rich that for a creative who often works entirely alone, it can be a visual paradise. The magical variety and the opportunity to be in this bizarre world are the inspiration itself. I initially discovered it just for myself and didn’t anticipate that over time a certain style of my own could emerge that others might find fascinating. There are also legitimate voices that critically view AI both from an ethical perspective and as a kind of automated creation assembly line that takes jobs away from people. I don’t see AI as a replacement for humans or creativity, but as a complement. AI will not replace human values and emotions. And it shouldn’t.

Could you share some specific AI tools or technologies you used during the production of the video collection? 

The world of AI is rapidly evolving. The tools and software are getting better and more numerous. I work with Midjourney. It’s a well-known AI tool that allows you to generate images. I use the so-called blending technique where uploaded images are mixed and then directed in further directions with prompts. This process is repeated or refined until I’m satisfied. It can take 10 minutes, or 10 hours just for one image. To create a video, you need many images to select the best ones dramatically and, of course, to achieve surprising moments. I generate about 150-300 completely different motifs just for a short film. The images are then first edited in Lightroom and Photoshop because they are not perfect. The images are then brought to life with another AI tool named Runway-Gen2. Here, static motifs are suddenly turned into short experiences with a few commands and settings, which are then edited in Adobe Premiere. To complete it emotionally, the films are underlaid with music.

How did these AI tools enhance the creative process or contribute to the overall aesthetic of the videos?

We have been in a state of constant transition since the beginning of industrialization, using temporary technologies. All technologies were once new, and all current technologies will eventually be outdated. With AI, this happens at the speed of light. The processes change a bit because the tools are different. However, the process in my world has only changed to the extent that I fill several roles in one person with AI. From conception, script, camera, light, casting, styling, editing, it all happens right in front of me on a screen. Rick Rubin would say: reframe experiences. Basically, I only bring together the experiences I’ve gathered in my professional life and draw from my biography. One of the comments wrote: AI does everything for you, and you call it work? Yes, indeed, despite the great technical possibilities, it is very hard work. And even if the aesthetic spectrum can be extremely broad, my own curation is the hardest part. Regardless of how AI and the tools develop, it’s about my own aesthetics. In every profession or genre like music, art, literature, or even cooking, it mostly depends on the fine nuances whether something special is created or not. AI is no different.

In your opinion, what are the key benefits of incorporating AI into the world of hairdressing, particularly in the context of video creation?

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the hairdressing sector could be at the beginning of a promising path that has the potential to give the sector more possibilities. While large brands have the opportunity to explore and develop innovative AI applications that enable individual styling solutions on a global level, studios face the challenge of keeping up with their limited resources. In this context, large brands could play a key role by developing AI-based tools and applications that are then made available to studios. Ideally, these AI tools would offer user-friendly interfaces that allow hairdressers to experiment with different styles and colors, improve customer consultations through visual simulations, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction through customized styling options. By providing such technologies, large brands could help smaller studios expand their creative vision while bridging the gap between traditional craftsmanship and the latest technological advances. This would not only modernize the industry but also ensure that innovation and personalization are accessible at all levels of the hairdressing profession.

How do you envision the future of collaboration between creators and hairdressers, given the advancements in AI technology?

In light of advances in AI technology, the future of collaboration between creatives, like video artists, and hairdressers could represent an innovative fusion of technological precision and artistic flair. The industry could benefit from AI as a tool that not only increases the efficiency and precision of creative visions but also enables entirely new forms of creative expression. AI has the potential to expand the limits of what is possible in collaboration between these professional groups by creating unique, personalized experiences that were previously unreachable. This technology could help transform the way hairdressers and creatives work together by providing innovative solutions and tools that support and expand the creative vision.

What opportunities do you see for AI-driven innovations in the field of hairdressing in terms of creative expressions? 

AI-driven innovations in the field of hairdressing open up a wide range of opportunities for creative expression. By using AI, hairdressers can access advanced analytical tools that allow them to predict trends and make personalized style suggestions based on customer preferences and past decisions. Such innovations could help create customized experiences that emphasize the individual character of each customer. Additionally, AI could serve as a source of inspiration by suggesting new, creative styling options based on a vast spectrum of data, inspiring hairdressers in their daily work.

As an AI video creator, what advice would you give to hairdressers looking to explore new digital tools and technologies in their profession? What do you expect from SORA?

As someone who works with AI daily, I would tell any hairdresser curious about digital tools: just start playing around. The world of AI is huge, but you don’t have to learn everything at once. There are plenty of apps and online tutorials that make it easy to get started. Remember, this isn’t about dry further education; it’s about exploring a new artistic dimension that can enrich your work. Grab an app that appeals to you and try things out. It’s perfectly okay to focus on a small area that particularly interests you or is fun. From SORA, I expect it to support exactly this playful approach. It should be a platform that doesn’t overwhelm you but inspires you. One that makes it easy to find exactly the tool or function that takes your creative work to the next level. I imagine SORA helping you implement your ideas faster and more precisely while also giving you space to discover new things and further develop your own artistic language. In short, SORA should be a friend who supports you in bringing your creative vision to life with the power of AI.

Can you share any challenges or obstacles you’ve encountered while integrating AI into your workflow, and how you’ve overcome them? 

Oh yes, there have been plenty of challenges! At first, the whole world of AI felt like a huge puzzle where I didn’t even know where to start. Technology can sometimes be intimidating, right? But I learned it’s okay to start small. I took the time to experiment with individual tools to see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes I felt like a chef trying out a new recipe – a bit of this, a little of that, until somehow it works. The key for me was patience and the realization that every mistake is just a step on the way to learning. And the most important thing? Remembering that technology is a tool to expand our creativity, not replace it.

Lastly, what excites you the most about the potential for future collaboration between creatives and hairdressers, and what do you hope to see in this dynamic encounter of artisanship and technology? 

What really excites me is the notion that we’re at the beginning of a new era of creative collaboration. A world where AI not only sharpens our tools but also helps us understand more deeply what beauty means to each individual. I dream of a future where hairdressers and creatives of all kinds work hand in hand to create tailor-made, personal beauty experiences that make each of us unique. I see a future where technology brings us closer together by enhancing our ability to communicate with each other and with our work. I’m most looking forward to seeing how this fusion of art and technology allows us to break the boundaries of what we thought possible – and in doing so, form deeper, more personal connections with the people we serve through our work.

János x Jorge X

The strength of your industry is that it dedicates itself more to people than to technology. That’s what makes up its soul. That should never change,” says János. “And that’s exactly what makes Jorge’s work so special. He combines creativity, an experimental spirit, technological curiosity, and passion just to search for ever-new forms of expression for people.”

Ultimately, no matter how advanced AI or other tools are, we always find ourselves in a twilight world of our longings and possibilities. The next technological revolution is surely on its way to us.

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