Beyond the Reach of Robots – Art Styles Humans Do Better than AI

I really been thinking a lot about what kind of art styles will not be taken away by artificial intelligence like chat GPT, Gemini and Dolly. I’m thinking about art styles humans do better than AI because my daughter is really interested in becoming an artist and she is only 14 years old. Should we encourage her? Or should we, gently push her in a different direction?

The problem is that AI is going to be extremely good at some kinds of art. It doesn’t need to hold a brush, pencil pen or other instrument in order to make amazing looking paintings and drawings. This kind of art is going away very quickly. Artists with these skills are going to be replaced by machines very quickly even now.

What Kind of Art will Remain the Domain of Humans?

Contrary to a lot of opinions, I don’t think the art world is going to be totally lost. For millions of people, yes. AI is going take over everything they did, and it will do it better in many cases. It will certainly do it faster and cheaper than artists can create it.

All the business world cares about is better quality, faster, and cheaper – right?

Sure, there will be some artists who continue to draw on their own and sell their works as human-made. That label may even grow to mean much more than it does now. There may be a large group of society in all countries that refuse to buy AI made art from machines. Let’s hope!

Let’s look at different kinds of art and see which art styles or types may be immune to AI’s takeover, and which will succumb to the threat.


Unfortunately, and lets be honest here, drawing is going away. As far as making a living drawing, it’s almost entirely going to disappear – and very soon. The only kinds of drawing I can see making it for any length of time at all is going to be portraits by the artist sitting in the park or at an art fair. The artist draws you while people look on and marvel at his/her non-AI skills.

  1. Pencil Drawing. Using graphite pencils, ranging from hard to soft, for detailed and precise work.
  2. Charcoal Drawing. Charcoal sticks or pencils, ideal for rich, deep-black lines, showing contrast, and shading.
  3. Ink/Marker Drawing. Using pens or brushes with black, blue, or colored ink. This is often used in comics, and detailed illustrations. Here’s one of my favorite artists, I met her on Oahu one afternoon – Holly Kitaura.
  4. Pastel Drawing. Drawing with soft pastels, oil pastels, or chalk pastels. The effect is bright colors and nice blending of colors.
  5. Colored Pencil Drawing. Combining the precision of pencils with the color range of pastels.


The following list (and all their derivatives) are not going away anytime too soon in their original form. AI can replicate paintings of the same effect, but it cannot at the moment make originals using the paint on a canvas. There’s something to be said for a physical product like an oil painting that has lots of raised ridges and smooth strokes – isn’t there? I think a lot of people will prefer original paintings for a long time.

  1. Oil Painting. Slow-drying and versatile, allowing for detailed and layered work. My uncle Jim Rawlinson made oil paintings a large part of his work with scenes of Pennsylvania, so this has a special place in my heart when I see his art.
  2. Acrylic Painting. Fast-drying and flexible, can be used on various surfaces. Lately there are some really interesting pour techniques with acrylics that produce stunning colors and effects. This too, isn’t going away anytime too soon.
  3. Watercolor Painting. Transparent and fluid, perfect for soft and luminous effects.
  4. Gouache Painting. Opaque watercolors, offering a matte finish and vivid colors.
  5. Encaustic Painting. Using hot wax mixed with pigments, known for its rich texture and durability.
  6. Spray Painting. Using spray cans, often associated with graffiti and street art.


Most of these will remain in human hands as setting up a robot to be able to do this is probably just not going to be worth it in most cases.

  1. Etching. Using acid to carve designs into metal plates, then inking and pressing onto paper.
  2. Lithography. Drawing on a limestone or metal plate with a greasy substance, then using it to print.
  3. Screen Printing. For creating images by pressing ink through a stencil on a screen.
  4. Woodcut. Carving designs into wood blocks, inking, and pressing onto paper. Anything carved is going to be virtually untouched by AI for few years at least. Eventually we may have robots that can carve a block of marble like Michelangelo, but I think we’re years away from that.


One area that will be most untouched by AI is probably sculpture art. I can’t see it being worthwhile to have a robot do this, unless it’s just chipping away at a block of wood with a router bit. I think we already have that kind of art in the market. Sculpted art takes a lot of time to make perfect. Lots of minor corrections with different tools. Lots of sanding. I think this one is safe for a long time.

  1. Clay Sculpture.Modeling with clay, often leading to ceramic pieces.
  2. Stone Carving. Chiseling stone like marble or granite into shapes.
  3. Wood Carving. Shaping wood into various forms.
  4. Metalwork. Using metals like bronze, steel, or aluminum to create sculptures. I have a friend who creates very large aluminum art pieces as town centerpieces. I don’t think his style of art is ever going to be taken over by AI. What do you think?
  5. Assemblage. Combining found objects into three-dimensional art.

Digital Art

These types of art are disappearing already. Artists will move into other types of art or suffer dramatic decreases in sales as AI art competes directly with these.

  1. Digital Painting. Using software to create artwork that mimics traditional painting.
  2. 3D Modeling. Creating three-dimensional objects using digital tools.
  3. Vector Art. Using vector graphics software for clean, scalable designs.
  4. Pixel Art. Creating images at the pixel level, often seen in retro video games.

Mixed Media

These styles of art will probably never disappear. Our daughter made a collage on a piece of paper in her kindergarten class two days ago. That’s not going to suddenly stop happening. Bet on it!

  1. Collage. Combining various materials like paper, fabric, and photos on a single surface.
  2. Assemblage. Creating three-dimensional works from everyday objects.
  3. Photomontage. Combining multiple photographs into a single image.


Computers are already capable of creating intricate designs. Computers can make embroidered patches and other artwork that looks fantastic. AI will probably improve this art type and possibly begin creating its own.

  1. Weaving. Creating fabric by interlacing threads.
  2. Embroidery. Decorating fabric with needle and thread.
  3. Tapestry. Weaving intricate designs and pictures into fabric.

Installation Art

  1. Site-Specific Installations. Creating works designed to exist in a specific location. As I said, my friend Mick creates huge metallic structures that are probably never going to be handled by an AI program.
  2. Interactive Installations. Artworks that require viewer interaction to complete or alter them.

Performance Art

These art forms are not going away due to AI’s presence. Will we have robots that dance beautifully? Probably. Does anyone want to see a robot dance better than a person? I don’t. Not sure about the rest of the world! You?

  1. Performance Art. Using the artist’s body as the medium, often involving live performances that can include elements of theater, dance, and music.
  2. Happenings. Unscripted, spontaneous events that often involve audience participation.


Beach and mountains at Hat Noppharat Thara Beach in Krabi, Thailand.

Above is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. Will AI create something far better? Probably!

The photo-realism that AI is capable of will improve with time. It’s really quite good already, but within a year, two years, it will be capable of producing very high definition photo-like images that cannot be distinguished from camera photos.

  1. Portrait Photography. Capturing the likeness of a person or group.
  2. Landscape Photography. Focusing on natural or urban landscapes.
  3. Macro Photography. Close-up photography of small subjects, like insects or flowers.
  4. Street Photography. Capturing candid moments in public places.
  5. Abstract Photography. Using visual elements like color, light, and texture to create abstract compositions.

Ceramic Arts

This one is going to attract tens of millions of new hobbyists and artists as they realize it’s a great way to produce human hand-made art that is beautiful, durable, and meaningful in light of AI’s presence in other art forms. I have an ex who just opened a pottery studio in Boston. Probably a wise move as ceramics is going to explode in the coming years.

  1. Pottery. Creating functional and decorative objects from clay.
  2. Porcelain. Fine, white, high-temperature clay work known for its translucence.
  3. Stoneware Durable clay work fired at high temperatures, often used for dishes and vases.

Fiber Arts

It’s unknown how much impact AI will have on this are of the art world. Probably not much initially. It could be safe for some years.

  1. Quilting. Sewing together layers of fabric to create a quilt.
  2. Knitting and Crocheting. Creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn with needles or a hook.
  3. Felting. Matting, condensing, and pressing fibers together to create fabric.


On paper, calligraphy is as good as dead. AI will produce perfectly made letters in a variety of styles. Where there may still be some use for humans is in adding calligraphy to 3-D objects like plates, coffee cups, furniture, sculpture, etc.

  1. Western Calligraphy. Using pens or brushes to create stylized writing, often seen in manuscripts.
  2. Eastern Calligraphy. Traditional calligraphic practices from Asia, particularly China and Japan, using brushes and ink.

Glass Art

This will remain virtually untouched by AI. Sure, AI can eventually blow glass, but as far as art, it will take a human to make intricate designs. I don’t see AI involved in creating entire glass art pieces for years, if ever.

  1. Blown Glass. Shaping molten glass by blowing air into it.
  2. Stained Glass. Creating images or patterns by arranging colored glass pieces.


This one is safe from AI for years, possibly forever. It just won’t make much sense to bring a robot that can do it unless somehow they make it much faster and less prone to error than humans. Possible, I guess.

  1. Tile Mosaics. Using small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials to create images or patterns.
  2. Pebble Mosaics. Using natural pebbles to form decorative designs.

Graffiti and Street Art

I fear the day when rogue AI robots are running through the streets with paint cans ruining every surface they can reach. Probably not going to happen. For a while.

  1. Graffiti. Writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. I can’t see any AI robot ever replacing something like David Choe does – can you? Here he is painting the walls of Facebook’s home office.
  2. Street Art. More formalized art in public spaces, often with a political or social message, using various techniques like stenciling or paste-ups.

Conceptual Art

Depending on the materials used, AI could dramatically affect these styles of art.

  1. Idea Art. Focuses more on the idea or concept behind the work rather than the physical artifact.
  2. Minimalism. Emphasizes simplicity and the idea that “less is more.”

Other Traditional Art Forms

I could see AI completely taking over #2, and #3 below. Miniature painting is well within the scope of what AI will be programmed to do.

  1. Fresco. Painting on wet plaster, commonly used in murals.
  2. Iconography. Creating religious icons, particularly in Eastern Orthodox traditions.
  3. Miniature Painting. Detailed, small-scale paintings, often in manuscripts.

Wrapping Up

There will be some fantastic pieces of art in this realm. I’m curious to see some, to be honest! Not all AI art will be bad, some of it is going to blow our minds. It’s a shame that it is going to displace so many artists. Income from art for many millions of artists is going to fall off a cliff.

It already is.