Business partners Mike Mages and Curt Hamilton have leveraged their artistic and digital expertise to utilize a cool app to help anyone easily create interesting, unusual, and beautiful artwork. Mike is the owner of Pikazo, an iOS app that uses neural network AI to create amazing digital art.
Mike managed and ran his own printing business Dr. Graphx for over 25 years, and in 2017, he learned about Pikazo through his brother.
Mike explained, “I always viewed technology as a vehicle for fine arts and art prints, though I’m far more intrigued by the media than by the nuts and bolts of the app. We know that technology and art are merging in the modern world, and that technology is not only about efficiency and utility…it can also be a canvas for the mind’s imagination. We saw an avenue for greater accessibility to digital art, so I approached the Pikazo founders and over time, took over ownership of the company.”
Curt added “I started my design firm 30 years ago. When Mike introduced me to Pikazo, I was intrigued by the idea of creating fine art by marrying two images to create a completely new work of art. Art doesn’t have to be only on a traditional canvas; there are many people who enjoy digital artistry without the messy and time-consuming process of traditional mediums like paint and chalk.”
Pikazo brings a simple way for anyone to create their own unique art. Pikazo works by blending two images, a ‘subject’ and a ‘style’ such as a photograph and a painting. The resulting art is a combination of both, and entirely different from the originals. Users simply upload the images to the app or select from the app’s ready-made images and styles and merge them with just two taps. Users can repaint the image as much as they need to achieve their ‘vision’. Pikazo artists can share their creations on social media or have it printed on canvas for display in their home or a gallery.
“We found that many artists share the common goal of creating art using photography alone. Pikazo offers an artistic technique, just like using a paint brush. Our app is just a different tool that uses a different technique – and in the right hands, can result in exceptional artwork.”
Mike was quick to add that users don’t need any technical prowess to create art using Pikazo. All that is needed is the app and an imagination. Pikazo has presented at SXSW, as well as other tradeshows and events, and has garnered a strong following.
Pikazo is currently working to optimize its mobile ‘photobooth’ that requires only a tablet and printer. The Pikazo photobooth provides an entertaining experience for tradeshow attendees by printing an event badge with branding and company logos. The Pikazo photobooth provides an entertaining mobile marketing opportunity as trade show attendees ask about the unique and artistic badges worn by the company reps as they walk about the trade show. Attendees can then request to have their own badge created to be worn at the tradeshow.
Mike is also the creator of Vangoz, an online marketplace for art. Pikazo and Vangoz are owned by ChaosAIart, LLC. Pikazo is based in Chicago.
“Our long-range goals are to be the premier AI art app and resource, and to create an online community for idea exchange and artwork ecommerce,” said Mike. “It’s exciting that people anywhere can create art and share it with the art community no matter where they are.”
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