On the 25th and 26th of April, 2023, I was in Brussels at the invitation of EVA (European Visual Artists), the representation of the Collecting Societies of Europe (which care for the royalties of rights owners of copyrighted artistic material), to speak about the situation of German comic artists and the problems authors and illustrators face with the AI development. I was also there in the name of my union, the
Illustratorenorganisation, as a member of their board, speaking on behalf of our beloved members, the many gorgeous artists of the countries that have German as a part of their native language.
After the opening by the wonderful Anke Schierholz, president of the VG Bild-Kunst (the German collecting society) and Carola Streul, the president of EVA, it was the turn of me and Perico pastor (sitting in the left on the last picture) to visualize and demonstrate the situation of the comic book artists in Germany and Spain respectively. I opened by showing the audience, to which parliamentarians Alícia Homs, Sandor Zsalai and Ibán García belonged, my working technique on a comic/graphic novel and continued with addressing the insufficient and complicated funding situation for this profession in Germany, and closed by making statements about the concerns that arise for us illustrators (and not only the comic book artists) by the latest AI developments.
Regarding that later in the same week, the European parliament made the first official statements about regulating AI in Europe, I hope I could help rising awareness for all illustrators across the union the days before the resolution.
Many thanks to all those lovely people in the ‚heart of power‘ in the European parliament for having me, and many thanks for listening. I feel truly European now :).
All photos by Bart Dewaele