The best “What if…?” invites you play along

As a writer, my mind is turning out endless “What if…?” scenarios (at times not a good thing, as I’ve explained).

And of course artists of all other stripes can play the same game.

It’s fun for me to see how they do that; not just their thinking process for merging ideas to come up with new twists on things, but also how they embrace — or even invent — new methods of approaching a project in order to create a final product we hadn’t seen before.

Photographer Alper Yesiltas has done this to beautiful effect in a series of images he calls As If Nothing Happened. In the ongoing project, he’s taking existing photos of late celebrities and processing them with AI and software technology to age them to produce what feels to him a lifelike representation of what those people would look like today if they hadn’t died when they did.

Really cool stuff.

And beyond just seeing what he’s accomplished at playing What if…?, his work then puts the ball back in our court and invites us to give thought to not only what these people would look like if they were alive today, but what else they would have gone on to accomplish. What other classics would Freddie Mercury have written and sung? Heath Ledger was reaching exceptional new performance heights in his last movies. What else would he have been able to accomplish? Would Kurt Cobain have invented more genres of music? Maybe even collaborated with Hendrix and blown everyone’s mind with the outcome?

Like some of the best art, it’s fodder to fuel everyone’s creative fire.