We live in an age of accessible AI art generators that can help content creators grow their portfolios much more efficiently. They are capable of creating breathtaking, award-winning works of art in seconds.
Love them or hate them, AI art generators are here to stay and improve with each version released. With a little practice, they are relatively easy to use and can help with a variety of artistic idea implementations.
What are AI Art Generators?
An AI art generator is a system that uses an algorithm to create a work of art based on the information you give it. This can be text descriptions and a wide variety of images, including man-made artwork.
AI art has been evolving since the 1960s, with Harold Cohen’s AARON. AARON, an early form of AI generator, could create an infinite amount of images using the Lisp programming language, although it had a limitation. The images were made in the system’s own, distinct style and had to be programmed by the artist each time.
This meant that AARON was unable to learn different styles. It was also unable to implement deep learning or machine learning to improve the image creation process.
Both DALL-E 2 and Midjourney can be operated through their respective websites and link to your Discord server. Both have a free trial that allows you to create a limited number of images, but you can also subscribe to a paid version of Midjourney and purchase credits for DALL-E 2 to keep creating images.
In the year 2022, one of the first instances where AI-generated art won an award. Jason M. Allen from Colorado, USA, won an award for a piece called “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial”, made with the help of Midjourney. This received some criticism and made people question whether AI-generated art should be considered real art.
Aside from the ability to create award-winning AI art, what are some other uses of this medium? Here are five uses of AI art that transcend the basic image creation it is currently known for.
1. Illustrating Novels and Children’s Books
When an illustrated children’s book is created, the author usually shares the royalties with the illustrator (unless the author is also an illustrator and fulfills both roles).
The amount an author earns is significantly lower than the illustrator. While this is understandable, some authors may feel they want to retain full creative ownership of the book. AI art could be the way to ensure this.
Using AI art in creating novels and children’s books doesn’t necessarily mean it will affect illustration tasks. If the artwork is used as reference material during the writing and editing phase, it can be replaced by a human artist before being published.
2. Create Storyboards
AI art can be a great way to effectively storyboard a variety of visual media content.
It’s possible to imagine that soon the algorithms of AI art developers will be able to use the lines of a script to generate storyboards that are accurate to the director’s vision. This would certainly help speed up the development process and meet the media industry’s already tight deadlines.
To maintain the human dimension and keep money in the pockets of traditional artists, we could see artists reworking storyboards with their interpretation, and then publishing them as a book.
3. Making Indie Comics
One of the most popular ways to combine the written word with pictures is through comic books and graphic novels. How long will it take for the first comic book to be produced using only AI-generated art?
If you’re passionate about crafting the story of superheroes and villains, linguistically exploring bold new worlds and landscapes, and crafting a myriad of colorful background characters, AI art can be a great playground for generating content that matches your vision.
It takes some getting used to building artworks with an artificial intelligence system, but with some patience and practice you should be able to generate a story that moves organically and characters that react appropriately to the situations they find themselves in.
Midjourney is a great place to start. It’s very easy to sign up for a free account and add the bot to your Discord channel. Check out our guide to using Midjourney to get started.
This content can then be rearranged into comic book panels to create your final product.
4. Improve teaching materials
For teachers who are not very good at drawing, AI art can help improve teaching materials by creating images specifically related to the curriculum content.
AI art helps expand the imagination, an example of being able to pretend to answer questions like “What would the first Thanksgiving be like?”
Using these types of questions and the relevant AI art would provide interesting and varied discussion topics for the class.
The level of programming behind the AI systems has already made its way into the STEAM curriculum in North American schools, and for good reason. The MIT Raise Initiative has a wide range of AI-based learning units ranging from K-2 through grade 12. For all teachers looking to implement AI in their lessons, it is worth checking out this material.
There are several AI systems that can give you everything from broad and generalized images to more specific, customizable content. Browse the many ways to create images using AI to generate the perfect content to complement your lesson plan.
5. Concept art for video games
Using AI-generated art as concept art for video games is also a matter of speed and efficiency. Landscapes, backgrounds and strange and wonderful worlds can be created in almost an instant, giving you more time to work on the characters and game mechanics.
Video game concept artist Trent Kaniuga discusses the impact AI art can have on his work in the video below.
An important message that can be drawn from the discussion is that AI art is still in its infancy and there is still a need to adjust and adjust the images. However, it seems that concept artists would have to work at a much, much faster pace to keep up with the vastly shorter time frames that AI art can deliver.
Will the use of AI art negatively impact the creative job market?
No jobs are at stake for the foreseeable future. While this list of AI art uses continues to grow, the best combination is still to have the AI art system plus a skilled human to program and guide it.
If you’re ready to try an AI art generator yourself, but aren’t sure how to do it, there are plenty of fantastic tutorials out there that can help make the process easier.