Want your art creations to sparkle? You may find yourself reaching for an AI digital art tool to create content. But which should you reach for? AI art tools are at a premium. For educators on a tight budget, paying $10-$30 a month for access is too much. Even for those who want to “freshen up” their digital newsletters, the cost may be too high. Let’s take a quick look at a few solutions that are free to start out using. But first, let’s take a look at how to create a prompt.
Update: This blog entry now includes how to generate amazing art with Canva’s Magic Studio and AI Apps. Scroll down to see more. If you have Canva for Education or a Pro account, you may NOT need some of the other AI Creator tools listed, except for variety.
Crafting an AI Art Prompt
When generating art with AI, having a good prompt is a must. Working to perfect your prompt and including details will ensure that your generated AI art matches what you’re looking for. Some suggestions for prompt writing:
- Describe the content of the image
- Describe the subject
- Add relevant details
- Describe the form and style
- Define the composition
Additionally, using adjectives and involving other AI tools, like Claude.ai, can aid you in prompt-making. With that in mind, I decided to use a standard prompt to test out several AI art generators. I consulted Claude to help me. Since I like owls, here’s my prompt and the prompt generated by Claude in response:
Test Prompt Text: “An oil painting portrait of a large wise grey hooded owl with intelligent yellow eyes emerging from darkness, covered in an intricate arcane robe embroidered with ancient Norse runes and symbols glowing with power. The owl’s feathers and robe flow abstractly in dramatic volumetric lighting and misty atmosphere, rendered in an abstract expressionist style with thick gestural brushstrokes and paint textures.”
AI Creator #1: Leonardo.ai
Although still under wraps, you can request Leonardo.ai access. My experience involved a short three-minute wait. Then, I logged in with my Google Workspace for Education account.
This beautifully designed website features inspiring images. Some points shared during the welcome guide:
- The featured models highlight various image generation styles. Select one and begin creating images with it yourself.
- Use text, image prompts, or image-to-image to create new 2D images.
- Explore features like Leonardo Alchemy and Prompt Magic v2.
- Post-process your images with features that include upscaling, unzooming, and background removal.
- Struggling to come up with prompt ideas? Toggle from Image Generation to Prompt Generation.
You can see that Leonardo.ai’s interface is quite rich:
From start to finish, the text prompt appeared within two minutes. I turned the images generated into an animated GIF:
I loved Leonardo’s AI art creations. You might see these gracing the cover of a class anthology on fantasy writing.
AI Creator #2: OpenArt.ai
Offering 50 credits to get started, OpenArt makes creating art easy from the get-go. You can see that OpenArt offers a variety of tools:
OpenArt generated two images for me based on my prompt:
All in all, an easy-to-use image generator.
AI Creator #3: Bing Image Creator
Microsoft Bing’s Image Creator has been my go-to for AI art based on text prompts. It relies on DALL-E to do the heavy lifting. It’s also easy to use, and it’s fast. While previous AI art creators took up to two to three minutes, Bing Image Creator generates in seconds.
You see the creation previews and can click on images for a higher-quality option. Here is what was generated from my prompt:
AI Creator #4: Fotor AI Art Generator
An impressive addition to the pack, Fotor does a fantastic job in its rendering of the text prompt:
The images generated are stunning (at least, that’s my opinion):
AI Creator #5: NightCafe Studio
This lightning-fast AI art generator offers one image in response to the prompt. You can see they have a simple interface that lets you get started quick:
Here’s their stunning creation:
But Wait, There’s One More! Canva Magic Studio
If you’ve read about Canva Magic Studio, you know that it can’t be left out of the pack. It offers so much more capabilities for AI-powered art generation that rival all the tools shown above. Let’s take a quick tour of what’s possible.
Canva’s Magic Media, a tool in the Magic Studio and also known as “text to image,” offers the best image generation. You can choose from multiple styles. What’s more, Canva’s Magic Media generates FOUR images to the standard one or two that other apps render. Take a look:
You get over 400 credits that renew monthly, so you can generate a lot of images with Canva’s Magic Media. But it isn’t the only AI-art generator you get access to. Here are a few more creations from DALL*E, Google’s Imagen, and Mojo AI. Of these, Mojo AI provides 75 credits when you register for free, but expends 4 credits to generate two images. Of course, I found Mojo AI’s creations to be the best of the second bunch, but unable to match Canva’s Magic Media.
Here’s a video of the process I went through to generate these (about 8 minutes):
Assessing AI Art
Want to assess AI-generated art? Consider the points these authors make:
Assessing the artness of AI-generated images continues to be a challenge within the realm of image generation. Most existing metrics cannot be used to perform instance-level and reference-free artness evaluation.Source: Chen, An, Lyu, Luo, Learning to Evaluate the Artness of AI-generated Images via ArXiv
Another important consideration? Copyright. Did you see the ruling from DC District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell? Judge Howell ruled:
United States District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled on Friday that AI-generated artwork can’t be copyrighted, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter. She was presiding over a lawsuit against the US Copyright OfficeSource: The Verge
To clarify Judge Howell’s ruling:
Copyright law has “never stretched so far” to “protect works generated by new forms of technology operating absent any guiding human hand,” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell found.Source: The Hollywood Reporter
How do you propose to address the use of AI art in your classroom or workplace?
These AI art generators are terrific, and there are even more out there. As you might imagine, these are a boon to any student author looking for a quick cover for a book or publication. You can easily combine images like this with others to get incredible results. These tools are especially attractive to writers who can’t draw well. Which one do you plan to try first?
Featured Image: Owl generated from author’s prompt using Microsoft Bing Image creator