Art reference

Best Free AI Art Generators

An image of a dog with swirling lines in an oil painting style.

Sometimes I prefer my dog ​​to look a little more like a Pieter Bruegel piece of art, and thanks to AI, that possibility is within reach.
Image: Kyle Barr / Deep Dream Generator

The Impenetrable Hive the mind of the internet is a better artist than me. This is not a point of contention, it is a fact. Sure, I can write, but you shouldn’t have to witness the sloppy nature of my attempts at oil painting – all those atrocities lying around on a basement shelf. Even the worst AI image generators and their weird obsessions with certain wardrobes has an eerie – almost disturbing – fluid quality that makes every attempt at representation so distinct.

Leaving aside the question of whether AI-generated images are legitimate “art,” the best images produced by the system are more than just ways to create a weird nightmare. depictions of celebrities depicted in various artistic styles. At the same time, it is not enough for the digital artist to vaguely offer an impressionistic and oddly shaped “interpretation” of the images or original user prompts.

There is a middle ground amidst all this crushing between technology and art that even those less trained in the arts of brush-on-canvas can understand. What can inspire us? What can intrigue us? This is what AI image generators have the ability to do.

Most people can’t get their hands on the robust program like Dall-E, and I’m personally not willing to twiddle my thumbs until my turn finally hits the waitlist. Dall-E 2 seems like a pretty serious contender against the many online versions available, although I’d be curious to see how well it performs against more ‘art-based’ AI generators.

So we turn to free AI art generators, or at least those that offer free trial options. To better categorize each program, I gave them all the same, rather esoteric, textual prompts based on some books I recently read. These books include:

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng

Prompt: “A man and woman stand beneath a pendulum sun in the heart of Arcadia.”

The dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin

Prompt: “A lonely mathematician stands on a dusty planet with nothing.”

A memory called Empire by Arkadi Martine

Prompt: “An alien woman struggles alone against the machinations of a cosmic empire.”

There are several image generators that require photos instead of text prompts. As much as I would like to keep it consistent, I would prefer different systems rather than excluding them. For image-generating platforms that don’t allow text prompts, I used the same image for each:

Say hello to the young greyhound named Skip.

Say hello to the young greyhound named Skip.
Photo: Kyle Bar

I’m not an imaginative art critic, but at least I can tell if the AI-generated art actually attempted to portray a prompt in a way that isn’t derived or relies on copy and reproduce art found on the internet.

To be honest, I’m pleasantly surprised by some of the results from a few of the more popular free art generators. Let’s take a look, shall we?