Love it or hate it, it looks like AI-generated art is here to stay.
Back in January 2021, OpenAI's art generator DALL-E burst onto the scene and flooded our social media timelines with fairly ropey-looking AI-generated images.
As with any novel technology, many people try AI art generators out of curiosity because of media hype. They just have fun with it and try to make the most ridiculous images possible—like the "Daschund race" on the left.
The first art generator apps' results may not have been great, but they introduced the concept of text-to-image art generation using Natural Language Processing (NLP).
In 2022, a new wave of improved image generators were released to the public. All of a sudden, anyone could whip up a piece of decent-looking art in a matter of minutes. To many professional artists and designers, AI art generation wasn't gimmicky anymore—it was threatening their copyright and livelihoods.
While there's no doubt that art-generating tools are a disruptive technology impacting the creative industry, we don't think its impact will be completely negative. There's so much potential for designers, artists, and marketers to use art generators like they do other art tools:
- Research and inspiration
- Conceptualization and trying out new ideas
- Creating drafts and sketches in different styles
- Storyboarding for project briefs and pitch decks
- Automating tedious tasks, like image compositing
Image generator apps can be a starting point for your creative process and design practice. Of course, you can also use the image generation playground as a fun, creative outlet.
If you've started looking into generative AI for art and design, or you've tried a few tools already, this list will give you a good overview of what's available in the AI art generator market.
Ready to find your next AI art generator tool? We'll examine a wide range of image generation models, provide image generation examples, and figure out what makes each of them worth your time (or not).
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1. DALL-E 3
The latest version in the DALL-E series, DALL-E 3, was released in October 2023. It represents a significant leap in AI-driven art generation. Building on the capabilities of its predecessor DALL-E 2, it offers even more sophisticated and nuanced image creation from textual descriptions.
Its advanced algorithms allow for higher-resolution outputs and more accurate interpretation of complex prompts and original images. This could make it an invaluable tool for illustrators and designers seeking precision and detail in their conceptual work.
DALL-E 3 can generate high-quality images in OpenAI's ChatGPT-4 and Microsoft's Bing Image Creator. Using simple text prompts, it can create renditions in a range of styles, from photorealistic images to pixel art.
DALL-E 3's improved understanding of contexts and subjects means marketers can also use it to create visually compelling and contextually relevant imagery.
"I recently experimented with DALL-E 3 from OpenAI's latest update for crafting branded visuals for our site. The visuals were impressive, but incorporating text was a bit tricky. I encountered misspellings and occasional mismatches with my specified color schemes. I'm now fine-tuning my prompts to strike a balance in generating on-brand images with accurate text. However, I find myself still turning to other design tools for those crucial final touches and extra enhancements to get the visuals just right." – Shanal Govender, Chief Editor of MarketSplash
Pros and cons of DALL-E 3
|Generates highly detailed and realistic images
|May produce unexpected or surreal results
|Advanced understanding of text prompts
|Limited access or waiting list for use
|Versatile in creating a wide range of art
|Some usage restrictions for commercial work
|Continuously improving technology
|Requires deep understanding of prompt crafting to get the desired results
|Highly accessible via other platforms like Bing AI
2. DreamStudio (Stable Diffusion)
Developed by Stability AI, Stable Diffusion is one of the text-to-image generators that has taken the world by storm and captured people’s imaginations.
Stable Diffusion is an open-source software, meaning that anyone can install and run it on their computing system. But to do this, you’ll need to be tech savvy and have a fair bit of computer processing power at your disposal.
Stability AI also created the DreamStudio web app, allowing you to create incredible images directly in your web browser.
We love using DreamStudio. It has a user-friendly interface and a detailed guide on how to get the most out of prompt engineering. This means you'll quickly learn how to generate accurate depictions in different aesthetic styles.
You can tweak your prompts to increase the weighting given to certain aspects or use negative prompts to eliminate things from the images being produced. Like DALL-E 3, it also offers an inpainting and outpainting feature and the ability to replace parts of images.
Stabile Diffusion is free to use, and DreamStudio supplies you with a limited number of free credits to start with. After you've used your prompt credits, you can purchase more to keep producing images.
Pros and cons of Dreamstudio
|Offers high-quality images
|Might generate unexpected artifacts
|Supports diverse and complex prompts
|Requires understanding of prompt nuances
|Rapid image generation
|Can be resource-intensive
|Versatile image enhancement tools
|Potentially steep learning curve for beginners
|Completely open source and free to use
|May be better for producing art than for producing realistic images
This AI art maker is arguably the go-to choice for amateur artists and those who want to experiment and play with AI art creation. This is probably because there's such a large community built around it on Discord.
For this reason, it's perhaps not as accessible as DALL-E 3 and Dreamstudio, because you'll need to learn how to navigate Discord's chat platform first if you're not already using it. You’ll also benefit from reading Midjourney's documentation to get started with prompt mastery.
Using it through Discord is both exciting and overwhelming—you get to see what other people are creating in real-time, and the images keep coming. The reason Midjourney is so popular is because the images it produces are arguably the most artistic and aesthetically pleasing.
The platform has also drastically improved the rendering of realistic images, and it can make a convincing oil painting in a matter of minutes. You'll have to wait for your turn after posting your prompt. You may also need to scroll in the chat to find your image batch among the others.
Pros and cons of Midjourney
|Produces unique and artistic image styles
|Results may vary greatly with prompts
|Great for abstract and conceptual art
|Can be less intuitive for new users
|Constantly evolving with user feedback
|Limited control over specific image details
|Encourages exploration and experimentation
|May require multiple attempts for desired outcome
|Requires a paid subscription with no free version available
We love the origin story behind Nightcafe. It was founded in 2019 by Angus Russell in the spare bedroom of his semi-detached house in Australia.
The initial inspiration came from his struggle to find artwork to hang in his house, and nothing he could find felt quite right. He was inspired to use AI to create custom images and personalized art, and his dream snowballed from there.
Nightcafe's mission is to democratize art creation. Using AI tools, everyone can make something creative and personal. The website's simplistic style reflects this.
In fact, in the Nightcafe Studio, you can use the Stable Diffusion and DALL-E engines. The difference is in the way you're guided through the process. Nightcafe aims to be as user-friendly as possible and instructs you at each step of the way. It also offers tutorials to help you improve your prompts.
If you want to tweak your generated creations, you can easily access a range of advanced functions on the platform.
Pros and cons of Nightcafe
|Wide variety of styles and algorithms
|Some styles may produce lower-quality results
|Credits system limits usage
|Many customization options
|Occasional long wait times for rendering
|Community features for inspiration
|May require trial and error for best results
This AI-image generator works a little differently compared to many of the text-to-image art generator tools in this list.
Rather than only converting words into images, Artbreeder offers many functionalities: Poser, Mixer, Tuner, Collager, Patterns, Splicer, and more. The Poser function lets you choose a pose and upload a face to generate a new image. The Splicer function can combine two images and create a new custom image.
The software is free to use, albeit with limitations. Different subscription levels unlock additional features. We found the user interface for the software to be somewhat confusing. Overall, it’s fun to play around with, but it's not a first choice for achieving high-quality results.
Pros and cons of Artbreeder
|Enables easy blending and morphing of images
|Limited to styles available on the platform
|Intuitive interface for beginners
|Results are highly unpredictable
|Encourages collaborative creativity
|High-quality exports may require a paid subscription
|Vast library of images for inspiration
|Can be less precise for specific artistic visions
6. Deep Dream Generator
This AI art generator shares similarities with plenty of others. It uses Stable Diffusion for its text-to-image functionality, but its image-to-image generator makes it different. The functionality of the platform is very easy to understand, and you can get to creating images very quickly.
Deep Dream Generator also has a few presets you can select to generate particular art styles, which takes the pressure off if you’re new to generating good prompts.
The Deep Style and Deep Dream functions enable you to upload an image of your choosing and then apply one of the many available effects.
In this way, you can take advantage of AI to turn an existing image into a painted mural on a wall, a painting in the style of Van Gogh, and much more. The Deep Dream function adds a strange, psychedelic effect to your images.
This AI generator is fun and easy to play with, but you may want to use a different AI tool if you're looking for professional-looking generated images.
Pros and cons of Deep Dream Generator
|Creates unique, surreal art styles
|Results can sometimes be overly abstract
|User-friendly and easy to navigate
|Limited control over the final outcome
|No need for technical or artistic skills
|High-quality images may require a subscription
|Offers a few different processing styles
|Can be slow to process images
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7. Craiyon (formerly DALL-E Mini)
Craiyon is arguably the art-generating app that first brought AI image generation into the mainstream. This progressive web app (PWA) has a super simple interface and is incredibly easy to use.
Its basic text-to-image format lets you enter prompts and wait for the image outputs. The images take around two minutes to produce, and in that time Craiyon serves advertisements.
Craiyon's output images have improved drastically. When we tested the platform earlier this year, the generated images were blurry and rendered almost unrecognizable facial features. Now, it's an accessible way for newcomers and children to experiment with text-to-image prompts and produce decent results.
But other AI art generators far surpass Craiyon's ability and quality.
Pros and cons of Craiyon
|Free and easy to use
|Contains ads which may be intrusive
|Accessible to beginners
|Limited control over image details
|Generates creative images
|Quality may vary with complex prompts
|Suitable for quick experiments
|Outputs are lower resolution
|Logo watermark on images generated with free version
8. Dream (by Wombo)
If you’re looking for a fun, quick, and easy way to create high-quality and accurate images with AI, then Dream is for you. It’s incredibly fast and simple to use. You can boot it up in a web browser or install it on your phone.
Type your prompt, pick an art style, and then hit the Create button. If you want your output to be based on an existing image, you can upload one and follow the same procedure.
This platform is free, but you’re limited to one output image per prompt. If you'd like Dream to generate up to four images or a video, you need to upgrade to the premium version. The premium version also unlocks more art styles.
Dream by Wombo lacks the fine-tuning and finesse offered by other AI generators, but it’s one of the most fun and user-friendly platforms on our list.
Pros and cons of Dream
|Extremely user-friendly interface
|Limited customization options
|Ideal for quick and effortless creativity
|May not suit highly detailed art needs
|Generates visually striking artworks
|Art style can be repetitive
|Suitable for beginners and non-artists
|Relies on preset algorithms and styles
|Logo watermark on images generated with free version
9. Starry AI
Like many of the other AI art generators on this list, Starry AI offers the ability to create AI art from text prompts and use your own images as a starting point.
You simply add your text or image, pick your style, and click 'Generate.' It also allows you to enter negative prompts, choose your image size and orientation, and select the runtime. A longer runtime will produce better-quality images, but you can choose a short runtime for quicker results.
For us, the real value of Starry AI comes from its inclusion of so many different artists as options for the styles. Using its Prompt Builder feature, you can pick 'Popular' styles, 'In the style of' famous artists, 'Movements,' 'Made of' for certain materials, and more. For living artists, copying their work without permission can be considered unethical, and you shouldn't be using the styles intending to profit from the results.
But for personal use, it's an easy way to create images in the style of your favorite artists. Starry AI gives you a few credits to start producing images, and after that, you need to pay to generate more images. This follows the same model as most of the AI art generator apps we've explored.
Pros and cons of Starry AI
|Intuitive interface for easy use
|Image generation can be slow
|Offers both text-to-image and art styles
|May require in-app purchases for full features
|Generates high-quality, artistic images
|Limited customization options
|Free version available
|Outputs may vary in artistic interpretation
DeepAI's Image generator offers a variety of options. You can choose the model, style, image size and orientation, and other enhancements.
Its ability to process and interpret visual data using advanced AI algorithms allows users to transform simple text prompts into complex, visually appealing artworks.
The free version's interface is a bit buggy when you want to try out different styles, but with a little patience you can get some surprisingly good results.
Pros and cons of DeepAI
|Quality of results vary depending on the style and complexity of the task
|Free version for experimentation
|Capable of producing detailed and high-resolution images when you upgrade
|Some tools have restricted customization options
|Most features are available without cost, making it accessible to a wider audience
|Limited styles and image resolutions available in free version
Playground emerges as a distinctive force in the realm of AI art generators. It caters to both the enthusiast and the professional with its sophisticated toolkit.
One of its standout features is 'include and exclude' prompt editing, giving you more control over artistic outputs. This feature is particularly beneficial, as it enables you to guide the AI more precisely towards your desired outcome.
The platform offers a diverse range of styles to choose from, accommodating a wide array of artistic preferences. Whether you're looking for something abstract, photorealistic, or somewhere in between, Playground has the versatility to meet those needs.
You can create stunning images from short prompts. This feature is a boon for those who want to quickly iterate their ideas into something visual. It also means you don't need extensive experience in crafting detailed prompts.
The AI's intuitive understanding of brief instructions saves time and simplifies the creative process, making it more accessible to a broader audience.
Playground is robust and versatile, offering precision and variety for digital art creations. Whether you're a seasoned artist or a newcomer to AI-generated art, Playground will give you a rich, engaging experience that encourages exploration and creativity.
Pros and Cons of Playground
|Advanced 'include and exclude' feature
|Potential learning curve for new users
|Wide range of artistic styles
|Quality of outputs may vary
|Generates highly detailed images
|May have subscription or usage costs
|Efficient with short prompts
|Hardware requirements for optimal use
RunwayML stands out in the world of AI art generators for its expansive suite of machine learning (ML) models tailored to creative applications. This platform offers control and flexibility over the AI process. You can use RunwayML to generate images and video based on text, image, and video inputs.
You can access a wide array of ML models, each with unique capabilities ranging from style transfer to more complex generative tasks. This makes RunwayML not only a tool for creating art but a comprehensive platform for experimenting with the boundaries of ML in creativity.
The platform caters to a diverse range of users—from artists and designers looking to infuse AI into their work to technologists exploring the artistic potential of ML. While packed with advanced features, the interface remains approachable. It lets even those with minimal experience to harness the power of AI and train their own models.
RunwayML facilitates a community-driven approach where users can share models and learn from each other, fostering a collaborative environment.
Pros and cons of RunwayML
|Wide array of ML models for creativity
|Can be complex for beginners
|High level of control and customization
|Subscription model for full access
|Suitable for diverse creative applications
|May require some technical knowledge
|Community-driven platform for sharing and collaboration
|Heavier computational requirements than simpler tools
14. Fotor's AI Art Generator
Fotor's AI Art Generator is a versatile tool for marketers, graphic designers, and digital artists who need to quickly produce visuals. It offers various styles, from realistic images to traditional painting looks. Its user-friendly interface and diverse style options make it a go-to tool for creating eye-catching generated images for social media, advertising, and branding.
The strength of Fotor’s AI Art Generator lies in its ability to adapt to different artistic needs, offering a range of styles that can mimic everything from oil paintings to abstract art. This versatility makes it an invaluable tool for users who require a variety of visual outputs without the time or resources to create each style manually.
If you're looking for a broad spectrum of styles and a quick turnaround, Fotor's AI Art Generator is an excellent choice.
Pros and cons of AI Art Generator
|Wide range of artistic styles available
|Limited access until you upgrade
|User-friendly and accessible
|Art styles might not match professional quality
|Ideal for quick, diverse visual production
|Limited customization in some styles
|Great for marketing and social media content
|Output may require further refinement
Go generate and create
Whether you’re an experienced illustrator or graphic designer looking for fresh inspiration or an absolute beginner who wants to experience creating art, AI art generator apps are a fun and interesting way to experiment.
The future of these new art tools is still a little uncertain, but it’s very unlikely that they'll keep improving. Why not dip your toe in and see what the fuss is all about?
If you’re interested in learning more about the journey technology has made to get to AI art, check out our feature on the history of digital art.
You can also learn how to combine AI images with graphic design using our intuitive vector software, Linearity Curve. Visit the Linearity Academy for free tutorials on graphic design and marketing.
Jumpstart your ideas with Linearity Curve
Take your designs to the next level.
Frequently asked questions
What are the key factors to consider when choosing an AI art generator?
When you're searching for the perfect AI the tool's style versatility, ease of use, image quality, customization options, and the specific needs of your project, whether it's for marketing, design, or illustration.
How can AI art generators enhance the creative process for designers and illustrators?
AI art generators can serve as a source of inspiration, help in overcoming creative blocks, offer new perspectives, and significantly speed up the creation of complex designs.
Are there ethical considerations to keep in mind when using AI-generated art?
Yes, it's important to consider the originality of the artwork, the use of copyrighted material, and the proper crediting of AI tools in your creative work.
Can AI art generators produce images for commercial use?
How do AI art generators impact the traditional skills of artists and designers?
AI art generators are tools that can complement and enhance traditional skills. They offer new ways to create and conceptualize, but they don't replace the fundamental artistic skills and creativity of human artists.
Adí is an SEO developer working for Linearity in Berlin. Her hobbies include drawing comics, yoga, swimming, infinite scrolling, and birdwatching.