Cover photo

Using AI to generate Art from your own Art

Less controversial + just as interesting!

one 'Avatar of Nature', drawn with digital pen for an expressive, minimalist project

This is the natural next step for artists coming to AI in order to express something, be it any artform: the power of creating unique works from your own style or from a structure.

It's exciting to think what can be produced in the realms of story ideas, art, music... and if your work is the only reference then you can be more proud of the achievements appearing before your very eyes.

What to Bear in Mind

A writer can already 'train' AI quite fast on previous work, and get immediate 're-writes' which push out that piece of text, freshly polished or with unexpected additions or edits. But, this gets dangerous, where the AI has to be guided every step of the way or it leads a creative writer rapidly into places they would never have gone, and with their style all messed up.

Artists, you want to be able to load up AI with your own images to create - or recreate - fresh outputs in new ways, or on the same theme.

Before you go crazy training AI on everything you've ever drawn just stop and think about what you want to create - or that other people will create - using this style. For this is what's important to bear in mind: the theme.

Maybe you've used only black ink previously to create expressive graphic novels (like say, the style of Frank Miller) so then you can use it to create arresting images on some subjects - but particularly graphic novels or stories with strong characters.

But a lot depends on the specific outputs you want to see (or have ideas about) will be reimagined. Does it need to be reimagined?

If you could have your certain style in your perfect AI gun - which you can now load with many artistic bullets - try and think before you shoot. How many will you actually fire? What target are you aiming at, if you're a pro or a hobbyist? When will you be happy to stop firing? Is that when all your artistic images and dreams are fulfilled?

It's worth thinking about how many 'AI style guns' and just how many 'output bullets' you're going to use or need. It might be better to fire less generally, and hit the target more often.

Adobe Firefly

This is a live tool and you can use it now, here.

I tried it on an 'Avatar of Nature' (see above) to try and get: well, a more interesting output, a more stylistic version, but without losing the fluidity of the line art. Ok, maybe a little more 3D could be cool.

What's great about the Firefly tool is you can't create that perfect 'style gun' as such - yet - but you can reference a specific image or two that can be used as Reference and as Structure.

This forces you to think about what you're doing. It also helps you to see stylistic possibilities for that image.

And it works pretty well.

I chose a couple of outputs I liked, after some time adjusting settings and the prompt (which I kept very simple, something like 'a line drawing').

It has helped me see a possible outcome for my original drawing, which I could enhance further if I want to.

AI-art by artists

We're all artists in our lives in some way... aren't we? The sheer buzz of seeing or coming up with something new. Ai art generation is super-addictive like that, but you can reach a point where you've expressed something you're happy with or find personally worth the effort.

But then comes the issue... the output is not generated 'directly' from you, or in the art style you particularly love, enjoy adopting and championing, or - even - have invented personally.

Yes, we can all now 'adopt' art styles, using this technology. Combining them, remixing or mashing up, or updating them or making them surprising or controversial can create modern masterpieces, or popular memes.

Less can be More

Before we go crazy with our own art style bots, as ever, it's actually more about the image or output that you have in mind. The trick is just to find a tool you can use that helps you to reach that point, that helps you with the possibilities.

My own art preference has been very diverse over the years, but one medium I especially enjoyed losing myself to, was the feel of a simple pencil. I liked sketching, and then I would bring the drawings into Photoshop and add old textures that made them look burned or battered. Then I would highlight them - another favourite part - so a golden digital hue shone through various parts or sections. I had to look back over the image to decide what could be enhanced or highlighted. One image was a process.

This style took a while but I even got one image on the cover of a school education textbook about John Steinbeck.

Yes, it would be nice to get a tool where I can get an output in this particular style, but I will have to think about where it will go. I would have to take care not to get lost in the 'realms of AI possibilities', or to delude myself that combining it with another style might be necessary. I would have to stay true to where that style came from?

I could just get it to do the sketching part and then do the rest myself, so I still get to think about the image and what I'm doing with it.

Or... I may not bother any more. Time gets more and more fragile, maybe more so with AI trying to bother for me.

But Ai does have the power to enhance, surprise and empower art, artists, everyone... but we shouldn't forget what we're now enhancing. There was something initially that we wanted to reach for...

no ai used in this post text!

eyes? got a bit lost...

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