I cannot draw worth a damn.
In fact, that’s an understatement. I would go so far as to say I’m so terrible at drawing that most 10-year-olds couple probably match or exceed my drawing skills.
Believe me, I’ve tried to draw things. My love of comic books inspired me early on to try. But I learned very quickly that this is just not a skill that I have, nor is it a skill I can ever be good at. No amount of classes can make me good at it. No amount of lessons, encouragement, or practice could ever make me halfway decent at it. I genuinely wish I had some drawing skills, but I don’t.
Now, I’m going out of my way to bemoan my terrible drawing skills for a reason. For much of my life, I’ve accepted that this just isn’t something I can do. Everybody has shortcomings. This just happens to be mine. And for the most part, I’ve been content to live my life knowing I’ll never draw anything worthwhile.
Then, AI-generated art started to emerge. And suddenly, there’s an alternative. It may just give people like me hope that they can one day create genuinely beautiful artwork without any tangible drawing skills.
I mentioned it recently, but I don’t think I adequately conveyed just how exciting this new technology is for someone like me. I’ve talked a lot about the potential of artificial intelligence, good and bad. But a lot of that was just me speculating on the potential. This is a real, usable product of artificial intelligence that anyone with an internet connection and basic language skills can use right now for free.
This isn’t some fanciful tech from a fictional future. This is real.
It might not be overly advanced in that it can perfectly turn out thoughts into an image. It’s still relatively crude in that it basically just takes images from the internet and uses them to mix, mash, and compile images based on prompts. But like all emerging technology, it has to start off crude. Over time, people and organizations implement refinements. The product gets better, more advanced, and more efficient.
Eventually, it becomes so capable that we marvel at how crude it used to be. Just show anyone under the age of 20 an old flip-phone for proof of that.
For me personally, AI-generated art is more than just a toy or a novelty. It’s a way for me, a man with no ability to draw anything, to turn ideas into an image. I can’t overstate how powerful that is for some people. And I really do look forward to seeing this technology grow in terms of capability and efficiency.
To demonstrate just how remarkable it is, I used an AI-generating art programs on the web called Stable Diffusion to create some art. This is something anyone can use right now for free. Granted, this is a beta version so the results aren’t going to look overly professional. But for something that’s free and easy to use, it’s still remarkable.
Below are just some of the images I created, along with the prompts I used.
A beautiful woman admiring a sunset.
A Christmas tree in the forest during a snowstorm.
A lush Amazon jungle with a river.
A futuristic city skyline.
A female android with blue eyes.
A shadowy figure in a forest.
A couple walking through a forest during a snowstorm.
A man running from a forest fire.
A woman standing at the summit of a mountain.
A tornado forming in a city.
Again, I cannot draw. I cannot paint or create images on a piece of paper or a computer screen. But thanks to Stable Diffusion, I was able to create these in just a few minutes. It cost me nothing and it was a genuinely profound experience, turning ideas into an image.
And keep in mind, this was just the free beta of the program. There are more advanced programs you can test out, but you do have to sign up and apply for their use. There are also some versions that you have to pay for. Once this technology gets especially refined, that might be something worth the money. Knowing I’ll never be able to physically draw, it’s definitely something I’ll consider.
For now, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this emerging technology. If I create more quality AI-Generated art, I’ll be sure to share it too.
And if you’re like me in that you don’t have good drawing skills, or any drawing skills for that matter, check out Stable Diffusion. Create some art that you never would’ve been able to otherwise create. It’s a great feeling and something that might help get you excited about the future of creativity.