Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been revolutionizing many industries, and its impact on art and creativity has been no exception. AI-powered art generators have seen massive growth in popularity, with people across artistic backgrounds using these tools to quickly generate stunning digital artworks.
In this comprehensive guide, we explore the 10 best AI art generators that are leading the charge in 2023 based on capabilities, user experience and impact on the world of generative art. For each platform, we‘ll highlight key features, use cases, and recent developments that illustrate why they are dominating the AI art landscape.
The Rise of AI Art Generators
Before diving into the top 10 tools, it‘s worth understanding what has fueled the rapid emergence of AI art generators. According to a 2022 report by MarketsandMarkets, the AI art industry is projected to grow from $2.4 billion in 2022 to $19.8 billion by 2027 – a staggering 800% growth in just 5 years!
So what‘s driving this explosion? A few key factors:
-Exponential advances in deep learning algorithms that can generate highly realistic and creative images
-Increased access to GPU computing resources needed to develop and run these AI models
-Vast training datasets scraped from across the internet to teach algorithms artistic styles
-Democratization of powerful models like DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion via easy-to-use apps
-Growing digital artist community using AI tools for brainstorming ideas and accelerating workflow
For creators and everyday users alike, AI art generators remove the friction from realizing artistic visions or graphic design needs. Their ability to automate ideation, combined with flexible control over styles and quality, accounts for the meteoric rise in adoption of these tools.
Many major companies like Amazon, Meta, Spotify, and auto manufacturers are also turning to AI art generators for rapid prototyping and design brainstorming. Even established stock art platforms like Getty and Shutterstock now offer their own AI models, acknowledging this disruptive force in commercial visual content creation.
Let‘s now look at the 10 leading solutions defining the future of AI art in 2023 and beyond.
1. DALL-E 2
Arguably the biggest name in AI art generation currently, OpenAI‘s DALL-E 2 has amazed millions with its capability to generate photorealistic and creative images simply from text prompts. Within days of it‘s public beta launch in July 2022, DALL-E 2 amassed over a million users on its waitlist eager to experience its inventive art.
DALL-E 2 builds upon the first version‘s text-to-image prowess with enhancements like:
- Up to 4x higher resolution images now up to 1024×1024 pixels
- More control over image styles, lighting, seasons and other attributes
- Improved object placement and global coherence in generated scenes
- Seamless editing by adding, removing or modifying image elements
This innovative platform recently demonstrated its creative chops by partnering with Condé Nast to generate magazine cover art. The team created versions of Vogue covers tailored for cities like Tokyo, Lagos, and Sao Paolo by simply describing the vision to DALL-E 2. The beautiful final artworks perfectly captured localized design aesthetics – all without designers having to manually create variations for each market!
For both individual users and enterprises, DALL-E 2 massively amplifies creative possibilities and reduces the tedious effort of translating ideas to images. It‘s no surprise it has become a cultural phenomenon and motivated competition in generative AI.
While DALL-E 2 may have the hype, Midjourney has cultivated an equally avid fan following through its own unique approach. Rather than being accessible via just an app or API, this art generator is directly integrated into chat platform Discord. It offers a community-oriented user experience where over 1.3 million members can chat, get help, share creations, and more.
Some reasons Midjourney stands out:
- Alongside images, it generates animations, VR scenes, and videos via text prompts
- Advanced control with commands like "/imagine", "/style", "/variation"
- Options to upscale images up to 8k resolution
- Daily contest themes spark constant creativity
- Being in Discord allows real-time collaboration
Midjourney‘s synthesis of an active community with powerful text-to-image capabilities makes the creative process social. Users inspire each other through conversations and critiques, collectively elevating the art produced. Integrations with online stores also let artists monetize Midjourney creations.
This novel community-driven usage of AI art generation is a model that competitors haven‘t yet replicated. For those valuing a collaborative human touch alongside AI capabilities, Midjourney delivers a rewarding creative environment.
Boasting over 6 million images created on the platform, Nightcafe has carved its niche as one of the most popular mainstream AI art tools. Its well-designed interfaces offers newcomers an unintimidating starting point.
Highlights of Nightcafe include:
- Generating up to 4 image variations from one prompt to compare
- Flexible image size up to 2048 x 2048 px resolution
- Handy features like AI Face Generator and Art Therapy mode
- Ability to browse millions of creations uploaded by users
- Contests, challenges and ability to order prints keep users engaged
Nightcafe‘s versatility across artistic styles combined with an intuitive user experience accounts for its vast adoption. Individuals, gaming streamers, digital creators and brands like Amazon and Dell are among Nightcafe‘s diverse user base.
In November 2022, barcode technology company Scandit acquired Nightcafe. This will enable growing integration between Nightcafe‘s design tools and Scandit‘s AR scanning solutions for retailers.
4. Stable Diffusion
Unlike most other generators owned by tech companies, Stable Diffusion is an impressively capable open source AI art platform built by a community of machine learning researchers and artists.
Stable Diffusion powers both text-to-image and image-to-image functionalities. Key capabilities:
- Lightweight model runs efficiently on consumer GPUs
- Has been trained across diverse datasets leading to creative versatility
- Active open source development, extensions, and shell environments
- Easily adaptable by editing configuration files
- Suitable for research/experiments in AI art algorithms
For ML developers and hobbyists, Stable Diffusion offers a highly customizable gateway to creating their own AI models – no need for expensive compute resources. Its open community ensures rapid evolution through continuous collaborations between coders and artists.
The other rising advantage of Stable Diffusion is its capability to run entirely offline. This addresses growing concerns around privacy and content moderation related to cloud-based AI art platforms that store user data including prompts.
When it comes to imaginative, manga and anime-inspired art, StarryAi emerges as a leading choice with its specialized capabilities. The platform claims to have tripled its userbase in 2022 alone, indicating the appeal of this niche art style brought to life by AI.
StarryAi‘s key strengths:
- Anime and manga artistic styles rendered in great detail
- Customize unique avatars by adjusting hair, clothes, facial features
- Generate comic scenes by posing multiple characters
- Options for emotional expressions, angles and lighting
- Clean interface tailored to digital illustration
For webcomic creators, anime enthusiasts, and freelance illustrators, StarryAi provides an AI assistant to accelerate the comic/manga asset creation process. Casual users are also drawn to create their dream anime alter egos!
Younger demographics in particular resonate with the aesthetic and storytelling flexibility provided by StarryAi for exploring new visual worlds.
Lexica brings a unique spin to AI art generation focused on storytelling and imaginative worldbuilding. It integrates both text and image capabilities, enabling users to create expansive lore by describing characters, places, artifacts etc.
Some differentiation points for Lexica:
- Generates characters, scenes and concepts related to user‘s story idea
- Maintains visual consistency across artworks through adaptive memory
- Interactive workflow via personalized chat interface
- Inspires story progression through AI writing suggestions
- Build vast lore spanning books, games, movies and more
Lexica excels at its niche – elaborating fictional universes visually and narratively in conjunction. For authors, game developers, and other storytellers, it provides an unlimited creative sandbox to craft engaging worlds brimming with inventive details.
The AI helps connect story threads and speculate on visual representations. This assists in developing complex, multi-faceted worlds that feel cohesive. Lexica offers both creative augmentation and targeted artwork for commercial applications.
InvokeAI differentiates itself through not only powerful image generation capabilities, but also a suite of supportive graphic design tools. This combination of AI art and human craftsmanship in one platform attracts professional digital artists and marketers.
Notable highlights of InvokeAI:
- Photorealistic image generation with control over poses, lighting etc.
- AI-assisted drawing capability turns rough doodles into artwork
- Design assets like 3D scenes, logos, effects and templates
- Powerful editing tools to enhance image quality and modify attributes
- Export high-res images, videos, GIFs for digital content creation
InvokeAI aims to provide an end-to-end creative suite tailored to the needs of modern digital studios. The AI simplifies base art generation, while designers retain flexibility to tweak the results for perfect fit. This balances automation and human craft.
For YouTubers, Twitch streamers, and other creators producing visual multimedia content regularly, InvokeAI helps scale content development through its versatile artistic toolbox.
Artbreeder pioneered the idea of evolvable AI art models that continuously improve images through iterative feedback. Today, the platform offers a robust suite of image manipulation and blending capabilities.
Artbreeder empowers users through:
- Uploading own images for AI-powered enhancement
- Rating system to guide evolution towards creative goals
- Remixing and fusing multiple images into artistic hybrids
- Applying styles and features from one image onto another
- Advanced face editing including expression, age, gender and more
The collaborative feedback loop between users guiding AI algorithms makes Artbreeder feel like a collective digital art studio. Starting with an existing image provides more predictability vs purely text-based generation.
Photographers, graphic artists, and portrait specialists draw significant value from Artbreeder‘s toolkit. The ability to rapidly iterate on visual concepts makes it suitable for domains like concept art and experimental photography.
9. DeviantArt‘s DreamUp
Recognizing the creative appetite among its 100 million community members, leading online art platform DeviantArt recently introduced its own AI art studio named DreamUp. It aims to augment the skills and imagination of human artists on the platform.
DreamUp‘s differentiating capabilities:
- Direct integration with DeviantArt‘s existing community and galleries
- Generate art in styles of specific DeviantArt artists
- Ongoing AI model training using data from 2D and 3D artworks
- Remaster own old artwork with new styles and quality
- Easy sharing and discussions around AI art experiments
By targeting its huge member base, DeviantArt provides a more purpose-built AI art solution tailored to the needs of both casual and professional artists. The combination of human and AI art capabilities creates an engaging experience within a platform users are already familiar with.
10. Canva Magic
Graphic design tool Canva expanded into AI art generation in 2022 through the launch of Canva Magic. This offers existing users of Canva‘s popular design platform access to AI capabilities to enhance content.
Canva Magic‘s key traits:
- Tight integration within the Canva interface for easy access
- Curated image styles focused on business/marketing themes
- Remix AI art with Canva‘s templates and stock media
- Quick image generation with text prompts and customization
- 100 million Canva users benefit from enhanced design capabilities
For Canva‘s enormous member base, Magic provides a natural bridge to level up graphic design skills through AI. The company is also expanding partnerships with AI providers like OpenAI to improve Magic‘s capabilities.
This prioritization of user experience and rapid iteration by Canva increases the chances of mainstream AI art adoption by businesses, non-profits, creators etc.
How Do These AI Art Platforms Compare?
|Platform||Key Highlights||Use Cases|
|DALL-E 2||Cutting-edge quality and creativity||Marketing, publishing, videography|
|Midjourney||Discord community and contests||Anime, concept art, entertainment|
|Nightcafe||Intuitive interface and daily challenges||Beginners, streamers, schools|
|Stable Diffusion||Open source and offline capability||Hobbyists, developers, researchers|
|StarryAi||Specialized for anime and manga art||Animation, comics, fandom art|
|Lexica||Storytelling and worldbuilding||Authors, game developers, filmmakers|
|InvokeAI||Integrated editor and design tools||YouTubers, influencers, agencies|
|Artbreeder||Evolving and remixing custom images||Photographers, graphic artists, portrait editors|
|DreamUp||Built into DeviantArt community||Casual and pro artists, art students|
|Canva Magic||Design platform integration||Businesses, non-profits, marketers|
Getting the Most From AI Art Generators
Whichever platform you use, here are some tips to create better AI art prompts:
- Provide relevant visual references and description of desired style
- Use clear, concise language and avoid rambling sentences
- Strike a balance between guidance and creative freedom
- Break down complex scenes into key subjects and relationships
- Let the art surprise you – avoid fixed expectations
- Refine prompts iteratively based on results and variations
- Don‘t obsess over details – let the AI interpret the essence
With experimentation, you‘ll learn how to prompt AI in a way that brings your creative vision to life!
The Pros and Cons of AI Art Technology
Like any transformative technology, AI art generators come with both benefits and downsides:
- Democratize art by expanding access to new creators
- Enable new creative possibilities in art and design
- Automate tedious tasks, boosting human productivity
- Provide inspiration and kickstart ideation
- Develop engaging visual content faster and cheaper
- Personalize content for different cultures, geographies etc.
- Potential to perpetrate and amplify societal biases
- Legal ambiguity around copyright and ownership
- Risk of overuse as a crutch reducing learning
- Impact on jobs and income of human creatives
- Misuse for generating unethical, dangerous content
- Environmental impact of compute-intensive AI models
Ultimately, a measured, thoughtful approach is required to maximize the value from AI tools while mitigating the risks.
The Future of AI Art
If progress in the last year alone is any indicator, the future promises even more advanced and accessible AI art capabilities. We‘ll likely see enhancements across:
- Hyper-realistic image quality closing in on human levels
- Control over finer details and attributes within images
- Integration of 3D simulation and rendering
- Multimodal art encompassing sound, motion, interaction
- Democratization through apps, consumer devices and ease-of-use
- Responsible development via research in AI ethics and biases
Equally important are the social implications as AI art platforms become mainstream among the public. Measures to uphold copyright, prevent misuse, and educate users will be key.
Overall there is much excitement but also caution around these rapidly evolving generative AI technologies. By fostering a culture of responsible innovation, we can fully unlock their immense potential for advancing creativity, business, and society.
This guide should leave you with a comprehensive overview of the diverse AI art landscape enabling everyday people to unlock radically new creative capabilities. The leading platforms and models highlighted all expand our conception of what‘s possible in art and visual communication.
What‘s clear is that advancements in artificial intelligence are opening new creative frontiers for artists and non-artists alike. As these technologies continue maturing responsibly, we will witness profound positive impacts across industries and society through enhanced human imagination.