Generating Art with AI

Why?

Because AI tools like MidJourney can assist in creating visually stunning artworks by manipulating existing images based on AI algorithms, they offer a fantastic medium for exploring art and fostering creativity in students. In this lesson, students are asked to brainstorm different visual themes or styles and use an AI to bring their artistic ideas to life.
Note: because MidJourney requires an account on Discord, teachers may want to create a class account that everyone can use. Some free image generators that allow image uploads include Stable Diffusion, Ideogram, and StarryAI. 
Materials Needed Time needed 
  • Computers with internet access
  • Access to MidJourney or a similar AI image generator tool
  • Images for import (students can bring from home or use royalty-free images from the internet)
Approximately 60-75 images
Objectives
  • Students will be able to conceptualize an art project based on a set theme or artistic style.
  • Students will be able to use MidJourney tool to create AI art
  • Students will be able to analyze an AI-generated artwork for coherence, style, and mood
Lesson  
  1. ​​Begin with a discussion about AI and its role in modern art. Share examples of AI art and discuss the potential and limitations of AI in creating art.
  2. Divide students into small groups. In these groups, students should brainstorm different visual themes or styles they would like to explore in their art project. For instance, they might choose a theme like “The Future,” “Nature,” or an artistic style like Cubism or Surrealism.
  3. Once the theme or style is chosen, each group will be tasked with finding or selecting an image(s) that they will use as a base for their AI art project. They can either bring images from home or find royalty-free images online.
  4. Introduce students to the MidJourney tool and guide them on how to import images and use the tool to manipulate the images based on their chosen theme or style. Allow students to explore the tool and experiment with different settings and filters to create their AI art.
  5. Tip: Encourage students to experiment with different settings in MidJourney to create a variety of results, and to work iteratively, refining their work based on what they learn with each new iteration.
  6. Once the artworks are created, have students print or save their artworks for presentation.
  7. After creation, have the students discuss their artworks in groups, focusing on the coherence of the artwork, how well it aligns with the chosen theme or style, and the emotions it evokes.
  8. Optional presentations:
    1. If time permits, have students present their artworks to the class, sharing their creative process and the choices they made while working with the AI tool.
    2. Engage the class in a discussion about the potential of AI in art, and encourage them to share their experiences of using an AI tool for creating art.