Written by: Kworq Team on Tue Feb 07

Introducing Kworq Curriculum: AI Art

AI Art illustration, cartoon robots wandering around an art gallery

Creativity is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

Written by: Rachel Clancy
Table of contents:
Week 1: Intro to AI
Week 2: AI Madlibs
Week 3: Build Your Dream Home
Week 4: Idea Generation

Learning is imperative to maintain the best versions of ourselves. It’s especially important for creatives, who are at the epicenter of constant evolution and technological advancement. It’s impossible to keep up with a closed mind.

But when it comes to learning, how can we keep ourselves accountable?

Introducing: Kworq Curriculum

Kworq Curriculum is the brainchild of Gabriela Della Corna and Melanie Berra (our fabulous Creative Director, and Art Director, respectively). It’s a weekly creative assignment for the entire team, meant to exercise creativity outside the parameters of our typical workday. At the beginning of each week, we present the previous week’s assignment, and receive a new assignment.

Each month explores a different theme. Our first month is all about images generated with artificial intelligence, also known as AI Art.

Why AI Art?

AI Art is a polarizing hot topic in the creative community right now. But, why? What even is this new fangled robot nonsense? It doesn’t involve R2-D2 brandishing a paint brush and a beret, as this blog’s header image might suggest.

AI Art refers to any visuals created with artificial intelligence programs. It’s been around for a few years now, with the first program capable of generating entirely new images independently launching in 2014.

The technology began advancing rapidly, hitting a milestone in 2018 when AI-generated artwork was auctioned off for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This created its fair share of buzz within the art community, though the conversation was mostly contained in those circles.

Then, in the past year, AI Art generators became accessible to the public at large, and suddenly everyone was talking about it. Platforms like Stable Diffusion, Diffusion Bee, and Midjourney were made available to virtually anyone with an internet browser. People were hooked on the magical quality of having the ability to create art out of thin air. Indicative of its cultural influence, AI Art has made its way into the Tiktok trend cycle. “#AI” has racked up billions of views, spurring countless spinoff trends.

It’s typical for a groundbreaking technological advancement like this to face some resistance, especially when considering the implications. There’s a fear that human artists will be replaced by AI Art programs. Also, these programs are “trained” with massive amounts of image data, including artwork made by humans. Many artists consider this as their work being “stolen”. All of these concerns would eventually manifest as protests within the art community.

Attitudes about AI are definitely a mixed bag. So, we had to find out for ourselves.

Kworq Curriculum Week 1: Intro to AI


AI Art was uncharted territory for many of us. To get our bearings a bit, we started by reading this article. It’s a detailed explanation of the technology, and the potential influence it could have on our industry in the future.

Equipped with this new knowledge, each team member set out to generate an image of their favorite snack using Stable Diffusion Demo. When we met again to present our results, the team tried to guess what each image was supposed to be.

Here’s this week’s results:

This week yielded the goofiest results by far. Some of the more abstract images sparked a lively debate, the group attempting to guess what snack they were supposed to be. The open-ended nature of the prompt led to everyone putting their own creative spin on their image, generating unique artistic styles.

Week 1 Takeaway:

If at first you don’t succeed, prompt, prompt again.

When you’re getting started, AI Art generation requires a lot of trial and error. There’s no way around that. You have to get to know the AI, how the slightest tweaks in your prompt can dramatically alter the results. We all found that it is actually quite difficult to prompt specific details. Even if you’re able to break down that barrier, your image might still be a far cry from your original vision.

The quote Jad pulled from the article effectively sums up our collective experience this week: ”It is very easy to get the AI to surprise you, and that is often all we ask of it, but it is very difficult to get the AI to obey you.”

It’s a lot like teaching a dog a new trick. You know they’re capable, only it’s not as simple as giving a command. You have to coax it out of them, often trying several methods before they get the idea. Patience is the key here.

Kworq Curriculum Week 2: AI Madlibs


  • Using the words horse, mustache, and bitcoin, generate the wackiest image possible. Don’t be afraid to get weird!!
  • Feel free to use Stable Diffusion again, or try Diffusion Bee!

Stable Diffusion Demo and Diffusion Bee are nearly identical programs, but Diffusion Bee gives you slightly more control over image specifics (dimensions, etc.).

This week was another invitation to get weird, which is our favorite thing to do around here.. Here’s some of our team member’s creations, as well as some interesting observations:

Week 2 Takeaways:

The battle for the mustache

Though we got a taste of the software’s stubborn nature in week 1, it really became apparent in week 2. Trying to include three specific objects (horse, mustache, and bitcoin) was a challenge across the board. We found that Stable Diffusion and Diffusion Bee can be extremely disobedient, with a tendency to ignore some prompts entirely.

Think of it like giving a tantrum-throwing toddler a list of chores. They’ll begrudgingly complete a task or two, and tell you they’re done anyway. You get some of what you want, but certainly not everything. Most notably, many of us had a very hard time getting a mustache on the horse, or even a mustached human riding the horse.

In-N-Out (painting, that is)

Some of us began to explore inpainting and outpainting this week. These tools are meant to modify specifics within a generated image. Inpainting and outpainting can expand upon the image, or fill in missing content. It’s an art in and of itself, requiring lots of practice and a solid understanding of the software, which is a common theme throughout our journey with AI art. At this point, any prior perceptions of it being as easy as clicking a button have been demolished.

Kworq Curriculum Week 3: Build Your Dream Home


  • Create your dream home.
  • Each home must contain 4 (or more) windows & a front door.
  • Please use a minimum of 5 prompts (aka 5 variations) to refine your home.
  • Record each step’s prompt and corresponding images.

For many of us, the learning curve this week was steep. Documenting our steps not only helped us understand our own thought process, but allowed us to learn from our teammates as well. Here’s some of our dream homes and their corresponding prompts:

As you can see, now that we had a handle on Stable Diffusion and Diffusion Bee, some of us began to explore Midjourney. To understand how much of a difference Midjourney really made, let’s take a closer look at Chris’ process, using identical prompts in the two programs.

Side by side, there’s a clear difference between Diffusion Bee and Midjourney. Not to say that one is better than the other, but Midjourney tends to produce more consistent results. While Chris added keywords along the way, it didn’t dramatically change the outcome. It simply built off of what was already there. Midjourney also has a tendency to be true to the prompt.

Week 3 Takeaway:

Try anything once

For less tech-savvy first time users, navigating Midjourney can feel a lot like attempting to drive a spaceship. Midjourney is also accessed through Discord, which is another layer of newness if you’ve never used the platform before. If you can tough it out, however, you might be surprised with the results. We’ve become big fans of Midjourney, and have even begun finding ways to integrate it into our work outside of Kworq curriculum.



Kworq Curriculum Week 4: Idea Generation


  • Imagine a client is asking for a new, engaging ad to promote their state-of-the-art toaster. Using AI, what imagery/visuals can you come up with to make this toaster look scroll-stopping on instagram?

In our final week, we explored real-world applications of AI Art in the advertising industry. Our mission was to create an eye-catching toaster advertisement, effective enough that it could be pitched to a client.

Here’s some of our results:

What really stood out this week was the wide range of approaches the team came up with to create something “scroll-stopping”. It served as a reminder of just how much we can learn from each other.

Week 4 takeaway:

Error detected

At this stage, we found Midjourney’s “kryptonite” of sorts. AI has a long way to go when it comes to replicating letters, words, and sentences (Melanie’s and Rachel’s texts were added after the fact). If you take a closer look at Matt’s and Gabriela’s creations, it seems like the AI is trying to replicate the Supreme and Gucci logos, but doesn’t quite get there.

As a quick example, let’s create a movie poster for Pirates of the Caribbear, a bear-inspired spin on the blockbuster franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean. Prompt: “movie poster for bears on a pirate voyage, similar to pirates of the caribbean, words i want: pirates of the caribbear”. The AI clearly has an understanding of what letters look like. It even demonstrates an understanding of typography, similar to that of an actual movie poster. It just isn’t yet capable of putting together the letters in a cohesive way.


(Not) Saying Goodbye to AI

Get out your caps and gowns. Cue the pomp and circumstance. We’ve just graduated from Kworq University (not yet accredited… maybe someday!) with a major in AI Art, summa cumme laude.

We’ve reached the end of our first month with Kworq Curriculum, and it’s a hit. It’s been a lovely way to break up the work week, tap into our individual creative styles and imaginations, and learn more about our fellow Kworq employees.

The improvement from week to week is so apparent. It’s in our nature to want to be instantly good at something, but this software won’t let that happen. Step by step, prompt by prompt, the user finds another piece of the puzzle, learning what makes them tick.

It’s become abundantly clear that so much more goes into AI Art generation than the click of a button. But the question remains, do artists need to be worried about losing their jobs?

To answer that question, this Wired article makes a good point that “we might have expected professional occupations in photography to fall as the smartphone swallowed the world and everybody became a photographer… yet the number of photography professionals in the US has been slowly rising, from 160,000 in 2002 (before camera phones) to 230,000 in 2021”.

Just like a camera still needs a photographer behind the lens, AI Art generators still need imaginative humans on the other side of the screen. Rather than making jobs obsolete, AI Art actually opens the door for more creativity. We now have the ability to translate our ideas into tangible images on demand, and this is only the beginning. With the rate at which AI Art is advancing, who knows what we might be able to create in the near future.

Even though we’re moving onto a new topic for Kworq Curriculum Month 2, every single one of us will continue to learn about this new tool and find new ways to implement it in our day-to-day operations.

Stay tuned for Kworq Curriculum Month 2 ;)


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