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Best AI image generator (free & paid) 2023

AI image generation is on the rise, here are the best places to get started

Updated: Jun 26, 2023 11:19 am
Best AI image generator (free & paid) 2023

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Thanks to chatbots like ChatGPT artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming many areas, including the world of art, as creative professionals and amateurs alike can now use AI-generated art tools to explore new artistic possibilities. This article showcases the best AI image generators available across web, desktop, and mobile platforms, including both free and paid options.

Midjourney was one of the go-to free image generators but recently stopped its free service, leading to many looking for an alternative.

Can AI generate realistic images?

AI image generation has come on leaps and bounds, making it possible for photo-realistic renders and deep fakes with just a few choice words.

The photorealism behind AI-generated images has been raising a few concerns over fake news of late but the technology is astoundingly good. Tools like these can generate large quantities of images in barely any time at all, saving people a lot of time. AI image generation is also starting to appear in software such as Adobe and Bing.

Let’s take a look at our list of best AI image generators:

Best AI image generators free & paid

Below is a mixture of free and paid AI services for image generation. Some services not listed but well worth checking out are Midjourney, Bing Image Creator, and DALL-E2. Some asked if ChatGPT can generate images but it can only provide you with prompts for the services below.

Stable Diffusion

Stable Diffusion is an AI image generator that uses deep learning to generate high-quality images based on text prompts. It is released in 2022 as an open-source model that can be used on most consumer hardware with a modest GPU for free. It is also available on Dream Studio, an official picture generator for Stability AI, for which you have to buy credits.

The model is constantly improving, with a beta version of a newer, more complex model called SDXL already available for preview. Stable Diffusion has quickly become one of the most popular text-to-art AI generators due to its speed and high-quality outputs.

Microsoft Designer

Microsoft Designer is a new design tool that uses OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 to create graphics for a variety of projects. The software is a separate app from Microsoft 365 and offers an intuitive interface for creating logos, invitations, and social media posts.

Microsoft Designer allows users to create images and artwork simply by entering a text description of what they want. Microsoft Designer also offers built-in design tools and templates for further customization, making it a versatile and accessible option for all types of users.

Jasper Art

Jasper Art is a newcomer in the AI art industry that provides an AI art-generating platform for creating images. This incredible AI image generator creates mesmerizing visuals from your text-based descriptions in a matter of seconds! You can now turn your creative ideas into breathtaking artwork effortlessly and quickly.

Jasper Art is continually being tweaked and improved, but the best part is that all images created with it are watermark-free. This is an especially attractive feature given that many other free products like Microsoft Designer provide images with watermarks. The tool offers different styles and can create four images at once. It costs $20/month per user, providing unlimited unique images.


Starryai is another fantastic text-to-picture AI image generator which is free to use (to create 5 images a day). Upon opening this program you’re asked whether you want to create a photo like image or one that is more like artwork. From there you will have options to choose an art style to work within and you will prompt the software with a text description of the art you’d like to create. There is also an image input mode with which you can prompt the program with other images.

To allow yourself more extensive usage you can purchase more credits as a one off or join starryai Pro which is their subscription based membership service

Big Sleep

Big Sleep is an AI image generator that uses OpenAI’s CLIP and BigGAN to create high-resolution, life-like images from natural language descriptions. Developed by Ryan Murdock, Big Sleep is a simple command line tool that can dream up images with just one line of code. It also allows users to set the number of classes that BigGAN uses, which helps improve generation stability.

Big Sleep is becoming a popular choice among many due to its user-friendly platform which provides all the necessary features to store, edit and assemble images. It is designed with beginners in mind and is open source, which further adds to its appeal.

Blue Willow

Blue Willow is an AI image generator that is accessible and easy to use, making it a popular choice among those who want to create images from text prompts. Unlike some of its competitors, Blue Willow is free to use, and anyone with a Discord account can generate unique images using the “/imagine” command.

The AI tool uses several image generation models, including Dall-E and stable diffusion, to create images in JPG format at 2048 x 2048 pixels resolution.


Midjourney is one of the most universally praised AI image generators out there. It has risen to provenance over the past months thanks to its ability to generate extremely lifelike photorealistic AI humans as well as other styles of more traditional-looking art. Alongside the likes of DALL-E and Stable Diffusion, it is one of the most highly regarded AI image generators thanks to its intuitive UI and the scope of possibilities at your fingertips. To use MIdjourney you need only feed it text-based prompts and it will produce stunning artwork in the style of your choosing.

Midjourney is however not free to use and requires you to sign up for one of their subscription plans. Their base-level subscription will cost you $10 a month.


Nightcafe is one of the simplest and easiest to use AI image generators out there and its free to use! All you have to do is set up an account, which is easy enough, and you’re away.

Nightcafe’s simple user interface makes creating your very own AI generated images a doddle. You just enter a prompt for whatever you’d like your image to contain, select an art style and click create. There is a good variety of different art styles available too, everything from photo-realistic portraits to steampunk and fantasy styles.

Dream by WOMBO

Another great AI image generation option it Dream by WOMBO, another fantastic text-to-image tool. With both a free and payed for version available of this software you can choose which version is right for you. With the free version you’ll be able to generate one image at a time and choose from a variety of art styles. If you opt for the payed for version you won’t have to deal with any ads but you’ll also get access to many more art styles and up to 4 image generations at a time.

There is also a disacord channel in which you can chat with other users and share your artwork and ideas for effective creations.

Best free text-to-art AI image generators

There are already a surprising number of applications for text-to-art image generation and it is no surprise, they are all incredible. We recommend the ones above highly but if you are after some more alternatives, then why not check out the following? Nightcafe is one of the simplest generators going, type anything in and it will turn it into a painting. Additionally, you can change art styles to oil painting or steampunk and can modify the techniques, giving yourself a truly unique image.

Other AI image generators worth looking into:

  • Starry AI
  • Craiyon
  • Dream by Wombo
  • Pixray

What is the best free AI image generator?

The best free AI image generators are: Stable Diffusion, and Blue Willow

Which AI generates realistic images?

Stable Diffusion, DALL-E2, Big Sleep, Midjourney

Shaun, with a computer science degree and 15 years of computer experience, has been passionate about competitive FPS gaming since the mid-2000s.

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