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7 free AI tools for Illustrators – Protect your Art & Improve your Workflow

7 free AI tools for Illustrators – Protect your Art & Improve your Workflow

For illustrators and artists AI is a problematic topic, with generative text-to-image AI taking the internet by storm it’s a scary landscape forming for us artists.

In this guide, I’ll try to guide you through some of the many free AI tools available that can improve and protect your illustration business.

We’ll be going over tools you can use to protect your illustrations from being stolen or used unethically by AI companies. And also tools that can help you in your day-to-day life as an illustration, by saving time and assisting you otherwise.


ChatGPT is an AI language model that you can chat with and will give answers and all sorts of output based on what you ask it to do. ChatGPT can do various things and act as your virtual assistant with whom you can converse.

Examples of use cases for illustrators & artists

  • Help generate ideas on what to draw next. For example, “compile a list of 100 plants and animals that can be found in the forest”
  • Let ChatGPT improve the spelling and grammar of your emails, social posts, or any other text. Prompt example, “Improve this text’s grammar and spelling”.
  • ChatGPT can aid you in generating simple code for your portfolio website, keep it simple otherwise likely ChatGPT will give you faulty code. Prompt example, “write HTML code that will embed an image of mine, and if you click on that image it should lead to my website homepage“.

Limitations of ChatGPT

It’s important to understand ChatGPT’s limitations, ChatGPT is not an all-knowing AI, what it knows is based on what it has gathered from the internet. The responses you get from ChatGPT will be presented as absolute truths with a lot of confidence, but the AI often outputs text, facts, and other incorrect things. So always be sceptical and double-check the result you get.

Also, ChatGPT is terrible at counting and is also awful at generating random outputs or picking things at random.

That’s just a few of the limitations of ChatGPT but you’ll learn more of its strengths and faults the more you use it.


Spawning AI

Spawning is a service intended to help artists, illustrators, and other creators protect their copyrighted works like images, art, and text from getting scraped and being used to train AI systems, like generative AI.

Spawning has a service (Ai.txt) where you can generate a text file to put on your website that tells AI systems that are scraping the internet for images and text to not train on your website’s content.

How effective this is in stopping AI from training itself on your artwork is unclear. Ethical and law-abiding AI companies will hopefully respect our wishes.

Have I been Trained?

This service is a part of Spawning and lets you see if your artwork has been used to train AI. You can search your website or portfolio and see if your images have been used. You can then opt out of your images and request AI to not touch your images.

It’s unclear of efficient this is in stopping AI companies from training their AI on artists’ work but it is worth a shot.

Glaze & WebGlaze – Protecting Artists from Generative AI

The Glaze project’s aim is to protect artists from getting their style stolen and mimicked by text-to-image AI Models like MidJourney and Stable Diffusion. With Glaze, you upload your artwork into their tool and Glaze will change your images in a way that is undetectable to the human eye but will hinder the AI models from reading what the images actually are and preventing it from learning from it.

I’m only an artist and this is way more technical for me to accurately describe this project, so I suggest you head over to the Glaze website and read up on this amazing project.

Nightshade: Protecting Copyright

Nightshade is an interesting project designed to help combat AI companies stealing and training on copyrighted artwork. It works similarly to Glaze but where Glaze is more of a defensive tool to protect your work with, Nightshade is an offensive tool made to disturb the training of AI systems. When an image is run through the Nightshade tool, it is altered in a way that humans can’t see but it will confuse AI models with what they’re seeing and mess up their training, worsening their ability to generate quality and correct images.
Adobe logo

Enhanced Speech from Adobe

This useful tool from Adobe lets you upload your voice recordings and with the help of AI this tool will enhance the audio to a professional level. The tool is intended for podcasts but it’s great for improving the audio for your social posts on Instagram and TikTok, or if you do long-form video content like YouTube.
adobe express logo

Image background remover – Adobe Express

Here’s another free AI tool from Adobe that lets you remove the background from any image. Just upload your image and the background will be removed within seconds. It’s not a flawless tool, and it will have trouble with more complex images, but still very useful.

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