Enter a prompt and this “non-AI artist” will render it as an artwork

What started as a joke on social media has turned into a queue of over a 1000 prompts for Pablo Delcan, the artist behind Prompt Brush.

Date
19 January 2024

A New York graphic designer is coming for Dall-E’s gig. Pablo Delcan has created what he calls a “non-AI generative art model” – an online service where users can submit text prompts and receive an artwork in return. Just like Midjourney, the website will interpret your prompt artistically, the only difference being that Pablo is the one generating each output image by hand from his desk in Catskills, New York.

So far the artist has produced hundreds of drawings, taking about a minute to create each one. Though the queue of prompts submitted by people who have caught wind of the idea has now climbed close to 1000. Prompt Brush originated on Instagram, but the artist created a dedicated website for the generator after seeing the feverish response.

The project highlights our strange interest in searching for human-likeness in AI generated images, with Pablo managing to capture intention and humour at rapid speed. Drawing no.145, “a grim reaper frustrated with his computer”, is a particularly wonderful example, telling the story of a tech-averse Death within a few strokes. Pablo (who runs the design studio Delcan & Co.) says he’s been “immersed in the world of AI” over the past year and that “this seemed like a way to poke some fun at it”.

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Pablo Delcan: Prompt Brush (Copyright © Pablo Delcan, 2024)

Sometimes Pablo will create a few variations of a drawing and then chooses one to upload to the website, but with demand increasing Pablo is having to step up production, moving from 50 a week to around 50 a day. It’s a “huge undertaking”, he says, though the artist believes it’s connecting him with people “in a way [he] hadn’t before”.

Out of all the drawings Pablo has completed, the favourite prompt has been “forgiveness”. “I think it was just a prompt that helped me take a turn with the project. Where I stopped drawing what I thought people wanted me to draw and instead I started reacting to the prompts in a way that felt that I had a voice and a personal interpretation that I could apply to this work.”

“I’ve received a lot of messages from people about how much it meant to receive a drawing in their inbox. People tell me some of the drawings make them laugh, some become memorable. It’s also been a project that feels more universal than most of the other work I do – it’s simple and it can be understood by anyone, especially kids.” You can try out Prompt Brush here.

GalleryPablo Delcan: Prompt Brush (Copyright © Pablo Delcan, 2024)

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Pablo Delcan: Prompt Brush (Copyright © Pablo Delcan, 2024)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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