Dotti Colvin

Dotti Colvin

Welcome to my blog! It’s a conversation late at night with myself. What if? Do you have those?  Do you ask why? Do you wonder why things are as they are or question how things work and ponder alternatives? Are you a dreamer? Do you look to change the world but can’t find a babysitter?! Come and join in the conversation as I’d love to hear your thoughts or musings or rude comments as I don’t go out enough and I could do with a larf. :D

AI and Illustration… and us

Hello peeps, fellow curious minds! 

Guess what’s the hottest topic right now in the creative arena? Yesss, AI. And as someone who’s always up for a good laugh, I can’t help but wonder how it’s going to affect my clients and my work in the future. Is that something to laugh about or infact cry about? 

Let’s find out! Are you ready to dive in with me as I take a closer look and have some geek-fun. For starters, let’s talk about the world of book illustration.

Will AI take over and make book illustrators like me obsolete?

Can clients now survive on robotic illustrations alone?

Oh, the suspense is killing me. So before I die, let’s explore the impact of AI on my work. Is it a game-changer or a deal-breaker?

In this mini-series of blogs, I will be looking at what all the fuss is about.

Episode 1: First steps

So, where do you start? Well, obviously on Google, because that’s where I left my brain. Check out my previous blog if you don’t believe me 😀

Now, I must confess, I’m a little scared of AI. So, to be safe, I used an incognito browser to search for AI generators… you know, to be sure I was anonymous.. then later on I logged in to an AI gen site with Facebook. Imma genius, haha.

Anyway, I decided to ignore that privacy breach, and risking it all,  I carried on with my AI exploration. 😀

Just a side note: I’m currently working on a new children’s book called Norbert’s dream. So I am going to use this as a jump point for my exploration. The book will be an AI-free experience, may I add, unless I find an AI that draws like me and I can have a holiday instead haha.   Norbert is a snail (a slightly unhinged one, mind you), who has a big dream and a challenge to achieve it. You can come along for the ride and support me to finish this here book on KOFI. Yes please, I would be forever grateful! Ok, plug over, and back to the track *grin

So on this project, I am both the writer ( my usual client) and the illustrator.

As the illustrator do I need to worry?

Can I get the same results without me? Let’s see…


The book features a snail so that’s what I’m going to work with.  I decided to get AI to write something first with a view to illustrating it. So I started searching AI text sites, AI story writing and there are LOADS. (A word of warning, be sure your anti-virus is up to date before diving into this world as mine was pinging like crazy.) 

From what I see out there an AI text generator for me would be pretty darn useful actually,  especially for writing website copy… not blogs obviously, how dare you even suggest it…

Being an infinite resource it seems, I had to decide what to write.  A great poem maybe?!

I found a simple AI poem generator,  this one

I used the prompt:

“Poem about a snail.” 

nothing more than that.

This is what I got back. Try it yourself!

In a quiet little garden, a snail does dwell,

With its spiral shell, a cozy little shell.

Slowly it crawls, with patience and grace,

Leaving behind a trail, like a shining trace.


With eyes on stalks, it observes the world,

Exploring every leaf, every blade unfurled.

A miniature creature, so small and frail,

Yet carrying a beauty that will never fail.


Through garden greens, it navigates with care,

A tiny traveler, venturing anywhere.

In gardens and meadows, it leaves its mark,

A gentle reminder of a journey embarked.


Its silvery slime, a shimmering trail,

A testament of perseverance, an epic tale.

For in its leisurely pace, it shows us all,

That slow and steady, we can conquer every wall.


In a world of hustle, where everything’s fast,

The snail’s lesson is one that will forever last.

Take your time, enjoy the scenic route,

Find joy in simplicity, rid strife and doubt.


So let’s remember the snail, our wise little friend,

Embrace its wisdom, its message we can’t defend.

In its humble existence, so simple, so pure,

May we learn from the snail, and find our own cure.

Holy TOOT!

Hate to admit it but it’s pretty bloody good for a simple prompt and 5 seconds wait time. Actually quite alarmingly good. OK breathe and continue.  Not bad, AI, not bad.. let’s take a better look. 

ooh, AI tis so true.

Its silvery slime, a shimmering trail,

A testament of perseverance, an epic tale.

For in its leisurely pace, it shows us all,

That slow and steady, we can conquer every wall.

In a world of hustle, where everything’s fast,

The snail’s lesson is one that will forever last.

Take your time, enjoy the scenic route,

Find joy in simplicity, rid strife and doubt.

Yes, take your time to write a real poem. haha

Joking aside, there is actually some sweet narative in here. Ok, there is some repetition but honestly it would be a great starting point for something. And AI is still in its infancy.

It begs the question about how original it is. Is it stolen? 

That leads me to another subject which I will cover later in the series about the ethics of AI and your IP rights.

So I think this is a big point to take on board here, AI doesn’t need to finish your text but it could certainly start it, and from there you could craft it, and give it your personality or your humanity.

I WAS kinda HOPING it was going to be awful, truth be known, but there is an opening, a middle, and a conclusion waxing lyrical about the snail’s delicate beauty and calming powers…

So what about the PICTURES!

Alright, gulp , this is the scary bit where I see hope coming crashing around my feet… the darkened spiral of my shredded career in tatters as the world uses AI instead of my drawings.

A little dramatic don't you think?

Wibble. Let’s hold hands as we spiral down together into the unknown future! Hmmm, who knows, maybe the robots will finally take over the world and we can all relax. No more drawing for us! Just a thought…haha

OK. Let’s see. I’m using the site called GenCraft. It was one of the first that popped up and I liked the look if it. 

I type in the prompt “Grumpy snail”

That’s just disturbing! haha, More like melted snail… It’s eyes are on its head?! WTF?  Ok this is actually quite theraputic so far. I have only got 10 chances to generate something on my free account.. ok what now..

I typed “grumpy snail spitting out vegetables” to see how it could interpret something silly.  I’m kinda hoping that AI doesn’t do silly, then I’ll be ok…

Jeez though, that made me giggle a lot. This really is fun.  I mean, a great distraction. OK. So weirdness is off the charts so at this point if I was a surrealist I would be seriously worried.

After spending 15 years in 3D animation I have to say it would take a helluva lot longer than 5 seconds to make that image traditionally. Great lighting.

Be brave, try the cartoon style...

Ok, it’s true I had it set to ‘realistic’ to be fair.  I’ve now chosen the  ‘cartoon’ setting, so let’s see what we’ve got. 


I used the prompt “snail eating vegetables”

And this is what happened…

JEEX. hahaha. 

Actually, I like the colours.

Hmm, now I’m thinking about writing a book about this guy… haha

Poor Snuffles the AI snail just dreamt about being normal…

Hey, that’s copyrighted that is!

But seriously...

Ok this adventure is just beginning. Clearly, the tool is extraordinary in many ways.  I feel after having played with it for the first time, that if I was a fantasy artist, or a video game designer I would be pretty pissed off right now as it does that stuff pretty well. 

There are so many issues with AI...

No, I’m not just talking about the freaky finger generation thing! The biggest issue, HUGE infact, is copyright which I will cover in another episode as I am still yet to understand all the ins and outs of it, but as artists we need to. 

There is a general and understandable panic from the artistic community. The panic that maybe painters felt when photography was introduced, radio DJs when TV was invented and musicians when Spotify was born. For sure some people will be outta work, but I DO think however the real artists and the ones that manage to put some real personality into their work will be safe… at least I think they are safe so far. 

So right now AI is still developing. It is still possible to tell if it’s AI … but soon..?

Knowledge is power and we are most often afraid of what we don't understand.

I am hooked, however. As a naturally curious person, this is like a shiny new toy that I just have to play with.

They say knowledge is power, but honestly, I just want to see what kind of mischief we can make.

Next time I am going to try and push AI to do something silly and see what happens. Does it have a sense of humour? 

And while we’re at it, let’s see if it can match my design skills too by feeding in some real client briefs and seeing what it produces! That could get interesting! 

So let’s catch up soon, and make sure you give that lovely brain of yours a break. Try following the wonderful wisdom of our AI snail…

For the snail is a poet, with its silent contemplation,

Creating beauty in motion, with no need for explanation.

So may we be inspired, by this humble snail’s grace,

To write our own stories, at our own unrushed pace.

That last line is rather ironic for AI. haha.  Discuss!

Snail Philosophy class over and out

Be kind to each other.

Love and hugs


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Never miss a new blog! ( That’s free)  On the third weekend of every month, ( Three is a magic number) I will write and say hi, with new cartoons, thoughts, news from my studio, and let you know about free things to download!  No ham spam, I promise. Thank you!

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