Canva AI Image Generator Review: Create Free AI Images [2024]

canva ai image generator

Imagine you’ve found a magic genie that can create whatever pictures you want with a snap of your fingers. How cool would that be? Well, in 2024, it’s possible!

AI technology has advanced so much that you can type whatever image you imagine and see in seconds. But what is this sorcery called? An AI image generator.

One of the most popular (and my favorite free AI art generator) is the Canva AI Image Generator. Let’s get into why it’s such a great option, especially for creative types such as authors, content creators, and filmmakers!

What Is the Canva AI Image Generator?

Canva Magic Media

It sounds a bit techy, but this AI image generator is very simple. It’s software that works on text-to-image conversions and is built from an open-source technology provided by the people at Stable Diffusion.

Text-to-image means that the app takes text prompts or a simple text description that you give it and uses artificial intelligence to create an AI image.

Canva users can use this feature with all plans, even the free one!

Best Features of the Canva Image Creator

There are tons of AI image generators out there. After all, the technology is open-source. Canva, however, takes things one step further with the features it offers in its image creator.

1. Art Style

Canva style options
Canva style options

This functionality enables you to select the artistic style for your AI-created images, offering a wide range of choices such as Photo, Drawing, Painting, 3D, Pattern, Concept Art, Psychedelic, Dreamlike, Neon, Minimalist, Gradient, Watercolor, and Color Pencil. These options, many of which were introduced in March 2023, provide diverse aesthetics for your AI art.

For those who are unsure about which style to pick, the “Surprise Me” feature offers a fun twist by randomly selecting a style. You have the freedom to either keep this style or experiment with another AI-generated option.

Among these, the painting feature stands out. It generates AI art with rich, textured brushstrokes, creating images that are impressively realistic and often don’t seem like they were produced by artificial intelligence.

2. Aspect Ratio

Canva ai image generator aspect ratios

Canva’s AI image generator allows you to create an image in one of three aspect ratios, square, landscape, or portrait. This feature is new for February 2023 and is fantastic!

3. Photo Editing Tools

canva editing

Whether doing personal or commercial projects, you’ll probably want to play around with your AI-generated images to suit your needs. Canva’s photo editing tool and elements library can help.

You can adjust brightness and contrast, add filters and effects, and add texts with unique fonts to the images generated. You can also match it with frames, stickers, icons, vectors, and illustrations before (optionally) using the “Animation” feature to make the images dynamic and fun!

4. Uniqueness

Since the AI-generated images are based on your simple description, there’s a high level of uniqueness to the images created. The more specific your text description is, the more relevant the results.

5. Filters

Canva added an NSFW filter that prevents inappropriate content from appearing. These safety measures are especially useful for parents since children can use Canva for content creation (my own kids use Canva at school!).

6. Report Button

Canva threw in a report button in case inappropriate imagery appeared, like hate speech and stereotypical or biased content.

Who Should Use the Canva AI Image Generator?

Many people can benefit from this new technology in all fields and niches. That includes:

  • Professional Designers: Instead of starting from scratch, designers can use the Canva AI Generator and edit or modify the images produced rather than working from scratch.
  • Content Creators: It can help you create your own social media and marketing images and content.
  • Illustrators and Artists: Instead of drawing everything, users can tell the AI generator what they want and then touch up the produced images using the design features of Canva.
  • Authors and Filmmakers: Create fantastic images for your indie film pitch package, book cover, author or filmmaker portfolio, or website.
  • Social Media Agencies and Businesses: The AI image generator can help create social media kits and templates.

How Does Canva’s Text-to-Image App Work?

The Canva AI art generator is simple and intuitive. Here’s how it works.

First, you need to access the Text-to-Image App. The app is only available to Canva users, so you’ll need to create an account and sign in to access the technology. If you’ve already started a “New Project,” you can click “more” in the sidebar and find the Text-to-Image app icon.

Here’s how it looks for me (the text-to-image icon is the one in the red box):

Canva AI Art

Next, like most AI image generators, you’ll need to enter a text prompt describing the image you have in mind. The more creative and descriptive you are, the better the text-to-image tool will work.

Choose one of the six available styles or the “Surprise Me” option, choose your desired orientation (square, portrait, or landscape – NEW for February 2023!), then click “Generate Image.”

Canva ai image generator

It’ll take a few seconds to get four generated images. Pick the one you like and then use the Canva photo editing tool to fine-tune the image to your liking.

Canva Plans and Pricing

Canva Pricing

Canva offers three plans: Free (basic), Pro, and Canva Teams. Canva’s text-to-image tool is available to all users, even those on the basic plan.

The Pro plan ($12.99/month or $119.99/year) offers more storage and several tools that aren’t included in the basic plan, such as the Magic Resize Tool, Background Remover Tool, and millions of additional stock photos and images.

With the Pro plan, you can access hundreds of thousands of additional templates, fonts, designs, and layouts.

The Teams plan depends on how many people will be using it. The lowest team count is five and costs $14.99 a month or $149.99 billed annually. It comes with more premium and exclusive content than the Pro plan.

Canva AI Image Generator Pros and Cons

Here’s a quick roundup of the Canva Image Generator’s most prominent pros and cons.

Canva AI Image Pros

  • Free-of-charge forever!
  • Converts text to image in a matter of seconds.
  • Offers several styles to choose from.
  • Offers three different aspect ratios (square, landscape, portrait).
  • Allows you to edit and modify the AI-generated images.
  • Gives you 4 images to choose from per prompt.
  • Canva isn’t the copyright owner of the content created.

Canva AI Image Cons

  • Like most AI image generators, images vary depending on how precise and descriptive your text prompt is.
  • Copyright claim and exclusive rights to the created content depend on the copyright law of the country you’re in.

Note for March 2023: I have recently noticed that if I create too many images in a day, Canva will tell me I have to wait until tomorrow to create more. This is quite annoying, but it shows how popular this text-to-image feature is!

Canva Free AI Image Generator Alternatives

Some of the best alternatives you can try include:

My Experience Using the Canva AI Image Generator

I use this tool on a weekly basis! I have the Canva Pro plan, and it has been useful to me in so many ways! As an author of horror and thriller fiction, I use Canva to create cover art, book promo materials, and images for my author website.

As a filmmaker, I use Canva to create pitch packages, film promo materials, and content for my production company’s website. I use both the AI image generator and the more standard design tools on the Canva platform.

I also pay for and use the Jasper AI art generator. I find that it sometimes creates images that are even better than the Canva images that are created.

However, the convenience of the Canva text-to-image generator being in the Canva program (that I use for all of my blog images) is huge for me, so I often use it to save myself time (no downloading and uploading are required!).

Let’s compare the outputs for the same art prompts given to both of these AI art generator tools! For each tool, I selected the “photo” style. The first prompt is:

a tropical beach scene, turquoise water and white sand, bright blue sky, daylight, two beach chairs are facing toward the water, a table with two tropical drinks on it is between the chairs, highly detailed, relaxing feel

These are the two best options from each of the art generators (each gives four outputs each time you click “generate”). Both options are beautiful!

Canva art beach scene
Canva Art AI Generated Image
Jasper Art Beach
Jasper Art AI Generated Image

Let’s try another prompt. This time, we will ask for a more artistic, painting-style image. For both, I selected the “painting” or “oil painting” style option.

a Monet-inspired painting of a backyard garden in the springtime, sunrise, lots of flowers and trees, a small creek running though the garden, with a wooden bridge over it

canva ai art painting style
Canva AI art – painting-style
Jasper AI art painting
Jasper AI art – painting-style

Again, both are lovely! I think the Jasper Art image wins out for being more Monet-like though!

Lastly, let’s try a more product-focused image. We will ask both image generators to create a picture of a book lying on a table. For this image, I’ll select “concept art” for Canva and leave the style blank for Jasper Art.

a book lying on a rustic wooden table, with a cup of coffee and a vase of beautiful flowers beside the book on the table

Canva book on table
Canva Art
Jasper art book image
Jasper Art

Again, both of these images are fantastic… although you could argue that there is no vase in the Jasper Art AI image!

The nice thing about either of these art generators is that you can keep clicking the “generate” button and get unlimited iterations of the same image. This way, you are sure to find one you love.

Interested in learning more about Jasper Art? You can go check out my Jasper Art review!

I also appreciate that Canva now has an AI writing program, similar to other AI writers such as Chat-GPT, Jasper AI, and Writesonic.

Their AI writing assistant program is called Canva Magic Write, and it can help you write AI generated stories and paragraphs for free!

Who Created Canva?

Canva’s co-founder, the Australian entrepreneur Melanie Perkins, started the company when she was just 23 years old based on a high school yearbook idea.

Melanie-Perkins-LinkedIn

Since then, this billion-dollar startup has grown substantially, eventually being named the #1 design company in the world in the World’s Most Innovative Companies List for 2022.

Common Questions

How do I make an AI image in Canva?

Sign up for free and then click “New Project.” After that, click the “More” button from the sidebar and choose the Magic Media App. From there, you can enter text prompts and watch the app convert them into four different AI-generated works you can choose from.

Is there a free AI image generator?

Absolutely. While there are many options, Canva is one of the most efficient generators you can use at zero cost. There are no hidden charges or additional costs. You just sign up and start creating.

Does Canva use AI?

Yes. Canva’s AI generation platform is based on open-source technology from the people at Stable Diffusion. Canva then added a few useful features to take the technology one step further.

Is Dall E 2 free to use?

Yes, Dall E 2 is an open-source technology you can try at zero cost, but there’s a catch. You have a limited number of credits per month. Once you’ve used them, you’ll have to pay for a premium plan.
During your first month using Dall E 2, you start with 50 credits. The following month you get 15 credits. You could say Dall E 2 is more of a “freemium” art generator.

Canva AI Image Review

Final Thoughts: Should You Use Canva AI Image Generator?

Absolutely!

Whether you’re an artist, a creative, a business owner, or a marketer, being able to create quality images out of thin air in seconds is invaluable.

Canva provides one of the best AI image generators you can use without having to pay for a premium plan. It’s an absolute game-changer.

And, if you find that the image quality is not quite up to par for your desired use, you can always use AI image upscaling tools to increase the image resolution and size.

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but with this handy tool, you can create a thousand pictures with just a few words.

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