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Empowering Comic Artists with DALL-E, AI Imaging Generating Program

Summer 2024

Project Background

The objective of this project is to empower comic artists with the use of DALL-E, a state-of-the-art image generation AI model developed by OpenAI. The proposed project will explore the potential of DALL-E as a creative tool for comic artists, enabling them to create highly detailed and imaginative artwork more efficiently. The project aims to create a pilot project to showcase the potential of utilizing AI in creative process. The conventional creative process of comic production involves brainstorming ideas, creating sketch thumbnails, revising thumbnails for storyboards, and final art production. The primary researcher and assistant will utilize DALL-E during each production phase.

This project received funding from Digital Matter to support two student assistants in Fall 2023. However, I project the appropriate production time would be two semester. SPUR would be extremely helpful if students want to continue working on this project while getting financial rewards.

Student Role

Student research assistants will:

(1) develop a workflow for integrating AI into comic creative process,

(2) explore the potential of DALL-E for creating new visual styles and genres,

(3) collaborate with PI and other comic artists to create a pilot comic book.

Each phase, the PI and student assistants will work in a team, experimenting the various AI tools and generating AI imaging outcomes. The potential artifact will be based on this fluid and improvised process that integrates AI in the creative production.

Student Learning Outcomes and Benefits

The student learning outcomes includes:

1. Students will learn how the use of AI affects the speed, quality, and level of details for their creative work.
2. Students should be able to identify the usefulness of incorporating DALL-E into the conventional production phases, from brainstorming ideas, generating rough sketch thumbnails, producing storyboards, and refining final artworks.

Lien Fan Shen

Fine Arts
Film & Media Arts

My philosophy of teaching is to make students acknowledge the limits of knowing and advance coherent general principles of their fields. My pedagogical approach-practicing critical thinking through analyses and practice-set me on the way to this goal. My teaching practice always encourages students to produce works that shine in both academic and popular settings. I emphasize integrating critical thinking and persistent doing/artmaking in my courses. Critical thinking informs artmaking practice, and practice goes beyond the rational learning outcome of students' critical thinking. Creative practice not only encourages students to articulate their conceptual understanding of visual culture through doing, but also provides a means to challenge the limits of knowing and existing norms. Creative practice, such as animation projects and storyboarding assignments in my courses, is juxtaposed by constraints and students' free will of knowing through making. Students must acknowledge technical and social constraints in order to confront and go beyond the limits through their practice.

Since tenured in 2014, I have served as the chair of graduate committees for one MFA in Animation, one MA in Asian Studies, five MA in Arts Teaching. I also served as a member on two MFA committees in Film Production and one PhD in Communication. I mentor a significant amount of our undergraduate students officially and unofficially. I advise students in Undergraduate Honor theses and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Students' projects include issues on environmental concerns, mental health, queer representation, school bullying, and female empowerment.