I'm a firm believer in "trailing edge" technology. Not even sure if my Windows Vista could work with ChatGPT. No, I am sure it won't – the old girl is not on the I'net. (I'm using my smartphone right now, with its small screen.) My Art tools are physical – brushes, palettes, knives, etc.
Not that I am anti tech – I made my living as an Embedded Software Programmer / Electronics Tech. Guess I just need to get away from that stuff.
I would avoid ai produced images as reference.
Apart from the whole ethical discussion around this, I simply don't really like what I've seen of it so far. Difficult to put into words, it has a certain vibe or style that is rather generic, maybe because it's the mean of a lot of images.
Not something I would like to build my own work on.
I definitely prefer using my own photos - they're mine and I know I can do whatever I want. I appreciate all royalty-free images that are out there, but there is still a certain freedom to be had using your own ref material - or your own imagination.
I use mostly this for the actual work. The odd time I use a liner brush with the two items below.
The brush is Princeton Catalyst Polytip Bristle Brush - Egbert 6 and the knife is self explanatory.
For inspirational fooling around and looking for ideas I use phots with FotoSketch and Adobe Photoshop.
I use my own, public domain, or free to use like Pexels or other. Mostly my own or public domain.
I got a freebie trial of an art AI. Decided to test it. In my class it failed. Project: create abstract image of humanoid brolga. A brolga is an Aussie bird. Quite beautiful. Did 3 screenshots, didn't crop. Apologies.
Link to our public broadcasting story of, and image of, a brolga.