Jason JunJason Jun

Running an Etsy Store with Generative AI

1 June 2023

Creating beautiful images is easier than ever with Gen AI tools. And at some point I was curious if I could sell them online. I did some Googling and found out that Etsy might be the easiest way to sell them.

One of the things that surprised me personally about Gen AI is how well it can capture the style of a particular artist. That's where the idea for the paintings for my Etsy store came from - I decided to generate paintings in the style of one of my favourite artists, Edward Hopper.

My Etsy storeMy Etsy store

Image generation

When tested with the equality prompt, the difference between Dalle and Midjourney's output is striking. So, without much thought, I decided to use Midjourney to create the image.

The results of Midjourney were amazing, but it took repeated attempts to figure out what prompts worked and what didn't in order to generate exactly the kind of picture I wanted.

Some of the attemptsSome of the attempts

I can't say for sure, but it seemed like the simpler, more abstract prompts produced drawings that were more in keeping with the artist's style. If I had to guess, I'd say that over-description takes away from the computer's power to express the style? I don't know.

Upscaling and modification

After creating the images, the next problem we faced was the size of the images. Even at its largest size, the image I created with Midjourney was still well below the size of a print I could sell on Etsy. I Googled for ways to upscale and found that if I installed the beta version of Photoshop, I could use features like Generative Fill and upscaling.

The next challenge was to deal with errors and noise throughout the image. The finger problem in the Gen AI images hadn't been fully resolved yet, and there were still errors in the images, such as unclear signatures, bizarre lettering, and compositions and shapes that didn't make sense. On top of that, the noise in the images was becoming too pronounced during the upscaling process.

I was able to remove most of the noise by hand using Photoshop's basic features, and then used Generative Fill to retouch the image where it needed to be fixed.

Image modificationImage modification
Image combination & modificationImage combination & modification

Using mockup frames

Once I had my final selection of paintings, I purchased a frame mockup file to create images for my store.

Frame mockup imagesFrame mockup images

The process wasn't as simple as I thought it would be, but the truth is that it wasn't that long ago that a developer like me could never even attempt to create and sell paintings of this quality. It still amazes me that it's possible through a series of software processes. Of course, creating paintings and selling them are two different things. The latter is still far more difficult.

Store link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ImaginedFrames