How to prove your art is not AI generated?

This article was inspired by the ban of Ben Moran from the Art subreddit because the mods thought his art was generated by AI.

Minh Anh Nguyen Hoang, 30, (aka Ben Moran) is a concept artist based in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This is the art he has shared on the r/Art, a subreddit with more than 22 million followers. The mods removed the art claiming it was generated by AI, refused to believe that it was hand painted when contacted by Ben Moran, and “muted” Ben Moran for 28 days.

The artwork shown above was created for the book cover of one of Selkie Myth>’s book.

Thank goodness there’s a screenshot. Source

The moderator’s response was this:

I don’t believe you. Even if you did “paint” it yourself, it’s so obviously an AI-prompted design that it doesn’t matter. If you really are a “serious” artist, then you need to find a different style, because A) no one is going to believe when you say it’s not AI, and B) the AI can do better in seconds what might take you hours. Sorry, it’s the way of the world.

I’ve a few issues with this argument.

1. What do you mean by an “obviously AI-prompted design”? Is there a checklist of things to look for to help you decide what could or could not be generated by AI?

2. Who are you to tell people to find another style? It’s like art teachers telling students not to draw Japanese anime style because they don’t understand the appeal of anime.

I do agree with the last point on AI being able to generated art much faster than hand-drawn art. What’s considered to be better is subjective though. In this case, it’s clear that the moderators thought AI art would look better than what Ben Moran has created.

So it seems like going forward, digital artists would have to show proof that their artworks are not AI-generated. This obviously will require more work on the artists’ part because you have to actually create the proof. And it’s kinda sad that with AI art nowadays, in addition to just creating art, we also have to create proof of the process.

Ben Moran posted some references he used. Someone commented that reference boards are not proof.

Reference boards are not proof. I agree. Reference boards are just proof that you created the reference boards.

How to proof your art is not generated by AI

If your art is the type that can be generated by AI, it would be good to do something to protect your art career.

These are some simple ways to proof that your artist is not AI generated.

1. Show your layers.

This is possibly the easiest way that takes least amount of time. Just show your layers for drafting lines, foreground and background.

2. Show your timelapse

You can also create a timelapse to record your WIP but this takes more effort, and will take up a lot of storage on your tablet or computer.

The most silly aspect about this is you’re creating the timelapse only for the purpose of telling people your art is hand-drawn. Doing this takes away the joy of creating art.

3. Talk about your art
This also requires more effort as it involves you talking about your art, your style, thought process, WIP, etc. This requires even more effort compared to making a timelapse video. But the upside here is this can be used to market your artwork.

ArtGerm and Claire Wendling on AI art

ArtGerm has wrote something about AI art recently too and you can read it on his Facebook post (screenshot above).

In his post, he said “When a customer purchase my art, he didn’t just purchase a pretty picture, but also my 30 years of hard work I invested. And that’s something AI can never replace.”

And “if a product is created cheaply, it will usually be valued cheaply as well unless you have an exclusive access to the product/process.”

There are people who appreciate hand-drawn art, and are fans/supporters/patrons of artists. But there are also people who just want cheap art and are not interested in the extra cost linked to the decades you spent honing your craft.

Claire Wendling also has a lot to say about AI art.


The digital art industry is undergoing a seismic shift currently due to the invention of AI art. Even if you’re a purist who prefer hand-drawn or hand-painted art, you can’t deny that AI art has utility.

Unfortunately, some artists will be more affected by AI art than others. Digital painters, concept artists, visual development artists and even background artists are all affected.

So building a brand for yourself now is even more important than before. Those who create AI art have no brand, no personality and can’t reply to comments.