Unleashing Creativity: AI as a Tool, Not a Replacement

A Midjourney generated image of a chipmunk in space, standing on an alien planet in front of an acron-shaped rocket ship. Beneath him is text that reads: "Creative AI - AI as a Tool Not as a Replacement. Chips' Stellar Adventure"

Unleashing Creativity: AI as a Tool, Not a Replacement


Lately artificial intelligence (AI) has made remarkable progress, impacting various aspects of our lives. From personalized recommendations to intelligent assistants, AI has shown its potential to assist and enhance human endeavors in a wide variety of disciplines.  

However, when it comes to creativity, AI still has a long way to go.

In this article, we will explore the my experience of using AI tools, ChatGPT and Midjourney, to create a children’s book, and discover why AI is best utilized as a brainstorming tool rather than a replacement for human creativity.

A Midjourney generated image of a chipmunk in space, standing on an alien planet in front of an acron-shaped rocket ship. Beneath him is text that reads: "Creative AI - AI as a Tool Not as a Replacement. Chips' Stellar Adventure"
Using AI to Spark Creativity


A red stop sign against a blue sky, with a red rocks on either side
ⓒ Lauren McDonagh-Pereira Photography 2013

Before we get into it, please consider a few quick DISCLAIMERS.

    • I am not a financial advisor, an art expert, a lawyer, or an accountant. Do your own research. 
    • This post represents my personal opinions and is NOT financial advice.
    • I am an artist. At the time of posting, I have works minted on the Tezos and Ethereum blockchain. Links contained in this article may point to my own minted NFTs or may point to the NFTs of other artists that I have collected from. If you choose to collect NFTs referenced in this article, I may earn money from your purchase.
    • This post may contain sponsored ads and affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you click on an ad and make a purchase. I am not responsible for 3rd party websites. 
    • Where noted, responses were generated by ChatGPT, an AI language model developed by OpenAI.
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The Power of AI

AI has revolutionized many fields by analyzing patterns, generating ideas, and assisting in decision-making processes. It excels in processing vast amounts of data, extracting insights, and producing valuable outcomes. When utilized correctly, AI tools can provide a wealth of inspiration and new possibilities, as seen in the realm of creative writing.

ChatGPT: A Creative Jumping Off Point

ChatGPT, a language model developed by OpenAI, offers an exciting playground for writers and storytellers. With its ability to generate coherent text based on provided prompts, it can be an invaluable asset during the brainstorming phase of creative projects. Using ChatGPT, you can explore different narrative directions, develop characters, and unlock unique storylines. It becomes a trusted companion, sparking ideas and expanding our imaginative boundaries.

Midjourney: Bridging the Gap Between Words and Art

Midjourney, an AI-image creation software, can take the text generated by ChatGPT and transform it into vibrant illustrations, bringing the story to life visually. By collaborating with AI-generated visuals, creators can gain fresh perspectives, visualize their ideas, and witness a fusion of human storytelling and AI-generated imagery.

AI's Limitations in Creativity

While AI has proven its ability to imitate and replicate existing patterns, true creativity is still a domain largely dominated by human ingenuity. AI models lack genuine emotional experiences, intuition, and the ability to think conceptually outside of pre-existing patterns. Human creators possess a deep understanding of context, cultural nuances, and the ability to connect diverse ideas, making them irreplaceable when it comes to pushing the boundaries of imagination.

The Role of Human Creativity

Human creativity is a powerful force that stems from emotions, personal experiences, and cultural influences. It allows creators to tap into the intangible and infuse their work with authenticity, innovation, and unique perspectives. While AI can assist in generating ideas, it is the human touch that gives a creative endeavor its soul, ensuring a genuine connection with the audience.

The Synergy of AI and Human Creativity

Rather than viewing AI as a rival to human creativity, it is best seen as a tool that can complement and enhance the creative process. AI can provide valuable suggestions, accelerate idea generation, and serve as a source of inspiration. When combined with human creativity, AI becomes a powerful ally, facilitating exploration, experimentation, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

As we continue to explore the intersection of AI and creativity, it becomes evident that AI, while impressive in its abilities, is not yet ready to replace human creativity. It thrives as a brainstorming tool, igniting our imagination and assisting us in discovering new possibilities. By embracing the synergy between AI and human creativity, we can unlock uncharted territories, creating works of art that resonate deeply with audiences and stand as a testament to the unparalleled power of human imagination.

An AI-generated image of a large tree like artificial intelligence creature talking to a woman standing beneath it.
AI Art Created in Midjourney by Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

An Attempt at Letting AI Completely Create a Children's Book

The Background of the Idea

I am completely fascinated with the power of AI tools, and I am constantly researching new ways to use AI in my personal, professional, and creative life.

I use AI to help me learn about photography. I use AI to create images for my blogs and social media. I even use AI to write all the tedious back end SEO text for all of my blog posts!

My favorite way to learn is through hands-on experimentation. I am not a “read the manual” kind of girl. I prefer to skim the headers, pick up a few tips, and then just get going. 

I know, I’m the worst. 

Recently, I was curious to discover if AI tools, like Midjourney and ChatGPT could be used to completely create a children’s book from scratch with little to no human intervention. 

I was at a music festival alone, because my friend’s daughter had come down with a fever the morning of the show. It was between bands, and I was bored, so I pulled out my phone, fired up ChatGPT, and Midjourney and got to work on my experiment. 


A selfie of a blonde woman wearing sunglasses and drinking a can of hard seltzer, alone at a music festival. Behind her other concert goers are yawning.
Flying solo at the Sad Summer Festival

My AI Children's Book Process


I wanted to be as hands off as possible with this project, just to see what AI could and could not accomplish on its own. 

I started a new ChatGPT version 3.5 (the free version) chat and entered this as my prompt:

“Please write a children’s book about a chipmunk who wanted to go to space.”

"Please write a children's book about a chipmunk who wanted to go to space."

I decided that a chipmunk would be a fun character for a children’s book, and I decided going to space would be a unique motivation for his story. 

That’s all that I gave ChatGPT. I let the AI bots take it from there.

A screenshot of a ChatGPT chatlog.
ChatGPT's Children's Book

This resulted in a passable story.

The characters and names were predictable and boring, Chip the Chipmunk and Oliver the Wise Owl, but overall the story made sense and would probably entertain my 1 and 4-year old children.

Since I wanted to see what AI could create on its own, I didn’t refine my prompt at all, and just took the first draft over to Midjourney to create the illustrations. 

A fox-like creature wearing a space suit standing on an alien planet. The image is AI-generated in a colorful illustrated style.
Midjourney AI Image by Lauren McDonagh-Pereira


To make the illustrations, I decided to really let Midjourney take the wheel. I didn’t make my own prompts, or enter any specific instructions. 

Instead, I took each paragraph one at a time and copy and pasted it into Midjourney as the complete prompt. 

For example, I entered, “/imagine prompt: Oliver chuckled and said, “Dear Chip, space is a wondrous and mysterious place. To reach the stars, you will need a special rocket ship. I have just the thing for you—a hidden treasure known as the ‘Cosmic Acorn.'”

Then I hit enter and waited to see what Midjourney would come back with. 

To be fair, I did have to involve a bit of human creative editing by picking which of the four images that I liked best. 

I only asked Midjourney to create one set of images per paragraph prompt. I simply picked my favorite of each, and made an upscaled version to go with the text.

I did not ask Midjourney to recreate any of the images, and I did not provide any context beyond the paragraph of text from the story for each prompt.

As you will see, some of the illustrations fit the story perfectly, while others are a bit random.

You will also notice that the style of the illustrations is not consistent at all, and Chip isn’t even always represented as a chipmunk. Sometimes he’s human. Sometimes, he’s a confusing foxlike creature. 

This process would be a great way for an author or illustrator to generate ideas and create a story board, but, in my opinion, AI alone cannot create a high quality creative project on its own (yet).

I will let you judge for yourself. Please enjoy the children’s book, “Chip’s Stellar Adventure” by ChatGPT and Midjourney, as prompted by Lauren McDonagh-Pereira. 

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Join the 10-Minute Journaling Challenge on YouTube!

Chip's Stellar Adventure

by ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

A fox-like creature wearing a space suit standing on an alien planet. The image is AI-generated in a colorful illustrated style.

Once upon a time, in a cozy little forest, there lived a curious and daring chipmunk named Chip. He had the brightest eyes and the bushiest tail among all the chipmunks in the land. While his friends were busy gathering acorns and playing hide-and-seek, Chip dreamed of something extraordinary—he wanted to go to space!

An AI-generated image of a chipmunk.

Every night, Chip would lay on a soft patch of grass and gaze at the twinkling stars in the sky. He wondered what it would be like to explore the vastness of space, visit planets, and float among the stars. Chip’s heart fluttered with excitement, and he knew he had to find a way to make his dream come true.

An AI-generated image of a boy and a dog looking at the stars

Chip hopped from tree to tree, searching for someone wise enough to guide him. Soon, he stumbled upon a wise old owl named Oliver. With his round spectacles perched on his beak, Oliver was known for his wisdom and knowledge of the world.

An AI-generated image of an owl wearing glasses and a bowtie

“Mr. Oliver,” Chip exclaimed, “I have a burning desire to visit outer space. Can you help me?”

An AI-image of a astronaut standing on an alien planet.

Oliver chuckled and said, “Dear Chip, space is a wondrous and mysterious place. To reach the stars, you will need a special rocket ship. I have just the thing for you—a hidden treasure known as the ‘Cosmic Acorn.'”

Oliver chuckled and said, "Dear Chip, space is a wondrous and mysterious place. To reach the stars, you will need a special rocket ship. I have just the thing for you—a hidden treasure known as the 'Cosmic Acorn.'"

Chip’s eyes widened with awe. He had heard tales of the legendary Cosmic Acorn, which possessed magical powers to fulfill dreams. Excitedly, Chip and Oliver set out on a thrilling quest to find it.

An AI-generated image of an awestruck chipmunk in the forest.

Through meadows, across babbling brooks, and deep into the heart of the enchanted forest, they searched. Finally, they reached a hidden glen, where a towering oak tree stood tall and mighty. At the tree’s base, nestled amidst moss and leaves, they found the Cosmic Acorn.

An AI-generated image of a stream in a summer forest.

With the Cosmic Acorn in their paws, Chip and Oliver returned to their home. They carefully studied ancient manuscripts, drawing plans and designing a marvelous rocket. Chip’s friends, the other chipmunks, saw his passion and joined in to lend a paw. Together, they crafted the finest rocket the forest had ever seen.

An AI-generated image of two chipmunks in adventure gear

The day of the grand launch arrived, and the whole forest gathered in excitement. As the countdown began, Chip climbed aboard the rocket, his heart racing with anticipation. With a loud whoosh, the rocket shot up into the sky, leaving a trail of sparkling stardust behind.

An AI generated image of an excited chipmunk.

Higher and higher Chip soared, leaving Earth’s atmosphere behind. He marveled at the breathtaking beauty of the cosmos—nebulae, shooting stars, and planets of vibrant colors. Chip felt as though he was living in a dream.

An AI-Generated Image of a man standing on cliff on an alien planet standing on a cliff looking at a nebula

But as much as Chip loved his cosmic adventure, he knew he missed his home in the forest. So, with a gentle push of a button, he set the rocket’s course back to Earth. The rocket descended gracefully, and Chip landed safely, much to the joy of his chipmunk friends.

An AI-generated image of a space chipmunk.

Word of Chip’s incredible journey spread throughout the forest, and animals of all kinds gathered to celebrate his return. Chip shared stories of his cosmic escapade, inspiring his friends to dream big and reach for the stars.

An Ai-generated image of a racoon reading a book to forest creatures.

From that day forward, Chip and his friends made a pact to encourage one another to pursue their wildest dreams. Whether it was flying high like a bird or exploring the deepest ocean, they knew that with passion, perseverance, and a little help from friends, anything was possible.

An AI generated image of birds on an adventure.

And so, as the sun set over the forest, Chip and his friends lay on a soft patch of grass, gazing up at the sky. The stars twinkled brightly, whispering stories of endless possibilities. With hearts full of hope and dreams in their eyes, they knew that the greatest adventures were yet to come.

An Ai-generated image of forest creatures enjoying a lantern in the woods.

The End.

An Ai-Generated image of a man and his car at the end of the world.


The creation of “Chip’s Stellar Adventure” shows the role of AI as a powerful tool in the creative process while emphasizing its limitations in replacing human creativity.

This children’s book showcases the potential of AI to provide a jumping-off point, generating ideas and visuals that spark the imagination. However, a human touch is need to give the story its soul, authenticity, and emotional depth.

AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney have undoubtedly revolutionized the way we approach creative endeavors. They offer valuable assistance, opening doors to new possibilities and facilitating exploration. The collaboration between human creativity and AI can result in awe-inspiring works that captivate audiences and inspire them to dream big.

Yet, true creativity remains uniquely reserved for human creators. The depth of human emotions, intuition, and conceptual thinking cannot be replicated by AI alone. 

As we continue to navigate the intersection of AI and creativity, it is crucial to embrace the complementary nature of these two forces. AI should be seen as a powerful ally, a tool that enhances and amplifies human creativity rather than replacing it. By harnessing the synergy between AI and human imagination, we can push the boundaries of what is possible, unlocking new realms of storytelling and artistic expression.


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Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

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MEET Lauren McDonagh-Pereira

Lauren McDonagh-Pereira is a photographer from Massachusetts, USA. She captures the beauty of the world around her, favoring Nikon cameras and lenses. She is drawn to shooting landscapes, wildlife, nature, and people authentically enjoying life.