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52 Card Inspiration: Unleashing Creativity with a Deck of Cards

Do you ever just not know what to create? Have you prompted your way into a creative block? 

I find a little randomness can get things moving again. I absolutely adore random generators but I don’t know of many aimed toward visual art, so I created a random generator that utilizes something many have laying around their house: a deck of playing cards.

The Concept

I call this concept “52 Card Inspiration.” For it you will need a deck of playing cards (or if you don’t have one give this card generator a try) and the tables below:

Step 1: Draw Four Cards. Draw one card for each of the four tables above.

Step 2: Consult the Tables. Refer to the corresponding prompt in each of the four tables. Write these down on a scrap sheet of paper.

Step 3: Combine the Prompts. Merge the four individual prompts into a single prompt.

Step 4: Generate the Image. Use an AI image generator to bring the combined prompt to life.

Step 5: Interpret and Reflect. Take a moment to consider how the generator integrated the pieces of your prompt. This step allows you to learn for future prompts.

Example 1

I created the cover image for this article using this method. Here are the cards I drew and their meanings on the tables:

8 of Spades: Pink

4 of Diamonds: Embossed

7 of Spades: Dystopian

5 of Spades: Flower (Flora)

I then asked ChatGPT to prompt Dall-e 3 for the following: “A dystopian embossed image of pink flowers.” The cover above was the best image out of three versions. 

Simple but effective.

Example 2

Let’s look at my second draw:

7 of Diamonds: Monochrome

10 of Spades: Panorama

8 of Hearts: Romanticism

4 of Spades: Fire (Pyro)

I included such words as “pyro” in the themes because they can be a blast to combine with others, especially in Midjourney. (“Pyrofreeze” for example was a fun wordphrase prompt!) For Dall-e 3 I stuck to the regular “fire” and asked it to create “a monochrome panorama in the style of romanticism and with a theme of fire.” Below is the best result out of three versions:

Example 3

Last example!

5 of Hearts: Glow

10 of Diamonds: Pyrography

2 of Clubs: Art Deco

2 of Hearts: Cloud (Fog)

I took this and asked Dall-e 3 for “glowing pyrography in the style of art deco with clouds.” This is a kind of contradictory prompt since pyrography is burning which is dark on light, whereas the rest of the prompt asks for “glowing” and “art deco” which tend to be light on dark.

Check out the result below. Personally, I think it did a pretty good job with the contradiction by making it look like glowing wood.

The Benefits of Random Inspiration

So what are the benefits of using a random inspiration method like this one?

Surprise and randomness in the creative process can help break through creative blocks by forcing you to think differently and make connections between concepts. The randomness prevents you from falling into your usual thought patterns and opens up new possibilities.

You never know exactly what combination of prompts will be produced, including combinations you never would have consciously chosen. This is then compounded by the randomness of the image generator, allowing you to further explore and embrace your creativity.

Create Your Own Tables

Don't feel you have to be limited to the tables I created -- feel free to create your own! You can find the filled plus a blank full-sized version of the tables here:

52 Card Inspiration Doc
Download ZIP • 682KB


The 52 Card Inspiration technique provides a fun and engaging way to stimulate your creativity by pushing you beyond your normal thought patterns and into fresh ideas and new directions.

Please try this method out for yourself! You can share your creations in this X thread

Be sure to follow @MagikChance and visit this site on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for more creative AI articles.

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