Using AI Art to Create Digital Collages in Keynote and Procreate (One Best Thing)

Creating digital collages can be a wonderful creative activity for students. They can be used to illustrate poetry and quotes or represent themes in books, stories, or songs. Collages can be used to imagine fantastic or surreal worlds or to share personality, dreams, travels, or memories. Using an iPad to make a digital collage opens up many creative ways that a student can collect and combine images to imagine their ideas.

I've been exploring using AI art generators to create collages in Keynote and Procreate. Although one could go to the internet and download random images to use in a collage, I like the idea of creating new images using an AI art generator like Adobe Firefly. Not only is the image going to be unique, but is also will not be a copyrighted picture. With an AI art generator, you can produce objects that are more specific to mood or color. Also, sometimes that can visualize a fantastical and unusual concept that only you imagine!

AI Digital Collages in Keynote


digital collage with field of flowers, woman's face, bed, boats, clouds

This collage began by generating a misty photo of a field of wildflowers for the background in Keynote. Then I started layering the other AI generated elements on top, adding transparency to each picture as desired. One advantage to using Keynote to make the collage was being able to use "Remove Background" and "Magic Lift" to cleanly cut out the background of the layered pieces. Finally, I added text to explain about the collage. You could extend this idea by having students record their voice in Keynote. They could read a poem, a quote, or simply explain their ideas. 

Collage image ideas, bed, flowers, woman's face in profile
Collage image ideas, bed, flowers, woman's face in profile
A helpful trick I have discovered when generating images for collages and other creative projects is to add "gray background" to your prompt so it is easier to cleanly remove the background.

AI Digital Collages in Procreate


Journey digital collage with map, cat in boat, lighthouse, compass rose

If you want to be able to have a bit more flexibility with creating digital collages, Procreate is an advanced option. By putting each image on a different layer, you can edit and erase parts of the image or soften the edges to blend better. Each layer has many options for transparency and color blending. (However, I still find that using "Magic Lift" to copy/paste images into each layer is faster than trying to remove the background in Procreate.) I also liked that I had drawing options with brushes to add more clouds, flares, and stars to enhance the collage. Finally, I added a text box and typed "Journey" with a calligraphy font, then on another layer traced the word with a calligraphy brush so it would look like hand drawn lettering.


One other benefit to using AI Art is that it can easily produce surreal and fantasy images. The collage above featured a cat in a gondola and a lighthouse in steampunk style. By adding words like fantasy, cyberpunk, futuristic, surreal, or steampunk in your prompts, you often end up with crazy imaginative images that are lots of fun to use. You can also specific unique colors (like the red fantasy castle) or moods (like misty or dreamy) for pictures.

One Best Thing:

This post is a part of my One Best Thing Project "AI Art for Inspiration, Creativity, and Learning." I am collecting my AI Art project ideas and resources at this website:

Call to Action: Do you have any ways or ideas on how to use AI Art Digital Collages as a part of a learning or creative activity? I'd love to hear them so we can "Yes, and..." and extend this idea!

All Replies

Posted on August 12, 2023

Karen, I love how you are using AI and adding your own creativity. This is a great piece to share with teachers! Thanks for the tips!

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