An illustration of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz walking down a road into a colorful circular doorway with a purple brain inside. Revelry blog

By Steve Achord, Revelry Alumni

Imagine being the director of your own art studio. You employ thousands of visual artists, adept at all styles and techniques, and they work super fast. Anything you can imagine, they can create in minutes. This has been my experience using MidJourneyAI, one of the latest platforms for creating art with artificial intelligence, currently in public beta as a discord bot.

Lately, there has been no shortage of AI Art Generators, and usually, I find the output of such platforms novel and rudimentary. I expected the output of MidJourney to be similar, but so far, the quality has only been awe-inspiring. With MidJourney you only need an imagination.

How It Works

Within the Discord bot, you enter prompts such as:

/imagine a lonely android walking on a crowded street in new york city at the magic hour in the year of 1912 in the style of Ivan Shishkin

The above prompt produces an image that not only understands context, place, history, lighting, and emotions, but also artistic style.

Let’s See More Examples

A white cyborg cyberpunk hybrid Ninja, situated in a misty, pure otherworldly forest, concept art
A lonely man wearing a blue raincoat walking down the street in the east village in new york city in 1971, isolation moody betrayal magic hour centered composition in the style of Jeremy Mann
A photo of the Italian coast: a village of homes built into a cliff on a foggy day.
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italia, darkness, mist in the clouds
A photorealistic goth Fabergé egg with depth of field
A black and white photograph of a hellish landscape in the style of Ansel Adams
A Mecha-Skull made of bone and white shiny metal infused with lights and a sense of wonder with Dramatic Lighting
25 people socializing outside a pub in bruge at night in the style of Ivan Shishkin
A Chemical plant sky-city at the magic hour, lights, spaceships, concept art
Cyberpunk metal jellyfish
Golden wallpaper with a feather tile pattern with hints of aqua
A Robot Daguerreotype
Write AAA in a modern typeface on a black background
500 Samurai warriors fighting at a Chinese palace in the style of Hiroshi Yoshida

But Is This Cheating?

As someone who studied art history, I’m painfully aware that individuals spend a lifetime mastering their craft, whereas MidJourney can produce a digital equivalent that is “almost” as good in minutes. I wanted to sit with this feeling, talk to others, and come to place of understanding.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

MidJourneyAI is an idea machine. It excels in realizing and iterating on visual concepts. It’s a wonderful tool for inspiration, but as responsible creatives, we should use it with transparency and accountability. To pass off Ai Art as one’s own sole creation is not exactly art, it’s art by proxy, which is an old controversy; Just ask Jeff Koons.

It’s impossible to say how, or if, this will affect the traditional art space or NFT markets, but this technology is already out there, and I’m excited to have it in my pocket. It’s my opinion that you can’t replace the human element, and I will always enjoy consuming art crafted by human hands. However, humans are always inventing new creative tools, especially digital ones, and I see MidJourney as simply that; another tool with which we can express ourselves. If you look at art history, there is no shortage of bad art, despite the tools. It’s all what knowledge and skills you bring to to the table. So now that we have a shortcut to steal like an artist and stand on the shoulders of giants, maybe we should, if not just for exploration and hopefully to concept new ideas that will see future implementation beyond AI.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.”

Jim Jarmusch

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