Getting Started With Midjourney AI

I have been very interested in experimenting with AI-generated art for the past few months. I am an illustrator and a mixed media artist and I was wondering how these tools can be used to expand on what I do already.

Earlier this year, I began dabbling with the DALL-E Mini image generator. I had a lot of fun giving ridiculous prompts to it and seeing the results. One of my favorites was “Van Gogh Nosferatu.” You can see the results below.

As you can see, the generator got the right idea, the only disappointing thing was the low quality resolution of the images. The novelty wore off and I took a break from AI-generated art. That is until I heard about Midjourney AI.

A friend sent me images he created and my mind was blown at the high resolution and the level of detail that was achievable.

This knocked my socks off!


First, you will need to sign up for a Discord account.

Second, create an account at Midjourney.

Third, you will need to go to their official discord server, accept the terms of service and select one of the newbies channels from the sidebar.

Once in the channel you will give prompts to the Midjourney Bot. To do this you will need to type “/imagine” and then click on the box that appears above your text. Then let your imagination run wild and type your prompt!

Of course I had to start where I left off with a Van Gogh version of Nosferatu!

Unfortunately, the initial results I got looked to be Van Gogh himself with a slightly goth vampire look.

You’ll notice that Midjourney generates four images. You can select the buttons below to either upscale the image if you’d like to save it, or create a new set of variations based off of one of the images. You can see above that I selected to upscale image number two, and then create variations of it as well.

The upscaled version of image number two

If any of the above is confusing, you can also see Midjourney’s Quick Start Guide which should answer any questions you might have.

I continued experimenting and ended up at this night scene of Count Orlok strolling down a village street in front of an enormous full moon. It will do for now.

Nosferatu walking village street at night in front of giant moon painted in Van Gogh style - midjourney ai - by M R Kessell
A spooky night scene with a Nosferatu-like figure

You are allowed 25 free uses of the Midjourney Bot to start. After that you will need to subscribe to the service.

I usually consider myself very much a Luddite. However, as an artist, I think if nothing else, this tool can be used for brainstorming new ideas when you’re experiencing a block. It can also be used as a jumping off point for new works.

You can take things further if you are a digital illustrator, as in my video tutorial from last year, in which I used Google’s Chimera Painter, another AI tool, to create a creature and then refine the design and put my own stamp on it.

I am not totally familiar with how the rights work yet, but if you are a subscriber I think you’ll be able to use and manipulate the images however you’d like.

I hope this post is helpful to you, whether you’re a new artist, an experienced artist, or someone who has never even doodled with a pencil! Please let me know how it goes. I’d love to see your results!!! You can find me on IG and Twitter.

Until next time, have some creepy Jack-O’-Lanterns!

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