Learning to Use Midjourney: 3 Things I was Excited to Learn

An AI art platform

Sticker image generated by author using MidJourney

Do you know how to use Midjourney?

The other night, I was hanging out with a friend, and I was telling her about my new projects on Midjourney. She then asked, “What’s that?”

You know how sometimes we can get so familiar with what we know that we assume others know it, too?

Well, it gave me pause to realize that maybe not everyone knows about Midjourney yet. 

As of July, Midjourney had around 15 million users, which, compared to the size of the 8 billion world population, is relatively small. 

So chances are, there are people in your life who have never heard of Midjourney. Including maybe you. 

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert, but I will share some of the things I’ve learned and am still learning with you here. 

What is Midjourney?

Essentially, it is a generative artificial intelligence (AI) program that takes prompts as inputs to create images. You tell it what you want it to create and out pops 4 different images. 

Is it free to use Midjourney?

Yes and no. There is a free option with limited options, but I personally like using the basic subscription for $10/month. From there I can create images in my own chat discussion with the Midjourney bot.

plan showing the costs to use Midjourney, ranging from $10/month to $120/month
Screenshot of the Midjourney subscription plans

Let’s take a look at how it works:

When you open the discord server, you will be able to create prompts in chatrooms. You type /imagine …. followed by the prompt for your image.

Prompt: /imagine vintage green floral design with leaves and stem minimal white background clipart. 

4 boxes with green flower clipart
Screenshot of Midjourney output

After inputting your prompt, you will get 4 different image options to choose from. As you can see, it’s not perfect since I asked for a white background and one of the images does not have a white background. 

There are so many potential keywords and combinations that you can use. Once those 4 images are generated, you have the option to upscale the one you want to use, or create variations of your favorite one. 

four possible Halloween coloring book covers with pumpkins
screenshot of Midjourney output

The numbers correspond to:

Top left: 1, Top right: 2, Bottom left: 3, Bottom right: 4

Why do you need to upscale the images?

You may wish to use the image in a larger format or sell as clipart or on a printable. The importance of using a good upscaler is so that you don’t lose resolution are have it look to pixelated the larger it gets. 

From everything I’ve read and watched, Midjourney doesn’t currently have the option to upscale it enough to have that high quality. Therefore, a third-party upscaling site is usually recommended. 

3 things I was excited to learn about in Midjourney:

  1. You can change the aspect ratio to be landscape or portrait to match the goals of your image. Use two dashed and ar and then the ratio you are trying to achieve.
screenshot of ar prompt in Midjourney

2. Use brackets to create multiple images with the same prompt all in one command. Basically you create your prompt as you want it to be. This may take several test iterations. And then you use {book, pumpkin, broom, etc.}. Instead of having to copy and paste the prompt for each item, you can use the curly brackets and it will make all of them at once. 

Midjourney output of pumpkins and books

3. Use photorealistic and vivid imagery — the more you describe, the more detailed the image outcome is. Prompt from this list of “50 Midjourney Prompts to Create Photorealistic Art.

screenshot of Midjourney prompt and output of a waterfall 

I still have a long way to go before I’m an expert on creating AI art, but I’m excited to see where it takes me. 

Midjourney is just one of many platforms that can be used. Which one is your favorite?

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