AI-generated art and design are everywhere – you can’t miss it. With the recent launch of MidJourney beta, a new AI art-generating tool, the internet is exploding with beautiful and terrifying images created by AI.
It’s been almost impossible not to come across some fantastical, strange, and horrifically-beautiful AI art creations. These AI generated art are created by advanced algorithms that convert any text into a piece of art with the push of a button.
On Tuesday, July 28th, David Holz, MidJourney’s founder shared that “MidJourney beta is now open to everyone.” This open invitation did not disappoint.
MidJourney was flooded with beta testers who quickly fell in love and signed up as members of the platform generating hundreds of art pieces. MidJourney’s public feed feels like futuristic Pinterest on steroids – it is captivating and haunting.
Is AI-Generated Art considered – Real Art?
As a fine artist who does both digital painting (since 2005) and traditional painting which has taken me hundreds of hours and many years of practice, there is an icky feeling that just typing a few words and pushing a button can produce a brand new work of art. Just like that – bam!
I am not new to digital art, but this is a whole new level of who and how these artworks are manifesting themselves in the world. It’s so strange and incomprehensible, yet it is hard not to be captivated.
As I mentioned, I am not new to the world of digital art. I started an art career as a digital artist back in 2005 due to severe life-threatening allergies to traditional art mediums. It has been nothing but an uphill battle for not only myself but most digital artists.
It was difficult, if not impossible to get to galleries, festivals, museums, etc until recently. Most places had strict rules of “NO DIGITAL ART”. Digital artworks, even when taking 60+ hours to paint a portrait, were still considered “not real art” and often the working artist was considered a “cheater”.
With the inception of these new ways to create art using AI tools and the introduction of NFTs, how has the landscape of digital art changed? Is any of it real art?
Questions We Ask Ourselves – But Are There Answers?
- What is real art?
- If I advocate for adults to pick up a paintbrush and just let their emotions take them places, is what they create art?
- Is a digital painting real art?
- Are NFT’s real art?
- Is AI-Generated art real art?
- If you have opinions, we would love to hear your thoughts on the matter below.
Examples of Some Awesome AI-Generated Artworks
Art By: Luke Wells
Art By: Ching-Kai Yen
Will AI-Generated Art Replace Artists And Designers
These types of new software is raise questions, asking if the impact of artificial intelligence will replace humans and their job. Holz minimizes these concerns stating, “When computer graphics were invented, there were similar questions — will this replace artists? It didn’t. If anything, computer graphics make artists more powerful,” he says.
Holz also states “When we see something new, there is a temptation to try to figure out if it is dangerous and treat it like a tiger. Artificial intelligence is not a tiger. It is actually more like a big river of water. A tiger is dangerous in a completely different way than water – It’s just a mighty force. It’s an opportunity.”
Everyone Is Talking About AI-Generated Art, Not Just Artists
One of the introductions to AI-Generated art is by Chris Do of The Futur/Business Bootcamp/Futur Pro Community and teaches people to speak the language of art and business. Chris is someone to follow if you want to be inspired and be exposed to new things like, MidJourney AI. Below is a recent post on his LinkedIn page. You can view the short version of the post below, if interested – join in on the conversation.
How Do You Make AI-Generated Art or Design?
If you want to try out MidJourney as a creative tool, you must sign up for Discord. Once signed up, you can head over to the MidJourney and look for #trialsupport. This will give you all the information you need to create your first AI design.
While open in beta, you can try some of their “Newcomer Rooms” which change often.
Once in a room, type prompt “/imagine” and then string some inspiring words together that you want to create an artwork from and click enter. You can create a handful of pieces in beta, but also you can upgrade to a membership for more options.
When creating, understand that nothing you make is yours or is copy-written. You give MidJouney all rights which they state here:
By using the Services, you grant to Midjourney, and its successors, and assign a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicensable no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare Derivative Works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute text, and image prompts you input into the Services or Assets produced by the service at your direction.
Below is an image I created with the prompt: sky with trees watercolor feeling purple and gold.
How I Will Use MidJourney
As an artist, these final pieces I create will not live in my portfolio but will become a part of my inspiration/reference board for new pieces of artwork as well as other pieces created by other MidJourney creators. It’s been powerful to help expand my mind in ways that have been very helpful to my creative process.
It’s also just fun. Being able to put in a string of words and have an algorithm answer you with some wild imagery is magical. Love it or hate it – it’s fascinating.
I consider these tools a great way to experiment with different ideas and styles that I can modify later in order to make my final product unique.
Below is an artwork I created using the prompt: woman woods butterflies lace filigree realistic hope joy colorful – as well as a group collage of other pieces I have created.
Other AI Art Generators
Midjourney is not the only application that creates AI-generated art. If you want to try other applications, here are a few to consider: Dall-E 2, VQGAN+CLIP, Wombo AI and The Night Cafe. You can also check into photo editing AI tools like Deep Art, AI painting generator like AI Painter, a AI cartoon maker like Cartoonify. You can even draw with a neural network using Quick Draw.
The MidJourney Takeaway
Like everything else in life, there is the good and the bad. Someone will love something and someone else will loath that very thing. AI technology will be subject to the scrutiny as well as it will be building a dedicated underground following. MidJourney, just like every tool, software or platform will have polarized viewpoints. The good thing about any software, platform, or tool is that no one is making you use it – you get to choose.
Like it or not, AI is becoming mainstream and hard to avoid. We have seen AI art in galleries, on album covers, books as well as in marketing on such things as websites, print design, graphics and advertistings.
Art is a never-ending endeavor, with every new generation building on the previous. Like AI writers, image generators are here to assist artists, not to replace them.
MidJouney is beautiful, fun, and surprising but it is just as terrifying, confusing, and unsettling. I love it!
P.S. Come friend me on Discord!