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A simple guide to making AI art with Midjourney

A simple guide to making AI art with Midjourney... for total beginners
"burlesque kermit the frog as painted by Degas" from Midjourney
"burlesque kermit the frog as painted by Degas"

Midjourney is currently my favourite way to create AI art. All you need to do is enter in a prompt, say, "burlesque Kermit the Frog as painted by Degas", and an AI will make art for you. It feels like magic!

Midjourney is super easy to use, even if you don't consider yourself very tech-savvy. Just follow these simple steps to start generating some AI monstrosities of your own.

1. Create a Discord account

You interact with Midjourney using a chat app called Discord (it's a bit like WhatsApp or Microsoft Teams).

Go the the Discord link: https://discord.com/

Either download the app to your computer or click "open Discord in your browser" (either's fine).

Sign up for an account.

2. Join the Midjourney Beta

Go to the Midjourney website: https://www.midjourney.com/home/

Click "Join the beta".

A screenshot of the Midjourney website
The Midjourney invite on Discord

This will open Discord. Accept the invite from Midjourney.

(If there's a message about Student hubs or something, just skip it and get to the good stuff).

3. Create your first image

A screenshot of the Discord Midjourney getting-started screen

Once you're in Discord, you'll see a screen that looks like this. The list of names on the left of the screen are different channels you can switch between (like public chat rooms, if you're old enough to remember chatrooms). You will have been randomly allocated to two groups called "newbies-" and a number. Click into either of your "newbies-" rooms.

Now you'll be able to see creations your fellow newbies are working on. Honestly, half the fun of Midjourney is marvelling at the odd ideas of other people (and riffing off them!).

A screenshot of Midjourney in Discord

In the message box at the bottom of the screen, type "imagine/" and hit enter. Then, type in whatever you want to visualise.

A text prompt reading: /imagine PROMPT steampunk Hobbiton

Midjourney will then generate four low-res ideas for your prompt. Here's what it generated for me:

Steampunk Hobbiton from Midjourney, four options

And underneath the images, you'll see these buttons:

Buttons saying U1 - U4 and V1 to V4

"U" means, "upscale that image". "V" means, "give me variations of that image". I like the first image the most (the one in the top-left of the grid) so I'll click "U1".

That gives me a bigger, more detailed version of that image:

steampunk hobbiton high-res from Midjourney
Steampunk Hobbiton, in full glorious detail!

When you've created something you like, click on it to zoom in, then right-click and "Save image as..." to save it to your desktop.

4. Enjoy your free credits!

You get 25 free images from Midjourney. If you want to play more, you need to sign up for a paid account ($10 or $30 per month).

Once you've mastered the basics, here's a tutorial about the advanced parameters Midjourney supports.

Have fun getting weird!