A.I. Art for January 2023

A.I. Art for January 2023

I've been spending more of my time at MidJourney, and less at the other services. I just don't seem to be able to produce images that please me at NightCafe or DALL-E. Here are images created by A.I. art for January 2023, including prompts and commentary.

To keep myself from being sucked into the vortex every day and getting nothing else done, I collect prompt ideas in a spreadsheet. Then I set aside binge time and run through the prompts that appeal to me at that moment. If I have enough credits left at the end of the month, I'll run semi-methodical experiments with word choice, word order, subject focus, etc. Which is how I lucked into a decent set of landscape images from DALL-E—see below.

In all cases, click the image to see the larger version. If you want to see even more, check out my previous A.I. art posts: Adventures in AI-Generated ArtMore Fun with A.I. ArtA.I. Art for December

MidJourney Rocks My World, Usually

I love sci-fi spaceship illustrations. I've probably generated 1,000 of them. MidJourney (MJ) favors front views, partial sections, and closeups. I want the full ship in the frame and interesting futuristic designs. Some days, MJ and I sing from the same songbook; most days, MJ does what it wants. 

illustration of a spaceship zooming through a purple sky, generated by MidJourney illustration of a spaceship surrounded by clouds, generated by MidJourney illustration of a spaceship being struck by stellar lightning, generated by MidJourney
Prompt: album cover for space opera romance titled “Last Starship Off Polaris”, spaceship, psychic, pilot, biopunk, soundtrack, sci-fi style, trending on Behance, trending on artstation, trending on deviantart Prompt: double exposure photo of an isolated hyperrealistic sci-fi spaceship, centered in view, clouds of dark matter and an epic space battle scene, plain background Prompt: double exposure photo of an isolated hyperrealistic sci-fi spaceship and clouds of dark matter and stardust

Playing around with artist styles and themes has given me an education in art… sort of. MJ and the other A.I. art services compare the digital bits of images (e.g., an online photo of a Rembrandt painting) and the words used for and near it, then try to analyze what the common denominators are so it can apply those when creating new images. Trouble is, A.I.s don't have the emotional component to use in the analysis, so it might take “green thumb” quite literally. Therefore, what I think of as an abstract art style might not produce the results I expect from the A.I. Sometimes it's best to give it a poetic phrase and let it loose.

illustration of a diecut sticker with a rocketship and stars, generated by MidJourney illustration of a teacup that is also a magic portal, generated by MidJourney abstract illustration of a sphere with numbers superimposed
Prompt: sci-fi diecut sticker, starship, exploration, helix, stars, navy blue and garnet, 2-D, vector art, logo  Prompt: A beautiful porcelain teacup that is also a magic portal to the cosmos, digital art, high detail  Prompt: secret source code of the universe

These are various holiday-related images. I would buy the spaceship-shaped Christmas ornament, especially if it lit up. MJ does NOT like to be told what numbers and letters to use and in what order; that I got the New Year's image with the correct year was miraculous luck. I am bemused by the fact that MJ decided I needed a half-dressed man to serve my holiday feast.

illustration of a spaceship-shaped Christmas ornament, generated by MidJourney illustration of the numbers 2023 made out of mylar balloons, generated by MidJourney illustration of a holiday table full of food and being served by a man who lost his shirt, generated by MidJourney
Prompt: charming spaceship shaped Christmas ornament, neon lights inside, crystal, depth of field, octane render, cinematic light Prompt: 2023 New Years raytrace Prompt: NC Wyeth illustration depicting a bright table full of holiday food and decorations, masterpiece 


NightCafe Doesn't Rock My World

Likely because I don't spend enough time with NightCafé (despite getting free credits daily), I haven't figured out how to make it shine. Mostly I get unfocused refrigerator art, with occasional WTF images created by a drunk impressionist who is trying hallucinogens for the first time. MidJourney occasionally whiffs it, too, but not nearly as often or as badly. However, I've lucked into some decent images by calling out styles and subjects and not much else.

Prompt: Futuristic art nouveau travel poster, outer space alien planet, art deco, teal and red and gold    


DALL-E Doesn't Rock My World, Either

DALL-E can create interesting results, but only if you like low-resolution, square images. For example, I like making spaceships, but DALL-E doesn't. Or more specifically, DALL-E likes showing a small part of the spaceship that's not quite in focus. DALL-E's lack of precision works better for things like oil paintings and figurative subjects.

Here's a set of images that use the following prompt, with only one word changed for each:

oil painting amazing landscape, award-winning, high detail, by Erin Hanson and Atey Ghailan, beautiful, precise, balanced, concepts of hope love harmony [variable], no impressionist

Variables used: summer, autumn, winter, spring, dawn, midnight. The “no impressionist” part of the prompt was an attempt to keep Monet, et al. out of the mix, but sometimes A.I. art services have oppositional defiant disorder tendencies and will defiantly include the very thing(s) you said you didn't want.

Illustration of an oil painting of summer, generated by DALL-E Illustration of an oil painting of autumn, generated by DALL-E Illustration of an oil painting of winter, generated by DALL-E
[variable] = summer [variable] = autumn [variable] = winter

Illustration of an oil painting of spring, generated by DALL-E Illustration of an oil painting of dawn, generated by DALL-E Illustration of an oil painting of midnight, generated by DALL-E
[variable] = spring [variable] = dawn [variable] = midnight




  1. Yeah, I really don’t like any of the other AI art services besides Midjourney. It’s pretty much all I use now. I have a blog post going up tomorrow with art from one of my books. It was a lot of fun to do!

    1. I look forward to reading your post. It’s always entertaining to hear (and see!) about what you’re doing with MJ.

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