01 X INTRODUCTION
The curiosity towards AI and Midjourney started when designers and artist that I follow on social media, were showing their worried thoughts about AI taking over the creatives jobs and carries. Beautiful images with a worrying and or anxious caption underneath the image. I didn’t put too much of a thought behind it and was sharing the same distance towards this new tool. Since I am a devoted fan of these designers, I trusted their words and almost automatically shared their opinion…
However, sometimes ago, I stumbled upon a truly negative comment towards AI. Almost a bullied like reaction to this new way of creating. It makes me judge my own pre-judgment. Who am I to already have my opinion on something if I even didn’t try it myself?
So, I started to watch YouTube tutorials and explore different AI machines. I found on Midjourney the most fitting with my own way of thinking and working. First hand not very intuitive, but once you get the hang of it, it goes like an oiled machine (how the Dutchies say). The more I was using it, the more I opened to this new tool. Finally! Finally, we have a new creative pencil on our desk, which helps us to make our visions come true. But it’s even more than a program, even more than a 3D modelling program, even more than a render program. This tool learns creativity like we do…
02 X THE NEW CREATIVE TOOL
We create images, paintings, concepts, based on what we saw and experienced in our lives. Midjourney learns from all the different images on Google and collects all sorts of different combinations and assemblages of images based on your written prompts. Prompts are descriptions you use to make an artificial generated image. So, in a nutshell, AI’s brain, in terms of creativity, has somewhat similarities with our brains.
That’s amazing if you think about it… let’s look at it in a positive way: we have a machine, that helps us to develop our thoughts and make our imaginations into something more palpable. You don’t need to learn 3D modelling, painting nor drawing. With this, more people can express their imaginations, even if they never were able to draw…
Before AutoCAD, we needed to make floorplans, city plans and maps by hand. Days, months and even years of work! After the evolution of computer programs, we could finish that work much easier and quicker.
I personally think we are in a similar position. A new area into the creative industry. I see Midjourney as a helping buddy, doing its best to help you develop your ideas. It is a true teamwork. Without your brain, the images wouldn’t probably ever be made. Because, even if you use the same prompts, you’ll get each time a different image.
I already used it with one commercial project. After sketching the preliminary concept and after collecting inspiration and mood boards, I introduced AI to the process. Making a prompt with a descriptive catalyst of all my mood boards and inspirations. Summarizing the conceptual design and references into images. That was amazing. The first images were already helping me a lot into the creative process. I see it as a step between inspiration boards and the first sketches.
After being happy with your prompted images, you can elaborate the images and refine them even more. Learning each time more and more how to understand Midjourney language.
After one month I travelled through Zimbabwe. Getting extremely inspired by nature, its weather, hut designs, native building methods, aesthetics, and the people.
When I got access to the internet, I started to write my prompts and evolved a particular style with which I am connected to. Natural building materials collected around the building sites. Lots of daylight mixed with closed, more intimate spaces in contrast with other rooms which are almost completely outside. Woven mosquito nets with woven fresh cut branches which are still flexible and easy to bend. Tall rooms which channel the heat up, away from the space, like termites’ mounts. This all whilst interweaving western elements to the designs. The last one to experiment is what comes out if the two design styles collaborate.
This is in brief: how I’m falling in love with AI and Midjourney. I’m an architect and CGI artist, finding and exploring a very exciting tool in this creative realm.
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Author: Gemma Galeno
28 years old Dutch/Italian architect living in Amsterdam. After high school, she decided to study building engineering at the TU/e. Then, she did a master’s in architecture at the TU Delft in sustainable transformations of heritage. Today, she renovates and transforms Amsterdam’s monumental buildings. “When I was a child, I always wanted to become an artist, but I wasn’t allowed to study art, so I sneaked in a way to still do something artistic, hence architecture. Since 2013 I have been manifesting projects into more palatable images thanks to 3D and rendering programs.”