How AI "Artists" are making money with Midjourney right now

Mango Street
30 Jun 202306:03

TLDRThe video discusses the burgeoning field of AI-generated art and how artists are leveraging platforms like Midjourney to create and sell their work. Midjourney operates on a subscription model, allowing users to generate images by providing detailed prompts to the platform's bot. The video suggests using descriptive prompts to guide the AI in creating images, and then experimenting with variations to enhance the artwork. It also mentions the 'describe' function, which analyzes an uploaded image to generate a prompt. The speaker argues that the value lies in the tools used rather than the human input, and suggests that AI is best used as a starting point for creativity. The video also touches on the potential of AI for photographers and filmmakers in creating mood and storyboards. Finally, it highlights the benefits of using Squarespace for artists to sell their work, offering customizable portfolio websites and member areas for exclusive content.


  • 🎨 **AI Art Platforms**: Midjourney is a notable platform for generative art, allowing artists to create images through AI using descriptive prompts.
  • 💰 **Monetization**: Some artists are making significant income from AI-generated images, suggesting that it's not as exclusive as some might claim.
  • 📈 **Subscription Model**: Midjourney operates on a subscription basis, with a starting price point of $10, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
  • 📝 **Prompt Engineering**: To create compelling AI images, users should be detailed in their prompts, including aspects like camera, lens, colors, composition, and lighting.
  • 🧑‍🎨 **Artistic Inspiration**: Using real-life figures, like Iris Apple, can lead to more engaging and marketable AI-generated art series.
  • 🌈 **Creative Variations**: Experimenting with different styles, colors, and settings can enhance the appeal and uniqueness of the generated images.
  • 🤖 **AI Assistance**: Midjourney's 'describe' function can analyze an uploaded image and generate a prompt, assisting users in their creative process.
  • 📚 **Community Learning**: Users can learn from others by checking out Discord channels to see what prompts are being used by successful artists.
  • 🚫 **Gatekeeping Concerns**: The speaker expresses skepticism about those who claim that crafting prompts is an art form that justifies high prices.
  • 📹 **Photography and Filmmaking Tools**: AI can be a valuable tool for photographers and filmmakers, particularly for creating mood boards and storyboards.
  • 💼 **Business Model**: The speaker prefers traditional methods of making money, such as Squarespace sponsorships, rather than relying solely on AI-generated art sales.
  • 🌐 **Squarespace Features**: The platform offers various features beneficial for creators, including member areas for selling content, customizable portfolio websites, and appointment booking.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic discussed in the video?

    -The video discusses how AI 'artists' are using a platform called Midjourney to generate art and make money from it.

  • What is Midjourney and how does it work?

    -Midjourney is a subscription-based Discord platform for generative art. Users can message the Midjourney bot with a prompt to generate images, which can then be sold as prints.

  • What is the significance of being a 'prompt engineer'?

    -A 'prompt engineer' is someone who creates detailed and descriptive prompts for the Midjourney bot to generate images. This role is crucial for producing high-quality and marketable AI-generated art.

  • How can one make variations to the generated images?

    -Variations can be made by changing the prompt to include different elements such as a Wes Anderson color palette, found footage, specific lens types, outfits, and stylized settings.

  • What is the role of Squarespace in the context of the video?

    -Squarespace is mentioned as a platform where the generated art can be uploaded and sold as prints. It is also the sponsor of the video.

  • How does the video view the role of AI in the art world?

    -The video suggests that AI is better served as a starting point for creativity rather than the end product. It also criticizes those who gatekeep AI-generated art and charge high prices for it.

  • What is the stance on sharing AI-generated art prompts?

    -The video argues that sharing prompts could allow anyone to replicate the work in minutes, which could undermine the value of the art. However, it also acknowledges the impressive technology behind AI art generation.

  • How does the video relate to the concept of aging and beauty ideals?

    -The video starts with a story about an AI-generated image of an older woman sparking a discussion about aging, beauty ideals, and the culture's fixation with youth, which is a theme the speaker wants to exhibit in their art.

  • What are some of the tools and features that Squarespace offers for artists and creators?

    -Squarespace offers professional portfolio websites, the ability to schedule and book appointments, member areas for selling access to exclusive content, and customization options to make the website unique.

  • What is the video's opinion on the value of AI-generated art?

    -The video suggests that the value in AI-generated art does not lie in the human input but in the tools used to create it. It emphasizes the importance of the artist's unique perspective and storytelling.

  • How can one get started with creating AI-generated art?

    -One can start by using the 'describe' function on Midjourney to generate a prompt based on an uploaded image, and then make adjustments to the prompt to refine the generated art.

  • What are the potential benefits for photographers and filmmakers in using AI technology?

    -The video suggests that AI technology can be beneficial for creating mood and storyboards, and can serve as a useful tool for photographers and filmmakers to enhance their creative process.



🎨 Exploring AI-Generated Art and Its Impact on Beauty Ideals

The video begins with a personal reflection on the impact of an AI-generated image of an older woman, which prompts a discussion about aging, beauty, and societal norms. The creator emphasizes that AI art is accessible and not as exclusive as some suggest. They introduce Mid-Journey, a Discord platform for generative art, and provide a step-by-step guide on creating prompts for AI image generation, using the example of a spunky older woman named Iris Apple. The process involves adding various creative elements like color palettes, outfits, and settings to enhance the image. The creator also discusses the ethical considerations of sharing AI prompts and the potential for AI to aid in creative processes like mood and storyboard creation. They conclude by advocating for traditional methods of earning money, such as through Squarespace sponsorships, and highlight their long-term use and satisfaction with Squarespace for their various websites.


🌐 Squarespace: A Comprehensive Tool for Web Presence and E-commerce

The second paragraph focuses on the benefits of using Squarespace for creating professional websites and hosting podcasts. It showcases the features of Squarespace, such as the ability to sell access to exclusive content, digital downloads, and newsletters through member areas. The platform's portfolio functionality is highlighted for photographers, with customization options to tailor the layout and feel of the website. Additionally, Squarespace allows for easy scheduling and booking of appointments, enhancing the user's professional workflow. The speaker also mentions a promotional offer for new Squarespace customers, providing a discount code for their viewers.



💡AI 'Artists'

AI 'Artists' refers to individuals who use artificial intelligence to create art, often through generative models that can produce images based on textual prompts. In the context of the video, these artists are leveraging AI's capabilities to generate unique and compelling artwork, which they are able to monetize. The term 'AI Artists' underscores the intersection of technology and creativity, and how AI is being embraced in the art world.


Midjourney is a subscription-based platform on Discord that allows users to generate art through AI. It operates by taking text prompts from users and converting them into visual images. In the video, Midjourney is highlighted as one of the most impressive platforms for generative art, enabling users to become 'prompt engineers' and create images that can be sold for profit. It represents the commercial potential of AI in the creative industry.

💡Prompt Engineering

Prompt engineering is the process of carefully crafting descriptive text prompts to guide AI algorithms in generating specific images or outputs. It is a skill that involves understanding how to communicate with AI systems effectively. In the video, becoming a 'bona fide prompt engineer' is presented as a way to create and sell AI-generated images, emphasizing the importance of detailed and creative prompts in the art creation process.

💡Generative Art

Generative art is a form of art that involves the use of autonomous systems, such as AI algorithms, to create artworks. These systems can create original pieces based on certain parameters or prompts provided by the artist. The video discusses how platforms like Midjourney facilitate generative art by allowing users to input prompts and receive AI-generated images, which can then be exhibited or sold.

💡Iris Apple

Iris Apple is an American fashion icon mentioned in the video as an example of a 'spunky old bitty' that could inspire an AI-generated art series. Using a well-known figure like Iris Apple in a prompt helps to create a more specific and recognizable image through the AI's generative process. Her inclusion in the script illustrates how personal and cultural references can be used to add depth and context to AI-generated art.

💡Wes Anderson Color Palette

The Wes Anderson color palette refers to the distinctive and vibrant color schemes often used in films directed by Wes Anderson. In the video, adding a 'Wes Anderson color palette' to the AI-generated images is suggested as a way to introduce stylistic variation and create a unique aesthetic. This concept demonstrates how AI art can be influenced by and pay homage to traditional artistic styles.


💡Found Footage

Found footage is a technique used in film and art where pre-existing recordings are incorporated into new works. In the context of the video, 'found footage' is mentioned as an element that can be added to the AI's prompts to influence the style and content of the generated images. This technique shows how AI art can blend with traditional media to create novel and composite works.


Squarespace is a website building and hosting platform that is used by the video's creators to host their websites, including their podcast website. It is highlighted as a tool for selling prints of AI-generated art and for offering membership areas with exclusive content. Squarespace represents the commercial infrastructure that supports the monetization of creative work, including art generated through AI.

💡Describe Function

The 'describe function' is a feature within the Midjourney platform that allows users to upload an image and have the AI generate a prompt based on its analysis. This function serves as a starting point for creating art, providing users with a base prompt that they can then modify and refine. It exemplifies how AI can assist in the creative process by automating certain aspects of concept development.

💡Discord Channels

Discord Channels are communities within the Discord platform where users can communicate and share information. In the video, checking out Discord channels is suggested as a way to see what prompts other people are using for their AI-generated art. These channels serve as a community resource for sharing ideas and learning from others' creative processes.

💡Photography Workshops

Photography workshops are educational events where photographers share their techniques, approaches, and settings with participants. The video mentions hosting photography workshops as a way to provide value without giving away proprietary information. It contrasts the sharing of creative tools and techniques with the idea of sharing AI prompts, which could easily be replicated and diminish the uniqueness of an artist's work.

💡Mood and Storyboards

Mood and storyboards are tools used in film and creative industries to plan and visualize the narrative and emotional tone of a project. The video suggests that AI is particularly useful as a 'jumping off point for creativity' in the context of mood and storyboard creation. It implies that while AI can assist in the initial stages of idea generation, the human touch remains essential for the final creative output.


AI artists are making money with AI-generated images through platforms like Midjourney.

Midjourney is a subscription-based Discord platform starting at $10 for a basic plan.

To create art, users message the Midjourney bot with a descriptive prompt.

Descriptive prompts include camera, lens, colors, composition, and lighting preferences.

An example prompt involves creating an image of Iris Apple with a futuristic office interior.

Variations can be introduced by changing the color palette, adding found footage, or specifying lens types.

Stylized settings and humorous elements can be added to enhance the image.

Images can be uploaded to a Squarespace site for selling prints.

Midjourney's 'describe' function can generate prompts based on uploaded images.

Discord channels offer insights into what prompts other users are employing.

Generative images are seen as a fun tool rather than a replacement for human creativity.

Photographers and filmmakers can use AI to create mood and storyboards.

AI is considered a starting point for creativity rather than the final product.

The value lies in the tools, not the human input, for creating unique art.

Photography workshops can provide models, approaches, and settings without giving away business secrets.

AI artists should be cautious about sharing their prompts to avoid replicating their work.

Squarespace is highlighted as a platform for selling digital content and services.

The speaker has been a Squarespace customer since 2013 and currently pays for four websites.

Squarespace offers customizable portfolio websites and booking features for professionals.

A discount is offered for new Squarespace users with a specific link or code.