How to Write Professional
Midjourney Prompts

It's time to learn how to write professional Midjourney prompts because the Midjourney buzz is growing louder and louder each week.

If you're tired of paying through the nose for high-priced images from the "big photo" stock sites, you're not alone.

Invent images YOU WANT that work with your story
without having to rewrite your content
around a stock image that "kind of" fits the story.

It makes sense to learn how to write professional Midjourney prompts that dazzle your viewers and fit the narrative.

Imagine (pun intended) being able to create your own art straight from your own imagination! 

/imagine is the "root of it all" over in Discord/Midjourney... read on!

Cyberpunk prompt in MidjourneyCyberpunk prompt in Midjourney - Created with Midjourney

happy person sat at their laptop writing a prompt to create beautiful images, cyberpunk style, work from home setting --ar 16:9NOTE: This is a screenshot showing all four variations Midjourney returned in response to the above prompt.

Min Pin Mania!

Miniature Pinscher styles: Money, Dali, and Warhol

Credit: Images above created with Midjourney

1: Min-Pin Monet
Prompt: /imagine
a portrait of a miniature pinscher, in the style of Monet

2. Min-Pin Dali
Prompt: /imagine
a portrait of a miniature pinscher, in the style of Salvador Dali

3. Min-Pin Warhol
Prompt: /imagine
a portrait of a miniature pinscher, in the style of Andy Warhol

Create digital masterpieces of your dog or abstract expressions. Even a realistic portrait if that's your thing. But what's frustrating is not knowing how to write professional Midjourney prompts, right?

If you just can't seem to get your prompts right and you're tired of seeing blah art, keep reading.

Understanding Midjourney Prompts

Midjourney prompts are written commands you type inside Discord in order to generate unique art. Yes, that's right: you access the Midjourney bot via Discord. That's the only "painful" thing about using Midjourney IMHO.

Once I figured out how to create my own folder inside Discord and linked it to the Midjourney bot, life was pleasant again.

Picture this:

prompts are like the secret ingredients
to your artistic creation

The more precise and thoughtful your prompts are, the more accurate your results will be. This is why learning to write professional Midjourney prompts is exciting - and necessary - if your goal is to create professional AI art.

The Midjourney AI bot takes into consideration a variety of artists' styles - such as these artists (deceased):

  • Salvador Dali
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Gustav Klimt
  • Henri Matisse
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Claude Monet
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Andy Warhol
  • Johannes Vermeer
  • Rembrandt
  • Georgia O'Keeffe

and my ever-patient proof-reading hubby wants me to add these artists:

  • Edgar Degas
  • Winslow Homer

as my husband's dad, Mahlon, loved this masterpiece by Edgar Degas titled, "Dancing Class, 1871" a print of which hung in their dining room when he was just a wee laddie.

The Midjourney AI bot takes into consideration a variety of artists' styles from these living artists:

  • Ai Weiwei
  • Banksy
  • Marina Abramovic
  • Yayoi Kusama
  • Gerhard Richter
  • Cindy Sherman
  • Jeff Koons
  • Takashi Murakami
  • Jenny Saville
  • Kara Walker

Using the famous artist's name in the prompt creates a likeness to their style even if that artist never ever painted a blue tree on a yellow lake, with a thunderbolt pointing up instead of down.

But those who "know their artists" will smile and think, "Ah, Andy Warhol" was here.

Aspect Ratios = "Shape" (Not Size)

Midjourney Aspect Ratio examplesMidjourney Aspect Ratio examples - Courtesy of Midjourney

Another thing to include in your prompt (usually added at the very end of your prompt) is the final "shape" of your art known as the 'aspect ratio.'

The default is square (1:1). You can use this command "--ar 4:2" (without the quotes) inside your prompt which tells Midjourney to create your final image with an aspect ratio (shape) of 4 to 2.

That would, effectively, be twice as wide as it is tall. Notice I say "shape" and not "size."

Don't think that a 4:2 is a 4" x 2" or whatever unit of measurement you use. It's just an aspect ratio like your 4k TV screen (3840x2160 px) - and the old 1280x720 px YouTube pixel size - which are both an aspect ratio of 16:9 ... sound familiar?

Midjourney Software Versions

Here's another command you use to tell Midjourney which version of its own software to use. The current version is 5.2, but many people use version 4 to create black-and-white images for coloring books. The command for that is (without the quotes): "--v 4"

It's very interesting to know that you CAN use earlier versions and that they've not been steamrolled out of existence.

Now then, there's "niji" which is a very popular "cute" artistic "style," using bright pastel colors and soft focus, with blurred backgrounds. The "niji" style of animals and fantasy creatures often have big eyes, small mouths, in simple forms. That command would be "-- niji" (again, without the quotes).

So if you used "cubist" as a style, you're likely to get cube-y-looking art. (I don't mean any offense to "cubism" with that description!) It's a very flat, geometric-looking style.

Use "-- cubist" at the end of your prompt. (No quotes. You get the picture). Literally.

How to Connect Midjourney to Discord

I almost gave up on Midjourney because you need to access its image-creating bot through Discord.

It was such a hassle...  but it's not, anymore. Once you figure it all out it's plain sailing from there on.

Head on over to Discord and create an account. If you're already a member then you're one step ahead. Then head on over to Midjourney and create an account there. All accounts are free to set up. However, Midjourney is NOT free to use. I took advantage of the yearly plan to save a few bucks.

When you've created your Midjourney account, it asks you to go visit Discord and shows you how to connect to the Midjourney bot. (Scroll down a couple of paragraphs below my subhead "How to Add Midjourney Bot to Discord" for more deets on how to do it from scratch).

Once you've done that, simply click on the Midjourney icon in the far left column, and folks, I recommend that you "use" a "newbie" group. I did that for a while and that's when I got 'disgusted' with it all.

How so?

Well, if you don't mind scrolling up and down, and up and down, and up and down... INSIDE the Newbie area in a frantic attempt to FIND your image generation, then by all means, do that.

I couldn't tolerate it so I did a Google search for "how to create a folder inside of Discord that connects to Midjourney" ... that video link by "WPTuts" is here.

How to Add a Midjourney Bot to Discord

Visit this page for "How to Add the Midjourney Bot to Your Private Discord Server."

In response to: "How do you create a folder in Discord that uses the Midjourney bot" in Google, I got this back:

  1. Open Discord.
  2. Go to the server you want to add the Midjourney bot.
  3. In the top left corner, click on your server's name.
  4. Select App Directory from the drop-down menu.
  5. Type Midjourney in the search box.
  6. Select Midjourney from the list below.
  7. Click "Add to Server."
  8. Select your desired server.
Statues on a laptop screenStatues on a laptop screen - Created with Midjourney

Now we've covered that... I need to mention (again) that Midjourney is not free - and in my opinion, nor should it be!

The images they provide are oftentimes breathtaking so why expect breathtaking stuff for free? Right?


How to Write Professional Midjourney Prompts

Now, let's get to the exciting part – the how to write professional Midjourney prompts. Start by visualizing the artwork you want to create. Then, describe it in as much detail as possible in your prompt.

Remember, Midjourney's AI bot doesn't understand "wishy-washy" concepts, so you need to be specific with your descriptions. Use different styles and Midjourney bot versions, to shape your output.

For the record, when you're inside Discord and using a "newbie" folder, you'll learn a lot from the prompts you'll find in there. Another FTR point: all art/images created in these accounts are not copyrighted images.

Therefore, you are free to use their prompt (and even their images!) The "nice thing to do" is to give credit, called "attribution." Yeah, please give the folks you copy from a shout-out.

If you do NOT want the world to see (use/copy) your prompts, then you can use Midjourney's "stealth" mode. Yep, it costs more, but again, if you don't wish to share and have the world use your prompts, go the "stealth" route.

Start Out Simple...

Just type in a subject, its setting, and the action.

A cat (subject); in a summer garden (setting); smelling the roses (action).

Your prompt would be:

a cat in a summer garden, smelling the roses

Cat smelling the rosesCat smelling the roses - Created with Midjourney

Simply build up your prompt from there by adding to the end:

pixelart style --ar 5:4 --v 4

Cat smelling the roses pixel artCat smelling the roses pixel art - Created with Midjourney

so the prompt - after typing "/imagine" (without the quotes) and hitting enter (to bring up the prompt field) would be:

a cat in a summer garden, smelling the roses, pixelart style --ar 5:4 --v 4

Now iMAGINE this...

It would be remiss of me, right now, to NOT mention Katharyne Shelton who runs "iMAGINE with Katharyne" with her parter Isaac Gonzales. Their course (iMAGINE) taught me A LOT regarding how to write professional Midjourney prompts.

I purchased the course to learn all about creating stunning coloring books... and I created these:

Frightfully Fun, Trick -or- Color, Pumpkin PatchAvailable on Amazon via the links below

Frightfully Fun - Trick -or- Color - Pumpkin Patch

the links take you to Amazon if you want to get a copy of these special Halloween coloring books for you and your kids! TIA.

The covers were created inside Midjourney; along with the black and white images! The trick to getting crisp usable black and white images suitable for a coloring book is by using their proprietary "Tangent Crystal" which is included inside the "iMAGINE" course, and how to use it is explained in detail..

Katharyne over-delivers (as per usual). I've known Katharyne and Isaac "for years." I also own their "Tangent Templates" app which has given me - over the years - 100% accuracy for my cover templates (for back and front dimensions, and spine thickness!) for Amazon KDP paperback book uploads. Kudos to Katharyne (and Isaac!)

iMAGINE with Katharyne

But right now, you can buy iMAGINE with Tangent Templates included. If you're already a lucky owner of TT, then you have the option to purchase Katharyne's iMAGINE course on its own. It's easy to make your choice at 'check out,' just like I did.

Learn How to Write Professional Midjourney Prompts
with Certain Art Styles

Katharyne talks about "Styles," such as Art Nouveau, Kawaii, Pixelart, and Film Noir - to name a tiny fraction of what's "out there." She comes up with great ideas for (coloring book) subjects for people, animals, genre scenes, cities and architecture, mythical creatures, and more...

She also imparts her wisdom on "composition tips" and so much more. I don't think Katharyne ever sleeps...

Recap re iMAGINE; yes, it's primarily a course for coloring book-creating enthusiasts, but it's so much more. It taught me how to write professional Midjourney prompts and gave me the confidence to use Midjourney without trepidation.

Inside iMAGINE, you'll learn about which Midjourney versions do better for your desired outcome:

--v 4 (for black and white images)
--niji (for cute images)

The above are "commands" and they begin with a double dash "--" and then the "v 4" and "niji". There are a lot more...

Please read "Best Midjourney Prompts" which also teaches you how to write professional Midjourney prompts. Thanks.

Wrapping it Up

Guess what? Discord is a good pal for your Midjourney bot, truly making your AI art creation and sharing a breeze. To get the two buddies talking, all you need to do is set up accounts on both their platforms and then follow some pretty straightforward steps provided by our friend Midjourney and WPTuts to connect them.

Sure, it may feel a little tricky at first, but hey, remember when you first tried to ride a bike? With a bit of determination and some practice, you'll soon be freewheeling through this process.

I'll see you "over there." Please let me know if you enjoyed learning how to write professional Midjourney prompts by dropping me a line on my contact page!

Blue Leaf gif

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Susan Gast created this website to showcase her puzzle books and other fiction and non-fiction books she's written and produced since 2012. Read Susan's story here.

Since 1980, Susan's involvement in publishing - in one form or another - led her to create "reviews" of products related to the publishing industry. She realized it was time to explain how she created all those books and got them to market.

Since 2010, Susan has also owned and operated Easy Food Dehydrating where she is featured on the Mother Earth News blog, and on Solo Build It (SBI). Read her first SBI interview and her second SBI interview.

The sites mentioned are hosted by the amazing team at Solo Build It!

Do you want to send Susan a quick message? Visit her contact page here.

She'd love to hear from you!

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