Ep 38: Using Midjourney to Unlock New Levels of Creativity


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Jordan [00:00:17]:

Did you know that you can be a world class artist without any real art experience? So that's not a lie. That is not hyperbole. That is real life. That's one of the things that we're going to be talking about today on Everyday AI. This is your Daily Livestream podcast and free daily newsletter bringing you the latest in AI news development, and just how everyday people like you and me can use all of these different tools that are coming out nonstop. So we're excited to talk about some mid journey things today, which is using text to images.

But before we do, let's dive into some recent AI news and development. So let's look at there's a lot going on and some of these stories are extremely interesting. And if you want to read more, make sure you go to your Everydayai.com, sign up for the newsletter. We're going to have way more about these stories today.

42% of CEOs think AI could wipe out humanity

 So the first story I wanted to talk about is a new poll is showing 42% of CEOs think that AI could potentially wipe out humanity in the next five to ten years. I know some people are rolling their eyes when they hear this kind of news or they see these studies, but these are legit. Like US. Based CEOs of big companies, 42% think that AI could potentially wipe out humanity. That's wild to me, but I think it's something that we definitely have to consider and keep our eye on.

Coursera's CEO is warning that AI is coming for the jobs

So the next story is kind of related there. So Coursera's CEO is warning that AI is coming for the jobs that you might least expect and really encouraging people to upskill. So we obviously have to look at this new story. Twofold. One, is there some truth to it? Absolutely. I do think, unlike a lot of people, that AI is going to cause a lot of job displacement. However, this also does benefit him and his company. I believe Coursera is selling exactly that courses to help people upskill. So we'll have more in the newsletter on that.

Google is warning its own staff about chatbots

Last but not least, this one's. Very interesting. So Google is warning its own staff about chatbots. That's right. So Google, the company that released its own great chat bot, by the way, called Bard. So if you've used chat GPT, bard is Google's kind of competitor or answer or option for kind of generative chat or generative search. So this is very ironic, right? So there's some things that they're warning their staff about that make sense, such as not sharing confidential information. Good. Okay, great. But also, Google is telling its engineers to avoid using code from chatbots. Very ironic, right? Considering that Google really was promoting Bard heavily recently, specifically for its ability to code.So, hey, everyone else can use it, but not Google's own engineers. Wild, right?

So we're going to have a lot more on some of these stories and more in our newsletter, but right now I want to start talking about Mid Journey, so we're going to get into it. As a reminder, if you are watching Live, please drop us a question for our guest today, who I'm about to bring on. If you are listening to this on the podcast, please make sure to join us live every weekday on LinkedIn and other social media, I guess 07:30 A.m., but let's bring in our guest for today. I'm super excited for this one. So we have Rory Flynn, who is the head of business development at Commerce Twelve. Rory, I'm excited. Thank you for joining us.

Rory [00:03:56]:

Yeah, man. What's up, Jordan? How's everything going?

How Rory and Commerce12 use Midjourney

Jordan [00:03:58]:

Amped to be here, man, I am amped as well. I shouldn't be this excited after only one coffee this early in the morning, but let's get to it. So Rory, just tell everyone kind of a little bit about what you do at Commerce Twelve and how Mid Journey kind of plays into that.

Rory [00:04:16]:

Yeah, man, well, I'm head of business development. That's just a fancy way of saying I'm in sales. But realistically, this started as I saw this on Twitter, some Mid Journey. I was like, what are these crazy images that people are producing? And I'm like, you know what, I'm diving into this. I'm bored, it's late at night. Let's see what happens. Get in there. And then little did I know I'd be mildly obsessed. Some would say way more than mildly obsessed, but I was just like, this is fun, let me create some crazy stuff. Before you know it, I'm like, I can use this. We can use this in the agency. And it started to become a little bit more of just than like a fun side project and more like, how do we inject this into our operations to supercharge everything that we're doing? So started as a late night, I'm bored kind of thing, and now it's basically my everyday life. So it's fun tool.

Jordan [00:05:06]:

I love it. I love it's. Your everyday life. And we're talking about it on everyday AI. So actually that's a great transition, Rory, because I think a lot of people maybe haven't heard of Mid Journey or they're not very familiar with really what it does. So break it down for someone who's maybe never heard of Mid Journey. So maybe what is it and how does it work?

Breakdown of Midjourney and Discord platform

Rory [00:05:28]:

Well, simply, it's generative AI art. I mean, it's text to image it's a little bit, I will say, and I'm self admitted here a little clunky on using Discord and Mid Journey at the same time. But it's a Mid Journey sorry, discord based program. So basically you go in there, you type in some text, and it generates an image. But the quality of this one I've found versus some of the other ones that I've tried stable diffusion or whether it's firefly, whatever the other AI tools are. Just the image quality is far superior and the consistency is far superior to me. So it's just a tool that once you get into it, there's no end to it. I've pushed it very far, probably generated over 10,000 images on it.

Jordan [00:06:13]:

So it's like, wow, that's amazing. That's amazing. So if you are listening on the podcast right now, I'm actually sharing on the screen just so people can kind of see how this works. So Rory mentioned discord, which, if you're highly technical, discord is nothing new, but if not, it is just kind of like slack, more or less to simplify it kind of what I have here. I just have an example. So we actually use Mid Journey as well. To recap our weekly news. We put out a little carousel. So as an example, you can put in a text prompt. So Rory is saying this is generative AI.

So on my screen, this is something we used last week. I said a visual representation of an AI bot gone bad, and then you see a picture of a sad looking robot there on fire. Rory, what was your first kind of experience like? So you said, hey, you saw it on Twitter and you became addicted. But what was that like when you started to just be able to type something that you were thinking about in your head and to see it come to life? Like, what's on screen right here in amazing detail? What was that like for you?

Rory [00:07:20]:

First, I was like, Damn it, I needed this. Like, ten years ago when I was working in design, I was like, oh, man, things that would take me days, hours, like weeks was done in 2 seconds. And I was like, yeah, my life and just trying to translate what's in my head. If anyone has been doing design in any way, shape or form, using Photoshop, using Illustrator, some minor tasks of removing a background or things like that forever, and just getting something that you're looking for and splicing things together. This stuff was just you type it in and then it's just like okay.

Realizing that going into the prompting aspect of it to get what you want, there's like little cheat codes within it to get exactly what you want. And then basically you transition from just prompting away for 6 hours to doing it in 5 seconds. So it's nuts. When I found it and I started, it was like picture of a dog. I'm like, okay, cool, let's do what everyone was doing at the time was like, oh, let's do The Simpsons as an 86. But then it was like, can this stuff do more? Can this stuff do can it generate, like, an email marketing template? Can it generate landing pages? Can it generate different types of things like that? And I was like, Once it started going down that rabbit hole, it was game over.

Jordan [00:08:39]:

Yeah. And that's a great question and also a great transition. So, as a reminder, thank you for the live comments. Nicholas saying, Nice PJ, great timing on this question. So PJ is asking, is it able to generate images that are photo quality? So before you answer that, Rory, I'm actually going to share my screen here. For those of you joining us live at an image that Rory created here. So I'd say this is photo quality, right? So, yeah, why don't you just take that question and maybe even a little bit talk about and describe, if you can, kind of this image that we have on the screen here.

Making AI images look realistic with photos

Rory [00:09:19]:

Yeah, PJ, that's been my sole purpose for the last month. I'd say it's just like, how can I get as realistic as possible so that it doesn't look AI? Because there's definitely a look and feel to it. Like, if you were to type in something generic like model in front of a graffiti wall, you're going to get something that looks like polished skin. It's going to look very AI, like artificial. So when you start typing in, like, mid Journey was trained on a number of different photographs, like over some crazy number of billions of photographs, but a lot of the technical information was embedded into those.

So utilizing photographic elements, using cameras, using the apertures, using the lighting conditions, things like that, really brings it into a more realistic quality. So, yeah, this image right here, someone asked me, I'm trying to do a fashion line that's inspired by graffiti artists, and I'm like, okay, let's try it out. Bang, there it is. So this is just a very simple application for it. I tend to focus on in my free time, I want to be a National Geographic photographer. That was like, my goal as a kid, is like, I want to be that guy. I want to be the guy that's out in these crazy places photographing animals, photographing people. So I've gone down that rabbit hole significantly, and that's where I find a lot of this stuff can get really impressive.

Jordan [00:10:45]:

I think one question that most people have, including PJ here, is asking how. The great thing is, if you go on places like Twitter, most people will share their images as long as what's called the alt or just you can tap it and people will share their prompts, so then you can use those and try to generate similar images. I see your comment here wanting to giving an example, because we could talk for hours about the actual process, right? But I'm actually going to be doing a quick five minute tutorial that will drop in the newsletter today. So I do want to get to a couple of other use cases, though, Rory, because we could talk about the fine details and the how, but I think a lot of people are probably thinking all right.

Rory [00:11:32]:


Jordan [00:11:32]:

Well, I'm not in advertising or I don't necessarily need these type of images. So let's talk about another use case. So now I'm going to share on the screen here an extremely high quality photo that could be used, it looks like, as an example for a makeup company. But if you're listening to this on podcast, it looks like a model. The skin tones are fantastic smooth, no blemishes, and it looks obviously like a real human being and kind of like a mood board type. So how could you use something like this, Rory, for a variety of cases?

Midjourney examples

Rory [00:12:12]:

Well, I came up with this because I was just like, let's see, what's the most complex thing I could think of in my head? It's a mood board. Like, there's so many different elements to it colors, textures, palettes, like lifestyle images, different product photographs. So I pushed the boundaries through with this one. I was like, let's create basically a collaboration between Urban Outfitters and Crayola, and let's just see what it comes up with. So this one, to me, gave me a great starting point because if you're looking for something like a new project or you have a new idea and mood boarding takes forever.

If anyone's ever tried to design one, it takes days, weeks. It's just the sourcing elements. It's so much like organization. So having this done in 5 seconds, and then I can also reroll it a million times and get a ton of different options. This is crazy. So I think that stuff getting into the mood boarding side of things is probably one of the most complex things you can do on here, but the possibilities are kind of endless.

Jordan [00:13:13]:

Yeah. And I think another great use case. So let's talk about this, because I think everyone does what I'm sharing on my screen now in some way. I feel even if you're not in marketing and branding, in communications, I feel a lot of times newsletters, company newsletters are a team effort, right? So what I'm sharing on the screen now, first of all, this is from a color scheme. This is amazing.

So if you're listening on the podcast, we have kind of four or five different panes of what would be an email newsletter or even a landing page. I guess in theory, it could be either showing different shoes from different angles. The colors are fantastic. Talk a little bit about this, Rory, and kind of this use case and even the process to create something like this in mid journey.

Using Midjourney for emails

Rory [00:14:05]:

Yeah, I work primarily at Commerce twelve. We're mostly email marketing. That's what we handle for our clients. So there's anywhere from 900 to 1000 emails that get produced by our team each month. So there's a lot that needs to go out. But one of the typical problems there is, like, at a certain point, you just start to get stale on what your templates look like and what your inspiration looks like, because there's only so many places to pull from, you go to a couple of different resources, and there's only so much inspiration you can have.

So, again, it was my idea, like, let's just push Mid Journey as far as we can. Can it start to come up with some sort of different template options for email? So we have just something different to pull from inspiration wise, color scheme wise, like visual wise, like the way things are laid out. Naturally, it has to be good for click through rate and everything like that. But just as you can see here, this went through a couple of variations and iterations to get it to this point. But now I can just replicate that process over and over again to get simple kind of designs that are clean like this and then just give our team inspiration to go and create.

Jordan [00:15:11]:

Yeah. So, as a reminder, if you are tuning in live, we're kind of toward the end of the show, but we can go on if you have some great questions. But I have a question or two for you, even on this specific one. So, again, to remind people, we kind of have what could be used either as a beautiful email for this kind of shoe brand or even a landing page, but something people will see here. They're like, oh, well, I can't use this as is, right? I can't copy and paste this.

Because one thing that Mid Journey and these other generative image tools can't do just yet is incorporate your own text in your own images. So, just to kind of be clear here, Rory, this kind of landing page or email that we see, this was a one shot prompt, correct. This is one prompt in and you get this entire layout out.

Rory [00:16:00]:

Yes, with this one, too. Obviously, you're not taking this verbatim. The way that I look at it is there's four different sections here, right? Like the way that it transitions from the black to the teal to the black to the white. That looks like a very good combo. Plus, like the CTA buttons or the call to action buttons, like the way those are positioned and color schemes.

Basically, this doesn't have to be a sneaker brand. If this is the brand that has similar colors or just a similar look and feel. Drop a PNG, try to from a designer standpoint, they'll know how to make it look somewhat similar to this, but, yeah, it's just a way to generate inspiration instead of, like, tinkering around with a template for 6 hours to figure out, oh, maybe this looks good, and maybe I can fit some text in here. So move the text, add your own. Basically, this is just a starting point.

Jordan [00:16:49]:

Yeah. So kind of sharing another one now here on the screen. We don't have to go through this, but I really wanted to showcase some of Rory's work and what they're doing there at Commerce Twelve, because it's very especially to be able to grab these and start with it from Mid Journey is amazing. But Rory, I have another question, so let's talk about some different use cases.

So obviously, we've showed some. You can create great art. You can create mood boards. You can create landing pages, emails, and then work with a designer to kind of really polish it. However, what are other use cases? Maybe everyday use cases, because I'm sure you get people that reach out to you and say, hey, I use this for blank, but what are some of those use cases?

LinkedIn posts lead to creative Midjourney use

Rory [00:17:36]:

So there's been some cool ones. I post a lot on LinkedIn. I post a lot of very detailed information on how to do things, what my prompts are, processes, things like that. So I do get a lot of people that reach out and thank me, which I like, that that makes me feel like I'm doing something that actually is meaningful. So I had a mother reach out to me maybe about two months ago, and she said she's been using Mid Journey to help her son through his day to day school projects. And he's so amped about it and he's using it consistently. And I'm like, that's awesome. That makes me feel like that's better than any business deal or sales that I'm closing. Right? That's that's super cool.

Got an AP history teacher reach out and say that he's having his students basically reimagine different historical events in Mid Journey, utilizing some chat GPT stuff to have mock interviews with historical figures. So that to me, is also super cool because teachers, that's been a thing with the AI, right? Everyone's like, oh, it's going to change the way kids are just going to use it. They're not going to learn anymore. But that's just taking the times and adapting it to that and then making learning interactive, which I think is super cool. So stuff like that is great.

I've had people in college reach out to me for their senior thesis. They're building virtual reality retail environments like, how can I do this on Mid Journey? So that stuff's super cool. But some of the other things I've done as of recent that are more fun, like I did for Mother's Day, I took some vintage photos of my mom and retouched them in Mid Journey. So bringing older photos back to life and giving them a new flair, that stuff is just for pure fun and creativity.

Also, some other ways that you can do this is like taking your own photos, like whatever it is, food photography, vacation photography. Maybe you got something that's like a little bit kind of jacked from like a light perspective or whatever, and you can throw it in there and it can boost it up a little bit. You don't have to go and make it totally AI, so you can keep things close to the images that you're putting in there as well, because you can prompt from an image, not just a text exactly. There's a ton of stuff.

Jordan [00:19:49]:

That'S another thing, kind of a new Ish feature. But yeah, like, Mid Journey and these other you have your OpenAI, has their dolly, too, and there's stable diffusion is kind of more of the technology, but there's other kind of options out there. Kind of like what Rory described there I think is a cool use case, is you can actually upload any photo into Mid Journey and use a command that says describe, and it'll give you kind of a text prompt based on that.

So many different use cases. But I'm going to end on this question, Rory. Maybe if someone heard this and they're like, okay, this sounds interesting, but it also seems a little daunting. Maybe they're not working at a creative agency or they're not in advertising. What would be your recommendation? What would be your takeaway to someone who is very interested in figuring this out? But maybe they're a little hesitant.

AI accessible, affordable, infinite use cases

Rory [00:20:47]:

I have, like, a very I don't know what way to put this, but I think, look, we've opened AI's Pandora's box. I just don't see it going away anytime soon. There's all the end of the world scenarios. There's all of the we're going to be controlled by the robot scenarios. But at the same time, these tools have never been more accessible. And things that I would look at from even someone who's starting a business, small business owners, like people who don't have opportunity to buy photography or buy stock photography or get photographers to do photo shoots.

These tools, if you learn how to use them, there's use cases for them to infinity. So I just see this as something that we've never had access to. That's $30 a month. If you do even the highest paid subscription plan, I think it's $10 a month. You can get in baseline, like $120 a year for access to, for me, 10,000 images that I'm creating myself and using for multiple things. And look at the ROI on that. It's definitely generated more than $120.

So I just think from an accessibility standpoint, we've never been this lucky, and to me, it's like, if it goes bad, I can't control that, but if I'm being able to use this right now for the purposes that I can use it for, that's how I kind of look at it. So it's there, it's there, it's available, it's easy, and we just have so much opportunity with it, it almost feels like irresponsible for me not to use it.

Jordan [00:22:24]:

Yeah, I feel the same way that's with a lot of AI chat GPT and Mid Journey, but that's another conversation for another day. So a lot of the things that Rory talked about, we're going to be sharing in our newsletter. We'll probably get permission from Rory, but I want to showcase a lot of his work. We're going to link to it. You can jump in in the show notes of this. If you're listening on the podcast, we'll link to the episode page and even the LinkedIn thread. So if you have any questions for him, rory is super helpful on LinkedIn and always engaging. So, Rory, thank you so much for joining us today to talk mid journey. I really appreciate it.

Rory [00:23:01]:

It was awesome. I'm glad to do it again.

Jordan [00:23:04]:

All right, so as a reminder, please go to your Everydayai.com, sign up for our free daily newsletter if you want to see and hear more from what we talked about today with Rory. Also subscribe to our podcast spotify apple, Google. Wherever you listen to it, we're there. So we hope to see you back tomorrow and every day on Everyday AI. Thank you.

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