I started Stay Vigilant with the goal of inspiring myself and others through examples and stories of artists, doers, [insert your own term] actively pursuing their goals, making things, and sharing them with the world. I’m also fascinated with career second acts. People who initially went down one road in the their career and then at some point decided to take a hard left or hard right turn and start on a completely new career path.

What I don’t want Stay Vigilant to be about is vigilance as always waiting for bad shit to happen. It’s not about being a vigilante. Luke Skywalker used the Force for good and Vader used it for evil, so I’m going the Luke route with this shit. Creation, not destruction. I designed a glaring wolf eye as my company logo, yes. I’m walking a fine line.

This is all a long-winded way of prefacing my thoughts on Midjourney.

According to Wikipedia, “Midjourney is an artificial intelligence program that creates images from textual descriptions.” One of my clients tipped me off to Midjourney a few months ago. I signed up for an account last month and I was immediately sucked into the program and blown away at what Midjourney was capable of producing from simple, descriptive text strings. I quickly hit the limit of the free account and had to sign up for a $30/month to feed my crackhead addiction in generating hyperrealistic, golden, darth vader skulls in 4K (that’s a real query and you should try it).

Thankfully my binging has since mellowed out a bit. Way less skulls than before.

My pusherman client has a industrial design background and told me AI programs like Midjourney and DALL-E are already having a profound effect on product design teams.

This is why articles with titles like, Why Dall-E will not steal my job as an illustrator are premature. People like to say that computers can’t make art. If we’re one thing, are we not organic computers with brains and nervous systems controlled by electrical signals between synapses?

There’s a subtext of hubris and fear in articles like the one mentioned above. We should be vigilant about AI in the arts, but framing it as the enemy is futile. We’ll lose that fight, easily. It’s way more productive to figure out how to incorporate it into our workflows. Of course this is easy for me to say since I’m not an illustrator.

Below are some of the images I generated with Midjourney. I was obsessed with skulls, Iron man, cyberpunk (very popular within the Midjourney community), as well as artists’ styles like: Alphonse Mucha, Egon Scheile, Edward Gorey, Malcolm T. Liepke and Phil Noto.

text input: iron man death skull with bright eyes
a wolf in the style of Edward Gorey
text input: a wolf in the style of Edward Gorey
Hunter Thompson smoking a cigarette in a dark bathroom
text input: Hunter Thompson smoking a cigarette in a dark bathroom
Earth inside a nixie tube cinematic
text input: earth inside a nixie tube, cinematic
text input: boba fett in the style of egon scheile
text input: iron man in the style of Alphonse Mucha