Manifesting a Desert Oasis in the Digital Realm

Utilizing Midjourney to manipulate photo-realistic AI paintings and imagery.

Billimarie Lubiano Robinson
For Every Star, A Tree

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Part 10 in our For Every Star, A Tree publication.

Midjourney AI: Painting a forest oasis in the desert.

Having been out of the developer game for most of this year, I’m shocked at how much AI bots and generators have improved in such a short amount of time.

Midjourney is a new bot — at least, new to me — which you can access via Discord. The user experience is deceptively simple: just type the imagine command along with a query, and wait to see what the AI spins up.

It’s extremely addictive. I can see why people are willing to pay fees in order to play with variations and different renderings. The fun comes from trying to figure out which “right” words will generate the perfect visual.

I decided to go with our Desert Garden project, and see what landscapes the AI could spin-up. It was a pleasant surprise to see these images based upon a night time scene:

A desert forest oasis at night. V1, V2, V3, and V4.

After the Midjourney AI quickly (like, within a minute) rendered my query, I received four distinct versions of its interpretation. From there, I asked for additional variations based upon each image. Here are the extensions of these “night sky stars desert forest oasis garden” visuals:

Variations on V1.
Variations on V2.
Variations on V3.
Variations on V4.

This is a type of candy — no, let’s be honest: a type of drug to developers. Querying a database built upon enhancing the artwork that came before, tweaking the textual references to hit the sweet spot…yep. Makes sense why Midjourney is taking off so quickly. (I’m sure the art prize scandal has a little to do with it.)

Next time I play, I’ll try a series of multiracial women and men queries, as the current AI is severely lacking in that category.

If you’d like to give Midjourney a shot, simply open the Discord, find a #newbie-xx channel, and type /imagine your words go here to see what the AI bot will gift you in response.

“Looking up at the stars through the forest”

Billimarie Lubiano Robinson is a wandering artist and writer.

From 2011 to 2015, she traveled around the U.S. with her pink 1950’s Royal typewriter and typed hundreds of spontaneous #FreePoetry poems for strangers on the spot. Well-versed in the art of reckless wandering, Billimarie has backpacked Hawaii, hitchhiked the West, lived in a Parisian bookstore, and survived a Swedish winter alone in the remote wilderness. Her work has appeared in FIYAH, the Newer York, the Northridge Review, Marías at Sampaguitas, Pussy Magic, the Eastern Iowa Review, as well as on her websites: Billimarie.com and TypewriterPoetry.com.

She currently lives part-time on an RV Bus and art studio in the Los Angeles desert: the Starry Night Skoolie. Billimarie is spending a season planting trees and maintaining a tiny native forest. You are invited to join this desert garden journey at For Every Star, A Tree.

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