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Master the AI Canvas: Essential Midjourney Prompt Examples for Artists and Designers

Creating amazing visuals has never been simpler. With AI art generators like Midjourney, virtually anyone can whip up stunning digital art in seconds. As an artist, you’ve probably noticed the potential for AI to enhance your work too. 

But to truly make the most of these AI tools’ potential, you need to master another art—crafting the perfect prompt.

Midjourney (and other AI art creators) operates through prompts—short text phrases that guide the AI in generating a desired image. These Midjourney prompts act as instructions, feeding the AI’s vast database of visual information to translate your words into a detailed illustration.

By mastering the art of crafting an image prompt, you can conjure a vast array of visuals, from extremely detailed photorealistic landscapes to ultra-realistic fantastical creatures.

This guide will help you get started with AI-powered digital art with the best Midjourney prompts.

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The Basics of Midjourney Prompts

Generative AI, the technology powering Midjourney, excels at creating novel content based on existing data. When you provide a prompt, the AI analyzes the component words of that prompt, sifts through a vast library of artistic styles, shapes, colors, and textures, and assembles these elements into a cohesive image that aligns with your creative vision.

The more precise your prompt, the more focused the AI’s search becomes, resulting in a final image that truly reflects your artistic intent. 

How do you create high-quality prompts? Our list of 35 prompt examples can serve as inspiration.

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35 Midjourney Prompt Examples

You’ll learn how to write and refine Midjourney prompts with this diverse selection of examples categorized by artistic styles. Let’s explore them:

Cubism: Exploring geometric shapes

Cubism is an art style characterized by abstract shapes and fragmented forms. 

This revolutionary approach was introduced by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque during 1907-–08 and is best represented in their works Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Girl with a Mandolin, Bottle and Fishes, and Man with a Guitar.

The following Midjourney prompt examples can help you create your own Cubist digital art:

  1. A modern living room rendered in the fragmented style of Cubism, with geometric shapes and overlapping planes in vibrant colors
  2. A cubist monochromatic still life painting featuring a bowl of fruit, with a focus on distorted perspectives, and precision flat line details
  3. A majestic cityscape depicted in the Cubist style, capturing the dynamism of urban life in a moody, foggy environment
  1. Depict a Cubist-style portrait of a woman in dramatic lighting, inspired by Georges Braque’s work
  2. Still-life hyper realistic oil painting of a musical instrument, broken down into geometric shapes with vibrant colors, reminiscent of Synthetic Cubism

Art Deco: Capturing the glamor of the past

In stark contrast to Cubism’s fragmented forms, Art Deco embraced a glamorous and streamlined aesthetic. This influential art style emerged in the 1920s, flourished through the 1930s, and celebrated modernity. 

Art Deco wasn’t afraid of luxury and embraced rich textures and motifs inspired by ancient cultures like Egypt and zigzags from the Machine Age. It was essentially a movement in decorative art styles and an architectural concept in Europe and the United States.

Here are a few AI art prompts you can use to generate digital art inspired by an Art Deco painting:

  1. A glamorous Art Deco poster for a fictional Broadway show, featuring a beautiful young woman covered in drapes of a flowing gown
  1. A photo realistic Art Deco painting of a skyscraper bathed in the golden light of sunset, with geometric accents and intricate details
  1. A luxurious Art Deco white minimalist room with sleek furniture, chrome accents, and a photorealistic geometric rug
  2. Create a fashion illustration of a woman in a flowing Art Deco dress adorned with bold geometric patterns and intricate details in dramatic lighting

3. Retro games: Playing with pixels

Retro games, unlike the cutting-edge graphics of a modern space, hold a certain charm in their pixelated simplicity. They evoke nostalgia by reminding us of the golden age of arcade cabinets and home consoles of the 80s and 16-bit eras.

The design and art style are characterized by colorful backgrounds, iconic characters like Mario, simple yet catchy soundtracks, and other nostalgic elements. They carry the sentimental value of childhood memories and represent a simpler time in gaming.

To generate imagery in this art style, play around with Midjourney prompts like:

  1. A pixel art platformer game scene showcasing a brave hero battling a fire-breathing dragon
  2. A retro-style racing game featuring pixelated cars speeding through a neon-lit cityscape
  1. A colorful pixel art portrait of a classic video game character wearing finely detailed armor
  2. A pixelated portrait of an iconic retro game character like Mario or Pac-Man in amazing detail
  3. Retro-style sports game poster with a pixelated athlete in a dynamic pose on rocky and sandy terrain
  1. 8-bit rendition of a famous landmark, like the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China, with a rainbow-coloured butterfly flying away

Cyberpunk: Imagining a Tech-dominated Future

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction that dives into a future darkly colored by technological advancement and societal decline.  

It is a genre rich in themes. It explores the human cost of progress, the struggle for identity in a world obsessed with modification, and the fight to maintain a shred of humanity in a society on the brink.

Imagine the blurring lines between human and machine when crafting Midjourney prompts on this theme:

  1. A bustling cyberpunk street market illuminated by holographic advertisements and flickering neon signs
  2. A lone cyborg warrior overlooking a vast cyberpunk cityscape shrouded in smog and artificial light in a detailed and intricate environment
  3. A high-tech portrait of a cyberpunk hacker with glowing implants and a digital interface projected in their eyes, watching a rainbow-colored butterfly in flight
  4. A cybernetically enhanced street vendor selling glowing food and drinks carved in intricate filigree  metal design and displayed in natural light
  1. Ultra-detailed geometric skyscraper in the style of the Chrysler Building, with elaborate acrylic spray paint on chrome and metallic accents

Surrealism: Defying reality with dreamscapes

Surrealism was an artistic and cultural movement born from the ashes of World War I. Surrealists, unlike their Cubist counterparts who fragmented reality, sought to unlock the power of the unconscious mind.  

Imagine melting clocks draped across barren landscapes, as depicted by Salvador Dalí, or bowler-hatted figures concealing enigmatic faces, courtesy of René Magritte.

Their works blend the illogical and the familiar, often placing everyday objects in fantastical settings. Think of a grand piano sprouting feathers or a lobster perched on a telephone—these juxtapositions challenge our perception of reality, fueling imagination. 

Use these Midjourney prompts as a basis for ideation:

  1. A melting clock draped over a barren tree branch set against a clear blue sky with a beautiful fantasy butterfly on the horizon of a detailed and intricate environment
  2. A chessboard where the pieces are fantastical creatures engaged in an epic battle against hyper realistic glass flowers in a sleek and modern space
  3. An ultra-detailed grand piano with the keys replaced by cascading waterfalls flowing into a vast ocean of a spectacular tiny world
  4. Create a scene inspired by René Magritte, featuring a bowler-hatted figure with a hidden face standing in front of a curved building facade
  5. In the style of Salvador Dalí, paint a dreamscape with melting clocks draped across a barren landscape with intricate ultra-detail

Steampunk: Picturing a world of gears and steam power

This subgenre of science fiction isn’t your typical vision of the future. Steampunk reimagines the past, specifically the Victorian era and the American Wild West, but with a fantastical twist. It incorporates a retro-futuristic aesthetic inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.

Steampunk isn’t just about aesthetics, though. It’s a world brimming with adventure and innovation, where the past and future collide in a glorious spectacle of brass, steam, and boundless imagination.

Your Midjourney prompts for Steampunk digital art can mimic:

  1. A magnificent steampunk airship soaring through the clouds, powered by ultra-detailed copper pistons and steam engines in precision flat-line details
  2. A bustling steampunk marketplace filled with contraptions and inventions powered by gears and steam
  3. A stoic portrait of a steampunk inventor with a mechanical arm and goggles, gazing upon their latest creation
  1. Imagine a colossal steam-powered tramcar traversing a smog-filled Victorian urbanscape
  2. Design a bustling steampunk street scene with clockwork automatons, horseless carriages, and gaslight illumination
  3. Create a landscape photography scene of a gentleman explorer in a top hat and goggles venturing into a lost city in a giant steam-powered walker

Layered paper: Experimenting with textures

Layered paper art is a captivating creative technique that breathes life into two-dimensional designs. It creates depth and dimension, transforming flat paper into captivating works of art. 

By strategically cutting out shapes and layering them in a slightly offset manner, artists can create stunning effects of light and shadow. Think of a delicate butterfly with its wings seemingly fluttering in the breeze, achieved by layering progressively smaller cutouts.

Inspired by this beginner-friendly art and craft style, you can prompt Midjourney to create digital imagery such as:

  1. A vibrant portrait composed of layered paper cutouts in contrasting colors and textures in a curved building facade
  2. A whimsical landscape scene created from textured paper pieces, with rolling hills and a flowing river
  1. A layered paper artwork of a flower, with each petal a different shade of red, placed in a wood joinery-style house
  2. A majestic mountain range using textured papers to represent rough rock and smooth snow ideal for a modern space
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Crafting Effective Midjourney Prompts

The key to crafting effective Midjourney prompts lies in using its advanced capabilities:

Reference URLs

You can incorporate URLs within your prompts to reference specific images for inspiration. This helps guide the AI towards a specific style, composition, or subject matter.

Let’s say you want an image with the dreamlike quality of a Salvador Dali painting. In your prompt, you can include a URL to a Dali masterpiece. 

Midjourney will then analyze the colors, shapes, and overall surreal vibe of the Dali piece and use that as a foundation for your generated image.

Parameters

Parameters allow you to fine-tune aspects like style, color palette, and composition in your image. 

Appended with “–” at the end of your prompt, parameters allow you to specify aspects like aspect ratio (e.g., “–ar 16:9” for widescreen) or the artistic style (e.g., “–style anime”).

Style: This parameter lets you directly specify an artistic style by name. For instance, –style baroque will instruct Midjourney to generate an image in the Baroque style. You can find a list of compatible artistic styles here

Aspect ratio: The –ar or –aspect parameter lets you control the proportions of your image. A value of 1:1 will produce a square image, while 2:1 will create a landscape image

The key to crafting effective Midjourney prompts lies in using precise language. The more specific you are, the better the AI can understand and translate your vision into an image. 

Opt for specific adjectives and details to steer the AI in the desired direction. For example, instead of “a cat,” try “a fluffy ginger cat curled up on a windowsill.”

Diffusion model

Midjourney also uses a diffusion model, a powerful AI technique that’s used to generate new data, often in the form of images or text, that closely resembles real-world data.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works:

Imagine you have a clear picture. A diffusion model works by gradually adding noise to that picture until it becomes indistinguishable from static. Then, the model learns to reverse this process, taking the noisy image and turning it back into a clear one, step by step.

You can experiment with phrasing and details to guide the diffusion model toward your desired outcome.

Start with a broad concept, then introduce specifics in subsequent prompts. 

For instance, you could begin with “a landscape watercolor painting,” then follow up with prompts like “with snow-capped mountains in the background” and “a winding river flowing through a lush valley in a moody foggy environment.”

Feedback and iterations

  • Don’t settle for the first result. Refine your prompts based on the generated images, guiding the model closer to your vision. Midjourney allows for variations on your prompts, so experiment and have fun
  • During the generation process, use Midjourney’s buttons to indicate which variations you like or dislike. This guides the model toward your desired outcome
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How AI Tools Impact Design

Midjourney’s prompts empower designers to explore countless creative avenues, rapidly generate design iterations and overcome creative roadblocks.

The versatility and functionality of Midjourney prompts are truly remarkable. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or a complete novice, Midjourney offers a unique platform to play with your creativity and bring your visual ideas to life. 

Beyond Midjourney, AI design tools like ClickUp Brain can further enhance your design workflow and free you to focus on strategic aspects of the creative process.

Here are a few tips to enhance your design workflow using ClickUp:

  • Use ClickUp Brain as your personal design assistant. Need a quick spell check in your design notes? It’s got you covered. Want to craft the perfect email to a client? Its AI-powered quick replies draft messages that hit the right tone every time
  • Replace tedious style guides and component write-ups with ClickUp Brain’s design asset analysis that generates comprehensive documentation in a flash. Maintain design consistency across projects and seamlessly collaborate with developers
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  • Eliminate the app overload and replace endless email threads with prompt feedback in real time. Use ClickUp Whiteboards to chalk out designs collaboratively, annotate directly on them, streamline feedback loops, and keep everyone on the same page. This also makes design revisions a breeze
  • Assign tasks, share files, and tag team members with ease. Real-time updates ensure everyone stays in the loop, fostering a culture of shared ownership and accountability
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  • Manage projects your way. Whether you’re a die-hard list maker or a visual thinker who craves Kanban boards, ClickUp adapts to your process
  • Use mood board templates to organize your ideas and fast-track the creative process
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Mastering the Art of Prompting

By mastering the art of prompt crafting, you can step into a world of artistic exploration and transform your design projects from good to great. 

Remember, experimentation is key! 

Don’t be afraid to play around with different Midjourney prompt examples, parameters, and reference images. With practice, you’ll develop your own unique style of prompting, allowing you to wield AI as a powerful tool to bring your creative visions to life.

Try ClickUp today and elevate your artwork and designs with the help of AI.

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