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Using AI Artwork for Album Covers with Midjourney

AI generated artwork has been all the rage this year, largely due to the hype around DALL-E 2. While DALL-E 2 is now open, at first it was a closed beta so I ended up tinkering with Midjourney instead.

If you have no idea what i’m talking about, AI generated artwork is SUPER cool. You simply write down some text describing an image and the AI generates it for you.

If you want to see Mickey Mouse holding a knife… well, here you go…

All of this happens inside of Discord, and as you can see it generates 4 images you can choose from to generate a higher quality image of your choosing.

Over the past couple months i’ve been playing with this a lot and generating artwork to use for single artwork and album artwork. Recently I launched a new Cyberpunk Synthwave Spotify playlist and used Midjourney to create the cover art for it:

Prompt <strong>cyberpunk robot humanoid ultra realistic<strong>

At least for Midjourney, as long as your on any paid plan with them (plans start at $10/month) you own the rights to use all images you create commercially. You can use the images for personal and commercial use, assuming you don’t use the tool to generate an image that infringes on someone else’s intellectual property (like my Mickey Mouse example).

I haven’t used it in any releases yet, but this is my main plan for artwork going forward due to the high quality it can create.

The way that I typically would create cover art for my music would be to use something like ShutterStock or StoryBlocks to find an image that fits the vibe i’m going for, then bring it into Photoshop for some light edits and color grading. Sometimes i’d use Blender to create something from scratch for fun, but I don’t have time for that generally.

For my song Again & Again I hired someone on Fiverr to make me some custom artwork with very specific descriptions, but that cost me around $130. It came out fantastic and $130 is totally fair for that level of quality, but I can’t afford to do that for every release.

Every dollar we spend creating our product (our music) is a dollar we can’t spend on marketing. We obviously can’t produce a crap product, but if you can save money while keeping the quality high its a win-win for your music and your marketing.