Nine Prompts, Nine Stories:
Midlibrary Benchmark Explained
MAR 11 2023
You might have already encountered Midlibrary Benchmark—a set of nine images representing a Midjourney Style behavior in various (predefined) situations. Nine prompts that we use range from Nazgul over sleeping town to Thom Yorke. And none of those prompts are random, each one having its own backstory.

In the light of three historic events—Midlibrary 2.0 opening next week, the recent 100th post and the newly surpassed 5000 followers on our Instagram—I want to dive into how each of the Benchmark prompts came to be. Beware, it gets personal! ;)


Who doesn't like good Sci-fi and, specifically, cyberpunk! I, for sure, am a fan! As a kid, I was deeply impacted by Bladerunner, and then Neuromancer did the same to teenage me. So here it is, embodied in the cyberpunk character prompt of our Benchmark.
Paolo Roversi's photograph depicting cyberpunk character wearing detailed, mechanically elaborate, technically complex futuristic helmet headpiece mask by Brian Jungen and Kazumasa Nagai. Rainy dawn in megacity --stylize 1000 --v 4
cyberpunk character in Cyber Yakuza action manga strip. Dynamic movement, extreme view angle, vivid colors by Enki Bilal --niji
17th century layout schematics of cyberpunk character, Albrecht Durer's engraving over Hokusai's ukiyo-e print --stylize 1000 --v 4
Oliver Jeffers illustration depicting adorable futuristic cyberpunk character having tea with forest friends --stylize 1000 --v 4


But what influenced my developing imagination even more was J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy. I read a 1000+ pages tome in a week, and then for a few months, had dreams straight from Middle-earth. And the most vivid episode of those dreams was running away from sinister, ominous, deadly chasers—the Nine Nazguls... Here is to you, guys! You made a fair share of my teenage nightmares. Ψ(`◇´)Ψ
scene from Satoshi Kon's anime depicting Nazgul over never sleeping Tokyo city --stylize 500 --v 4
Nazgul over never sleeping New York city photographed by Ernst Haas --v 4
Nazgul over never sleeping town of Tokyo. 1970s Japanese horror movie poster designed by Dziga Vertov and Alexander Rodchenko --v 4
colossal Nazgul looming over tiny lonely stranger in moonlit gothic woods by Alan Lee and Vito Acconci --v 4


As an artist from the Far North, I always found flourishing, rich, verdant Southern nature to be visually excessive, overabundant, and overloading. For me-photographer, the perfect outdoor seasons are the end of Winter or the late Fall. Nature is either dying or hasn't been reborn just yet. Decaying part of the prompt is my tribute to those special times of the year and those unique states of nature. And peonies come as devotion to Midlibrary Overseer—Olesya—who courageously keeps our precious catalog organized and updated!
decaying peonies on the slopes of Autumn mountains by Kazumasa Nagai and Kawanabe Kyosai --stylize 1000 --v 4
decaying peonies of Juliette's love to Romeo. 16th century bas-relief on old cemetery by Aron Demetz --v 4
ice art installation of decaying peonies --v 4
Walter Van Beirendonck's installation depicting decaying peonies of enlightened mind in Psychedelic glitch-art style --v 4


Devoted to my friends' daughter, who, in her early teenage years, already has a busy practice repairing complex electronics. Very impressive and equally inspiring!
the smartest tech genius teenage girl on Earth deservedly proud of herself by George Barbier --stylize 500 --v 4
tech genius teenage girl as Empress of All Technology and Queen of Electronics by Isaac Julien --v 4
futuristic dark web hacker tech genius teenage girl in her secret cyberpunk hideout studio on rainy moonlit night. Dramatic neon lights. Cinematic shot by Roger Deakins from Blade Runner 2047 --v 4
elaborate 17th century book infographics map outlining mind of tech genius teenage girl. White ink engraving on black paper --stylize 1000 --v 4


(misspelled Mainecoon—in one word—is the consequence of Midjourney's ban on the word "coon" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
This prompt in our Benchmark is the closest one to my heart. It pays tribute of love to Maddy (or Mad Love!)—an adorable Maine Coon feline who is regally setting for rest on my keyboard as I am trying to type this line. ^_____ ^
cute Mainecoon cat wearing samurai armour designed by Kris Kuksi --stylize 1000 --v
coolest-looking cute Mainecoon cat as hero of 80s action B-movie poster with overload of guns --v 4
cute Mainecoon cat made entirely of love by Alberto Seveso --v 4
the cutest Mainecoon cat in the world by Angela Barrett and Elsa Beskow --v 4


Coming from Slavic roots, I've always been submerged in respective mythology. And are Slavic myths dark! And who is the darkest of all the wicked ones in those parts of the world if not Chernobog—a deity associated with death, evil, and misfortune?

In our Benchmark, Chernobog is probably the most varying prompt. There are styles that render him in a generic manner (a guy with horns), but even those tend to be quite unique if compared to, say, generic cyberpunk characters. And then many styles would imagine something completely different and one-of-a-kind!
Josh Agle's illustration depicting Chernobog as progressive open-minded industrialist --v 4
dark northern woods concealing gathering of cultists. Chernobog in middle by Jakub Rozalski and Simon Stalenhag --v 4
Illustration of friendly Chernobog educating little kids about dangers of cultism by Wangechi Mutu and Chris Ofili in Naive Art style --v 4
Chernobog by Arthur Tress, with colorful lights --v 4


Indisputably, our world is in a dangerous place right now. Apart from what humankind does to itself, much bigger issues loom around the nearest corner, already causing numerous disasters of unseen scale per year. I am no expert in ecology, architecture, or futurology, but the concept of gradually integrating our daily routines with natural processes seems like a good goal.

Bioarchitecture is one of those domains that amaze me and gives me (some) hope for humanity's future.

microscopic image depicting Bioarchitecture, full of light and colors --v 4
Sebastiao Salgado's photograph of colossal arcology bioarchitectural tree megastructure growing over misty rainforest --stylize 1000 --v 4
Ernst Haeckel's blueprint outlining enormous bioarchitecture urban plan. Dimensions, measurements, stats, calculations, marginalia, notes, highlights, technical details. Highly intricate and elaborate --stylize 50 --v 4
bioarchitecture saving humanity from ecological disaster. Installation by Olafur Eliasson photographed by Michael Shainblum and Iwan Baan --stylize 25 --v 4


There is something in Thom Yorke's lamentations that makes his singing otherworldly. And it is exactly that multi-layered, hypnotizing, mesmerizing, something that makes me love art in general, and Radiohead's art specifically (including the masterpieces that are their music videos).
Thom Yorke in Gopnik Fashion Style lookbook photographed by Terry Richardson --v 4
Andrei Rublev's high-concept cover design for Thom Yorke's next album --v 4
Antonio Mora's and David LaChapelle's photograph depicting Thom Yorke as Supreme Psychedelic Glitch God --v 4
Nick Knight's high-concept fashion photoshoot of glitching hologram of Thom Yorke by HR Giger --stylize 1000 --v 4


I met Francis, an owner of a tiny café on the outskirts of Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the largest and oldest Parisian flea market (and the very first flea market in history!). Despite his austere, stern face, he was one of the most light-hearted, welcoming, and friendly persons I've met in my entire life. And also one of the most characteristic, powerful faces I've seen. A portrait photographer at the time, I couldn't miss the chance to document such a fantastic character. This portrait remained one of the strongest in my portfolio, won numerous awards and was displayed in galleries around the world.

There is one thing you quickly notice when using Midjourney's Image prompts for re-imagining portraits. Source material matters. The more pronounced the facial features, the more characteristic your original portrait is, the better Midjourney "sees" and reproduces those features. When it came to picking a perfect portrait for my Image prompt experiments, the choice was obvious. ;)
Francis D. as cafe owner character designed by Liu Ye from Hayao Miyazaki's Chibi anime --v 4
Francis D. by Emperor Huizong of Song and Max Ernst --v 4
Francis D. gigantic ancient fractured stone head of statue of Mayan God in rainy selva forest on foggy morning. Concept art by Ashely Wood and John Harris --v 4
Francis D. by Emperor Huizong of Song and Chema Madoz --v 4
In Midlibrary 2.0, we're preparing a very special tool for you: a page where you can compare benchmarks of different Styles against each other in a fun and convenient way! Join my Live Presentation (with the following Q&A session!) on on Saturday, March 18.
See you there!

Happy midjourneys,
— Andrei
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