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Generative inspiration: Using generative AI for motivation

Updated: May 6

Woman with head just above water
JEFS Master of my fate_Captain of my soul

I am not going to lie and say that I haven’t been overwhelmed with the developments in generative AI.

I barely started learning how to prompt well for stable diffusion AI models that create images, like Midjourney, when ChatGPT was made available to the public.

I empathize with artists and writers who are wary of these new tools as I make a living creating visual communication solutions for my clients. But, these generative tools are here with us to stay.

It is along the lines of adapting-to-what-can’t-be-destroyed that I used both ChatGPT and Midjourney to motivate me to feel better.

I asked ChatGPT to provide a motivational quote about not getting overwhelmed.

Here is the answer I received:

“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” — William Ernest Henley. This quote emphasizes the importance of taking control of one’s own life and being responsible for one’s own actions. It reminds us that we have the power to overcome challenges and not to let ourselves be overwhelmed by them. It encourages to take charge of our own lives and to be the captain of our own souls.

This quote and corresponding description did make me feel better.

I decided to take the quote and use it as a prompt in Midjourney.

Quadrant of captain pictures
JEFS Midjourney prompt output from "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

The results were not as aspirational as I had hoped. Military propaganda-type art is the opposite of what I want to see at the moment (at least not all the captains were men).

I did a little prompt crafting and finally got a set of more abstract images that inspired me.

Quadrant of feathery female heads
JEFS Midjourney reprompted output from "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

I decided to move forward with image three of the re-prompted quartet shown and download it to add my own input.

I edited the image in Photoshop to redraw the eyes, add highlights, retouch, and cut out the background. I moved the image into Illustrator to layer in texture, a new background, and add inspirational typography.

The resulting image (see cover image) motivated me in a variety of ways:

  • I learned about William Ernest Henley, a poet, who eventually lost his leg due to tuberculosis.

  • I found a better way to prompt in Midjourney to get a reference image I wanted.

  • I wrote a post for LinkedIn and this Medium post.

  • I practiced my craft of digital art creation.

I realize a lot of people are sharing ways to capitalize on using AI advancements to make money. I hope this article motivates others to find ways to use generative AI to improve the way they feel.


Julia Fletcher is founder of JEFS Storytelling Arts, a graphic design studio, where she uses her unique research skills and artistic talents to create custom visual stories that help clients’ increase engagement and promote the education of their audience.

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