Alkemy X

“As a British person who is new to living in Los Angeles, Prospex Park is a response to the sense of wonder and oddity that the city evokes in someone who is an outsider looking in.

The project originated naturally, with a visit to the LA landmark Canter’s Deli inspiring the creation of the first collection: “Diner Dates,” which features AI-generated portraits of diners from an imagined past (or perhaps future.)

This led me to consider a larger community beyond the diners, which inspired the creation of Prospex Park, a fictional suburban community explored through vibrant, AI-generated portrait collections.

Currently, the project consists of three collections, with more planned, that offer a commentary on the strange and diverse communities that exist in the real world.”

- Rupert Cresswell

For British-born artist and creative director Rupert Cresswell, the pause and concern that he felt amidst the recent AI art boom rapidly shifted into curiosity and wonder. As the Executive Creative Director for global creative studio Alkemy X, he is constantly experimenting with new mediums, so to him, this new tool was yet another paintbrush in a constantly expanding kit. 

The result is a new portrait collection–generated entirely by AI–entitled, “Prospex Park” that explores retro suburbia from an alternate future inspired by Cresswell’s observations of the many unique characters in Los Angeles, as viewed by an outsider (aren’t we all?).

What made you choose AI as a creative tool for this project?

I’ve always been a creative person and frankly most times I don’t really pay too much attention to the tool I’m using. I’ve experimented with a wide array of media but AI was missing from my creative quiver so I decided to give it a go and have some fun with it really. 

How do you feel about AI and its functionality? There is a lot of praise and worry around it at the same time

Yes, I know! I used it first for another project a couple of years ago and it was really fun so I just thought I would be even more fun trying to learn it as a new creative outlet. I went into it without any expectations or assumptions which I think is the best way to go about it

Tell us about your experience living in LA and how this project sparked from it

After living in London and New York for the longest time, LA was a bit of a culture shock I must admit. For some reason, everyone experiences that upon first coming out here. LA is a great place but also very weird so I wanted to embrace it fully and see if it had any creative effect on me. So I decided to explore some of the most famous LA institutions and stumbled upon this old place called Canter’s Deli and sure enough something popped into my head.

That’s how you got the idea for ‘Prospex Park’?

Yes! You realize immediately that these are places populated by the same loyal regulars that have been regulars for decades. YOU are the weirdo trying to analyze their characters while they’re just having a meal at their usual spot. So I thought it would be cool to create my own little version of these cultural staples. I noticed a glamorous, retro look to a lot of these places and it just seemed the best way to represent them from an aesthetic point of view.

Do you see anything harmful about AI? Anything that worries you about its rising popularity?

Well anytime there’s a technological revolution or innovation it brings along a drastic change in the way people are employed in that particular field. Think about the transition from portraits to photography and how many painters had to adapt to the new medium. Now, I have a very democratic view of creativity. There might be a lot of barriers at the gate for many aspiring creatives such as financial ones, cultural ones or not having access to technology and so forth, So I truly believe that when a new piece of technology comes along we should at least learn about it more before we hate on it. That way at the very least we are equipping ourselves with a new tool that might open up new doors and enable new learning paths to unfold.