The rise of the social media influencer has seen the phenomenon branch into previously unimaginable areas in recent years, and we’ve slowly but surely grown accustomed to it. It’s unlikely many of us would have predicted the emergence of a nuclear energy influencer, yet that’s exactly what Isabelle Boemeke, AKA Isodope, is.
As well as working as a model and digital fashion designer, she’s spent the last two years promoting nuclear energy as the answer to the climate crisis, and has built a career and persona around that mission. Having given her first TED talk in September, things are certainly – excuse the pun – hotting up for Isodope, who’s now unveiled a fully fleshed identity for her brand, created by &Walsh.
“The branding and art direction is designed around the concept of creating a school in another dimension,” explains Jessica Walsh, founder of &Walsh. “The goal was to use Isodope’s otherworldly persona and art direction to capture people’s attention on TikTok, so that they stop and watch the videos.”
&Walsh employed AI image-maker Dall-E to help create visuals for the identity, but Walsh says it took a little while to understand how to use it efficiently: “The first hour we spent playing with it resulted in a bunch of stock-like shit,” she tells CR. “You have to push the tool and learn how to speak to it in order to generate something more complex and interesting that feels more original.”
In what Walsh describes as “a true AI/human partnership”, the &Walsh team fine-tuned these images, and then combined them with iconography, imagery and typography they’d created. Walsh says it was often hard to tell the difference between the work created by AI, and that by human hand.
It’s the kind of thing that’s making designers and artists everywhere feel hot under the collar – with many questioning the ethics of AI software that’s been ‘trained’ using the work of human image makers. It’s a thorny issue, however Walsh is adamant that AI will struggle to replace people, instead suggesting our relationship with the creative process will change – perhaps for the better as the more tedious, time-consuming parts are removed. “In my opinion, this is very exciting and will lead to more democratisation of creativity and entrepreneurship,” she says.
“There is always a backlash when a new tool comes out that could take the place of human jobs,” Walsh continues. “I get it, it’s scary. However, AI is already here and it will continue to have an exponentially large presence in creative work. We can choose to fight it but it will still push forward, and those of us who don’t learn it could possibly become outdated by it. If we can learn it we can use it as a tool to push our work further into new territories that we couldn’t have imagined before.”