The next guest of AR Creator’s Journey is Nina Aundrey. She is a makeup artist by profession. Augmented reality and the direction of social AR filters have become a way of creativity expression, and a good opportunity to showcase her favorite activity and job. Nina also likes gaming/competition AR direction. You can easily see professionalism and passion in her works. She has been creating an augmented reality for over two years now. During this period, She worked with such brands as ARDELL, Huda Beauty / Kayali, Paul Mitchell, and W7 Cosmetics. Nina shares her own experience, which will be interesting for you.
First and traditional question – What Is AR for you?
AR is a way of creativity expression in digital form. I used to do makeup only on clients and myself. Augmented reality opens the door for so many new opportunities, as it allows me to share my art with the world, without being limited to a time or place. Therefore, the audience can actually explore and play around with my creations, to be entertained and share them on their social media. I find it amazing, how interactive this technology can be and how easily accessible it is.
What motivated you to start creating AR? How did you discover Augmented Reality?
First I was only a regular filter user. I loved adding filters to my stories on Instagram. After a while, I discovered, that there are creators behind them. I went on the internet and tried to figure out, how these amazing artists create these effects. Then I found tutorials online and taught myself everything I needed to know, to be able to create my first filter. Also, I have to admit, at first, I did not realize, how incredibly complicated this process can be. But this was exactly why I worked day and night to learn more and to be able to create the same quality the big creators out there have achieved.
Tell us about your first steps in augmented reality. How did your AR Creator’s Journey start and how your first project looks like?
When I finally figured out, that I can create my own AR filters, the “Black Lives Matter” movement started. I was very upset to see how discrimination still happens and wanted to create an AR filter to spread awareness about this serious topic. My first filter was called “No Justice No Peace” and added a statement logo to the user’s face, to raise awareness for this major issue.
When did you realize that you had reached a turning point in successfully creating augmented reality? What helped you with this?
I definitely realized that I reached a turning point when I got my first client. It made me more confident about my work and I realized, that this could potentially become my main job.
There are many skills needed to create a professional AR project, which of them is a must, and which of them helps you the most?
Besides all the technical requirements that are necessary to learn, ideas and creativity are one of the most important skills, that will help you to create a successful project. From there you can learn all the necessary tasks, to bring your idea to life. It really helped me, to use programs like ProCreate, Adobe Photoshop, and Lightroom. Especially for drawing, which is one of my biggest passions. To create a good quality project, I recommend learning those programs, as they will make your assets and LUTs stand out. Blender is also a very helpful tool, that will definitely bring your projects to the next level with 3D and animation. I am still eager to expand my skills in 3D because of the amazing opportunities this technology offers for my work.
How would you describe your work, do you have a specific style? direction? Does it change over time?
Beauty filters are a specialty of mine. As a Makeup Artist, I just love bringing my drawings to life. I also like to create presets and LUTs, that enhance the user’s appearance. My AR friends say, that my filters have a very “magical touch” and are distinctive. I think it is true, that I might add a little touch of playful fantasy into many of my projects. 🙂
You already mentioned that AR is a way of creativity expression. What or who is your inspiration? what would be your advice for our creators? how to find it?
There are definitely too many talented creators to list them all here. All of my friends, (that I would even consider family) are so unique and talented! Everyone in their own way. One of my closest friends and a huge inspiration is Paige Piskin. She has helped me many times, from the beginning of my AR journey til now. She always goes out of her way to find a solution. A huge support system for me is the Spark AR Facebook group. It is full of amazing and very helpful creators, that are always there to help. You will also be able to find, AR specialists, such as Spark AR partners or Facebook staff, that can provide you with help. I definitely recommend joining the AR community to newbies. A very helpful way to get started is to buy filter templates on Gumroad and watch tutorials. It can give you great insight, into how a professional and effective filter is built. This allows you to start learning and working from there.
Tell me about the projects you’re most proud of. What makes them special? What assets were used to build that project?
As much as I love beauty filters, I enjoy working really hard on gaming and competition effects as well. I have created Halloween-themed filters like “Haunted Labyrinth” and “Catch The Witch”. These were not branded effects but I enjoyed the process and I am really happy with how they turned out. A gaming filter that I created for ARDELL Germany is also a project, I am really proud of. I think it is super interactive and cute.
Describe your working process. Do you follow the work spontaneously or do you have a plan that you follow?
Being self-employed, work is not really “plannable”. I try to schedule my projects as much as possible. It has happened many times, that I had to work on multiple projects at once. In that case, I even work night shifts to get them done. I am not bothered by it though, because when you love what you do, you don’t notice the time too much.
How do you deal with clients’ feedback?
Very well, I must say. My clients have the first priority. I am super grateful when I get feedback and when we work together until the project is perfect. I would not want to finish a project, that does not make the client happy. Perfectionism and dealing with criticism is key.
What is your dream in terms of AR creation?
To be able to work with AR for a long time. 🙂
Do you think we will be living in a world like a metaverse? And if yes, when it will be?
I think we are only in the beginning. I can see a future, where we will all dive into this virtual world to meet, shop and even travel. In terms of science and education, I also see a huge potential in a metaverse.