In the world of augmented reality (AR), creativity knows no bounds. AR creators like Harun Köktürk are constantly pushing the limits of what is possible, blending technology and imagination to craft immersive experiences that transport users to new realms. In a recent interview with Harun Köktürk, we had the opportunity to delve into his journey, inspirations, and the future of this evolving industry. From the initial spark of curiosity to the thrill of seeing others engage with his creations, Harun’s passion for AR shines through. Join us as we explore his experiences, projects that defy the boundaries of AR technology, the delicate balance between client needs and creative vision, and the valuable tips he offers to aspiring AR creators. Get ready to be inspired by the world of AR and the possibilities it holds.
– Let’s start from the beginning! How did you start your AR journey? What inspired you to become a creator and what keeps you motivated to continue creating for this industry?
– I began exploring and creating AR in 2018/2019 when I got accepted to MetaSpark (formerly SparkAR) Instagram Beta. I can not forget how amazed I was when I saw Johwska’s Beauty3000 for the first time. I immediately started researching how to create “things” like that and found myself deep diving into AR world. AR/VR is a boundless tool that feels anything is possible. The curiosity comes with the thought of those endless possibilities that is fuelling my creativity is such a joy to have.
– What is AR for you?
– It is a new universe of opportunities. I’m a person who lives a significant percentage of his life in an imaginary world 🙂 AR gives me the chance to merge my two worlds into one. So that I can express my imaginary world and share it with other people. When people use my effects it’s such an excitement to me to see them be a part of my world.
– How do you see the future of AR evolving? What kind of opportunities do you think it will bring to creators and brands?
– I believe that AR is now a crawling baby. Even though we’ve seen a drastic amount of improvement in a short time, there is still a long way to go. But the journey is so exciting and the opportunities are endless both for creators and for the brands.
– Who or what inspires you in your work, and can you describe your working process? Do you follow a plan or work spontaneously? Do you have a specific style that sets you apart from other creators?
– Definitely where it all started: Johswka. Also other artists works, and new capabilities of the platforms that drives me into experimenting. I find inspiration by exploring different techniques, and staying up to date with the latest advancements in the XR field. When working on personal projects I follow a more spontaneous and experimental approach. I enjoy trying out different tools, techniques, and ideas to push the boundaries of my creativity. This allows me to explore and discover unique visual styles, experiment with different color palettes, and try create otherworldly visuals. However, when it comes to working with clients or specific projects, I prefer to have a proper plan in place. I understand the importance of meeting client requirements and delivering the desired outcomes. In these cases, I develop a structured workflow that includes understanding the client’s vision, conceptualising ideas, sketching or storyboarding, and executing the project with a more systematic approach. In terms of style, I’m trying to develop a style that involves combining fantastical elements, surreal imagery, and vivid hues to transport viewers to a unique, imaginative and otherworldly realm.
– Can you share an example of a project where you pushed the boundaries of what is possible with AR technology and what kind of impact did it have?
– I’m not sure how much I pushed the boundaries of AR but I definitely pushed my boundaries with this filter. It’s name is “Uright and Uknowit” I really enjoyed creating it and challenged myself. It’s a collaboration with Berlin based unique Dj AinTheMachine. The idea behind is to create your own version of his new song U Right and U Know It by using head movements and face gestures that activating the samples of the song. At the end; you would have your own version of the song.
– Collaboration is a crucial aspect of creating successful AR projects. Can you share an example of a project where you had to balance a client’s needs with your creative vision? How did you navigate that challenge?
– “NeonFörever”, a collaborative project with the incredibly talented neon artist Josefin Eklund, showcases elements inspired by her mesmerising neon works positioned around the subject’s head. With a simple tap on the screen, the neon elements illuminate, creating an enchanting effect. This collaboration was truly remarkable, as Josefin Eklund was incredibly accommodating throughout the process. For this project, I decided to take a unique approach by using the neon parts separately, rather than incorporating her entire neon work, resulting in a harmonious blend of her artistic style and my own creative vision.
– How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technology in the AR industry, and how do you incorporate this knowledge into your work?
– I’m following news and updates from platforms like Meta Spark, Snapchat, and TikTok. Additionally, trying to participate in AR events and engaging with AR communities provides me valuable insights. Keeping an eye on big technology brands’ latest developments in AR, such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, is also crucial. Following the new developments and updates in the field makes me think of future possibilities and ideas that I can bring into life; or I immediately start thinking of an idea I left in dusty shelves that was not possible to create with the current capabilities but will be achievable with the new updates.
– Can you share any tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way that have helped you to create successful AR projects?
– Rather than giving a technical tip or trick, I’d love to look on the other side and say: Be patient, never give up on a project. Just give a break for couple of hours or even a day, and continue later.
– What do you enjoy most about being an AR creator, and how do you balance the technical aspects of AR creation with the creative side? What advice would you give to aspiring AR creators who are just starting out?
– As an AR creator who finds joy in bringing an imaginary world to life, the most enjoyable aspect is the ability to transform reality into something captivating and extraordinary. Balancing the technical aspects of AR creation with the creative side involves having a solid foundation in AR tools and platforms while nurturing the imaginative and storytelling aspects. For aspiring AR creators, it’s important to learn the basics, explore and experiment with different tools and effects, find inspiration from various sources, collaborate with others, and embrace continuous learning. By blending technical expertise with artistic vision, aspiring AR creators can embark on an exciting journey of turning their imaginative ideas into immersive augmented reality experiences.