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Recipe for Creating Captivating Experiences – Vira DG’s AR Journey

Creators Interviews
Recipe for Creating Captivating Experiences – Vira DG’s AR Journey
avatar By: CrossCreators 11 Min read 335 Views

Recipe for Creating Captivating Experiences – Vira DG’s AR Journey

11 Min read 335 Views

Step into the enchanting realm of augmented reality as we sit down with the brilliant mind behind the magic – Vira DG. Her AR journey began with Spark AR, igniting a creative fire that has since transformed into mesmerizing interactive sculptures and immersive experiences. Join us as we explore her artistic evolution, the boundless horizons of AR, and her thoughts on the future of this dynamic field. Whether you’re a fellow creator seeking inspiration or a brand eager to collaborate, Vira DG’s words offer a heartfelt glimpse into the passion and innovation that drive her captivating AR creations.

– 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?

– Let’s start from the beginning! My AR journey began in 2019 when this technology became accessible to the public through Spark AR, which opened its doors to all creators in August of that year. Prior to that, there were some AR solutions and separate applications, but they proved challenging for both artists and viewers to use, often requiring constant support. The breakthrough came with Spark AR and filters for Instagram, leading to mass adaptation. My fascination with new technologies and my belief in art as a means of understanding the world drove me to explore AR. Before delving into AR, I had been involved in various artistic pursuits, such as painting on canvas and walls, creating stained glass windows, and painting cars. I was always seeking new technological avenues to apply my art. Preparing for an exhibition in Dubai in October 2019, I envisioned bringing something truly innovative and groundbreaking. Alongside my paintings on canvas, I decided to create an augmented reality sculpture titled “The Birth of Calligraphy.” The sculpture left an extraordinary impression on the audience, marking my first foray into AR and igniting my fascination for this exciting world. Since then, my journey in AR has been nothing short of enthralling. I primarily focus on crafting interactive sculptures, while occasionally venturing into creating games and quests. The endless possibilities in this field keep me motivated to continue exploring and creating for the AR industry. It’s an ever-evolving and dynamic space that allows me to push the boundaries of artistic expression and connect with audiences in new and innovative ways.

What is AR for you?

– For me, AR is a canvas of limitless possibilities, where I can craft digital sculptures, art installations, and experiences that come to life through the lenses of augmented reality devices. It empowers me to create engaging narratives and interactive experiences, inviting audiences to participate and connect with my art on a deeply personal level. AR is a captivating fusion of the digital and physical worlds. It represents a transformative technology that enriches our reality by overlaying virtual elements onto the real world, enhancing our perception and experience of the environment around us. AR allows me to blend art and technology seamlessly, unlocking boundless creative possibilities. Ultimately, AR is a dynamic and ever-evolving realm where technology and creativity intertwine, constantly pushing me to explore new ideas, experiment with innovative techniques, and push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of art and expression. It is a thrilling journey of discovery, and I am excited to be at the forefront of this cutting-edge technology, shaping the future of augmented reality art.

How do you see the future of AR evolving? What kind of opportunities do you think it will bring to creators and brands?

– AR is set to continue its revolution, reshaping how we engage with the world and unlocking exciting possibilities for creators and brands alike. Those who fully embrace AR’s potential and leverage its capabilities creatively will gain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving digital landscape, delivering unparalleled and unforgettable experiences to their audiences. From my perspective, I believe that AR will surpass VR in popularity, largely due to its accessibility for people from all walks of life. And with the continuous development of AR glasses, its influence on our interaction with the digital realm will expand even further. I’m eagerly awaiting the day when we can interact with digital art in real-time, going beyond simple ‘tap to screen’ actions, and immersing ourselves in extended reality, where our body movements seamlessly engage with digital creations. With the emergence of AR glasses and virtual realms intertwined with real-world maps, users will step into a parallel digital universe closely linked to their physical surroundings. Initially, this revolution may sweep through major US cities and world-famous metropolises before gradually extending its enchantment to smaller locales. As a result, megacities will become alluring destinations for tourists seeking unparalleled AR-based entertainment experiences.

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?

– I find inspiration in the captivating fusion of calligraphy and graffiti, which I explore through the unique style known as Calligraffiti. My artistic journey started with traditional paintings and then progressed into the realm of AR with the creation of the sculpture “Birth of Calligraphy.” It was the very first AR piece where the distinct shapes of calligraphic strokes took center stage. Over time, my sculptures evolved into more vibrant and imaginative forms, occasionally venturing into a free art realm while retaining their interactive nature. An important influence in my work came from the Dubai-based artist El Seed, renowned for his remarkable calligraphy-based sculptures crafted from metal, which can be found throughout Dubai. His art sparked my desire to create something similarly captivating, although at that point, I wasn’t sure how to approach it. Today, I find inspiration in the beauty of the real world, which I infuse into my AR creations. Very first sculpture I extruded in 3DMax, then my creative process took an exciting turn when I delved into using VR headsets and Gravity Sketch. Currently, all my sculptures are hand-painted but with digital brushes in the virtual realm. After this initial creation, I proceed to post-production in Blender and finalize the publishing via Spark AR hub. As we explore the endless possibilities of AR, we come to realize that the beauty of real life is not only in what we can see with our eyes but also in the layers of creativity and imagination that AR adds to our experiences. AR becomes a tool to celebrate the beauty of reality while simultaneously unlocking the potential for artistic expression and innovation. Moreover, AR allows us to create interactive experiences that invite audiences to actively engage with the world around them. Through these experiences, we encourage people to explore, discover, and connect with their environment in novel and enriching ways. In my work, spontaneity often intertwines with planning and conceptualization, especially when I’m undertaking vast city projects like the ones in Bocholt, Germany, and Kharkiv, Ukraine. Having a clear vision and concept becomes essential to execute these grand endeavors successfully.

– 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 it have?

– One of my most remarkable projects that fills me with immense pride is the AR sculpture I created for the city of Bocholt, dedicated to its 800th anniversary. This momentous undertaking took place in September 2021, right after the pandemic, and it was a unique opportunity to celebrate the rich history and culture of this charming city, located just an hour away from Dusseldorf, Germany. Nestled prominently on the main square, this AR masterpiece initiates a captivating dialogue between the world of cutting-edge digital art and the timeless allure of pre-digital craftsmanship, embodied by the esteemed Europabrunnen. This tangible sun-shaped sculpture has adorned the square since its presentation to Bocholt during its 775th anniversary, marking its status as Europastadt. In the digital realm, the Calligraffiti sculpture “800” takes center stage, elegantly fashioned in the shape of the number 8, adorned with two dazzling diamonds in silver and gold. A magnificent ode to the fusion of the Present and the Future, this digital marvel was specially crafted to commemorate the city’s 800th-anniversary celebration. Its dynamic design epitomizes an eternal kinetic dance, perpetually in motion, symbolizing the ever-changing times where “stability” gracefully transitions into the harmonious concept of “balance.” This artful juxtaposition of two sculptures, one tangible and the other an ethereal AR creation, serves as an eloquent portrayal of our world’s swift evolution over the past 25 years. It encapsulates the progress we have made, the transformational shifts in technology and culture, and the seamless integration of the real and virtual worlds.

– Can you list the brands you have worked with? (list links of experiences if possible) What are the project(s) you’re most proud of?

– While I haven’t yet collaborated with brands, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work with the city municipalities of Bocholt, Germany, and Kharkiv, Ukraine. This experience has been truly rewarding as it allowed me to contribute my art and augmented reality expertise to the enrichment of these cities’ cultural landscapes. Working alongside city municipalities has provided a unique platform to bring art and technology together, creating meaningful experiences that resonate with the local communities. I am grateful for these opportunities and look forward to further collaborations that continue to make a positive impact through art and innovation.

– 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?

– I worked on the sculpture “Time Capsule” for the Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in 2020. The spiral shape of the sculpture symbolizes Simon Kuznets’ teachings on an empirically-based interpretation of economic growth, which led to a new and deeper understanding of economic and social structures and the development process. Simon Kuznets received the Nobel Prize for this scientific work. The task was to create an AR experience where viewers could see the time capsule, which was actually built into the floor of the central hall of the university in 2011. Although everyone knew it was there, no one had seen it. The AR sculpture reveals the time capsule at the center, which was physically installed in the hall in 2011 and is scheduled to be opened in 2111, containing the rector’s message for future generations of students. However, in augmented reality, the capsule can be seen today. The golden heart in the center of the capsule signifies the sincerity of the message. This task required finding a delicate balance between my imagination, the university’s set objectives, and the architectural environment of the main hall, where the QR code was placed for the virtual sculpture to be accessed. I find this balance always presents an interesting challenge for me, but I must say that I am given the freedom of choice and enough creative freedom to showcase my ingenuity, vision, and creativity. This is precisely why I love working with AR—it provides me with unlimited freedom of expression.

– 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?

– Staying current with the latest trends and technological advancements in the AR industry is a priority for me as a creator. To achieve this, I actively participate in the AR/VR Immersive summit, an annual event that provides invaluable insights into the rapidly evolving AR landscape. In addition to attending industry events, I regularly delve into articles, research papers, and online resources that delve into the latest developments in AR technology. I keep a keen eye on updates and advancements in tools like Spark AR and other AR platforms, as they often introduce exciting features and capabilities that can elevate my creative work. Incorporating this knowledge into my projects comes naturally as I strive to infuse my work with cutting-edge elements and innovative ideas. By keeping abreast of the latest trends, I can explore new AR techniques, interactive functionalities, and creative approaches, all of which contribute to the uniqueness and impact of my artistic expressions. The combination of staying informed through industry events and leveraging the insights gained from various sources empowers me to create immersive and captivating AR experiences that resonate with audiences and contribute to the ever-evolving world of augmented reality.

Can you share any tips or tricks you’ve learned that have helped you create successful AR projects?

– Experiment and Innovate: Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of AR and explore innovative ideas. Experiment with new techniques, styles, and interactions to discover unique and captivating approaches. Always keep the end-user in mind when designing AR experiences. Consider their needs, preferences, and the overall user experience. A user-centric approach ensures that your projects are engaging and user-friendly. Also, Participate in AR competitions that also allow to widen boundaries. Embrace Interactivity: AR thrives on interactivity. Incorporate interactive elements that encourage users to engage with your creations actively. This fosters a more immersive and enjoyable experience.

– 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, what brings me the greatest joy is the boundless realm of creativity and innovation that this field offers. It grants me the freedom to explore uncharted territories, where there are no predefined rules or right answers. I relish the fact that as creators, we have the power to shape and define this evolving world of augmented reality, pushing its boundaries and discovering its full potential. Balancing the technical aspects of AR creation with the creative side can indeed be a stimulating challenge. It requires a delicate interplay between the imaginative vision and the practical implementation. To achieve this balance, I believe in immersing myself in both worlds. I thoroughly understand the technical capabilities and limitations of AR tools and platforms, ensuring that my creative ideas can be effectively brought to life. Likewise, I let my imagination run wild, exploring fresh ideas and experimenting with novel interactions that push the envelope of what’s possible in AR. To aspiring AR creators just starting out, my advice is to embrace curiosity and fearlessness. Embrace the excitement of venturing into uncharted territory. Don’t be afraid to experiment and take risks. Be open to learning from both successes and failures. The AR industry is constantly evolving, so staying up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and tools is crucial. Attend conferences, workshops, and immerse yourself in the AR community to learn from others and expand your knowledge. Collaboration is key in this field. Seek opportunities to work with others, whether it’s partnering with developers, designers, or experts in other fields. Diverse perspectives and skills can elevate your creations to new heights. Finally, remember that AR is all about the user experience. Always keep the end-user in mind when designing your AR projects. Think about how your creation will impact and engage users, and strive to create experiences that are enjoyable, intuitive, and memorable. With passion, dedication, and a willingness to embrace the unknown, aspiring AR creators can forge their paths in this exciting and rapidly evolving realm of augmented reality.

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