Creators of Tomorrow: Augmented Reality and 3D Artist Josh Conrad

Josh Conrad is a multi-disciplinary artist specializing in 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) art from the Stó꞉lo Nation in Sumas Territory, British Columbia. He currently resides in the traditional, ancestral and intact territories of the Coast Salish peoples—Sḵx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷməyamqueʷ (ə.usque) Self-taught in 3D creation, Josh’s innovative work aims to provide Canadians with physical The aim is to enable people to connect and interact with digital art in creative ways beyond the confines of space.

How did you start working in the augmented reality space?

My time as a screen printer sparked my interest in design and all things print. I went to art school to complete a digital design program and then I started Print Collective, a community for printmakers to share their creations. But my career path took its first major turn when a close friend of mine, Aaron Kaufmanintroduced me to the field of 3D motion graphics, a form of graphic design also known as animation.

I fell in love with 3D motion graphics and working in this field became my daily routine. I was creating album covers, videos and GIFs using bubbly shapes, colors and abstract visuals. During my first year, Aaron mentored me and I reached out to others in the artistic community to learn more about their work. My advice to anyone interested in this field – don’t be afraid to reach out to people whose work you admire.

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My career journey took another turn when my studio-mates and I started experimenting with AR and mural work. We started working together to transform physical art into 3D. We had fun turning some of their graffiti into 3D objects and then, as AR became more accessible, into augmented reality pieces to release on social media. This allowed us to make our art interactive and give our audience the opportunity to explore reality-altering art in a real environment and in real time.

I started developing my AR skills by learning from the ground up and finding resources whenever possible, especially co Meta Spark. It provided another way to digitally engage and share not only my work, but the work of people in my community. I’ve helped them bring their artwork directly into their audience’s homes, a way for people to interact with shape and texture in their own spaces. This has helped them create more personalized interactions and engaging content.

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What are some career highlights?

I’ve worked on some amazing projects with non-profits that align with my personal values. The ability to transform artwork from physical to digital and promote meaningful causes has given me a way to make a difference and give purpose to the skills I’ve learned. This collaboration shows how art is an important tool to support social movements and how AR can be used to disseminate important messages not only in an engaging way but also on a larger scale than ever before.

Earlier this year, a good friend of mine, Priscilla U, brought me to support a project to promote civic engagement in Canada. We created a wonderful, animated piece based on her artwork We converted to AR. In the summer, I worked Mo Thunder to create Immersive experience For their artwork, which celebrates water and the environment. Bringing Moche’s graffiti to life online made a lot of sense. Then last month, I collaborated with the Orange Shirt Society to develop an AR effect National Day for Truth and ReconciliationInspired by residential school survivor Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s experience.

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What role do you think immersive art plays in storytelling and cohesion?

Immersive storytelling is the future. Static art is not always visible to everyone, as it is hosted in a gallery or exhibition space. We can bring that art to social platforms in an accessible way, so more people can engage with these artworks and stories.

This will make our voice heard and our culture visible not only at the community level but to the world. It’s stimulating all our voices and letting our creativity grow and shared in such a simple, fun and engaging way. I think it will attract not only our youth but also other people and institutions and increase interest in our stories, culture and history.

Learn more about Josh Instagram.


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