As we continue our interview series with Spark AR creators, today we’re catching up with Bianca Garutti, a freelance artist based in Campo Grande, Brazil, who’s known for her fun and playful makeup effects. Bianca talks about how AR creation has grown from a simple side-hustle to a full-time career in just two years, plus where she finds inspiration for her work, and the importance of the Spark AR creator community. It’s another great interview, enjoy!
Tell us a little about your career?
My background is a bit unique — where so many other AR creators come from design or digital or developer backgrounds, most of my creative history is in theatre, performance art and dance. I’ve always had a passion for technology and art, but it was mostly a hobby, something I did when I had the time.
What got you interested in AR?
About two years ago, I signed up for the Spark AR Instagram beta and started experimenting with different types of AR effects.. It wasn’t long thereafter that I started entertaining more offers for commercial and brand AR projects. And then after the pandemic took hold earlier this year, I realized returning to a full-time dance career was going to be difficult, so I decided to go all-in on AR creation.
How did you learn how to build AR experiences?
I learned through my own experimentation and trial, and certainly referenced a lot of the documentation and tutorials on the Spark AR website. Equally important and helpful, were the countless other Spark AR creators in the community — those locally here, in Brazil, and abroad — who shared their projects and advice with me. I think having a wonderfully supportive group of friends has helped me grow as a creator.
Where do you find inspiration for your effects?
Again, the creator community is an important source of inspiration for me. I try to keep in regular contact with several creators, and follow how they’re approaching and solving different creative problems. Creators like @finofinissimo, @sereiahipster, @nicrachid and @fegrimaldi, just to name a few, there are so many more. I think surrounding yourself with good visual references is important for finding inspiration. Most of my effects are makeup effects, so I’m always searching for colors, lighting, textures, anything that I can take and transform, and hopefully elevate with AR.
Do you have a favorite effect?
I think at this point I’ve created over 100 effects for myself, and nearly that many for clients too. It’s hard to pick one, but a recent standout for me is an effect I named Storm. I originally created this for fun, for the Instagram Halloween effect gallery, but something unexpected happened: one of the great soccer players in the world, Neymar, found it and used it, which was very, very exciting.
What are your go-to Spark AR Studio features?
Obviously for a creator like me, who makes a lot of face effects, I use the face tracker quite a bit. I’m always exploring ways I can push the limits of what’s possible with this feature, trying for more complexity and realism in my effects. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with the recent release of hair segmentation, I think this feature has opened up exciting new possibilities for creating character effects.
What types of projects are brands requesting?
In Brazil, the demand remains strong for makeup effects. For me, this is helpful, because makeup effects are my specialty — but to be honest, this happened unintentionally. Makeup became my niche because so many of my initial brand clients came from the same performance art industry that I knew so well. Additionally, I’m seeing a lot of interest from brands in AR games, this is something I’d like to explore further.
What advice can you give to brands considering AR?
I think most brands should invest in at least some sort of minimum AR experience that its customers can use to show their brand affinity or loyalty.
Any advice for creators aspiring to do more brand work?
My advice is to make sure you’re investing in yourself, first. AR is a new medium, and it’s evolving quickly, so ongoing professional development and learning is really important. Not only will this help you sharpen and grow your creative skills, it’ll also give you the confidence to try new things. And this is what I think brands are looking for, creators that have the confidence and willingness to try new things.
We couldn’t agree more! Our thanks to Bianca for taking the time to share her opinions and perspective. You can find more of her Spark AR effects on Instagram @biancagarutti.
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