As we continue our interview series with Spark AR creators, today we’re catching up with Yana Kiselyova (@ya.molli), a Russian artist and digital designer known for her stylistic face effects and grainy, colorful filters. Yana explains how she uses AR to capture and express her passion for colors and textures, where she finds inspiration to create and why she’s excited about the future of AR for building a career.
HB Molli | Ameli | Flower Vibe
Tell us a little about your career?
I’m a full-time visual designer that specializes in digital art and imagery. My passion and expertise is color editing photos and videos, so I’ve made a lot of Instagram filters and tutorial videos over the years, which has helped raise my profile as a creative professional — it’s what got me interested in augmented reality too. Initially, I was just experimenting by transferring my color profiles over into lightweight face effects, but I quickly started building more complex and customized effects for myself and clients.
How long have you been using Spark AR?
I’ve been using Spark AR Studio for about two years now. I’m typically working in and out of various Adobe products and Spark AR Studio for anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on the complexity of the project. Initially, I was creating effects daily, because I just had so many ideas I wanted to explore. Nowadays, I’m working on more commercial projects, building more templates and such that other creators can buy and tailor for their own AR projects.
What’s your favorite effect, so far?
It’s hard to pick one, I love them all. These AR experiences are part of me, part of my personal expression — so of course I like them all. From just a popularity point of view point, my MILK series of filters probably stand out, also because they were some of my earliest work.
Where do you find inspiration for your effects?
Instagram is where I find a lot of my inspiration. I just love looking through beautiful profiles, posts and stories. The Spark AR Studio software also gives me ideas. Take templates for example, I think I’ve tried building different effects using every template available, it’s a helpful way to explore different ideas without over-investing my time and energy.
What other Spark AR features do you use?
I frequently use some combination of segmentation and the native UI picker capability in my effects, so I would say those two are at the top of my list. I play a lot with the color, gradient, lighting, and textures, so the Patch Editor is a frequently used feature too.
What advice can you give new Spark AR creators?
My advice is to choose one type of effect and just master it. Maybe it’s makeup or hair segmentation or face masks, just embrace it and try to learn everything you can about that effect type. I think the alternative of trying to learn about every effect, every capability — even at a basic level — can feel overwhelming.
Where do you see brands doing more with AR?
I think face effects will remain in high demand, for now. Mostly because everybody gets them, they're typically more playful, more personal and that makes them more shareable. I always tell creators who want to make money creating AR effects to know their style, to know what makes them unique — and to build on that. Brands are no different than people, everyone wants their effects to stand apart.
What are you excited about when you think about the future of AR?
This is hard, AR is still such a new medium. I’m excited about the growth and investment I’m seeing creators making now in this new skillset. I’m excited about the way brands are jumping on board, and pushing new ideas and experiences. And honestly, I’m excited about building my career and growing a business as a for-hire AR creator!
Our thanks to Yana for taking the time to share her opinions and perspective. You can find more of her Spark AR effects, filters and digital art on Instagram @ya.molli or at her website yamolli.ru.
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