AR Talk | Kuba Jekiel
There’s a lot to discover in the world of Extended Reality, and exploring it to find your place might be the best part of being a Creator. Tools like AR, VR, or now even AI bring many different ways to express your creativity and transport the viewer to another dimension.
Kuba Jekiel, known also as @kuba_hyperliving, told us all about his story with digital art. 🧑🎨 His projects, mixing all areas of XR, are blurring the lines between reality and metaverse, perfectly immersing its users into experiences right out of this world. Now, with a thriving career and a head constantly full of new ideas, he’s sharing his knowledge with the rest of the community. 📚
But how did it begin? 🤔
First, we would like to ask you about the very beginning of your story with XR – how did you discover it, and how did you decide that this is what you want to do professionally?
My fascination with XR began while I was a full-time traditional architect. I sought ways to enhance my storytelling toolkit and impress audiences not just with content but also with presentation. Many of my ideas were kinetic or interactive, and a static piece of paper wouldn’t suffice. Eager to bridge the gap between my imagination and the observer’s perception, I delved into XR. Embarking on this journey without a roadmap, I experimented, gradually carving my niche as an XR architect—a role as imaginative as it is real.
From what we’ve seen, AI often plays a significant role in your projects. What’s your take on it? Do you agree with people who consider it a threat to the job market, or is it just a useful tool for you?
AI, automation, and the broader 4th industrial revolution undoubtedly disrupt our world on an unprecedented scale. Its influence is growing. During my graduation, I immersed myself in this topic, envisioning architecture for a future human-machine hybrid. In my view, this collaboration is humanity’s brightest future. We must embrace and leverage AI, ensuring we remain adaptable and can harness the revolution’s benefits. It might not fit all professions seamlessly, but the key is persistence.
To my students, I emphasize that with AI, we’re never truly stuck. Whenever we’re uncertain, we can converse with machines, explore countless possibilities, and refine our direction. Incorporating AI into our daily routines is essential, allowing us to personalize its utility based on individual needs.
Where do you usually look for inspiration? Would you say that you have a signature style that you follow in your designs, or everything depends on the project?
Regarding inspiration, I believe everyone’s work reflects a medley of influences. My creations draw from nature, the 60s’ technological optimism, 90s’ computers-empowered music, modernistic minimalism, and contemporary trends. While having a signature style is valuable, it should evolve to remain fresh and resonate with both the creator and the audience. Continually challenging myself fuels my passion and drive.
Lately, you’ve been focusing on working with VR. What’s your favorite thing about it, especially in comparison to AR?
Lately, I’ve embraced VR, primarily as a design tool. I rely on Gravity Sketch, a program that revolutionizes the design process in VR, letting me switch perspectives and mold ideas physically. This method feels like a fusion of traditional craftsmanship and avant-garde tech. Plus, its efficient topologies are invaluable for intricate metaverse environments meant for web browsers. Compared to AR, VR offers a deeper immersion, allowing audiences to lose themselves in the narrative. And with improved passthrough modes in newer VR headsets, Mixed Reality (MR) is seamlessly blending the physical and virtual realms.
What would you say is the best way to learn to work with XR? Do you have any advice for beginners?
For those venturing into XR, our age offers unparalleled learning opportunities. My approach has always been hands-on, picking up skills while working on projects—even hypothetical ones. Competitions can also be motivating. If you ever hit a roadblock, platforms like ChatGPT can guide you. The array of resources keeps expanding, erasing any excuse to not dive in.
Many of your projects involve Spatial. What is it about the platform that makes you enjoy it?
Spatial stands out for its ease and versatility. It’s a gateway to the metaverse, offering multiple access points – be it via a VR headset, mobile device, or web browser. Its compatibility with Unity enables interactive game-like environments with impressive visuals, especially considering it’s browser-based. This attracts audiences and brands eager to carve their niche in the metaverse. I’ve also received tremendous support from the community and platform, continually refining and enhancing my creations. In my view, it’s the smartest avenue for brands to make a unique metaversal entry tailored to their vision.
Many people nowadays think about quitting their day jobs to step into the creative field as freelancers or starting their own businesses. What advice would you give to those, who are afraid of the risk it brings?
Taking the leap from a stable job to a freelance or entrepreneurial venture is daunting. Each individual’s circumstances vary, but often the perceived risks are overshadowed by potential gains. My transition from a secure position was nerve-wracking, yet I don’t regret it.
I took charge, collaborated with talented individuals I’d only known online, and now, after jointly undertaking significant projects, we’ve founded Radical Realities, an immersive design studio. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, but this leap has been the most fulfilling experience of my life, giving me autonomy over my creative journey. Embracing this path allows authenticity and genuineness—crucial elements for growth, be it as an artist, designer, or an “imaginary” XR architect.
The talented members of the community are constantly proving to us that the potential of AR is truly unmeasurable. From passion-driven projects to branded designs, they all bring unforgettable experiences that change the way we look at art and marketing. 🧐
A huge thank you goes to Kuba for taking the time out of his day to answer our questions and share with us useful tips about working with extended reality. 🤩 We can’t wait to see what’s next for you!