Josh Conrad is a multi-media recording artist specializing in 3D and augmented reality (AR) photography from the Stó꞉lō Nation, located in Sumas Territory, British Columbia. He now lives on the traditional, ancestral and unclaimed land of the Coast Salish people–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓am (Musquem). Self-taught in 3D art, Josh’s new work aims to inspire Canadians to connect and interact with art in creative ways beyond the confines of physical spaces.
How did you start working in the augmented reality department?
My time as a screen printer sparked an interest in design and all things printed. I went to art school to complete a digital design program and later started a printmaking community, a community for printmakers to share their work. But my first career path was when I had a close friend, Aaron Kaufmanintroduced me to the field of 3D motion graphics, which is a form of graphic design also known as animation.
I ended up falling in love with 3D movies and working in this field became everyday. I create album covers, videos and GIFs using bubbles, colors and abstract images. During my first year, Aaron mentored me, and I connected with others in the art community to learn more about their work. My advice for those interested in this field – don’t be afraid to reach out to people you respect.
My professional journey took a second turn when I started with my studio mates to experiment with AR and mural work. We started working together to convert the physical image into 3D. We had fun converting some of their photos into 3D objects, and after AR became easier, into augmented reality pieces to be released on social media. This has allowed us to create our artwork and allow our audience to explore truly transformative images in real-time, real-time environments.
I started developing my AR skills by learning from the world and finding resources when I could, especially with Meta Spark. It provides another way to participate digitally and share not only my work, but the work of people in my community. I helped them bring their art into the homes of their audience, in a way that allowed people to interact with styles and trends in their own spaces. This helped them make more personal connections and experiences.
What are some important tasks?
I’ve worked on some amazing projects with values that don’t align with my personal values. Being able to transfer art from physical to digital and expand on important principles has given me a way to adapt, and give purpose to the skills I’ve learned. These collaborations show how to work in support of social movements, and how AR can be used to spread important messages not only interactively, but in a much bigger than before.
Earlier this year, one of my best friends, Priscilla Yu, brought me to support a project to strengthen civic engagement in Canada. We also created a beautiful, animated piece about his art we switched to AR. In the summer, I worked with For thunder make a place deep knowledge for their art, celebrating water and the environment. Promoting Mo’s image online is important. Then last month, I teamed up with Orange Shirt Society to develop an AR solution for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliationinspired by Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s experience of boarding school life.
What do you think of immersive art in storytelling and harmony?
Deep storytelling is the future. A static image cannot always be seen by everyone, because it is kept in a gallery or exhibition space. We can take that picture on social platforms in an accessible way, so many people can access these parts and stories.
It is what allows our voices to be heard, and our culture to be recognized not only at the community level, but by the world. It raises all our voices and lets our creativity rise and be shared in a simple, interesting, and exciting way. I think it will not only attract our youth, but also other people and organizations, and will grow a lot of interest in our history, culture and stories.
Learn more about Josh at Instagram.