Meet Two Snap Lens Network Members Sharing Their Voices Through Augmented Reality

The beauty of creativity is that it’s a well that never runs dry. In the same way that you’ll never see the same sunset twice, you’ll never see the same creative work twice because there are so many variables — none more important than the mind behind the creation. Each person brings their own experiences, talents, tastes, and lives to the table, which is why new voices are so important.
And that’s what we’re celebrating today — authentic creators bringing a new voice and a set of experiences to the table. Through these interviews, we’re highlighting two incredibly talented women whose unique goals — and the art of AR — have pushed their careers forward. Snap is just happy to offer them the tools!

Masharzi McCann

Snap AR: What draws you to AR as opposed to other mediums?

Masharzi McCann: AR is unlike any other technology out there. We’re having experiences where our entire surroundings are being altered in different ways, and it’s still exciting. There’s something thrilling about being able to interact with the world that is still around you while adding animation to it. And AR is not just for Lenses. It can be used in shopping, navigation, and training in mind-blowing and extremely useful ways. 

Snap AR: What do you love about the creator community?

MM: What I love is the variety of creativity. You could have a room of 100 creators given a task to make something, all given the same topic, and I strongly believe that you’d come away with 100 entirely different projects. Each person brings their own perspective to it. That’s the exciting thing — our upbringing and our culture make us each unique.

Snap AR: What are you passionate about right now?

MM: Right now, I’m passionate about learning. I know that may sound vague, but AR is an ever-evolving technology. You can’t just learn about it for one month and never learn anything about it again. Every day, there is a new workflow, new innovative software, and learning about the new innovations keeps me motivated and intrigued to stay with AR. My other passion is 3D animation. Animation has been around for years, but being able to take basic animation and use it in so many workflows is very exciting.
Snap AR: What’s on the horizon for your creative career?
MM: I have several things I’m hoping to work on in the future. First, I’d love to bring AR to the urban community. Growing up in the Bronx, I was never exposed to this level of technology. I strongly believe if we can implement coding and different 3D software programs in schools, the level of creativity and innovation that will come from it will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. There are so many kids with so many bright ideas. They just don’t have the tools or leaders around them to help facilitate that dream. 
Second, I hope to continue to challenge myself daily and learn as much as I can. I’d love to open my own 3D agency that employs a diverse group of individuals. There is true magic in diversity, and I’d love to be a part of it.

Lafiya Watson Ramirez

Snap AR: What draws you to AR as opposed to other mediums?

Lafiya Watson Ramirez: First off, I am fascinated with the overlap between the physical and digital worlds. Aside from that, I love the interactive capabilities and the versatility of AR. I pride myself on being a generalist, and because of that, most of the digital art pieces I’ve created over the years have been mixed-media projects. 

Long before I discovered AR, I used Flash for a lot of my work.  It allowed me to seamlessly merge different media to create cohesive, interactive pieces. That’s exactly what drew me to AR development. I love being able to use assets like audio, text, and animation in combination with cool features like hand-tracking or voice recognition to produce anything that pops into my imagination. I really feel like the sky’s the limit.  

Snap AR: What do you love about the creator community?

LWR: Everyone is so supportive! Folks are very encouraging as well as extremely open to sharing their knowledge with others. I am so inspired by the work coming out of the AR community. People are creating such wonderful projects and it’s intriguing to see all of the unique ways creators are using AR. There is such a wide range of styles and focuses, and it just motivates me to keep learning and growing. 

Snap AR: What are you passionate about right now?

LWR: I am obsessed with the Next Gen Spectacles and AR glasses/headsets in general. They take AR to the next level. There is something so magical about being able to interact with projects hands-free without needing to hold up a mobile device. Because of that, it opens up a world of ideas that wouldn’t work as well — or be possible at all – on a phone.
Snap AR: How do you think AR can positively affect the world?

LWR: AR has and will continue to unlock new ways to learn, gather information, discover new places, connect with others, and so much more. Every day, creators are figuring out ways AR can help enhance our day-to-day lives. Brielle Garcia’s AR restaurant menu is a wonderful example of that. As someone who’s terrible at directions, using AR as a guide has been a game-changer, too. I’m excited to get to a point when AR is seamlessly integrated into our lives in subtle, but helpful ways. 

Snap AR: What’s on the horizon for your creative career?

LWR: This sounds very dramatic, but working in AR has been life-changing for me. I’ve spent many years feeling creatively stagnant, so it’s been wonderful to feel passionate about creating work again. This year, my focus is on creating larger, immersive storytelling art pieces using AR. I’m currently working on one about items that trigger memories of my grandparents. I would also love to collaborate with some of the amazing folks in the community. I’m just excited to be able to get ideas I’ve had floating around my head for years out into the world. 
Creators like Masharzi and Lafiya are living proof that we have so much to look forward to from both a creative and social perspective. They each have a beautiful way of viewing the world, and we love to see the way they apply their perspective to their future Lens creations and goals. It’s equally exciting to know how many other new perspectives are out there, too.

Be sure to keep an eye out for more interviews featuring other incredible creators in the Snap Lens Network! If you’re interested in being part of the Snap Lens Network, check out the Snap Lens Network Application