Flitting seamlessly between fashion and an alien aesthetic, multi-disciplinary artist Tabitha Swanson’s work is of another dimension. More often than not, a creative can be type-cast or generalized into a style. While Swanson defies definition, her work is united through a unique literacy of the online and digital realms allowing her to render letters that float amidst clouds or metallic suits, akin to armor, that adorn her futuristic characters. Since leaving her full-time job, Swanson has been in high demand creating work for titles such as adidas, Vogue Germany, Nike, and more.

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While you're in the throes of submitting your artwork to our AR contest with Spark AR, why not read about Swanson's creative process and get inspired.

TH: Could you introduce your practice and what you do?
TS: I’m a Berlin-based multi-disciplinary designer and creative technologist. My educational and work background is a bit mixed, I went to school for graphic design, fashion marketing, and marketing and after school, I co-founded a small marketing agency in Canada. 

Now, I work a lot with 3D and XR, but I also work quite regularly in UX/UI, which has been of benefit to my more creative work. Understanding user behavior, basic heuristics, and information flow have really helped me with storytelling and guiding users through AR experiences and 3D worlds. 

TH: How did you begin creating AR/VR or digital art?
TS: In 2019, I quit my full-time job at Zalando where I was working as a UX/UI designer to learn how to make 3D and XR work. I just started doing it every day and learned from YouTube and online groups. The accessibility to learning new skills via the internet is incredible and I feel blessed to live in this moment. 

Since starting this new chapter, I've worked on filters and 3D work for companies like Nike, adidas, Vogue Germany, Vans, Reebok, Highsnobiety, and more. 

TH: What inspired you to start a digital fashion line?
TS: From a young age, I’ve always been interested in fashion. In grade school, I was always oscillating between drawing out my latest fashion lines in my sketchbook and reading fantasy fiction.

I’m not the biggest fan of sewing IRL, but I enjoy the possibility of being able to channel those ideas and that energy into virtual worlds. It’s nice to come full circle back to designing fashion. 

TH: Do you think the fashion industry should be looking for more digital solutions to solve issues such as sustainability?
TS: I think that digital solutions don’t yet provide the most sustainable solutions based on the energy cost it takes to make pieces and share/consume them, but it’s getting better and will continue to. 

Digital fashion is fun and new and exciting, but people still wear IRL clothes and they’re still going to for a long time to come. I think we can and should look for digital solutions, but we also cannot forget about the issues in the physical world, because then we’re liable to end up with double the waste. 

TH: What power does the medium have that other types of creativity, such as film, photography, or text, do not have?
TS: I think there are both pros and cons to digital art as a whole, and I say that as someone who loves it. I think the ability to include both interaction and an extension of reality is amazing. Also, I’ve always thought that a book of fiction is the closest one can get to being able to read someone’s mind, but I think being able to create digital worlds is a close second. The ability to merge fantasy and reality is really powerful. 

One thing that digital art can lack is the ability to see it without a screen or a lens. There is a moment of setup there that can, sometimes, prevent the spontaneity and surprise that can come from installations or performance art. 

I also think the biggest thing digital art is missing is scarcity. This can be amazing, but it can also be a challenge. The ability to continuously edit and redo pieces of the work removes a sense of urgency and the time one might prep prior to taking a “shot”. It’s like when people moved from film to digital, it’s actually going one step further. You control both space and time – this is powerful, it’s just about figuring out how to use it properly. 

TH: Who are your creative icons in the digital sphere?
TS: Including all digital art spaces, some of my favorite artists include:


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This is a super non-exhaustive list though! I’m inspired daily by so many people. I’m very thankful for the online community. 

TH: Do you have an effect or piece of digital work that you are most proud? Why does that specific piece mean more to you?

TS: I’ve made well over 100 filters at this point, but I think the filter I’m most proud of is the one for the Vogue Germany Instagram account that was released earlier this year for a project called Unlimited Beauty. 

Unlimited Beauty was a project by Iconoclast Germany and I AM HERE and featured Peggy Gou. The filter was created to recreate a scene from the film and allow the user to experience the created reality in a more tangible way.  

Because I grew up with such an interest in fashion and went to fashion school, I have a very long-standing relationship reading Vogue. To be able to work on a filter for them in such a direct way was an honor. 

TH: What are your hopes for the future of technology?
TS: I hope for a few things:

  • I hope learning continues to be accessible.
  • I hope privacy laws improve in favor of the user.
  • I hope large tech companies are taxed properly.
  • I hope large tech companies face repercussions for improper treatment of employees.
  • I hope government regulations are put in place to prevent monopoly markets for large tech companies.
  • I hope that we continue to be able to switch off – something that seems to get harder and harder to do as time goes on.
  • I hope we remember that in order to make change, we also have to take our fights offline to affect policy. Taking up space means something different when people cannot simply press the “mute” button.

Want to take your creativity to the next level? Join the World AR Challenge now!