We asked an AR artist to help spruce up your living room for Christmas

Entertainment

If you’re looking to jazz up your Christmas decor or festive fashion with just about no effort whatsoever, we have just the guy.

Doddz is one of the most prolific and renowned augmented reality (AR) artists in the world – yes, you read that right.

Dealing not in traditional paintings and sculptures, but in digital creations taking the internet by storm, Doddz has amassed a following and client list that includes some of the biggest brands in fashion, entertainment, and sport.

Using the QR code below (not useful if you’re reading this on a phone), or this link, you can point your phone at your Christmas tree and invite a special festive guest right into your living room.

Or if Snapchat is your thing, tap here for a very exclusive new hat.

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Traditionalists may cry foul, but the 28-year-old’s six-figure salary is testament to a fresh take on art that fans can take anywhere and show anyone – so long as they have a phone.

“AR makes it sound a lot more complicated in terms of what you envision when you say that,” he told Sky News, perhaps evocative to an older generation of science-fiction films like Minority Report.

“But it’s becoming part of the everyday experience at all levels – everybody knows how to use social media filters, which are essentially AR, and of course, that younger audience are more open to using it.

“They have grown up in a social media world, their online presence is just as important as their offline presence.”

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Among the other companies Doddz has worked with are fashion house Dior, sportswear giant Adidas, and Netflix.

Working with Facebook, he set up a virtual art gallery to show off his favourite pieces – attracting 100,000 visitors.

Some of his projects include interactive clothing for stars like boxer Anthony Joshua and US basketball legend Shaquille O’Neil, which come to life when viewed through a phone.

He also showed off an interactive AR poster themed to the classic Pixar film Toy Story, designed to allow a child to peek inside as if it was a 3D object on their wall.

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‘When I got to AR – the reaction was incredible’

“Art on their phone that you can view online is just as important as art you view in real life,” Doddz says.

“The creative possibilities of what can be done in AR are so exciting, you see that real wow factor.

“Just from an accessibility point of view, AR can get a lot more eyeballs on an artist’s work.”

It’s that struggle for exposure, something so many creators can relate to, that drove Doddz to AR in the first place.

Having struggled at school due to dyslexia and failed his A-levels, he embraced graphic design.

Keen to carve out his own niche and bounce back from feedback and rejection from traditional galleries, about three years ago he started getting into the world of AR.

“There was a period where I was creating art using lots of different mediums to try to find that style,” he says.

“When I got to AR, the reaction was just incredible.”

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Doddz taught himself how to create AR artwork via YouTube tutorials, embracing it full-time during the pandemic.

Just a few years later, he earns a six-figure salary – and thinks we’re barely scratching the surface of the technology’s potential to reshape how we experience art and entertainment.

“With museums and galleries, AR is something for the future, to complement what’s already there,” he says.

“Where I’m most excited about AR is how it can impact live events – music and football, for example.”

Read more:
Is this how we’ll watch the next World Cup?
Inside the race to shape the future of the internet

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Image:
Caught in the act!

Having helped Sky News liven up your home, could such AR creations soon find themselves under people’s tree?

“In terms of artwork, we’re not quite there yet,” says Doddz, when asked about the potential of someone one day opening a QR code for Christmas.

“But I think we’re in a transition where that will be part of the future.

“I imagine a lot of kids are asking for Fortnite skins for Christmas already, so I’m excited about a time when kids are asking for digital Doddz paintings!”

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