What year did you graduate from the Alberta College of Art?
I was part of the visual communications class that graduated in 1998.
What’s your current employment?
Most recently I went to work for Ridley Scott as creative director of his Los Angeles based think tank. I just got accepted to be part of Snap Chat’s business accelerator for creating video and augmented reality story content for their discovery platform, so I will be taking time off to work with the team at Snap.
To see more of Weishaar's work with Snapchat you can visit his snapchat lens creator profile
A lot of graduates use the ACAD degree as a creative stepping stone. How has what you do evolved since graduation? How did your education at ACAD direct your career?
Studying visual communications at ACAD provided me the foundations in the process of design and creative problem solving. The education is extremely well rounded and sets you up to be a highly adaptable creative that can work in all facets of the industry.
What insights did your time at ACAD give you? Why or how is what you learned at ACAD important?
I feel like design rationale was a big one. Being able to articulate your ideas and communicate your vision is extremely important when your a creative professional. ACAD also provided me with a strong work ethic, that has allowed me to develop a habit of constantly learning and developing as a creator.
Weishaar worked on a project with Intel in 2017, highlighting BMW's i8 automated driving using a HoloLens headset which allowed participants to get in the drivers seat and see how an autonomous vehicle sees its environment.
View more about this project on Weishaar's website.
What was your time at ACAD like? How did the community at the college (peers, colleagues, faculty) influence your experience?
The visual communications program at ACAD was a solid experience. It’s a very demanding course and as a result you spend time a lot of time working closely with your colleagues. You quickly form a camaraderie. Some of my favorite memories are the nights I spent in the studio burning the midnight oil, listening to music and socializing with peers. We were all rooting for each other.
After graduation, what obstacles did you encounter in establishing yourself and your career and how did you overcome them?
After graduation I was fortunate enough to land a job right after our graduation portfolio show. I think the biggest obstacle for me to overcome was to realize I needed to be patient, put in my time, and gain experience and find the opportunity in every project no matter how big or small the task is.
Weishaar worked on a VR experience which officially kicked off the Project Harden social campaign with Adidas (@projectharden) and provided a sneak preview of James Harden’s shoe release in 2016. You can read more about this project on Weishaar's website.
What would you most like to be recognized for?
Career aspirations change for me on a regular basis, and having your team receive awards and recognition for all the hard work you do on a project feels good. The most rewarding projects I have done have been where there is an opportunity to design an experience for social good. Seeing your creativity help people and have a positive impact on society feels a lot more meaningful. I would like to do more of this.
Can you talk a bit about your recent Imaginary Friends AR project from 2018 that received a Gold Lion at Cannes this year in Health & Wellness? What was the impact of this project, broadly speaking as well as for you personally?
Imaginary Friends is a perfect example of one of those projects that allows you to use your education background and skills to create a meaningful experience. It was design for a purpose beyond advertising. The end goal and vision for the project was to use augmented reality characters to encourage kids in the hospital who are going through some very tough procedures.
Is there a project that you have always dreamed of being involved with or leading? Can you talk about any aspirations you have for the future?
Over the span of my career I have had the privilege to work at a wide variety of agencies, studios and in-house creative teams. I have worked with amazingly talented writers, directors, and technologists. I still believe the best is yet to come. Future aspirations would be to launch my own immersive content studio, and continue collaborating with amazing individuals and brands.
To learn more about the Imaginary Friends project and how augmented reality was used to help support children faced with challenging medical procedures, check out this article.