The ARtist Series: Heather Dunaway Smith

Born in Poetry, Texas to a family of artists, Heather Dunaway Smith was always encouraged to pursue her creative passions. She got her start in theater, and even after winning several awards for her playwriting, she felt frustrated by some of the industry’s outdated formats, and was eager to find a new and innovative way to share her stories. 

After turning to her computing-oriented brothers, she figured she would try to channel her creativity through digital mediums. Soon she found herself working in illustration and animation, developing interactive experiences for a range of businesses and organizations from mobile gaming studios, to universities, motor-vehicle companies and beyond. 

While she’d dabbled with AR before, it wasn’t until two years ago that she rediscovered AR and was pleasantly surprised at how far the technology had come. With tools like Lens Studio at her disposal that allowed her to create AR experiences independently without a team of developers, she dove in head first. 

Now, she is one among a select group of developers creating new experiences for Snapchat’s latest Spectacles. Her latest Lens The Door allows viewers to choose their own adventure, creating their own evolving song triggered by hand tracking technology. “The Lens really positions the viewer as an artist at the center of the experience,” said Heather.

In addition to her own AR creations, Heather is passionate about growing the AR industry and making the field more inclusive. She spends lots of time developing tutorials and learning modules, “I want everyone’s stories involved in the evolution of AR as a medium, not just those who have technical access and backgrounds.”

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