Best known as Nicole, her Instagram handle @ncwong or her digital alter ego, Aeon Lou, Wong is the multifaceted creative director of cutting-edge content agency, nplusc. She took things into her own hands to level up the term ‘content creator’, having gone from homegrown style blogger and clothes horse to co-founding a creative agency that has bagged accolades for brand campaigns and progressive digital projects that stand out with a virtual effects edge. Her goal? To present an endless stream of possibilities in fashioning our features and environments.
Self-image vs virtual representations of self. How would you describe this relationship?
“The line between self-image and virtual representations of self is a thin, blurry one. We can have virtual reflections and expressions of ourselves, but we will always be who we are in reality. It’s an extension of who we want to be, how we want others to view us—a curated self of what we present to the world.”
How did you get started in augmented reality and digital design?
“I first dabbled in augmented reality last year when I was researching what’s new and came across the Instagram filter beta community. I applied for entry, but didn’t get accepted as it was a small group just for beta testing. The day that they announced it was open to the public, I dove straight into it and created my first filter that week. Honestly, it was all out of curiosity.
What does creativity mean to you? And how would you describe your content creation evolution?
“Creativity to me means constantly seeking to push boundaries and possibilities; always trying out new ways to create and express myself. I started from film and video as my traditional mediums, and slowly learnt and evolved through different programmes as time went on.
Let’s talk about your virtual human, Aeon Lou—what’s her story and what sparked her creation?
“The idea of a virtual human is nothing new—games and movies have created them for years—but as time changes, programmes and technology have made it easier for everyone to access. Aeon is a testament of what nplusc can do, not only in terms of virtual humans but also virtual clothing and mixing 3D into the world of reality. The goal of Aeon was to create a high-quality virtual character with details as close to a real human as possible. It took about three to four weeks from concept to creation and she’s a key representation of what nplusc can do.”
Whats the creation process like for Aeon?
“To be honest, it’s concept, 2D creation, coding, test, repeat—it is the cycle we’ve gone through ever since lockdown. Filters are not about how good your concept or 2D design is, but also how strong you are at coding as that is where the exciting part begins.”
What were some of the challenges with such digital content creation?
“One of the more interesting challenges we’ve faced is creating a garment from the runway without the paper pattern or template. However, I used to work for a tailor so the experience from that helps with the measurement and breakdown of how a garment works, flows and to create it in 3D.”
Let’s talk about filters. What’s been some of your most exciting filters and stories behind them?
“There have been so many filters that we have created in a short time. But to be able to solve problems for a brand, create interest or bring them to another world has been some of the best highlights of our work—like how we created a virtual filter photo booth for guests at a Braun Büffel digital event; a make-up try-on filter for a beauty store because testers were no longer allowed; and a 360-degree view filter for the Lane Crawford x Nike Sacai pre-launch order for sneakerheads to get up close and personal with the shoes in the palm of their hand.”
What inspired and replenished by as a creator?
“Discovering new technology and techniques always intrigue me, and the process of learning how to use them never fails to excite me.”