We had the good fortune of connecting with Frank Shi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Frank, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I have always been a gamer my whole life. I always admired the art and design that goes into the making of these beautiful worlds. The amazing concept art, realistic 3D environments, and characters. The amount of pain-stacking detail is really astounding. It really shows how much these artists care and also its impact on the millions of fans that play these games. And that really inspired me to learn how to draw, paint and venture into the creative industry. However, I never made it into the games industry, but I extremely grateful to be doing something similar in Augmented Reality.

What should our readers know about your business?
I am one of the Co-founders at Paper Triangles. We are a social AR company helping brands create premium AR experiences on Snapchat and Instagram. We started back in 2016 when AR/VR really started to become a thing. Back then, our focus was mainly on VR because Snapchat and IG filters were not even out at the time. It was definitely not easy. VR was just…meh. Our original business was focusing on developing branded VR content. But the technology itself created a lot of challenges in terms of cost of production and scalability. Meaning clients would have to pay more and get less out of it compared to a traditional commercial or Facebook Ad. That created a lot of challenges for us in terms of getting business. So to adapt, we just took on any job that paid. It was all we could have done. But as time went on, VR was losing steam and we were not getting more clients, it looked really grim for us as a business. I still remember looking at our bank account knowing that we couldn’t make rent the next month… That was a terrible feeling. However, our luck did turn around as Snapchat came out with Lens Studio, their free AR application. We started to play around in that and eventually got to be a partner to Snapchat! From there we have pivoted to what we are today! I think the biggest lesson we learned is don’t be afraid of change and don’t spend all your money when you get paid. The rest you can just Google.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When in LA, you must have the tacos and KBBQ. But first coffee. LA has some of the best coffee joints. My go-to, Menotti’s in Venice or Culver! My favorite KBBQ place is called SooWon Galbi. It is NOT an all-you-can-eat Buffett because I really enjoy high-quality meats. Not a big fan of all you can eat, I just feel so guilty after because I didn’t eat more! As for Tacos, so many places in LA! Guisados, Le Reyna, and honest any taco truck will do, can’t go wrong! And don’t forget Kogi truck! Korean taco fusion! Lastly, we will finish the week by going around LA’s iconic spots. I love the Observatory, Santa Monica beach, Point Dume, DTLA Arts District, and Grand Central Market! Too many places to count.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out to my mentor Chris Do. He was one of my biggest inspirations to start my company. He is brutally honest, knowledgeable, and extremely giving. I am forever grateful for the couple of months of internship with him.

Website: papertriangles.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paper_triangles/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/papertriangles

Image Credits
All my photos.

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