“How thick would you like the eyelashes to be?” – this isn’t a question of a make-up artist, but the augmented reality (AR) filter creator Yasin Cereza, a German-Turkish economist, who has made his name in the digital art industry.
The 32-Year-old from the financial hub Frankfurt has made a business around augmented reality filters for the social media platform Instagram. “When Instagram enrolled their AR platform Spark AR 2018, I instantly jumped on the opportunity of creating filters for celebrities, influencers, and brands. Despite having an economical background and not in programming, which is required for high-end filters. I knew I had to start acquiring a team around me of specialists, whom I can outsource work to and generate sales”, says Cereza.
“In the process, I spent day and night creeping around the limited number of forums and video sources myself, to learn how it works and how I can use my knowledge in photography and analytical thinking to create filters myself. My very first filter took me about three weeks to make and has reached 12 million impressions until today – which might sound like a lot, but isn’t, considering that I have been one of the early creators on the platform”.
A couple of years later, Yasin Cereza has reached the milestone achievement within the Meta platform of 1 billion impressions, is a successful photographer, runs a media agency, and is co-founder of a food start-up and has clients from all around the world. “Honestly, with more and more creators entering the platform, trading and buying websites, and cheap programming labor from Asia, the market has hit a low, so I decided to fully automate it and offer pre-made filters on various platforms and my website yasincereza.com. That allowed me to shift my focus on doing what I do best, building a business from scratch and branding it”, adds Cereza.
The former head of sales of a big German retailer has switched fully from juggling millions of Euros in sales per week into freelance and entrepreneurship. “At one point in my cooperate life, I realized that I am working 80-90 hours for others – I didn’t want to be stuck in that hamster wheel for the rest of my life, despite the hefty salary that came with it. Now, I’m working equally as much, but for myself”, says the co-founder of his latest project kischmisch.de, which specializes in ethnic foods in Germany.
In addition to that, Yasin Cereza owns a media agency, where he and his team of mainly graphic designers offer services to companies and brands around the globe. “Despite my background, I always had a passion for photography and design, so I started a media agency for the creative side and am involved in multiple businesses, where I can contribute with my business background – I just like to combine both worlds and take my advantages, since my experience is that most creative thinking professionals are not as business-savvy and vice versa. I think I can juggle between these two types of personalities well and whenever I hit a wall, my business side knows exactly where to get help, what knowledge is required, and what are the factoring costs.”
Cereza, who still creates filters from time to time, says that AR is only just getting started and despite him having changed his focus to other businesses, that the future will be a world full of digital eyelashes and artificial intelligence, that will not be able to detect it.