The challenge was to use AI to create a pair of sneakers and a brand ad … and it was Thato Scwebu’s “Megatrack” design that came out tops.
The inaugural VISI AI Brand Challenge was a collab with MonkeyDonkey Creative AiGency and their brief was a simple one: “Use your creativity and the power of AI to design the hottest sneakers you can imagine. Then create a brand and showcase it in an advert.”
MonkeyDonkey’s founder, Stu Stobbs was the judge and of the entries received, it was Thato Scwebu’s that came out tops. “I thought Thato’s entry stood out because she not only designed a beautiful and striking visual,” says Stu, “but she also incorporated AI into the product concept by designing a ‘smart shoe’.”
THE WINNER: THATO SCWEBU
Our winner describes herself as “professionally a tattoo artist; aspirationally a multiplatform creative entrepreneur.” We fired a few questions her way to get some insights into the designer and the design.
Who she is, what she does.
“From visual art to music, fashion and film, I simply make things. Identified as a queer black woman, with the pioneering tendency to invent breathtaking experiences, the only limit is my own mind”
“Smart technology has entered the footwear chat. This sneaker is an AI-powered smart shoe inspired by the mechanical robotics of Megatron. What can be expected is running precision, real-time analysis and development of your fitness system. Made for competitive athletic training, Megatrack is aimed at those who dare take a leap. You will literally fly.”
“Firstly, the natural thing for me to do is look through the examples given as inspiration and then to create something completely different. I focused on the texture of the sneakers as an initial motif, and selected Mechanical as my texture. A fascination for science fiction, cinema and artificial intelligence sparked the rest of my creative process.”
“Usually, from my browser I just enter nightcafe.com, which uses the latest AI image generation model SDXL 1.0 . This model is stocked with a collection of available prompts, such as image resolution and lighting, to assist the AI in understanding the creators prompt. The preset style that I chose was Mecha. The text prompt I typed: ‘Giant sneakers towering over city intricate mech details’. SD stock prompt: ‘ground level shot, 8k resolution, Cinema 4D, Behance HD, polished metal, Unreal Engine 5, rendered in Blender, sci-fi, futuristic, trending on Artstation, epic, cinematic background, dramatic, atmospheric.’ Once I had completed the poster design on Canva, I used my love for words to create the product description best suited for my imaginary product.”
The Challenge’s biggest challenge
“What was most challenging about the task was choosing the best fonts and trusting that they would collaborate well enough to convey the message; selling the product was my priority.”
“What excites me about AI tools is the convenience it gives me in managing my time for creative projects. I am a creative entrepreneur, whose many expressions need visual marketing. When I upload a single to Spotify, I use AI to generate the album artwork. My private tattoo studio business is where I like to use ChatGPT to assist me in writing copy for advertisements and more.”
How AI makes her a better creative
“I know how AI tools make me a better creative because it gives me time to create! When I am the CEO, creative director, talent, manager etc. it can be overwhelming to take on the work load of a whole team. So, AI has helped me expand my range in content creation without having to pay someone else to make the logos or to design the characters etc. In this way it’s making me wealthier, in time and money, the two most valuable resources.”
And it was relatively easy to get started
“Yes it was a bit of a learning process to understand the AI tools, but it couldn’t have been too hard because I cannot remember how I learned to generate my first image ever. It took me a couple of tries and some exploration to discover how to use prompts effectively.”
As the winner, Thato gets a week-long mini online internship and AI branding with the crew at MonkeyDonkey.