Please introduce yourself to our readers. What would you like them to know about you?
I’m a Los Angeles area artist and my most recent fine art NFT project is ArtVndngMchn, bringing the work of 16 international artists under one curated collection available in wrapped randomized bundles on the WAX blockchain. I first started out professionally in the 1980s as a fine art painter in oils and I also made zines. In the 1990’s I got a lot of critical acclaim as the creator of Silly Daddy Comics, which became an award winning graphic novel series. Beginning around 2014 I started making comics about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. I also enjoy writing articles which educate artists and collectors about crypto-art and also provide a good deal of mentoring in this space. These include opportunities for artists in the rare digital art market, as well as opportunities on crypto-social networks.
How long have you been designing in the digital realm?
Back in the early 2000’s, I had a long train commute to work each day and I also had this nifty little smart device called a Pocket PC. It was basically a first generation smartphone, but without the phone part. It came with a stylus, so I just started drawing comics, digital paintings, and even writing books while standing up riding the train. That little device helped save my sanity! And I created a LOT of art on it! But naturally, I didn’t want all that art just stuck on my mobile gadget; so I put it where everything ends up… on the internet!
Can you tell us about your workflow (how do you come up with ideas, what tools do you use to create)?
I believe life is fascinating and I try to keep a child-like spirit in my perspectives. Having kids helps with that, which is where the inspiration for Silly Daddy comics came from. I love to record slice-of-life moments in an artistic way which reminds us of the good in life. The past few years, the disruptive nature of blockchain tech plus the daily drama of the crypto world both inspire art and comics about the history of crypto that almost seems to create itself! ArtVndngMchn is really exciting, because I get to collaborate with other artists and create a community project. Drawing by yourself all the time and being in your own head can get lonely, no matter how important you think your own thoughts and creations to be. Working with other people is really inspiring and motivational. That inspiration ends up spilling over into one’s individual projects as well.
Thankfully, I’ve graduated through many devices since those old Pocket PC days. These days, have iPad, will travel, and create along the way! And right from that same device you can put the art on the blockchain.
Who are your artistic influences?
God takes the number one spot: his creativity continues to blow me away. As for more down to earth influences, when my wife and I first met, I recall bringing her into the “comic room” at my house. I had about 10,000 comics in storage and had read every one of them! And she still married me! I studied fine art and got a BFA in painting in college, so being exposed to other contemporary artists inspired me. In no particular order, the work of Matisse, Van Gogh, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Goya, and Mary Cassatt are significant influences. Back to God, I consider him to be the Ultimate Artist, so I am continually inspired by the beauty of nature in southern California–and really everywhere else.
What got you interested in NFTs/Crypto Art/Digital Collectibles?
I remember hearing about Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology many years ago and thinking, “Woah, this changes everything!” One of those lightbulb-goes-off moments. Being an artist, I started thinking about some of the use-case opportunities blockchain could bring to the art world. So I decided to teach myself everything I could about blockchain. From doing that, I found myself as one of the early artistic pioneers in this new field, creating art and exposing it to the online world in ways I had only dreamed of before.
Anything else you’d like to share
I am very excited about ArtVndngMchn, launching May 8th on WAX. It is loaded with a combo of innovative features: Fine art NFTs wrapped in randomized bundles, 10% of revenue goes to charity, 16 international artists including many OG cryptoartists mentoring emerging artists, all delivering cool and collectible rare digital fine art. All these elements have never been done before together, so it will be historical and fun to see the results!