3 Reasons why I created a collectible NFT project on Opensea

Well, this is like the second chapter of a little story I’ve started here, where I was explaining and listing the 3 reasons why I joined the NFT art world.

This is another cool story which talks about a vision, super personal, that actually could fit for you or not. It’s my Trading Cards project, the first 20 cards (000 to 019) were dropped September 2nd 2021, sold out after one hour ( yeah I’ll never stop to feel stoked about that, totally unexpected)

Here I’m gonna show you the little introduction I wrote just a couple days ago to introduce the project to everyone. Here is the full page on my website, where you can also find some FAQs.

Think about a colourful planet with flows of liquid rainbows filling up the sky in an explosion of brilliant lights and rumbling vibes of happiness.

Think about pink rivers and red skies firing up the sunset of a warm day of August, green long grass under your feet while you walk on infinite fields populated by multiple eyed creatures running and smiling and beating up each other in a playful, sometimes violent infinite game called life.

And green monsters are surfing infinite long waves barreling in a gold beach while the sun is firing acid green and purple gamma rays all around, while red skeletons skateboarders are doing big airs on the pool by the beach and the crowd’s hands are clapping so hard that the whole earth is shaking and overexcited demons are convulsively dancing on it, firing flames from their eyes.

That’s our world, a Weird World.

I’ve always thought about creating a world populated by weird creatures doing the most stupid and fun things, a nosense psychedelic spinning wheel with all the stuff I love. So that’s the first reason, is like giant outlet where I can go wild creating all the stuff I want, connected to each other.

I don’t know how you folks grow up, but for me has been all connected and started with skateboarding, going forward with punk rock music, fun gigs, surfing and a bunch of stuff. Recently, motorcycles too. Choppers, to be precise. So basically creating this cards my goal is to create a serie of windows where you can see an entire world behind the glass. Weird people, weird spaceships, weirdos smoking weed and having bad trips, wise wizards and all sort of weird stuff connected to it, like the atomic fart for example:

If you are familiar with all the Santa Cruz, Zero Skateboards, Volcom, Baker, Consolidated graphics and stickers, then you’ll see some references and inspiration out there on the trading card project. For now I just come out with a serie of 50 cards, but hopefully is going to be a longer project. It’s hard to come out with all the stuff I have in my mind, but I’m trying to create different sections for it, like The Wizard for example:

And here I’m introducing the second reason, it’s an incredibly powerful source for inspiration. Creating such a big collection like this one it’s important to create and keep in mind some common elements, and that’s why you should check more successful projects (yes folks, internet is full of people more talented then you) to see how it’s presented, how’s the story etc. etc.

Study, study, and keep studying. That’s the key I guess. I hope so.

Anyway, with the second drop I introduced the bags, which actually are normal collectibles like the card themselves, but they help to create the right background, recall the right vibes, positioning the cards in the right time. Let’s try this: you’re in your first years of your life, it’s like 1985 or 1996, your choice, and this spot is playing on tv:

VHS playing, 80s music, monsters, gamma rays and some ruins of influence of the psychedelic years in the form of weird cartoons. Sounds familiar?

Think about how many creatures could populate this kind of world. I’ll share some ideas here: punx skulls of any kind, dressed with metallic jackets driving crazy customised cars in some Mad Max vibes, slimey multiple eyed monsters coming out from weird forests, metalheads squirrels driving badass choppers and triple eyed bats firing purple lasers all around. Oh and this without mentioning a cross-over with other characters from other projects, for example I did two cards about Smelly Rob, a little filthy surfer rat I draw this year, take a look to this little comic on instagram.

So yeah, as you can see there’s a bunch of stuff going on, that is going to come out in the next days/weeks/months. So if I have to jump up to the third reason, which actually is a common element for a lot of different projects, well it’s creating or partecipate to a community.

It’s nice to be a lone wolf of course, you can manage your time and stuff, but it’s also nicer to interact with a community of new artists and collectors. It’s incredibly inspiring and also helpful to maybe collect some new client work! Personally the best that I found out is the Lowbrow collective on Discord, you can join the community here.

I’m new to Discord so I don’t have a lot of stuff to share about it, but I can say one thing for sure: it’s incredibly good to meet new people and have some feedback. You can post your art there and have some opinions, which is incredibly helpful. If you stop and think about how many people interact with you on Instagram for example, you’ll realise that just a few of them stop by to say hi, Twitter and Discord work very differently.

So, stay tuned on Twitter here, because today I’m gonna announce something cool about the project, which is going to move some new steps this week. A lot of pieces of the second drop of the collection are still available by me, and the others could be found on the secondary market doing some offers to the first buyers so, go take a look on Opensea, and come say hi on the Twitter, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

3 Reasons why I joined the NFT world

Well, first off, has been fun. But that’s not one of the reasons, I promise.

I’m a freelance illustrator living in Italy, inspired by the 80s-90s skateboarding art, together with the surf and psychedelic art from the 60s, including all that kind of cool stuff from the bay area in the years of love put in the bag even some elements from the Kustom Kulture. Anyway, you can see my stuff on joetamponi.com, feel free to reach me out and tell me if it looked good, bad, annoying or fun to you. New friends are welcome!

About two months ago thanks to one of my old clients I know about this exploding news in the art world, everything about this NFT stuff, Opensea, and whatsoever. I’ll never go forward with super boring technical explanations here, so I’m going to link you the Wiki page, which is going to be definitely easier.

Basically this is the deal: your art is gonna be written on a blockchain, proving that it’s authentic. So here comes the first reason: it’s cool. Having your art authenticated is super cool, since allows you to sell it to your collectors. Or more important, expand your net reaching out new buyers.

Personally I started creating the first collection which was called OVERKILL, 5 pieces strongly influenced by the punk rock and hardcore imaginary. Here’s one of the pieces:

After Overkill, which has been sold out in like, 15 minutes (yeah I was freaking out about how fast it went, super stoked, and it was actually kinda hard to believe to have all that interest around my stuff) I just started drawing.

2020 and 2021 have been crazily hard for artists, including people who do this for a living, since it’s kinda hard to go wild with your imagination when you’re stuck at home on your couch, trying to survive while the Covid-19 pandemic is killing people out there. If some of the future generations are reading this, no folks, has not been fun or legendary. Nothing like the Hollywood zombie movies, we were just living in pajama pants trying to not get fat. Anyway, I went wild experimenting new stuff. In the last years my focus was on sticker designs, super inspired by the 80s-90s skateboarding graphics. First thing I did then, has been to go off the classic grid by art on center and text on top and bottom. One of those days I went out with my chopper and I saw a beautiful sunset by the sea, the day after I started drawing this, thinking about creating just a generic NFT collection with all my new stuff:

As you can imagine from what you’re reading, the second reason has been the incredible, powerful, rumbling spark of new creativity.

It’s nice when people are interested to what you’re doing, and it’s definitely funnier to experiment with stuff that was stuck in your head for the last couple of years. Then I went wild again & again:

I drew this thinking about how the thoughts take shape in our head and then we let them out and they can float anywhere or pick a direction, if we want.

Anyway, you can see all the other editions piece here, and make offers to the collectors if you’d like to have one.

After all this stuff I decided to go with a bigger project, but I’m gonna talk about it on another article because it’s too big and long and I think that deserves a bit more space then just a quote here. I’m gonna say just that is a collectible cards project, that could be seen here.

Let’s go on the last of these three reasons, which is creating new connections, definitely the more important, because I got to know a lot of new people, a LOT.

After my old customer texted me, I started taking a look to the pages of some other artists I know, and Brian ( thanks a lot dude) gave me some help to understand how much the community is important in this world. So I went on Twitter. Just browsing hashtags like #nftcollector or #nftcommunity you can see a lot of good stuff and talented people out there, so you just have to interact with them, ask questions, see what they do and why, make new friends and show them what you do. it’s incredibly fun to have someone to share thoughts/ideas with, and freelance illustrators know how important is to make new connections, since could be pretty hard to be on your studio alone all day. Support other people’s work, retweet, show & share your appreciation, you’re gonna have new friends and new potential customers!

You can reach out to me and say hi on my twitter page here, you can also send me pictures of old skateboards or cool little cats/dogs, love them.

Oh and, another place to share your love for the NFT art world is Discord, but I’m gonna make another article for this too, since there’s too much stuff to say, and more important, I’m gonna create my Discord server this week.

Stay tuned, hope you liked this little introduction to a gigantic world!

Coffee Roasters: a cool illustrated coffee bag from Isla Vista.

Lately I worked with Cajè Coffee for a t-shirt design and now we’re drawing the next one. But last year I worked on their first customized illustrated coffee packaging bag design, based on a composition of summerish elements inside a seamless vector pattern.

Customized, Illustrated coffee roasters bag
Cajè Coffee – illustrated packaging design

We thought about a pineapple, a shark, a donut, some coffee beans, a palm tree and a milkshake, because we wanted some symbolic graphic elements inspired by summer of the southern California.

We wanted a vintage & old-school graphic for the coffee illustrated bag, but with the appeal of something freshly-made, not too old.

A creative window into the vintage Californian graphics with the vibes of the modern times. I drew a sketch of the composition of the elements, in order to create a fresh combination.

Why all this? Because we cared to give to the final customer the idea of something locally roasted, nice to sip. Then I sketched the main font; I wanted to create a nice connection between the old color palettes from the 80s-90s and the cleaner shapes of the modern designs.

Customized, Illustrated coffee roasters bag
Cajè Coffee Isla vista – illustrated packaging design by Joe Tamponi

After finishing the composition I vectorised the single elements into a seamless vector pattern. Oh and the same coffee bag graphic has been used to create a nice colorful coffee mug! Are you thinking about creating some bags or new packs for your roasted coffee?

If you liked the coffee bags and you were already thinking about looking for a graphic designer to hire, well, you should text me to joetamponi@gmail.com let’s work on something awesome!

I wrote a blog post that talks about my work experience as a freelance illustrator, take a look here!

If you’re on the road struggling for a nice cup of coffee because of a hard day well, then you should stop by Isla Vista and take a look to Cajè Coffee, the page it’s here!