I minted my first 1/1 NFT artwork on SuperRare

Last spring my girlfriend come home with a blank piece of cardboard. I don’t remember why she bought it, but she cutted it, used a piece and gifted to me the other part. ” Do something with it” she said.

It was big, wide and tall.

In the past few years I spent a lot of time focusing on small, sticker look like illustrations. I was trying to have the right thickness with a fair amount of details, thanks to a friend ( Frankie the king) I discovered two Fudenosuke brushes who are pretty cool for thick to thin lineworks, so I was focusing on single subject illustrations. Big, bold 90s sticker look-like graphics.

But the pandemic gave us a bunch of free time for ourselves ( even too much, fuck me, fuck us & the virus) so after finishing my client works I was dreaming big compositions with a lot of stuff “happening” in it, so I started sketching. I was kinda scared to begin something like this, with a lot of details.

It tooked me three days to finish, started on monday, finished on thursday.
Here you can see the room setup, that was helpful for the timelapse I did for the entire inking process of the piece:

The timelapse/speed inking is visible here:

The position was kinda uncomfortable and I had a freakin back pain in the end that was killer! But yeah, worth it. I was “satisfied”, even if I’m not completely satisfied about my stuff. I’m always thinking about other possible developments of the composition and I’m constantly finding errors but, if you don’t start, you’ll never know what’s next.

I used a Rotring Pen 0.8 for the straight thick lines, the two Fudenosuke brushes ( soft & hard) and a couple of Fude Brush pens by Pentel. Pretty fun stuff if you ask me! The fat brush is incredibly fun because drops a lot of ink, but the slim one ( the grey one) is awesome because it’s super clean and precise.

A couple days, a bunch of brushes, a huge freaking load of patience, a couple of nice records that’s all you need to have your piece done!

After that I worked on the colors with a couple versions, you can see the final colored work here, on auction on SuperRare for the next couple of days. The auction ends Friday 31th at 3pm GMT+1.

As you might now if you read the previous articles or if you follow me on Twitter, I’m into NFTs since the past summer, when I started minting the first artworks into collections on Opensea and HicetNunc.xyz. A couple weeks ago I’ve been accepted into KnownOrigin and now I’m on SupeRare too. I’m gonna talk about the KO painting another time. Thanks a lot for reading, hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you got any questions or curiosities


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!

Who am I and why I love working full-time as a freelance illustrator

I’m Joe Tamponi, I’m 32 and I started working as a full time freelance illustrator three years ago, after spending three weeks in California. First off I want to suggest you something to listen reading this post, this album. Check out to this other post that analyze some colors from some punk rock covers!

Joe Tamponi - Illustration & Graphic design inspired by Skateboarding, Surfing  & psychedelic art.

I started skateboarding when I was fourteen, and surfing when I was sixteen. When I was a teenager I started with the wrong board and I was lost in a bunch of other things. Thanks to a friend in California some years later I re-started and fell in love again. But stop with the boring stuff.

I love drawing bold, eye catchy, super colored illustrations that make you feel like you’re in the 90s again.

Try to picture yourself, pushing that stunning Santa Cruz skateboard deck in a sunny road with a bunch of palm trees over you, with the Nofx pumping in your headphones. Thinking about nothing, heading to a flat spot to learn some tricks and kill some time with your buddies.

What I’m looking for in a successful artwork is to create something that looks like a vintage skateboard sticker. With all those flat colors and badass punk fonts. Let’s see some examples:

Take a look at these, and you can see what I love the most. In the 80s ( and even earlier) legendary graphic designers like Jim Phillips and Jimbo Phillips, Vernon Courtlandt Johnson, Kevin Ancell, started an incredible art style.

There were a lot of different branches I know, but their work inspired generations of young skateboards, illustrators and graphic designers.

pic by Cridar – 2013

But I always been that kind of person who loves a bunch of stuff, and something that seriously inspired me it’s all that poster art which came out from the psychedelic era.

For example the legendary gig posters of the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco from 60s/70s, by Bill Graham. I mean look at the composition and the color palettes of this stuff. they’re just incredible.

The study behind that fonts inspired by the psychedelic trips, the colors are vibrating, sometimes they’re hard to read, the composition looks like is moving into weird shapes.

So, as a freelance illustrator usually I like to do something in the middle. I love the psychedelic art of the 60s because of those flashy, drippy, bubbly psychedelic texts. But I also love the strong, bold lines of the punk-rock, skateboard, surfing inspired illustrations from the 80s and 90s. Punk rock badass fonts, popping eyes, flying slime and all that crazy stuff.

When I was younger I was always adding a bunch of lines to my artworks and everything was super messy.Always struggling to find the way to catch the right thickness with a fair amount of details. It’s something that it’s always on my mind when I’m drawing. The perfect balance between a bold minimal piece and something detailed.

Well, the research and the study never ends, nothing it’s perfect, and it will never be. If you liked my works and you were already thinking about looking for a graphic designer to hire well, you should text me to joeitamponi@gmail.com let’s work on something awesome!