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 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!
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
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)
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!
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!
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 theincredible, 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.
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!
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!