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“Notes and Thoughts on Being a Crypto Artist in 2021” by Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

[“Break All the Rules (004)” digital montage / collage by me from mixed media and photography.]

—Unlike a “normal” drawing made on a napkin or on the back of a receipt pulled off the floor of a car, which will most likely be tossed into the trash once completed, I will often take my simple drawings (of a ghost or bunny or snake or monster), photograph them with my phone, add digital colors and freakish manipulations, then TOKENIZE these bits of ephemera as NFTs on a blockchain, giving the pieces an importance beyond just being a scribble on a piece of recycled trash. (That was a long sentence.)

—I’m lucky in that I’ve found a little audience. (And, YES, my ghost on a napkin doodle did SELL for a couple of bux! Thanks @stellabelle !!!)

—Tokenizing artwork (as opposed to just tossing the drawing into a box or taping it into my notebook—I still do that, but only AFTER I’ve created the digital version)—gives me an online “portfolio” or gallery where folks (who are not in possession of the boxes and notebooks where my physical drawings often end up) can scroll through these sketches and cartoons and have a laugh. (It’s a public service! Ha!)

—I tend to prefer the ABUNDUNCE philosophy. (This is a somewhat controversial stance, but one upheld by some truly brilliant folks, like the fantastic community at dada.NYC!) Instead of making a very few works of art and charging “boutique” prices for them, I prefer to make hundreds of pieces and only charge a little bit for them. Instead of GALLERY pricing (and, yes, I used to sell my paintings in a gallery in Olympia, Washington, but gave up on that racket when the gallery closed), I see myself as a creator of novelty items, more like bubblegum cards or Pez dispensers or comic magazines or felt voodoo dollies. Low cost entertainment with a nod and a wink. And I’m not trying to be self-deprecating. I find great value in CULTURAL ARTIFACTS like these. Toys and comics and novelties provide HUGE amounts of joy, when they land in the right hands.

—My art is autobiographical, whimsical, physical (most of it starts as actual ink or paint or crayon on cardboard or scrap paper), aesthetic, momentary, absurdist… I draw and paint and take photographs and sculpt with words. Each piece is a scrap of my persona—a partial manifestation of RFY—a shard of the mask. Normally, each of these shards would end up in a journal or a box or buried in a pile hidden away in a closet or the garage… At BEST, I might stuff a couple pieces of cardboard and a note in an envelop and mail them to some unsuspecting victim—so that THEY can put them in a box and stuff them in the closet! HA! However, with blockchain tokenization and IPFS hosting, there is a GREATER likelihood that these fragments and shards will outlive me.

—(Who doesn’t want their objects-of-self-expression to outlive their physical body??? Imagine what the world would be like if everything that a person created somehow dissolved or disappeared as soon as they died… But for most folks, their personal artifacts: photos, journals, scrap-books, scribbles and sketches, etc., all of that stuff often ends up in the trash—landfill—when they die. A lot of MY stuff—my words and images—are housed on various blockchains, now… Not EXACTLY permanent, but better than landfill! That’s pretty cool.)

—For the most part, between blogging on Hive and selling artwork through NFT Showroom, I make enough credits to pay for minting new artwork and to buy work from other creators (if I’m feeling TOO rich.) I especially like to buy work from new artists who are just moving into the space. I try to help encourage folks, regardless of their training or skill level, to express themselves. Not only is RAW art cool to me, but if I have ONE MAIN MISSION on this plain of existence, it’s to convince every human to understand that we define ourselves by what we CREATE. Individual expression is the creation of the SELF. (End “psycho-cognition” mode…)

—I had a collector / curator contact me last night through Instaglam who asked why I have most of my “best” artwork on NFT Showroom when all of the big time collectors buy from Ethereum based platforms, like Rarible. I’ve sold several pieces thru Rarible AND thru MakersPlace—but the GAS FEES and glitchiness of Rarible have cost me hundreds of dollars in fees over the last few years—and as for MakersPlace, they have been very supportive of my artwork (since 2018!), even covering gas fees for me—but as such, it can take a while for my creations to publish, as the company waits for low gas fees to make publishing my work worth the credits. I currently have a piece of artwork that’s been finished and trying to publish since Dec. 14th, 2020… That’s too long.

—So why do I prefer NFT Showroom?? It’s fast. (Three second block times on the Hive chain.) It’s very inexpensive—only 5 Hive to mint a 1 of 1 piece. (Hive is converted to swap.hive with the click of a button in the NFT Showroom wallet. This has to be done so the credits work on the Hive-Engine layer two platform—and NO, I don’t know how any of this WORKS, I just know that it’s easy.) I can make as many pieces as I want. (I have a good amount of Hive at my fingertips after two years of constant blogging.) And I can charge a very low price point to sell my work—which goes with my philosophy of keeping art accessible to entry level collectors and dabblers. I want to let as many NON-whales into the game as I can. LAST, but certainly not least, the NFT Showroom community and devs are nauseatingly nice, helpful, accessible, and fun. (The Discord for the group is a riot!) The EXPERIENCE on this platform is 100x better than any other that I’ve used.

—And, yes, I’ve been told that I need to raise my prices—but that assumes I’m making ART to convert it into money…and FUCK THAT! I make my junk (my ART PRANKS, my TRASH POETRY, my NON-STORIES) because I love the feeling of making something funny or interesting. I like making other folks smile and laugh (and sometimes cringe… I get spooky on occasion.) I’m in this for the EXPERIENCE, and frankly, the experience on NFT Showroom and with the accompanying community is superior. They’re more fun, and I’m more into fun than I am into making gobs of dough… (Unless that dough becomes a donut. I love me some donuts…) Simple…

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)



Published by richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)

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