Who are you?
Best definition would be a comic fan lately turned full time artist and a collector of any kind of stuff since I was very young. I probably look kind of like what you expect from a degen comic artist.
When did you start making art?
I did start very late with drawing in general, in my late 20s. Didn’t feel too interested in what I was studying in university and wanted a shot at something better than a random 9 to 5 and one of the few things I really loved and understood was comics, so I started studying full time in that sense. I was just looking to find a simple style to draw strips and rely on the texts and jokes mostly but got into the techniques and decided to take the long road and focus on the drawing part.
What do you love about comic art?
I think the most magical thing about the art itself it is how quick it needs to be. Industry standard goes close to 1 page daily and this forces you to get strong, fast and appealing graphic synthesis. On top of that you have to find a proper narrative flow that is a different, and imho super funny to acquire. You also need a set of skills, a tight balance of proper sequential camera shots, as well as composition of the single panels and whole page together and right timing on a macro scale for the whole narration.
Do you consider yourself more of an artist or a collector?
The satisfaction that I obtain from making art is deeper than what I get from collecting. I’m also too good at hoarding and not good enough at selling, being a collector first would be too dangerous! They both fulfill me in different ways though and on fxhash I surely consider myself more as a collector.
Why did you buy a bored ape?
The reason why I got interested in late may at first was the commercial use- community was flourishing, discord was going at absolutely insane speed, and it looked like a great opportunity to make something funny and specifically targeted at a community that would have enjoyed it. The ape was at the time gifted by a friend that also helped produce the comic (and owns two of the apes in the cast). However, the comic got way longer and the project turned way more serious than I expected. I also had some health issues in the middle and other deadlines (I think I made another three issues of eth men during the whole time needed to make Metawanderers) and long story short by the time it was out it was September and apes were already in their own league, the comic made absolutely no noise in a community that had all sort of activities directly targeted at them. Still the comic is up and free to read like all the others we published in the collab eth-men comics and redlion gazette, it didn’t have crazy sales but I think is probably my best work to date. My favorite part was being able to experiment with a totally digital format and not be bound by the two pages format to get a more cinematic experience with long scrolls sequences – easier to check it out than to read an explanation 😀
When did you first hear about FxHash?
I don’t recall exactly where, I just saw it on twitter and since I have been collecting on tez from the early HeN days, I went there and I was just hooked right away. I remember thinking “wow, this is the Artblocks experience I could never afford”. It was amazing being able to enjoy collecting without a worry and the fun of seeing something you like and create a random iteration after another out of it was a miracle. I loved that about AB but I was not even close to being able to afford a few pieces, forget 50 or 60 or… well I have no idea how many I have now but my guess is well past the thousand.
What have been some of your favorite collections so far?
Hard to say, there’s something incredible everyday and there’s no way to be comprehensive. There are a couple I appreciate particularly because the minting process was very funny, Jardin will probably have a special place in my heart as I started minting it the first day I was there and I just loved checking each iteration and discussing them with others in the server. Everything was extra cozy, full of treats with no rush to get to them. And of course I have to mention the Zancan as the most mind blowing- I was like cool, in 20 years I’m out of business and some AI will do my job.
Where did you come up with the idea for FxApe?
I can pinpoint the exact moment cause there are the messages in discord with me and nicthib, it was after the dos punks mint by @illusion tributing @maxcapacity. Before that I wouldn’t have guessed this kind of stuff would have been well received within the community but I saw that a drop done well, with a funny twist and with enough variation/size was an interesting option and I got the RGB fur (to mimic the trippy) idea in the discord, everything sorta went in an almost straight line from there.
What was your goal for the FxApe project?
I mentioned that at first impact fxhash for me was kind of like how I imagined collecting on AB, just in proportion with what is like monopoly money, so I could finally enjoy that kind of experience in a “safe” way. I wanted to create something like that – an inexpensive themed ride to the whole collecting pfps format, that imho is as successful as it is because it’s incredibly funny- minting, waiting for reveals, guessing the rarity of the traits before data is up, sniping secondary, finding your favorite combos, creating gangs and all that jazz. It is random, fast and full of dopamine squeezing moments. If you end up with a piece that you connect with and really like then that’s the icing on the cake. I think I managed to get that all aside from the inexpensive post-mint part, but seems like people had a ton of fun anyway.
Did you have any ape traits you were personally trying to collect?
Well I actually wanted to but situation with mint was… eclectic and i ended up with only two. The hashed sun was one I really wanted and got with mint #1 in combo with the ASCII so still lucky, my most wanted list now is the Afton pin, cyber eye, some Isofrag hoodie with all the colors adding up in some way I like, the thrasher jacket, a double skull/merch…. Will be VERY hard.
What were your expectations for reception on release and how did it compare with what actually went down?
My expectation was slow mint (we discussed with mark and Nic the right amount to assure that and they’re veterans), some timid secondary with maybe some “high” sales (like 20, 30 xtz) for VERY rare stuff, a few ape pfps around for some time but something to look at in your wallet and think “yeah that was fun”. What went down was downright insane, I could have never expected it and I still have to make it sink properly. I had to suspend everything since mint just to answer people on discord twitter and such and seeing monkeys all over the place and people really checking details of the project and loving the combos was amazing. Honestly feel so blessed.
Do you have any advice for collectors or artists that you’d like to share?
Well for collectors is basically buy what you love, research and build your taste- fxhash makes it particularly easy with the popular prices and active discord, there’s no way you won’t learn something. Only suggestion that I could give to generative artists as that’s not really my field is maybe to check those dynamics I mentioned before about reveals/variety- people like to dig deep in a collection and finding more and more stuff but most (including me) don’t understand a lot of the subtleties so you might want to make variations evident to an untrained eye- I often see project that could have been way better received with a couple extra palettes. The BAYC model was great in that sense as I think anyone active in the discord was able to immediately identify what was more or less desirable but between this wide variety there was a lot yet to discover- the hidden features mark added in the code were absolutely on point on that but there where also combos, matching colors, and so on. I think the time people spent discovering all this is a big part of what makes them relate to the whole collection and we have seen that it doesn’t need to be rarity based (Jardin again is a great example for that, no rarity but big variation of shapes and colors).
What endeavors do you have planned for 2022?
I actually have planned basically all 2022 on another independent project on tez that I’m going to announce shortly and fxApes was supposed to be kind of a divertissement- now it clearly became way more and I have some minor future projects about it (no new mints or raffles or anything tokenized tho) but still my attention will be mostly on the new one.
Is there anyone you’d like to shoutout?
I have so much gratitude for all the people that worked with me or decided to give me permission to use/homage their work but I’d like to shot out about a few people that offered to send their apes to the guys i promised a mint at 1 xtz but failed the txn to disable and couldn’t (one literally sent to me 3 of their 4 mints without even asking if I needed them). Ofc I turned them down and used my mints + secondary to cover that but there’s really an impressive sense of community going around.
Maybe a minor shill, as if people here liked those apes I think they’ll found the Metawanderers comic pretty cool. It was my first approach to rethinking monkeys through my art style and it’s up for reading here and please do so and get back to me with your opinions if you feel like it! Thanks to @TheArtistJohn32 for the questions and to you guys for taking the time to read through them.