We interviewed Elizabeth, Joanne, Simon and Candace from Meta-Realities, a project offering a stunning collection of abstract pieces that reflect the journey from darkness to the blossoming of hope and beauty.
1. Please tell us about you, your name, position in the project, your credentials, etc., so that we can introduce you.
Our names are Elizabeth Adepegba (Co-Founder/CEO), JoAnne Asenime (Co-Founder/CEO), Simon Asenime (Developer/ CTO), and Candace Marquette (Artist). We are Exxit Studio (A Web3 Art Gallery)
2. How would you describe your artistic style?
Candace Marquette is a fine and applied artist who studied at the University of North Texas. While working toward a BFA in Graphic Design, new ideas began to blossom and she fell in love with using unconventional mediums for her artworks. For 20+ years she has created a diverse portfolio of different artworks from murals, to primitive art to abstract art.
As an indigenous artist, Candace views her life as a masterpiece unfolding with every stroke of the brush to canvas. She is drawn to nature, the creation of life, and the future of humanity. With all her artworks, she tries to inject a sense of childlike wonder for the viewer in order to show that whimsy can be found in all parts of life.
Unity, love, and truth are important themes in Candace’s work. She hopes to inspire others to partake not only in their future but in the future of humanity. For Candace, the world can be renewed through love, beauty, and knowledge.
3. What drew you to NFT creation rather than traditional canvas-based art?
For this collection, Candace has not strayed too far away from traditional canvas-based art. There will be 5 phygital works up for auction in April. These works will include a digital version as well as the physical artwork. This phygital item will have 3D capabilities in both the digital and physical worlds that will be viewable with 3D glasses. She hopes to continue exploring different mediums as she always has but with the addition of NFTs.
4. Are there any artists who have inspired you? What do you like about their work?
Her inspirations include MC Escher, Salvador Dali, and Picasso. Mathematical visualizations of nature, surrealism and bizarre imagery show up throughout Candace’s works and in this collection. These particular artists have produced such diversity in their artistry and range within each piece they create that they have greatly influenced her in what kind of work she wants to create and show to the world.
5. What made you create NFTs?
Our team believes that it is within the people's power to share hope, love, and care for how this digital world will be shaped. By partaking in this collection you will be sharing in a community that believes in decentralization and in the ambition of humanity.
MetaRealities is Exxit Studio’s and Candace’s genesis collection and the first step to disrupting the traditional fine art world. Exxit Studio saw NFTs as a way to liberate artists from the starving artist trope and allow for individuals to participate in art ownership/finance at any income level.
6. Can you tell us about your project?
Every category of this collection represents a different expression of reality that can be shared with those you love and the world at large. The digital age is here and our reality is changing with and without our consent. Each of Candace’s abstract pieces reflects not only what you see in this current age but how you connect to it. Volatility, love, hope, and disjointed cohesion are the sensations Candace wishes the viewer to feel.
She has pulled inspiration from a time of darkness in her life that blossomed into faith. This faith can be seen in each artwork and lets the viewer know that we are all allowed to blossom and see better days individually and as a species. Life, nature, and feelings are meant to be expressed and shared with those around you in order to bloom together.
7. How many NFTs will be minted? Can you talk us through the process of how you create the art?
125 NFTs will be minted. This collection was created with black Sharpie and Canva (a graphic design company). She freehanded the black Sharpie designs with particular emotions in mind during the creative process. These artworks were then scanned and uploaded to Canva. This platform is generally used by most for business applications and small projects, not art.
Candace is fond of using unconventional mediums to create art. It is her way of showing others the possibilities and utility of anything are endless. Within Canva she imposed additional elements to accomplish the colors and layered designs on her sketches. The end product was 125 different MetaRealities.
8. Will people be able to breed, stake, rent your NFT, or will it ever be in a game?
There will not be a game, but in the future, a Decentralized Art Finance App will be created on the IC blockchain for holders of fine art NFTs to utilize financial tools like liquidity pools, etc.
9. What benefits do you think the Internet Computer has over other L1 blockchains when it comes to creating NFTs?
The main thing that drew us to the Internet Computer was the flexibility of the platform and the gasless nature of the ecosystem. Our project would be very expensive on our other blockchains while on the Internet Computer running a project that is as complex as ours is low-cost. And because the IC is gasless our solution does not have to be optimized for gas which makes the code readable and simple.
10. What other art have you seen that excites you in the Internet Computer NFT ecosystem?
Unfortunately, there are not too many handcrafted artworks in the IC ecosystem. We do have a few favorite projects listed on Entrepot, such as BTC Flower, Wing, and the Imagination Project.
11. What excites you most about your launch and which date is your launch?
The most important and exciting part of this launch is how art finance was intertwined into the auctioning system. By allowing for these NFTs to be fractionalized if the pool of individuals (supernova) win the bid, anyone at any socioeconomic level can be an owner of art they love. We believe that everyone should be allowed to participate in fine art and benefit from the financial liberation it affords.
12. What advice would you give to anyone trying to enter into the world of NFTs?
Trust your gut and find your niche. If you’re an artist, trust your heart and create a collection with meaning and a story. If you’re not, find ways to enrich a community or disrupt an industry utilizing NFTs.
13. Do you have further plans to work with ICP Squad in the future after this initial sale?
Yes we do and we will always be thankful for their place in the IC community.
14. Can you envisage a future where the most valuable NFT space is on the Internet Computer?
We truly believe that the Internet Computer will become the backbone of Web3 and by default will house the most valuable NFT space.
15. Why do you think NFTs have become so valuable in such a short space of time?
The applications for NFTs are endless, which we believe is the main reason for exponential gains in popularity. The second most obvious reason is the financial liberation NFTs have given many ppl in the last year. As the IC ecosystem evolves, we firmly believe that a good portion of NFTs in the future will be stored on-chain.
16. Tell us about your team?
Our company operates like a traditional gallery. We offer our artists non-exclusive contracts with a 30% commission. We do all the marketing and setup the minting process for the NFTs that will authenticate their artworks as well as make sure the smart contracts and royalties represent our agreements with the artists.
Our auction process involves a bit of art finance with allowing participants to choose if they want to bid as an individual (star) or part of a collective/DAO (supernova) that pools money together to bid and distributes ownership shares of said artwork if they win the bid. This process allows everyone no matter socioeconomic constraints to participate in fine art ownership.
We utilize Dfinity Foundation’s Internet Computer Blockchain in order to mint and store any data from the NFTs. Our company also offers consultations for business entities, individuals, and art galleries alike. Our long-term hope is to create a Decentralized Art Finance App (ArtFi) on the IC Blockchain.
17. What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?
Our solution allows a large number of individuals to buy into NFTs without having to mint a large number of NFTs. This means the artwork can be of higher quality and does not have to be generative. This allows for more revenue for the artists and more value for the buyer(s).
It also means that people who are just getting into NFTs do not have to spend a lot of money to buy a quality piece as they can own a fraction. We also plan to make our solution open source and community-oriented, so everyone can participate and bring value to the whole ecosystem. We want to work with the community, not exploit them.
18. Do you have any partners? Please tell us about them
We currently do not have any partners.
19. Tell us about the challenges you have faced while building your project?
We have faced some setbacks, designing a new system for handling auctions has a difficult journey. We wanted to make it fair but also allow for there to be value for the artist. We eventually settled on the Supernova and Star model which allows us to provide value for the community and artists. The most complicated portions have been the monetary aspects.
We want to make sure that people are able to get their money back if they do not win the auction, and we want the auction to still be competitive within the Supernova and Star groups. We have used Motoko for our tech solution and plan to open-source the code after our first auction. We have also experienced timing challenges because we have a small development team. And Exxit Studio, being a web3 fine art gallery has experienced pushback from the web2 fine art world.
20. What are your short and long-term achievements and targets?
We are shooting for MetaRealities to be a high-value collection in the IC ecosystem, in the short term and long term. After this collection, we want to do more auctions on IC for other fine artists that are signed with our gallery. Our plan in the future is to focus mainly on using NFTs to authenticate and provide a means of buying and selling physical artworks.
Our long-term targets mostly include the infrastructure and operation of the ArtFi platform we want to develop by 2023. We hope with the collections and projects Exxit Studio brings to the IC, we will enrich the ecosystem and inspire other projects.
21. Give us some details about your roadmap?
You can see most of the details on our blueprint, but the basic idea is that we want to run our ticketing one week before the auction. When the auction begins one week later everyone who has bought a ticket (either Supernova or Star) begins bidding for a period of 3 days and afterwards the artwork is either split if the Supernovas win or is given outright to a Star.
The Supernovas can then participate in a DAO if they win and trade their fractionalized NFT as a token or the Star can resell the artwork on Entrepot. Later, we want to run more auctions with various artists in this style. Any of these NFTs will also be usable on the ArtFi platform we will make.
22. Do you have any plans to expand into the Metaverse?
That's a secret!
23. Will your NFT be tokenized in the future?
Under our system, if the Supernovas win the NFT is automatically tokenized and used in the treasury of a DAO.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions 😊
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