GM GM Everyone,

I had the recent pleasure of talking virtually with Bastien.

I’ve been following Bastien for a bit and we have communicated throughout the past year more and more. Bastien has been on my radar for a bit but he really jumped at me when he embraced the ERC-6511 token idea. Many people were wondering what use cases that technology can have and Bastien just dove in head first at least from my POV and executed to perfection.

So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy my conversation with Bastien.


What are five words you would use to describe yourself? and why?

Introspective, because I've always been sort of living inside my own head and tried to understand why I felt like I did. Imaginative, guess a usual answer for most artists but I have always had a very fruitful imagination and basically spent my childhood daydreaming. Lonewolf, technically two words I know. I grew up being an only child in a not-so-functioning family so I learned how to be with myself all the time. Spiritual. I have always found a great interest in spiritual practices and approaches from the history and all around the world, I love the lore and myths and I think it's one of the most important aspect of my life. Learner. Life is all about learning, getting new experience and understanding and learning from what have happened to you in past and how it forms you today is an incredibly important part of my life. With that, I can go through hard times without crumbling because I know there is a reason for that.

What are some of your hobbies or activities you like to do to unplug from the space?

They are heavily tied to my values and life perspective. I love to take long walks where I can just let the mind wander wherever it wants and hopefully to give me new insights on my life. Same goes for meditation and different sports. I also love to spend time doing absolutely mind un-engaging things, binging TV shows and whatnot. My current passive free time filler are Desperate Housewives and watching pro warcraft3 gamers stream on YouTube.

Any that inspire your work?

Taking walks inspire me the biggest. I draw inspiration from the subtle beauty of the world. I am in a very tight touch with my emotions. The result of that are situations where I for example just go by something absolutely ordinal on the street, like a children's slide or a cracked pavement, and I tend to get sudden hits of inspiration of how I could incorporate that into my art. Seeing the real world helps me cultivate both my inner world and the world of my art.

Do you think your upbringing influenced your art in anyway? How so?

Absolutely. As I said I come from a not so functional family, and only in the last years I've been diving deep into the reasons why I am who I am, where my high anxiety, adhd and other neuroses came from. I realized that my childhood was so emotionally exhausting that I learned how to withdraw from the world which led to these mental pathologies in my adulthood. As I have been observing my journey as a 3D artist, I realized that the main theme I do – nostalgia – is the key element because it lets me to look back through more colorful lens. It helps me to remember childhood in it's “ideal state”, when things were alright and I actually had the chance to be just a kid. I did not have a lot of these moments, and my art is the compensation for that.

How would you describe your art?

Conceptually it's all about reconnecting with our inner children. When I (or any other person) look at my art, I want to see something we all knew as children. It's those widely known Gameboys, sleepover nights or arcades. I try to tone on the general idea of a childhood somewhere in between 1980-2005. I want us all to feel the same as we did as children.

On the technical side of things, I create a 3D art environments embodying these situations. My style is a merge of two visual vibes. One thing is that I look for somewhat realism, I want you to see the environment and feel like you are there, it's really, not a cartoon. On the other hand I use a lot of cartoonish elements, cell shading, black outlines as well as a heavily saturated colours. The reason for that is that I want to highlight the magic of those places. For example arcades still exist, but now as you are an adult, they do not have that tint or atmosphere they used to when you were a kid. I want my art to be just like that, for you to take a look on that and understand that it all happens in a place that cannot be accessed in any other way than just a memory.

I saw you joined twitter late in 2021? Was it due to web3, if so, what made you take the leap of faith?

Yes it was for web3. I found some articles about crypto art and wanted to do that. I was so lost in the start, but eventually I found a Czech community of traders who did trading and other degen stuff. To be honest it all came together randomly, I was staggering in the space not knowing where I was or what was I doing. Absolute disaster, I wasted money for stupid mints or trades and really had no idea what to do there. But the space was not in the foreground of my attention back then, it was just a gut feeling that it might be the way for me.

You waited about 8 months before you minted your first edition piece (Bastien Genesis, Lucky). What made you take the leap to mint your first piece? And why this piece?

lucky 03 is Genesis of this style I have now but before then, way back in March 2021 I minted on Opensea contract some art that was really irrelevant to who I am now. Burned it before I minted the Lucky 03. For the “real genesis” I waited for one reason only, I wanted to find my style and did not know what the style was gonna be, I did not want to start with the wrong foot. The genesis mint came as randomly as my whole career around here. I came back from a foreign country, without job and money. I was looking for a job while I was staying in web3, chilling in the rektguy community and having fun. Then one day I just needed to take the edge off from all that looking for a job, so I made an artwork. Tweeted and Unclepennybags then told me to mint it. That was my cue, I knew that piece was not enough so the next day I sat down and pulled the Lucky 03 piece, I needed the genesis to look the best I could. Sold out the next day to degens from DEGENZ.

Why was Code Red Mountain Dew not in this piece? lol

Literally had to google Code Red Mountain Dew. I am from Czech Republic and until my 17th year of age we did not have anything else than the basic green one. That's the one nostalgic for me.

It appears since your first mint you had a distinct style, how did you land or find this style?

This is my favourite story. I was grinding for a LonelyPOP whitelist and decided to take part in a fan art competition. The visual of the story were these cute anime illustration pfps, everybody was doing anime fan art and I wanted to be a special snowflake, so I decided to create an anime 3D art. I couldn't even finish the artwork because it was so new to me that it looked absolutely hideous. But the idea for 3D cartoon stayed in my head. A bit later down the line I wanted to practice some modelling in Blender since I was still a beginner, and Gameboy (first finished piece in this style) was a good challenge. And that's how we got here.

Are you ever concerned with getting hit with an IP infringement or copyright suit?

Yes, it is an issue I have been through a few times in my head already. When I first started selling I was ecstatic that people wanted my art that I just focused on creation without giving any thought to secondary issues such as this.

It needs to be said that I have spent a long time now building my own process of referencing and giving easter eggs and I am pointing mostly on what happens in the space or talk to artists whose artworks I'd like to incorporate. We live and learn.

Any tips on how to find your niche/style for an up-and-coming artist?

I really hope to not sound cliché because this is what most artists that reached some level of success say, but I have really found that what is immensely important is opening your heart when you create.

My big advantage is that my artistic style is very unique. But if I was not authentic and focused on creating, say, cars instead of nostalgic scenes, I probably wouldn't be where I am now. Nostalgia is my motivator, my fuel and my ultimate Muse.

Yes I do art for a living but I also do it for myself, for diving deeper into my soul. That is what I would always recommend to any artist, regardless of how big they already are. Just keep doing what feels right and what really gets the emotions going.

In the lead up to your 1st mint, you talk about mental health in your blog. How would you say you are doing in that regard since minting your first piece? Especially now that we are in a bear market.

I have always struggled with these issues. Emotional unavailability, deep anxieties, financial entitlement. I was growing up getting spoiled and basically the only validation I got as a child was through money. I have been learning how to work through those things for a long time now.

Funny enough, the bear market has given me incredible opportunity to assess how I view myself, my art and money. Growing up in a cash being tossed at me I got used to tie that to self-value. During the “easier” times a year or so ago I was having bigger sales, but I also struggled a lot, I felt so burdened from my sales. I was constantly worrying if this sale means I am more valuable person because it generated 0.5 eth more than the previous one.

Obviously it has nothing to do with my value. As I stand now I couldn't be happier. Some sales from now are the lowest I had. It is the first time in those two years when I haven't sold out something in like a day or two. But this time also gave me a new perspective, that I can be here and create art regardless of the price. That's something I feel as incredibly important giving my upbringing. Still gotta pay my bills tho so I hope it bounces back soon enough. Other than that, I am content.

Is there anyone in your life (web3, history, irl) that inspires you? If so, what are the biggest lessons you have learned from them?

I do not have a mentor per se, but most people I surround myself with in my life – whether irl or web3 – provide me lessons. I love being in touch with people that are immensely good in diametrically different things that I am good at. My girlfriend is an anthropologist, she inspires me a lot, then there are my friends in the space, financially savvy people that can actually explain difficult concepts to me.

Although, I think the biggest lessons we give to ourselves. Experience is non-transferrable and I have found that once I haven't won/failed at something myself, I cannot really understand what that's like. So in the risk of seeming cocky, I am giving myself the best lessons, partly even because I really am a bit programmed to be cocky and entitled, and humbling myself during difficult life situations is the best school of life.

And.. obviously, genuine and authentic artists in this space inspire me. Some examples are tjo, Jack Kaido, Sadboi. There artists' public personas, art and what I feel from them is very relatable to me.

What inspired your name?

In the year before I minted my genesis, say autumn 21 - spring 22 I spent in Athens on Erasmus internship. It was a beautiful and incredibly difficult time.

Right before leaving for this internship I went through an ego shattering LSD trip which left me in a lowkey psychosis that I had to deal with in a foreign country. It was savage. During these initial weeks and months there I was just being weird, scared of darkness and trees and basically afraid to left my room. I was reading a lot of Jung and whatnot. Then one day I got this cosmic realization that told me one thing: you have no values.

Since that day I started creating this “ideal version of me”. It was an artist, authentic artist, true to himself, somebody who is not afraid to do what needs to be done. Somebody who does not want to be a scared boy anymore. I named this ideal version of me Bastien, it was somebody I'd never be. A set of principles that I wanted to strive to for the rest of my life.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Roughly first 90 minutes are spent by doing stretching, cold shower, meditation, I clean the cats' litter box and then I make myself a tea and breakfast. I talk to my girlfriend, chill a bit and start working at 9 am.

Then I do what needs to be done. My days are generally structured into two time blocks: Creative and Administrative. In these blocks I try to focus on the currently relevant things I do in the space.

I often go outside during the day, either just some walk with myself and journaling, or go sporting. I play in amateur league of squash and I go swimming and to gym, so there is plenty to do.

On monday's I learn greek.

Then the evenings are dedicated either to sports or to spending time with my girl being either active (dates), or passive (binging shows or play world of warcraft).

..Weekends are usually like.. whatever.

You recently joined Farcaster, what do you think so far?

Love it, I am a sucker for reddit so a combination of reddit and twitter works great for me as a promised land for crypto natives. I still find it kind of difficult to spend time there since I am generally more asocial but I am having fun and I think that once I get enough following and followers to get reach to more channels, it will be great.

You did a collab with DominikG, how did this come about? How was it working with Dominik? Did you find it hard to combine your styles?

Me and Dominik go way back like two years. Not sure how it all started but we have always been vibin'.

I absolutely adore his art as it's all very ketamish psychedelic crazy stuff that gets my astral juices flowing. One day I just approached him and asked for a collab and he told me that he wanted to ask me the same. Maybe it was the other way around I am not sure really as it was pretty obvious that we both were super into it.

The collab was so much fun, we chatted for like 15 minutes and realized that our ideas and concepts align perfectly together so we just straight up started working on it. I did the main layout of the scene and environment, Dominik then added his own touch and I finished up with the sound design.

It was an incredible work and I enjoyed every minute of it. Super grateful for the collab.

Have you considered doing another collab with others? Or do you think these deter from your main body of work?

It's not in my main scope of what I want to do, but I have some ideas and even specific artists I'd like to do a collab with. For me it is more about the relationship with the person and then about the concept of the work. As with Dominik – we vibed and I wanted to get creative together.

Obviously there are artists that I admire and would love to get into together with, but I don't want to be feeding off on their fame so this area of work is just like “when it comes it comes” and I'm good with it.

Do you have any goals for 2024?

Will I be held accountable for those goals stated by the end of the year? Lol.

The answer is yes Bastien, you will be haha. jk

I do really, I want to get more focused this year and be more structured in what I do. For too long I was in the wake of my own emotions, creating only when I was inspired. I don't want that, so now I am basically just trying to get my head down and get shit done. One of the plans certainly is to provide something for my old-time holders. I haven't done an airdrop for a year now and I feel like the time is right so that's one of the things going on in the background now.

What Discord servers do you spend most of your time in now a days?

Discord is my Achilles heel, I feel like that is something I gotta work on. I am a regular on two discords, 452b and w3a. In 452 (formerly clicc) I was a gen1 artist and it's the place I call home. The other one is a community of smart degens in crypto. Good fun and good alpha, sadly I am not too active because there is always something with bigger priority than discords.

You recently dropped some new pieces on Solana, have you ever considered doing a BTC ordinals piece?

Yes I did. There is a collection concept that I've had for about two weeks now. Something both conceptually and visually innovative in regarding to my other work, but still keeping within my usual message.

I have to learn a lot about the Ordinals space and understand both the community and the technicals to be confident to drop something there. I'd definitely love to, experimenting on Solana refreshes me a lot, hoping for the same on Ordinals.

Favorite nostalgia items you own or miss owning (gameboy, tomogachi, etc)?

I don't own much from my childhood because besides about twenty thousand boxes of lego lol.

What I definitely miss the most is my Gameboy Advance, I had the purple one and I played Star Wars games and Crash Bandicoot on it.

You always had to sit below direct sunlight to see on the display. Sweetest memories.

Do you collect any pieces from any other artists, if so who are your favorites?

Oh man, yes I do collect. Obviously within my means. My favourite collected are: Orkhan, OL1Y, T3, Sadboi, BoredJosei (got a 1/1 that looks like my gf), obviously Dominik, then Orkhan Isayev and many others.

It's not like I spend all my budget on nft art but I try to give back when I have been given. Feels like it is important to help the space keep running.

Final Remarks

What really stood out to me about Bastien’s responses is how thoughtful and thorough he was. I am guess part of it has to do with he is a writer. He writes editorials about other artists he likes and he stops to listen to his thoughts. We all get wrapped up in the busyness of life that sometimes we tune out what our mind and body are telling us. That is a skill hard to do consistently and I admire that Bastien tries to do that constantly.

The other aspect that stood out to me about Bastien and his work is how well he is able to capture that feeling of nostalgia so well. And he even explained it with how he achieves this artistically, by using colors and shading in a certain way he is able to put on those nostalgia glasses on us without us even knowing.

Bastien gave me the sense of someone who is curious and constantly wanting to learn. As an operation nut, I enjoyed the structure in how he tries to split his days from creative work to admin work. I tend to operate my day in the same way and really respect that.

I highly suggest you all check out Bastien’s NFTs on DECA or your favorite app, I included still images as they would break the rendering of this platform but worthy of checking out the final moving images.

Lastly, I am doing an AMA with Bastien, so feel free to drop a question here and he will answer them on March 22, 2024.


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