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1 Year in NFTs: Art, creating art (June 2022-present)

696 reflects on 1 year in NFTs. Continuing with today's reflection on Creating Art

I have never considered myself an artist. Especially not in the general sense. Now, after discovering some AI NFTs and getting curious right when midjourney started to gain some traction, I got introduced to VQGAN. That was sometime around June.

I thought it would be cool to create a collection, but creating some meaningful art was not easy, even with the help of AI. While I was spending a few months of practicing and refining, I got into the bcard community, which I'll talk about soon.

At that time, I tried out and created some ascii art that's now stored on chain.

By August, I was still spending lots of time working with VQGAN AI, but the Ethereum Merge was on the horizon. My friend doomfuzz and I thought it would be important to create some commemorative NFT for this monumental shift from the PoW to PoS. After a month of collaborative work, our collection - GAS Historical NFT Collection by doomfuzz and 696.eth - was born.

While there was only one more person, a fellow mav, who minted it besides us, it has been such a valuable and connecting experience. And even back then, I knew that no matter the outcome, it was the right decision, and I would have no regrets about doing it. I'm sure that looking back on it in the future, say 5 years, would be quite a nostalgic and magical feeling, especially with the intent with which it was created.

After the GAS was finished, I kept working on and improving my AI projection, which I started in June, by significantly reworking it as I was not satisfied with the results. At some point, that had to stop. After all, my personal AI project - Nature Is Healing by 696 - was done sometime in mid-late December. You can read the whole backstory here.

Now we are in 2023. I shared about my project on r/Ethfinance and a few other places, but I really had an idea of creating something for the Ethfinance fam that would be accessible to everyone since it was not possible for my first AI project due to how it ended up being shaped. After going back and forth around having some ideas and experimenting while also being very busy with life and not having enough time to perfect my craft of amateur 696 art, I ended up creating and releasing an OE of Wavy RidΞ with the last minute help of my friend - doomfuzz.eth! Personally, to me, it was a success and I appreciated everyone who decided to collect it.

After that, I created a rememe of 6529 memes, released some of the original memes on Polygon zkEVM and created a collection of AI rugs there.

A side note on collecting art. Most of the art falls into the category of art with the expectation of making money from it. A small percentage, mostly from friends, goes into just art, although because of gas fees and the variety of art, I have to be more picky because it adds up financially. You can always support your friend without necessarily buying all their NFTs, and sometimes, if not most of the time, it might require even more energy, attention, and care from you.

I'm curious how the general art in the NFT space evolves, as well as my personal art and, most importantly, the art of my friends.

Next up: my biggest NFT loss.

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