The $500 AI Art Portfolio plus a free mint for Friends of FTV!

Start collecting AI art today on Ethereum, Solana and Base.

Our starter collection includes pieces by Bardou, Uriarte, Mac and Rainisto

This week's edition is focused on collecting AI art. We offer 3 great pieces that you can collect for $500, and then offer a free to mint AI video art piece by Friends of Flamingo artist Jon Uriarte. Enjoy!

1. This week's AI Video: Get Rugged

You don't have to venture far into the world of crypto before you hear stories of scam tokens, hacked wallets, and NFTs going to zero. Truth be told, it's mostly sour grapes from people who joined the movement to get rich quick - rather than to enjoy the adventure. Flamingo TV and our artists are unabashedly pro-crypto. We use NFTs as a way to convey ownership and provenance of digital assets. But we're also always ready to make fun of ourselves and our passion for blockchain technologies. And so we gladly present: Get Rugged!


This Friday's FLOCK TALK X Space is being co-hosted with Historic Crypto. He's put together a collection of AI Video Art pieces that are being auctioned on over the next 3 weeks.

3. Essay: The $500 AI Art Portfolio

This is a "How-to" article about creating your first AI art collection. As a bonus, read to the end to learn how friends of Flamingo TV can mint a free AI Video Artwork.

Our collection includes Bardou, Mac, Rainisto and Uriarte

Let me take you back to December 2020, dear reader.  The Chromie Squiggles were cheap ($20) and the minting was fun.  Art Blocks had just launched in late November of that year, and nobody really had any idea what was in store for generative art backed by large connected sets on Ethereum.  2021 made legends of many early collectors who could see through the fog to sense the change that was underway, and to act on it. 

In many ways, I believe there is a similar opportunity growing with AI art. Collecting is fun and $500 can get you a few great pieces to form the beginnings of your AI Art collection! With this essay, I hope to give you a little nudge to move off the sidelines and start collecting.  As always, do your own research and don't consider this essay as financial advice.

Caveat: Crypto is confusing!  This industry has done The Worst job of making it easy for newcomers to participate.  To get started, you will need to set up and fund a crypto-wallet.  The good news is that, at least for US citizens, the process has become more consolidated and manageable within the Coinbase Wallet App.

Step 1:  Download the Coinbase Wallet App from the App store.

Coinbase makes it easy to get started in crypto.  With the “Coinbase Wallet” App (not to be confused with the “Coinbase” App) you can easily set up an account and buy crypto with a debit card. Links for the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Step 2:  Buy $440 ETH and $60 SOL

Incredible AI art is being collected on several different blockchains, but for the purpose of our $500 starter portfolio, we are going explore three of them: Ethereum, Solana, and Base.  In your Coinbase Wallet App, you can use your debit card to purchase $440 of ETH and $60 of SOL.   See the images above to make sure you have the right chains and tokens selected.  Note that on the ETH purchase, you need to select the Ethereum blockchain, not the Base blockchain which may be the default.

Step 3:  Let’s go shopping!

I’ve selected totally different kinds of artworks for your first 3 pieces.  So let’s get into the details.

Piece 1:  Memories of an Exhibition by Benjamin Bardou.  Now minting for .1 eth on  

Braindrops is the OG platform for minting AI art NFTs and you are lucky to be able to experience the thrill of a random-draw mint today.  Benjamin Bardou, a French visual artist and filmmaker presents a 500 piece collection that takes us inside his memories of Impressionism.  With these works, we fly through an abstract visual field of shapes, colors and music.  Each of the 500 pieces in the collection is unique and is categorized into a “Painter” trait with influences from Bonnard, Matisse, Klimt, Van Gogh, Money and Kandinsky.

To mint a piece from the collection, visit in the browser that is part of the Coinbase Wallet App. First "Connect" the Coinbase wallet to the website via the QR code scan on the site and approval in your wallet app. Then follow along on the website to "mint" and then approve the mint again in the wallet. After a few minutes, the piece you minted will show up in your NFTs collection in the Assets tab. Make sure you chose Ethereum to see this piece. I just minted "Ocean Storm Approaching" which comes from the Vincent Van Gogh Painter trait with "Trails of the Tomorrow" soundtrack. Click on the piece below to see it in action.

Ocean Storm Approaching from Memories of an Exhibition by Benjamin Bardou

Piece 2: An AI Video work from Minting every day starting at 0.01 eth. is the "currently being discovered" gem of AI video art. Most days, you will find between 5 and 10 pieces up for auction. The artists that populate this collection have been curated by Alejandro Cartagena and his team, and have been creating and releasing incredible works since the site launched in September, 2023.

You can lose yourself in the daily video auctions, and you can also take the time to find a piece that speaks to you. I bid here frequently along with my friends at FlamingoDAO. As of the time of this writing, I just won the auction for this piece by Jess Mac for a bid of 0.03 eth. Note that once the auction is over, you need to return to the piece so you can "settle" the auction if you were the high bidder. Visit today's live auctions here.

Splash by Jess Mac. Lets see if I won it! (update - I did!)

Piece number 3: SMILE by Roope Rainsto. Secondary market available on Magic Eden on Solana for ~.35 SOL

Roope Rainsto is the seminal artist in this first wave of "Post Photography" AI art. His collection Life In West America burst onto the scene in February 2023, and has defined this category of art. I would love for you to eventually collect one of Roope's LIWA pieces. But collectors covet this 500 piece collection that was originally minted on Briandrops, pushing the lowest piece (floor price) to 3.69 eth ($11,000).

SMILE #3165 by Roope Rainisto

Instead we are going to take a bit of a left turn and pursue a piece from a quirky collection called SMILE that Roope did on the Solana blockchain in January 2024. Rather than focusing on the contorted bodies of beautiful "West Americans", with SMILE he want straight for the kisser. This collection of 5000 AI generated "smiles" is whimsical, grotesque, and thoroughly AI. For only .35 Sol, you can have your choice from several dozen pieces being sold on Magic Eden, an NFT resale marketplace. You can navigate your browser in the Coinbase Wallet to, connect your wallet to the site, and have your pick of of SMILES by spending your Sol. It was a tough choice, but I picked this dazzling green guy.

If you've had a bit of luck and patience, you have now collected your first three AI NFTs. You've experienced 2 different blockchains and 3 different sites. There are many choices for a starter NFT collection, and I encourage you to spend the weekend and dig into the beautiful and bizarre ecosystem. For this article I solicited advice from several different collectors with a special shout out to the community in the Collector's Corner discord - Jared, ScrappyT, delronde, MILK. MLow and especially Astam for inviting me to join. Let me know if you'd like an invite!

4. FTV Presents Jon Uriarte's "To Eternity". A free limited edition mint for friends of Flamingo TV.

"To Eternity" explores the dreams and ideals we construct, along with the societal norms and standards we impose on ourselves, ultimately depicting how they can become a form of imprisonment. It portrays the construction of a utopia gone awry, shedding light on the complexities and pitfalls of our aspirations for perfection.

You can mint To Eternity for "free" on Base. There is a negligible transaction fee to mint which will require you to have a very small amount of ETH on Base. With the Coinbase Wallet, you can select your ETH on Ethereum and "Bridge" a small amount to Base. All you need is a few dollars worth. This mint opened at 4am PT Thursday, May 9th, 2024 and is available for 1 week.

Further Readings:

Are we making making money with our AI schemes?

A nuanced view on the tension between photography and "Post Photography".

Artists being able to use AI are like kids being allowed to play on the Moon.

AI art continues its climb to legitimacy.


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