Every day someone tweets that they quit their job to focus on NFTs full time. Someone within our social circle makes a previously inconceivable amount of money and can now turn their hobby into a career. While the rest of us sit back, watch and wait our turn. 

The messages we receive from Twitter make it feel like it will never happen to us: 

If you’re reading this tweet you’re early to NFTs. 

Perseverance is all it takes to succeed in this space. 

GM, NFT World! Let’s see those unsold NFTs and find you a collector! 

I’ve got (insert amount of crypto) to spend! Show me your dope art! I’ll buy something. 

This last one in particular frustrates me the most. Artists flock to these tweets with hopes that this thread will be the break they need. 

Rarely does this method work. 

If you hoped responding to a tweet like this would be your big break, we’re looking for you. #UNDRGRND https://t.co/ObiVFskP59

— UNDRGRND (@UNDRGRND_NFT) November 12, 2021

The Problem

The NFT market can crush an artist’s spirit. The expectations of becoming an instant success do not match the work required. The emotionally draining act of constantly selling yourself along with the energy needed to create can lead to depletion and exhaustion; it’s why we also see so many tweets about mental health in the NFT space. 

Have you been feeling burnout from the hustle of all that comes with being an artist/creative? Join @crownandpalette, @NFTjoe and I this Friday at 3pm PST for a special Twitter Space on "Creatives and Burnout." We hope to see you there, friends! 💜

— Kirsten McKinzie ✨🌙 Midnight Moon Visuals (@midnightmoonv) August 10, 2021

With so much effort and resilience required to survive in this space the easy thing to do is hop on a Twitter thread. This typically leads to some followers but no sales. So what is the next step for an artist?

Some artists are accepted to gated platforms (SuperRare, Makersplace, Nifty Gateway) giving them an advantage. There the artist must display the talent that the platform deems worthy of their brand or standard. But what about the ones that don’t meet an arbitrary requirement or style? And what about the artists that are never considered due to the sheer volume of applicants? 

OpenSea has become a perfect metaphor for the experience of the NFT artist: an ocean filled with NFTs for anyone to purchase, if only you can find it and can discern between value and speculation. At least on SuperRare or other curated sites, a collector can trust that the gatekeepers have put in the time to discern whether this artist is “worthy” of being collected. 

The popularity of Hic Et Nunc (HEN) helped bridge the gap between value and speculation by allowing a lower entry point for amateur collectors to simply buy what they love. While HEN has provided a cleaner NFT alternative to ETH marketplaces and created a launch pad for unknown artists - with no curation, artists still go undiscovered by collectors who may love their work.

This is why many of us in this space turn to Twitter to discover new artists. 

This is why influencers have taken to profiting off of their following to help artists gain exposure. 

This is why shill threads have become a daily practice on Twitter. 

I'm looking for amazing pieces 👀

— Nasrin (@DelusionAnima) November 7, 2021

Shill me your new @hicetnunc2000 NFT. I have some TEZ and I’m looking to buy your art!! #nftcommunity #NFTdrops #nftcollector #hicetnunc

— zaaaaal (@vaanzaal) November 11, 2021

On the surface, these threads appear innocent and supportive. Perhaps many of them are sincere, but this is an inefficient way to connect artists with collectors and an even worse way to highlight talent that may go unrecognized.

The Solution

“In 4 months, you’re going to look around and wonder how you got here.” 

That was my boss back in February. It took a little longer than that, but he was right. 

How did I end up here? 

9 months. It took me 9 months to get to this tweet:

I’m quitting my job to write about art/#NFTs full time.

I’m a stay-at-home dad so my bosses (wife and daughter) were pretty pissed. #LUNAtics #NFTCommunity https://t.co/iJKnNYmrgj

— Joe (@NFTjoe) October 24, 2021

How did I become one of those people tweeting about how NFTs changed my life?

Nine months ago I answered a random post on Reddit:

“Looking for NFT content creators to join our community-driven NFT publication.”

Thus, I met my boss, Sean, the co-founder of Cryptowriter, and began talking about NFTs and the insanity that was beginning to take hold of people and push NFTs into the mainstream.

Since then, we’ve talked every day: late at night spitballing crackpot ideas to each other; tinkering and rewriting articles; arguing (Sean calls them “discussions”) about the best path forward. 

Every crazy idea I have, he encourages me to go further, explore it and make it a reality. 

I began gaining his trust and vicariously gaining the acceptance of the other founder, Kenny, as well. Freelance writing turned into recruiting artists for interviews. That led to me hosting the podcast, Behind the Pixel, with an open-ended conversation revealing the artist’s inner thoughts, ideas and influences surrounding their art. 

Behind the Pixel was also created as an airdrop feature for our Cryptowriter Membership cardholders. Partnering with artists, we feature them on our website, host them on the podcast and then drop a piece of their artwork to our members.

We quickly connected the dots realizing all these pieces worked together and were part of something bigger. 

UNDRGRND was born from those “discussions”. UNDRGRND would become an art platform, dedicated to newly discovered artists, elevating their exposure through articles, podcasts and airdrops to our community. 

No longer would artists rely solely on the Twitter algorithms and shill threads. We would partner with artists, collectors and curators to filter through the noise and discover talented artists that deserve recognition for their work. 

Our Passion

In the early 2000s, there were underground hip-hop, garage-rock and pop-punk bands floating around on the internet in blogs to gain exposure. Those unknown bands eventually became music video stars and grammy award nominees. But it all started on a website just like UNDRGRND. 

There was competition and pride among people who knew musicians before they were mainstream. The band, Bon Iver, won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2012, despite their first album being released in 2008. Bands like Saves the Day, Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional were indie label monsters before radio stations began playing their singles. Before Mos Def and Talib Kweli were superstar rap lyricists they were heading the underground hip-hop movement. And before Arcade Fire was on the cover of Rolling Stone, they were receiving accolades on the blog Pitchfork. This was my foundation and a formative experience for who I am today.

Sean started telling stories about his blog, TheFreshBeat, that highlighted underground and unknown electronic music artists. It gained enough of a following that clubs in the Miami area began looking to TheFreshBeat for new undiscovered electronic music. 

We talked about how great it was discovering music that no one else knew. We enjoyed sifting through everything to find the gems; it was work but it was fun. 

Now, we bring that same energy and mentality to UNDRGRND. 

Our Mission

Like Indie music to mainstream pop music, UNDRGRND will focus on unfamiliar names before they become famous.  

As a member of our community we hope to fuel your excitement of discovering something new. 

We will think in terms of years and not hours. You will not find hype on UNDRGRND. You will not find a quick flip on UNDRGRND. You will find the genuine-honest substance of style and creativity.

We will provide you with diverse viewpoints, our knowledge, and our passion. We will write thought-provoking pieces and explore deeper discussions about art. We will share the wisdom of experienced collectors and curators to help guide and teach a new generation of investors, art enthusiasts and hopefully future millionaires (but remember us when you’re rich and famous, ok?).

There are cliches in the art and writing industries: 

Buy what you love.

Write what you know. 

The writers at UNDRGRND were recruited to write about the art they bought because they loved it. They are individuals with experience and opinions, who have helped shape my own taste in art. Before I became the Managing Editor of UNDRGRND they took the time to educate me. And now, I’ve recruited them to teach everyone else.

We will purchase art we love and we will write about it.

Through this, we hope to elevate some of the best unknown artists through our writing, podcast episodes and share some of those artists through monthly airdrops to our UNDRGRND Membership Cardholders. 

The artists we share will become the storytellers and cultural influencers of the future. 

If we elevate everyone together, we all succeed. 

My personal goal is to give back to the community that has given me a chance to fulfill my dream. To all the underground artists, writers and collectors that haven’t yet reached their full potential, I will help you reach it. I will help you reach the goal of changing NFTs and art from a passion to a career.

my first edition of 13, back in November 2020 when I was a nobody, was listed for $7 each at the time. only 4 sold, I burned 9 and cried happy tears because someone wanted my work at all and I felt seen.

we all start somewhere. be patient and don’t underestimate yourself 🥺❤️

— 𝐊𝐚𝐭𝐞 the 𝕮𝖚𝖗𝖘𝖊𝖉 🂽⚧️Ξ (@katecursed) November 11, 2021

huge congrats to jpeggy and to one of my earliest supporters @ElectricM3at - they took a chance on an unknown artist on an underground website 💎 https://t.co/AFpAFrelHH

— XCOPY 🏴 (@XCOPYART) November 4, 2021

UNDRGRND is more than just an art platform, it is a philosophy; a philosophy shaped by the community; a community we build together.

Curators. Collectors. Artists. Writers. Enthusiasts. Colleagues. Friends. 



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