Uchujin’s first NFT

"The Other Side" Benares, India 1999 an NFT
“The Other Side” Benares, India 1999 NFT

I started dabbling in cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2020 (lockdown!), late to the party as always. The pros and cons took a lot of weighing up. There were compelling arguments on both sides. Eventually however despite the very vocal detractors, I decided to put a little bit of play money in and try to understand what was going on. I figured the best way to understand it was to actually be in the game.
It was a pretty wild ride involving shitcoins that went 1000x their initial value then crashed to nothing, billionaire market manipulators (Yes, I’m looking at you Elon), incredibly interesting tech and ultimately some small gains proportionate to what I’d put into the casino.
The realisation was that you needed to put in real money to have any hope of getting the insane returns you have likely heard about elsewhere, either that or get very very lucky and pick the one coin from thousands that went “to the moon”.
I did (and still do) however believe that blockchain technology was going to change the world.

We jump forward to 2021, you had to have been living under a literal rock to not have heard of NFT’s. They were everywhere, inspiring evangelical proponents and vicious detractors in almost equal measures.
Their promise for artists and creators of all ilks seemed intoxicating. Several friends got involved pretty early on and helped me to try to understand what was going on.
Most notable of them was Sean Bonner, an old friend, someone I had collaborated with before and a neophyte who always has his finger on the pulse of the new long before the rest of us realise what is happening. In my experience, if Sean is excited about something then at the absolute minimum it is worth checking out.
His “Onboarding” document is a REALLY good place to start with NFT stuff, plus there are a number of posts about the whole space on his blog, should you be interested. (His OpenSea is HERE)
He is also working with Shepard “OBEY” Fairey on Shepard’s foray into the world of NFT’s which if the launch party in cryptovoxels was anything to go by is going VERY well.

Towards the end of 2021 my very dear friends, the artist duo Mr & Miss Muju , started minting NFT’s of their art, which I have collected in physical form for well over 20 years now.
It was through conversations with Mr Muju, his experience in the space and his Christmas gift of one of his NFT’s that I finally decided to get involved.
One of the objections of the NFT detractors (One, there are many and many of them are valid) was that it was all a ponzi scheme scam and the only people making any money were already very well established, relatively rich artists or “CryptoBros” taking the opportunity to fleece people of their ETH.
Mr Muju and other twitter conversations with Sean helped me to see (from their and their friends experiences) that wasn’t always true. The bold promise of NFT’s for artists was actually working for some of the little, previously unknown guys too. People were selling their work, collecting royalties from resales and actually making some money from their art.

So all of that (plus a metric ton of other reading, including a lot of the anti NFT stuff) has lead me to here.

Yesterday I set up my first collection and minted my first NFT on OpenSea.

“A collection of stitched together multi-shot Panoramas, because the world doesn’t always fit into nice convenient aspect ratios.” Shot on multiple film and digital formats, in various countries around the world from 1999 onwards. Deliberately not cropped to rectangles, the uneven edges showing where individual frames have been joined and emphasizing that the scenes continue outside of the constraints of the image.

More images will be added to the collection over the next weeks.

I chose to use the Polygon blockchain rather than Etherium, mostly because it’s free, whereas with ETH there are always gas fees to pay.
That may turn out to have been an unwise decision for a number of reasons, but much like my initial forays into cryptocurrencies, I just wanted to dip my toe in this strange water and this seemed to be a financially risk-free way to do it.
I’m not expecting to get rich or even sell much at all, a lot of work needs to be put into being part of and engaging with the community which I am just beginning to do, but after all my reading and research I really thought that I needed to step into this exciting world of web3 and see where it goes.
The FOMO is real :)

If nothing else it feels like a way to support artists whose work you like, that has to be a good thing right?

I know that a lot of people are going to really hate that I have got involved with NFT’s, in all honesty, the NFT hatred in some circles is so bad I fully expect to lose some friends over it or at least their respect and I’m fine with that.
I’m not advocating that everyone needs to be involved, nor am I saying that the space is without its issues but on considered balance, it felt to me like something worth being part of.

My OpenSea is HERE

My Cryptovoxels space (still in development) is HERE

And as always if you want to hassle me about NFT’s or anything else the best place is Twitter.

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