In this series, guest author zonted interviews prolific artists in the crypto art space to provide a deep look inside their background, journey, and artistic practice. Enjoy!
Hello cryptoart community, we are zonted! We run one of the premier digital NFT art galleries that showcases captivating artworks by the space’s most notable crypto artists. In our “Artist Spotlight” series, we interview leading digital NFT artists providing you with the inside scoop on how these top crypto artists are refining their crafts, promoting their artworks, and catching the eyes and attentions of noteworthy collectors.
Kristy Glas’ artworks are infused with fun-loving, yet adventurous imagination. The mystery of where her cloaked figure will roam next paired with her artwork’s constant exploration into unknown territories creates a never-ending mystery that keeps her audience captivated.
🖼 view Kristy Glas’ custom commissioned art installation in the zonted genesis exhibition: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/play?coords=E@325E,560N
Read onwards for an in-depth and fascinating look at what happens behind the Glas. The Kristy Glas Artist Spotlight first appeared on https://www.zonted.com/kristy-glas-zonted/.
How did you get into crypto (NFT) art?
I discovered NFTs through other artist’s blogs on Hive. I started blogging on Steemit (now Hive) three years ago as a hobby. I also did a lot of other fun art projects and experiments, and hosted a number of art contests.
I actually took that playful mentality into NFTs because I expected it to be just a fun part time hobby. I’m still amazed at how things have progressed.
What was the most successful art contest that you hosted? Why do you think that event was so successful?
I had some insane post payouts and I wanted to share them with the community so I set a big reward pool at the time. I believe the dragon theme was also very enticing. I posted a lot of dragons since I joined Steemit, so I became known as the Dragon Queen.
You’ve been working on a game for a while now (Scoundrel game). How does game design augment your artistic style? And how is the game coming along?
I hope to get back to working on it soon, but I can’t go into more details at the moment. Games have a big influence on my art style and how I approach art and NFTs in general.
I don’t have much game design experience, but I want to learn to design fun puzzle games. Our Twitter account (Bullish Games) is currently inactive, but we plan to get back to it once we are closer to finishing the game.
What are your favorite top three games of all time? Do you like the “puzzle” game types the most out of the different genres?
Monkey Island, was my first ever favorite game. Don’t Starve—a cool semi-dark survival game—can’t recommend it enough. Hollow Knight is one of my favorite games, I was hooked and played it few days straight. As for puzzle games, I like the Cube Escape series and Fez. I love a lot of games, so limiting to three is impossible.
What were you doing before crypto art? Have you been able to achieve “full time crypto artist” status? If so, has that shifted your perspective on your hobby-turned-career?
Before crypto art, I was working on the Scoundrel game full time which was financed by one of our team programmers. Really thankful for that and we did our best to create quality work even though it’s our first ever game.
I’ve been doing crypto art full time since July 2020, and it has been quite an adventure. I was instantly amazed by the concept and it actually sounded too good to be true. Also I didn’t expect my art to gain so much attention in such a short time.
At this point, I’m working every day just to catch up. It’s incredible how new projects keep popping up and I am thankful for the many collaboration requests, but I can’t keep up with this work pace indefinitely.
How do you plan on juggling and keeping up with all these requests? Is that especially difficult since you enjoy entertaining your fans?
I’m really picky with projects and commissions, so I don’t think that will get out of hand. Also I usually entertain my fans my way so I have just as much fun.
Is there any specific things or people you credit for the attention your art has gained in such a short time?
The whole NFT community along with my collectors have all been incredibly supportive. I’ve received a lot of incredible advice and promotion from collectors which I’m really thankful for.
Also I try to give back to the community in various ways– giveaways, tutorials, the Halloween Cat Party, and supporting other artists by buying NFTs. Just trying different things in general is very helpful in gaining attention.
On Twitter with Carlos Marcial, you were recently discussing the joy of having full creative and artistic control over your artwork. Can you tell us more about that and how it relates to your current projects?
I am fortunate to have major artistic control over our game, but working for almost 5 years on one project can be tiring and frustrating at times. My art style has developed over those years, by now I have redesigned and reanimated the main characters from scratch at least 4 times. My work is around the polishing phase, so I really want to finish it, even if crypto art keeps becoming even more successful.
Kristy Glas vs Pak- Quoted many times by the crypto art community, renowned artist Pak is all about “separating the artwork from their personal being”. You have decided to create a brand around your real identity. Now that you’ve started to gain some fame, do you have any thoughts on the pros and cons to using an internet moniker versus your own identity? Would you ever consider changing to an internet moniker? Why or why not?
I like connecting with people and sharing, but I also value privacy and being careful with personal information.
For example, I’ve shared several personal blog posts in the past years. However, I’d warn that I would edit it out after a week. Even for the selfie that I shared on Twitter, I planned to remove it after a couple of weeks, and I only made it because I didn’t want to reject Daniella Attfield‘s Twitter initiative. I know some people are against deleting things, but otherwise I wouldn’t share anything personal in the first place. I am also aware that once something is posted on the internet it’s there forever, but I can make it harder to find.
An internet moniker certainly sounds appealing, but it feels like extra work to develop a separate online identity. I would consider switching if things got too overwhelming. And then I’d probably make another secret account for more personal use. There is an inherent problem with online mob mentality and idolization of people, instead of seeing them as just regular people. I’ve noticed a misguided sense of hierarchy on social media based on follower count. I think it’s okay to share a bit of personal information, while protecting other parts.
On the other hand, I don’t want to do voice interviews with or without a camera, especially live, because it’s way out of my comfort zone. My mind works messily, writing things down helps me process what I really want to say, over what first comes to my mind. I can easily ramble endlessly on completely unrelated topics for hours. Video recording is an unnecessary stress for me and I prioritize my mental well being over the preconceived notions of how crypto artists should or shouldn’t behave.
I admire artists who are great with doing videos, like FEWOCiOUS with their contagious enthusiasm for art.
What inspires you to create art? Why?
I can’t really imagine doing anything else and even if I did, I’d still make art on the side, as a hobby. I’ve always liked imaginary worlds, and I’ve spent most of my childhood daydreaming. Getting to create my own worlds is incredibly satisfying.
I experience emotions rather intensely, so painting is a great outlet. As for day to day inspiration, I get inspired from everything, books, movies, Pinterest, nature, games, other artists, music, emotions– literally anything and everything.
What are some specific examples of things which have recently inspired you?
It’s hard to explain the examples that keep popping up in my mind. Partially because the artworks are currently in progress—my Async art “Wingdinglish” is inspired by Artemis Fowl book series (don’t recommend the movie).
My latest Adventure artwork for MakersPlace exhibition on December 18th, 2020 were inspired by this tweet since I used to draw a lot of dragons:
Cat doodles were inspired by this podcast: https://astropad.com/tactics-for-creative-freelancers-in-a-pandemic/
My first NFTs way back were inspired by Daily Spitpaint themes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1402563099961950/?multi_permalinks=2976644189220492¬if_id=1607380677170399¬if_t=group_highlights&ref=notif
The Happy Little clouds are most likely inspired by this:
I didn’t even realize it until my partner pointed it out, because we used to play the song a lot and still do occasionally.
As you can see, the ideas are quite random, but I still find a way to fit them in my style and projects.
As far as we can remember, you’ve been juggling multiple projects all at once. Instead of viewing all of these different projects as overwhelming, you seem to thrive when dabbling in many projects.
How does having multiple projects help you with your creative process? Consequently, are there ever any projects you just decide to never finish because they don’t call out to you any more?
I have a lot of unfinished projects from my blogging years and many projects that I just wrote down but never actually began. However, that experience has taught me to be more picky with what I choose to work on for a longer period of time.
Sometimes I might wrap up a project sooner and call it done, because it’s more satisfying than leaving it indefinitely abandoned. I get overwhelmed occasionally, but I try to remind myself that it’s all in my control, so if I need more time or want to work on something else at the moment, I do.
I know a lot of folks struggle with wrapping up work, especially when they’ve lost interest in the project. How do you stay motivated enough to wrap up a project and call it done? And when do you throw your hands up in the air and decide that abandoning is the best course of action?
I might take half a year break before I decide to wrap something up. It took me almost 2 years to finish dragon Zodiacs:
And really glad I did. I actually rushed the 2nd half of the zodiacs, but they turned out even better than first ones. (You can view the entire set of Dragon Zodiacs here.)
I never finished an Inktober challenge on time even though I’ve participated three times now. It’s too demanding to stick to daily themes and finish an artwork every day.
I was going to paint a huge set of watercolor fish….
…But I usually feel more motivated in spring for watercolors and painting on the balcony. I dropped the project for now, but I might go back to it when I feel in the mood.
I don’t abandon the projects on purpose, it just happens over time if I lose interest or find more interesting ideas to work on.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Book illustration and concept art combined. The heavy brush strokes and bold colors can be considered more of an expressionist style with an additional layer of details.
Your art is sometimes accompanied by fantastic fictional stories. Does the art come first, does the story come first or do they come at the same time? Is there a particular reason why you’ve decided to include the short stories in your artworks?
No one would have been surprised, as we knew that she has been too good for us. Our greed, our jealousy was like raging sea, destroying, consuming everything around us.
– Kristy Glas (excerpt from “The Tree of Hope”)
Usually the art comes first, but this is not a rule. I’m working on my Async project the other way around, design first then art. I enjoy variety, experimenting and not setting limitations.
I was actually working on my first fantasy novel a few months before discovering crypto art, but I was rather dissatisfied and frustrated with it. I had some fun ideas, but creating the plot and order of events and dialogues was a bit too much for me. My notes were a bit too messy and I abandoned it.
Then I discovered crypto art, and it felt like a perfect opportunity to work on some visual stories. I have a lot of ideas, and I’ve gotten better at picking out good ones, which can be considered moments of inspiration. I still like to test the more abstract ideas and not every idea has to work out.
A common theme I’ve noticed with your art style is its amorphous evolution path that comes from unexpected inspiration. For example, the zonted exhibition focus was supposed to be the “Tree Series” and the clouds were actually an afterthought. Yet instead it was the clouds that drew the crowds.
What other forms of unexpected inspiration have you experienced? Any specific takeaways you learned as a result of the resounding applause from the crypto art community on the clouds?
The trees were indeed the main focus, but when I asked about the commission budget, I instantly decided to include at least one of the clouds into the exhibition—A Happy Little Cloud.
The Happy Cloud Waterfall and Midnight Rain were the after thoughts.
Also even though the Waterfall was the quickest part I made within the whole gallery, it received the most attention and praise.
My takeaway from that experience was to do more animated installations. I’ve noticed people are yearning for more interaction, an immersive experience, similar to what you would expect from video games. I really loved the comment which compared the clouds to a pop up book.
Another unexpected inspiration was the Pixel Cats, I thought of it back when I first discovered Cryptokitties years ago, but I never got into them. Then I discovered Cyptopunks and I couldn’t believe their prices, I was more surprised that no one did Pixel cats, so I gave it a try.
More recently I tried some 5-min cat doodles:
The doodles turned out way better than I expected and I received more replies than I was ready for. I decided to tokenize half of the doodles the next day. I just thought of it suddenly probably because of listening to a podcast my cousin sent me the night before.
On the note of experimentation, how was the experience of working with Jokreg on your first animated video with music? What brought about the collaboration? How did you overcome any hesitations about how the piece would turn out?
It was incredible! I’m thankful that he let me pick the song out of 3 that he made and I was instantly drawn to the darkest one.
I believe the collab was the result of my collaboration with Cultbitz and Jokreg’s comments on that Tweet, a couple of months later Jokreg DMed me and we made the collaboration official. Jokreg feel free to correct me, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I know it was more of an organic conversation.
Making an animated video has been one of my goals for a while, also I might need to start working Scoundrel game cinematic sometime soon, so I wanted to learn an animation program. I chose Open Toonz because it’s free and it was used by Studio Ghibli for some of their movies. The program is decent, but the export tools aren’t great, at least from my experience.
I don’t plan to make another NFT video like that anytime soon, so I wanted to do my best on “Control”. I was hesitant about the piece because it’s a lot darker than most of my art so far, however it was personal and from what I’ve seen so far and experienced, genuine NFT art is truly appreciated, and that motivated me to continue.
This is my favorite animated music video which inspired me:
Over Twitter DM, we’ve both talked a bit about “digital detox”. “Control” is a great rendition of the dystopian lives that a lot of us are increasingly experiencing with technology and social media. How do you feel about the ever increasing technology creep that we face in our lives?
Sunday was my third day of no social media and it was certainly difficult, but finally felt easier. Probably because I know I’ll go back to it Monday. I cheated a bit and peeked a few times for less than a minute.
– Kristy Glas (excerpt from PeakD blog)
I feel like I’ve been using too much social media lately. Before crypto art I avoided it completely because I know how addictive it can be. The problem with technology is that it’s designed to be addictive, otherwise it wouldn’t be such a problem.
I recommend checking out Social Dilemma documentary and reading up on addiction psychology in general. I don’t like how time seems to disappear when using apps and websites. There needs to be a giant shift in consumerism and people not being treated like products—time is extremely valuable and impossible to replace.
Interestingly I feel that we can also condition social media in a way, because it behaves based on our previous responses. So if you are careful with what you react to and promote, it will affect what you see, hopefully recommending more positive content. Or if you ignore social media when it doesn’t promote your content, it will learn that it needs to give you more engagement to gain your attention. If you’re more active online when your content is ignored, then it will just keep doing that to keep you online. This sounds really messed up, but it’s probably even worse in reality and maybe impossible to actually control.
The other day I made a deal with my younger sibling, that we’d both do less browsing and instead spend that extra time calling each other daily. I’m curious what effect that it will have long term, but I believe it will be for the better.
Which activities have been the most successful in helping you deal with technology addiction?
The most successful thing I’ve done is doing 48-hours of no social media—everything else I’ve tried is way less effective. I should try meditating again, but it’s so hard to get into it after a longer break.
Getting lost in painting something interesting also helps me forget to check socials and time ends up flying by. I also try to do other fun things like play games, if I don’t feel like working, otherwise it’s so easy to waste time on social media and I certainly fall for that.
You take great care of your audience and community by responding to each and every mention you receive. Also, you occasionally gift small trinkets to your collectors as tokens of appreciation.
What compels you to feel the need to respond to everyone? Do you feel like you’ll change the way you interact as you continue growing your audience?
Most of the mentions I currently receive are from other incredible artists and collectors I admire, and that’s what compels me to reply to them. As for simple “thank yous”, I don’t feel those take too much time at the moment. If the burden of replying to all my fans becomes too much I’ll have to figure something else out. I value that someone took the time to leave a comment, especially the longer ones, those I can’t imagine not replying to.
Also the appreciation trinkets aren’t only for the collectors, for example the cat doodles I sent to each person, whose idea the doodle was. I don’t like the holistic approach of what should or shouldn’t be tokenized or gifted. I’ll probably keep the same pace, but relatively it might look like I’m interacting less because of more comments in the future.
You have many multi-edition works and seemingly few qualms about how abundantly you mint your art. That’s a stark contrast to a bunch of the crypto artists who are in favor of “burning” unsold works. What are your thoughts about the incessant debate around scarcity vs abundance?
I’d rather gift unsold art over lowering the price or burning it. The only times I lower a price is if I set a higher price in the first place, for various reasons. It’s a personal preference and I don’t mind other artists burning their unsold work. I keep in mind what hasn’t sold well in the past and I make certain adjustments the next time if I tokenize something similar. I space out similar drops whenever possible, because I have so much to do anyways.
I have some art that can’t decide where I want to tokenize, so I keep it for the time when I might be too busy on a longer project, or if I need a break.
The scarcity debate is interesting, but variety is better, some artists create scarce art, others abundant. Funnily, my art is abundant and scarce at the same time, I tokenize highest quality but usually promote compressed versions on social media and I crop the story, hopefully compelling people to check the original token for more. Each of my pixel cats is visually distinct from each other, even though there are many of them by now.
Lots of folks struggle with pricing and could use some advice here. What are some of the various reasons why you’d lower an initially higher price?
I go by the gut, but also how much time I spent and how attached I am to the work. Also the collectors have been surprisingly consistent at valuing my art with bids, so that has been really helpful.
Buying a few NFTs myself has also helped me to reflect on my prices and whether I’d buy my own work if it had more editions/lower prices but similar total value.
For Pixel Cats, I raised prices because the demand was higher than I could create, so I slowly increased prices until they stopped selling out completely within the first hour. Also with higher prices I started putting more time into them-animation, designs, voxels, party.
The cats still sell out relatively fast, but until I have decent secondary sales, I don’t want to raise the prices more.
As ETH has gained insane value lately, it has been harder to decide on prices, because I don’t want to undervalue previously sold art.
What excites you most about your future with art? Where do you see yourself going?
I’m most excited about the potential, as NFT platforms compete they will hopefully each develop unique tools useful for artists.
For example, Rarible unlockables are amazing but they can also be developed much further. Tokenizing comics, books and games would be awesome, as I believe they’re all different forms of art. I’ve seen new music and photography NFT platforms, so books and comics might be next. A crypto version of Gumroad would also be interesting, buying various digital goods with crypto, not necessarily NFTs.
I see myself continuing in my own direction, having fun and sticking to what I enjoy working on. Slowly but surely completing my various goals.
Collector’s opinions on Kristy Glas
Dustin D. Trammell
I immediately loved her art style for those works and sought out more of her work. She has a very consistent style and I immediately thought she would be perfect to illustrate a children’s book that I wrote some years ago.
– Dustin D. Trammell
Read the entire collector’s opinion by Dustin D. Trammell: https://www.zonted.com/kristy-glas-dustin-d-trammell/
Kristy has always offered something unique to the medium. She was a crypto-artist years before this most recent boom. The best part is, I think she’ll innovate in a direction that nobody is expecting.
– Daniel Crowley
Read the entire collector’s opinion by Daniel Crowley: https://www.zonted.com/kristy-glas-daniel-crowley/
A lot of cryptoart is really heavy and dramatic, but when you look at the Pixel Cats, they are just so cute and fun and collectible – it really is pure, light enjoyment.
What’s exciting about it is that she produces so many, and yet, you find yourself waiting with bated breath for the next batch because Kristy keeps on surprising you
– $trawberry Sith
Read the entire collector’s opinion by $trawberry Sith: https://www.zonted.com/kristy-glas-strawberry-sith/
Ioannis & M0NA
I was mesmerized by her fantasy themed art—“The Watchful Forest” was the piece. Dustin D. Trammell and I had an epic bidding war, which at some point I had to tap out. I was devastated as I had fallen in love with that piece. I swore to myself I would be prepared to acquire her next piece no matter the cost.
– Ioannis (greekdx)
Read the entire collector’s opinion by Ioannis & M0NA: https://www.zonted.com/kristy-glas-ioannis-m0na/
I grew up voraciously consuming fantasy and science fiction novels, dreaming of mystical worlds that could be and crafting my own games. Though life has taken me down a different path from getting to create make-believe worlds, peering into Glas’ work fulfills my deep-seated need to daydream about worlds-that-could-be.
Read the entire collector’s opinion by zonted: https://www.zonted.com/kristy-glas-zonted/
When I chanced upon her early work, which had the diminutive person in the cloak (now dubbed – The Adventurer). It evoked and image of a child entering a new world.
Read the entire collector’s opinion by AndrewAbranches here: https://www.zonted.com/kristy-glas-andrewabranches/
Any shout outs?
So many!! I could keep on listing more, the NFT community is simply so incredible.
@Lelapinmignon: We’re working on an awesome collab right now
@jokregbeats: And everyone I’ve done collaborations with ❤️❤️❤️
@juliakponsford: She answered sooo many of my questions the first month when I joined NFTs
Collectives / platforms
@hellowoca: for the wonderful endorsements and shoutouts
@aishacarif: the MakersPlace’s community manager has been incredibly helpful and welcoming
Notable past exhibitions / praise / press:
- zonted genesis exhibition
The first ever (“genesis”) digital art exhibition by zonted art gallery. The exhibition features sculptures, installations, videos, and digital creations by a wide array of notable international artists that are on the forefront of digital NFT art.
Visit the exhibition here: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/parcels/3734
- SHE ART Exhibition
- Daniel Crowley, Adventures in NFTs — An Interview with Kristy Glas
- MakersPlace Roots Exhibition
Support the artist
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristyGlas
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristyglas_art/
- SuperRare: https://superrare.co/kristyglas
- MakersPlace: https://makersplace.com/kristyglas/
- KnownOrigin: https://knownorigin.io/kristyglas
- Rarible: https://app.rarible.com/kristyglas
- Cryptovoxels zonted gallery: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/parcels/3795
- Cryptovoxels EBC Gallery: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/parcels/4054
- Cryptovoxels Pixel Cats Gallery: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/parcels/3749
- PeakD: https://peakd.com/@kristyglas/posts
- DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/kristyglas