I try not to care so much what anyone else thinks about the art I create, I focus on what/how/why it makes me feel when I am creating it. I’ve lost a child, I almost lost my own life, I’m losing the sight in my right eye, but I am not a loser. Art has helped me heal, it continues to heal me.— AlittleNFT
Meet AlittleNFT, a visionary artist whose journey weaves through the intricate tapestry of technology, family life, and the vibrant world of art. As a dedicated father of three and a loving husband, AlittleNFT embraces the multifaceted roles that shape his perspective and infuse his creations with a unique depth.
With a robust background in technology and coding, AlittleNFT navigates the intricate landscape of web3, where art and innovation intertwine. His artistic odyssey unfolds not through traditional mediums, but rather through the very essence of code, where algorithms and pixels collide to birth breathtaking digital masterpieces.
\AlittleNFT’s art transcends boundaries, seamlessly blending the digital and the ethereal. As he emerges as a creative force, he invites us to witness the remarkable transformation of his technological prowess into an art form that resonates on a profound level. The blockchain-powered realm of NFTs becomes his canvas, a space where his imagination unfurls, creating vibrant stories and emotions that endure through time.
Join us in exploring AlittleNFT’s captivating journey, where the intricate threads of technology, familial bonds, and artistic expression converge into a symphony of creativity. In this remarkable fusion, we glimpse not only the limitless possibilities of web3 but also the profound depth that emerges when innovation is nurtured within the embrace of family.
Brady Walker: You nearly died of sepsis earlier this year. How did your near-death experience affect your worldview and the actions that you take day to day?
AlittleNFT: Surviving sepsis earlier this year really turned my world around, you know? It’s like I suddenly see life through a different lens. I’ve come to appreciate the small things – those everyday moments, the people around me – like never before.
The whole experience made me rethink what truly matters in my life. I’ve become more focused on spending quality time with my loved ones and chasing after things that genuinely light me up, instead of sweating the small stuff.
A lasting effect is the loss of clear sight in my right eye, I can no longer read or see details with that eye. I now wear an eye patch when I’m creating, reading, or coding so that the blurry view in my right eye doesn’t interfere. Plus, my middle child now calls me a pirate.
It’s funny, I’ve surprised myself with the strength I found to pull through. That resilience has seeped into other aspects of my life too. I’m more determined now, ready to take challenges head-on.
Taking care of my health has become a top priority. I’m all about staying active, eating well, and making sure I’m in top shape!
But you know what’s really been a game-changer? Art. Creating art has been this incredible outlet for processing everything I went through. It’s like my emotions and thoughts flow onto the canvas, and it’s been surprisingly therapeutic. It’s given me this sense of control and a way to express what’s hard to put into words.
I find myself being more understanding and compassionate toward others’ struggles too. It’s like this experience opened my heart wider. And I’m trying to live more in the present – practicing mindfulness and gratitude – because each moment feels more precious now.
This whole journey has made me reassess my goals and dreams. I’ve got this renewed drive to pursue what I’m truly passionate about. Life’s too short to hold back, you know?
Brady Walker: Can you tell me about your background as a coder and how it plays into your capacity as a collector and as an artist?
Brady Walker: What is Code Art?
AlittleNFT: Code art is any art that is created, manipulated, augmented, altered, or refined with code, coding, algorithms, machine learning, modeling, etc.
Brady Walker: In its description, you’re pretty straightforward about the process behind Equations, but can you take me through the process from its initial conception?
AlittleNFT: Step 1: Conceptualization and IdeationThe idea for this art project comes from an interest in the relationship between mathematics and creativity. The plan is to use important equations from history as prompts for AI-generated artwork. The main principle is to get inspiration from the mathematical equations, allowing the AI to create interpretations without outside influences.
Step 2: Researching Historic EquationsResearch is conducted to find key equations that have significantly impacted various fields, including physics, astronomy, mathematics, and engineering. These equations, such as Newton’s law of universal gravitation, Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence equation, Schrödinger’s wave equation, and Maxwell’s equations, are used as the foundation for the artwork.
Step 3: Equation Selection and CurationThe process includes selecting equations from different time periods and scientific areas. They are picked based on their potential to inspire artistic images or patterns. The chosen equations become the prompts for the AI, allowing for various artistic expressions.
Step 4: AI Art GenerationThe selected equations are used as input for an AI art generator without any additional guidance. This step enables the AI to explore the mathematical prompts and create visual representations. The AI’s output provides insight into its interpretation of the historic concepts.
Step 5: Iterative Generation and RefinementThe AI-created artworks are generated multiple times to explore the creative possibilities within each equation. The artworks are then refined through a selection process, focusing on those that provide the most interesting interpretations.
Step 6: Post-Processing and Artistic EnhancementChosen artworks are improved in Photoshop by adjusting color and image quality. The original AI-created images are fine-tuned to enhance their visual appeal.
Step 7: Composition and SynthesisThe improved pieces can be further modified by changing elements, adding content, or combining different parts of artwork from the same equation. This step includes creative decisions to merge and balance different outputs, leading to composite artworks that provide new views on the underlying equations.
Step 8: Painting and BlendingThe final step is to apply traditional artistic methods to the digital works. Elements from the composite artworks may be blended together, integrating both human craftsmanship and AI-generated foundation to create a cohesive piece of art.
In the project titled Equations Unveiled, the process starts with historical equations as the starting point, and through the combination of AI creativity and human skill, it results in a collection of visuals that explore both mathematics and art.
Brady Walker: Where in your blockchain journey did you start collecting NFTs, and when did you mint your own Genesis NFT?
AlittleNFT: I started collecting in 2021, about 4 years into my blockchain journey. I’ll be really transparent here, I was more interested in the code and functionality of Layer 2s, NFT, distributed ledgers, roll-ups, interoperability matrices, and the like than art. I literally tripped into it. I minted my Genesis piece, “waiting” at 12:02 AM on May 1, 2022.
Brady Walker: Why did you choose the name Every Day is Exactly the Same for that series?
AlittleNFT: The pieces in that collection reflect (at least for me) the “stuck” nature of so many people who live paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth, etc. I think Carl Jung says it well: C.G. Jung — ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’
The NIN song lyrics go “I believe I can see the future, because every day I repeat the same routine,” There is something immensely sad and jarring in that thought; it’s true that if I repeat the same routine every day, I effectively can see the future. And yet people go on, wondering why nothing changes.
Brady Walker: Can you give me some background on this series? It appears to be your only collaboration with a visual artist, though composer DUSKOsound has collaborated with you on other projects.
AlittleNFT: I ran some pieces of jrdsctt’s art through a script that I put together to create these ASCII-type outputs and he seemed to dig it. So we picked several pieces of his and I manipulated them with my code. The music I was putting them to wasn’t edgy enough for the concept so along came DUSKOsound.
jrdsctt introduced me to DUSKOsound and I just totally connected with him as a geek (it’s a compliment). I would lay out the sound that I wanted and he delivered almost intuitively. We collab’d on another piece and I would send storyboards that he would score. I would pick apart what he came up with, and he would rescore; it was a back and forth of one or two times versus the 10–15 times it could have been. We just clicked in that way.
Brady Walker: The Black Sun series (your first minted or first sold?) was a labor-intensive project, which might surprise AI naysayers. How did this series come together?
AlittleNFT: The first piece I sold was titled Suns Can Be Black, which was a digital watercolor in black and white that was then processed through my code script that created an ASCII-like output. It was the first sold piece of mine. That first black sun piece harkened back to my childhood when I was ridiculed for drawing a Black Sun instead of a yellow one. There is a lot more to unpack there, but we are going to leave alone why a kid would draw a black sun (for now). It was kind of me taking back my inner artist and processing some trauma at the insistence of my therapist.
The process was me using my watercolors of several black suns as the basis to train the model to produce black suns no matter what else I folded in. It took a long, long time. But eventually, it started to work really well (IMO). I mixed B/W digital watercolors with hyper-colorful nebula pictures and then blended B/W at a 3:1 ratio through AI to achieve the overarching b/w with some color and the definitive Black Sun. I love the pieces, I give them as gifts. They truly are a representation of me becoming free of my past and embracing new colors in my life
Brady Walker: How has your experience as a well-known collector influenced your approach to your own web3 art career?
AlittleNFT: It’s actually gotten in my way. By no means am I a huge collector dropping multiples of ETH on any one piece or collection of pieces, but it still made waves. There have been several that stopped talking to me once I started creating art. I have felt (at times) that perhaps I was being tolerated or humored simply because I had also been collecting.
It made it hard sometimes to know if they liked the art or if they wanted my ETH. Some came right out and said I was deceptive and that they didn’t know what to think now that I was their competition. I was just following the advice of my therapist.
I had mentioned several times how this artist community was so much fun for me, and she kept asking why I don’t make art too. I would tell her I get the tech and code aspect, but I don’t think I can make art. She suggested there was a way to blend the two. And so I did.
Brady Walker: What’s the most helpful thing you’ve learned in the last year or so that has helped you in your creative career? This could be a new habit you’ve picked up, something helpful in a tricky software, a new mindset, or anything else.
AlittleNFT: I try not to care so much what anyone else thinks about the art I create, I focus on what/how/why it makes me feel when I am creating it. I’ve lost a child, I almost lost my own life, I’m losing the sight in my right eye, but I am not a loser. Art has helped me heal, it continues to heal me.
Brady Walker: Can you share any specific rituals or practices that help you maintain your creative momentum?
AlittleNFT: I create constantly, I am currently working on a handful of different styles and several group/collections. It keeps me from getting bored. My creative file has 32 projects, some that I am in every day, some that I touch often, and others that I touch every now and then. I feel like I start new ideas all the time and try them out.
Brady Walker: How do you think about balancing the business aspect of making a creative career and the creative process?
AlittleNFT: I think it’s too hard for most, there is only so much energy and time in the day, where do I spend it? Creating? Marketing? Sharing? Extemporizing?
I think that society has made us all believe that having a day job or a side job somehow devalues us as artists, when the actual truth is that so many, and I mean almost all, ridiculously famous artists had a job other than “professional artist.”
There is no shame in having a “for the bills” job while also being an artist. If that were more acceptable, I think we would see less angst in the marketplace revolving around sales and making money from art. We have to normalize that for everyone. I think I have an idea about famous artists in their day job as a collection.
Brady Walker: If you could pick the next artist to spotlight, who would it be? If you could pick the next collector to spotlight, who would it be?
Artist: @MarcelDeneuve or @victorvdr9 or @jarvinart. And I’d rather read an interview from a curator than a collector.