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Never Give Up: Interview with Stellabelle, the Patron Saint of Postcards
Elated Pixelations Interview #6
NOTE: I’ve known about Stellabelle for a little while, first through the (Crypto)Voxels community. At first I didn’t know she was an ‘OG’ Crypto Artist, although I immediately noticed her knack for creating advanced wearables - digital apparel and accessories for one’s avatar. Much later I read a great Crypto Art history article by another author that she linked to on Twitter, and begin to see the bigger picture. Stella knew a lot and knew people who knew at least as much or more. I know a good source of knowledge when I run into it. So after paying some more attention to Stella and her mission of preserving and reaffirming the original ethos of pre-2021 bubble Crypto Art, I arranged for an interview. After some back-and-forth DMs, and then answering some written interview questions (my method up until now), Stellabelle expressed the desire to move the party over to video/audio. I agreed. I’d participated in enough Twitter Spaces to be comfortable with the idea of interviewing her there.
So, I present to you not only the audio interview from Twitter Spaces on Sept 9th (2022), but what I’ll call the Pre-Interview, which is the text Q/A with Stella that happened in DMs before and after her Nifty Gateway drop. The full Audio Interview is in on Youtube in two parts and is 2+ hrs total (links after Pre-Interview)!
The Pre-Interview with Stellabelle, fall ‘22
This text interview took place weeks before the Twitter Spaces AMA with Stellabelle.
Stella, How did you get into crypto and what was your art-life before that?
I was a science and tech writer for Interesting Engineering and I was doing research about a guy who trained AI to do his job for him when I found Steemit by accident in 2016. I joined immediately and learned about Bitcoin, blockchain and crypto in there. Once I went down the rabbit hole, I just never got out. But I’ve been doing art and creative pursuits my entire life. I taught myself how to code websites in the early web days, worked as a freelance video and photographer, did collage art, made hand-made postcards, painted my car 5 different times, did video feedback experiments, painted shoes, designed jewelry and was a professional production artist at a sticker factory for 8 years. I also wrote my first book, Uncrap Your Life in 2015.
Name a pre-digital artist you liked back then.
Salvador Dali. And Leonor Fini [Stella names additional influences in the Youtube interviews].
Ok. And what pre-Crypto digital artist got your attention? Like someone on Deviant Art, for example.
Sure. An artist named MissMe.
When did you start creating art on block chains?
I started creating crypto art in 2017 before NFT tech was fully evolved. Before that I created art, writing and videos on the Steem blockchain starting in 2016. In 2017 I also founded a crypto artist collective called Slothicorn which educated and supported artists who were just learning about crypto. We created and curated art that was published on the Steem blockchain [an example]. In early 2020 I began minting my art full-time on various platforms including Makersplace, Opensea, NFTShowroom, Rarible and others.
What are some major differences between original and current Crypto art?
Crypto art emerged out of the crypto ethos of decentralization and artist self-sovereignty. It is rooted in rebelliousness. Cryptoart now has been diluted from its roots.
Note: this artwork is animated, soooo do this to get the full vibe.
So compared to art on the blockchains today, what type of art was around before the Punks?
So the main difference is that for pre-punk the artists were the ones minting. While post-punk is about devs and scammers mostly minting 10K pfp collections. Non-artists have moved in and are launching cash grabs everywhere.
Any other big differences?
In 2018 there were very few artists. I was making crypto art in 2017 about crypto dramas like when Bitcoin split. Many of us were influenced by Coin Artist. She invented the bitcoin puzzle genre and there were lots of experiments going on.
You mentioned Slothicorn earlier. Interesting that it was a CC0 (Creative Commons) project, in light of the recent Moonbirds controversy. Was Slothicorn a success in hindsight? It seems Stellabelle's community is kind of an offshoot of that.
Yeah, Slothicorn was successful. It was a thriving community. Back then we didn’t have NFT projects that made money so when the bear market came it wiped me out [financially] and I didn’t have a funding mechanism. All in all Slothicorn paid around $46K [USD] to artists in 2018.
[For more on Slothicorn, see the LINKS section below for Jake Gallen’s video interview covering that]
(End of Pre-Interview)
So that was pretty much all of all our Pre-Interview (I should say ‘DMterview’). Though the quotes below come from the Interview that happened in Twitter Spaces weeks later, they are gems that beg repeating here. And so, I present to you, dear reader…
(SOME OF) STELLA’S LIFE LESSONS
Figure yourself out.
Persist when everyone else gives up or says No, you can’t.
You must be open to people liking you, if you want to be successful.
And remember that Bitcoin is not just censorship-resistant, it is censorship resistance.
[Note: this is also AR art. See Description for Stella’s instructions re. how to see it that way]
And that’s for me, for this post. But not for you lol. Below you’ll find the promised audio-interviews, along with a treasure-trove of Stellabelle links following (with some of my main ones too). They’ll get you acquainted with Stella and her work and help you keep up with her. Have fun, and see you on Twtr, the ‘Tube, or in the ‘verse.
Stellabelle Interview Part 1
Stellabelle Interview Part 2
Stella’s 2015 book, Uncrap Your Life
Stella's Nifty Gateway drop in August '22
Stella is featured in the Cryptoart book, dropped Sept '22
New Here film (2023) by Dan Sickles
Jake Gallen interviews Stella regarding Slothicorn on YouTube in August 2022
Visit Stella in the metaverse...
Stellabelle's Gallery and Museum in Voxels world
Stella's store in Vox Walk Mall in Voxels world
Elated Pixel's Twitter
Visit Elated in the 'verse:
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