Categories
art opinion poetry technology women writing

Octophina: Life and the art of healing

Fine artist Octophina

Not every artist’s origin story begins with the artist falling unconscious to the floor. But mine does. My name is Sophie. I am a Bulgarian mixed media abstract artist, TEDx speaker, and mental health advocate. Until I turned 32, I was an artist in denial. And I say that because I never had the courage to admit that I wanted to make art.

Octophina is on Twitter

After a very challenging period in my life, creating art helped me sculpt a new self-identity. I was also able to redesign my reality. The process saved me, and every day, I share my story with others to help them find their true calling.

I call myself Octophina because I’ve always felt like a human octopus, who like a real octopus, has at least three hearts and nine brains. Art helps me to use my “bugs” as features. This way of thinking enables me to see every challenge as an opportunity to grow. My path to becoming an artist was an unexpected journey of healing through inner exploration.

If my life had a prequel, it would be my corporate background as a trained journalist specialising in graphic design, PR, and IT. I was also a prominent international food blogger, a certified Mind Body Eating coach and founder of a social enterprise. And yet, despite everything I achieved, I struggled with depression for over a decade. Navigating the world through this brain has been a weird experience. Today, I capture all of that in my art.

In recent years, after numerous traumatic events, including the pandemic destroying my business and leaving me broke, moving alone to a new country to restart my life at 31, and my mom getting diagnosed with breast cancer, I was emotionally, physically, and psychologically drained.

On May 8, 2021, I fainted in my kitchen and when I woke up, I felt completely apathetic about the projects and initiatives I had been passionate about for years. It was as though my entire identity had been wiped out. Over the next four months, I was trapped in major depression. And it was difficult for me to articulate what I was experiencing internally. I felt terrified.

My therapist encouraged me to start making art to clear my mental cache, improve my emotional metabolism, and practice self-care. Today, almost six months later, we are working on a start-up which will merge psychotherapy, art, and blockchain technology. We started this business to help people improve their mental health and financial well-being.

Follow Octophina’s journey on Instagram

In celebration of this resurrection of life, presence and hope for the future, I launched a collection of NFTs on Open Sea called Pain to Power. This is a constellation of reflective artwork I created between November and December 2021. The date of the release is January 19, 2022, is the date my mom got her breast cancer diagnosis last year. After almost a year in hell, my mom recovered completely and is doing well. Sharing my transformational healing art with the world on the anniversary of her diagnosis is for me a celebration of resilience, which is what makes the human experience special.

Art has helped me discover my identity outside of social conditioning, peer pressure, and others’ expectations. As I create art, I am healing emotional wounds and building a healthy sense of self-worth. I invite you to stay with me on this journey.

Outro
Happy Friday, everyone. Thank you for reading Sophie’s story. We are five days away from her genesis drop (first collection of NFT art) on Open Sea. Let us send her our best wishes for the sale of her collection. In the meantime, why don’t you go ahead and visit her website, then follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Medium. She is looking forward to sharing her adventures in art and life with you.

Categories
entrepreneurs news opinion technology

NFT Marketplaces: A Competitive Megathread

Creative photography entitled Burning Issues. And NFT collection by Raecreateart.
From the collection Burning Issues by Raecreateart


Hello everyone. I hope you’ve had a great start to 2022. To start my year on a productive note, I have done lots of reading and talked with prominent players in blockchain technology investments. No two investors agree on the best investment approach, so my solution has been to try and understand their mindset. In my opinion, it is really important to grow a strategy play based on your own knowledge, connections, and risk tolerance.

Why is this important for creators? We should be thinking about investing some of our income to fund creative projects or startups and to build a nest egg for retirement. Eventually, I will be publishing informative posts on NFTs (digital assets stored in smart contracts on a blockchain), blockchain infrastructure, smart contracts, and cryptocurrencies. Each of these topics exists in its own ecosystem. The main ideas here are registration of ownership, a decentralised protocol for validating transactions, and platforms for creating and trading tokens. At the end of this megathread, you will see links for further reading.

None of the views expressed here are financial advice. Please do your own research, as always.

January 7, 2022 recorded conversation on passive income via Twitter Spaces

Intro
One of the first questions I am asked after “What are NFTs?” is “Where should I sell them?” Today’s post will give you some guidance through a discussion of NFT marketplaces. This presentation was first published on October 13, 2021 by Mide, an angel investor and crypto trading expert I met on Twitter Spaces. He published a megathread on his Twitter timeline to discuss his outlook on marketplaces for non-fungible tokens. So far, players with real world skills are entering the community. And they are bringing marketing expertise, professional teams, and networking skills to a market that is saturated with art. These newcomers will be competitive if they can offer tangible value to collectors. Marketplaces will then compete to provide a platform for the most popular project owners, and depending on the outcome of the negotiations, primary market collectors will benefit.

The original thread by Mide published on Twitter

Megathread
NFTs. They are everywhere these days. And if you’ve ever bought or sold one, you probably did it on Open Sea. The world’s largest NFT marketplace has handled a whopping $8 billion worth of transactions since the start of 2021.

The success of NFTs is no longer a point of discussion. Rather, it makes sense to think about the continued success of Open Sea as a marketplace. In the latter months of 2021, there was a surge in rival NFT marketplaces, many aiming for the top spot. So, is Open Sea under threat? That is what I want to explore today.

In the summer of 2021, the earliest sign of an Open Sea competitor came from one of the largest decentralized exchanges, SushiSwap. Sushi has announced its own NFT platform called Shoyu (meaning soy sauce in Japanese). The platform is currently in the final stages of development. Shoyu’s main advantages are integration with existing Sushi Swap protocols and the distribution of transaction fees to SUSHI token holders.

However, from the SHOYU NFT teasers released so far, the marketplace looks more like a competitor to Super Rare than OpenSea. This is because it targets individual artists and art collectors rather than NFT flippers (people who buy NFTs and resell them for a bigger profit).

The next marketplace that caught my eye is the newly launched Infinity. Entering the scene in October, 2021, Infinity has been trying to lure Open Sea users to its platform with the promise of a token airdrop (free tokens sent directly to wallets visible on the Open Sea platform).

Anyone who has spent more than 0.02 ETH ($US 62) on OpenSea can claim a bag of Infinity tokens if they spend an equal amount of ETH on the Infinity marketplace. Additionally, Infinity aims to be community-driven and completely decentralized, with user governance coming from holders of the airdropped tokens. Infinity even admits that it uses the same smart contracts as Open Sea. The Infinity developers are transparent about trying to lure users away from Open Sea in a so-called “vampire attack.”

On the centralised exchange side, there is a new offering from FTX US. The exchange’s latest marketplace launched in October. It offers a much-needed improvement to NFT trading on Solana. It also provides a safer and more intuitive way to discover NFTs. At present, FTX only supports Solana NFTs but has said it intends to add support for Ethereum-based NFTs soon. FTX already runs an NFT marketplace and users can bid on experiences like a match in the popular League of Legends game.

Finally, we have Coinbase NFTs. Nasdaq’s first cryptocurrency exchange says that it will help creators to flourish on the exchange. In the announcement of its waitlist, it said that “by fostering connections, Coinbase NFT will help creators, collectors, and fans build community.” However, despite the optimism of this presentation, it is newcomer FTX that has the biggest chance of dethroning Open Sea, in my opinion. The platform has proven that it will get what it wants. It has also spent millions on marketing and promotional partnerships. It has already made a name for itself as a provider of cryptocurrency derivates, and I believe that it will be able to achieve the same level of success with NFTs.

Fin

Further reading

Ethereum Whitepaper
Ethereum Foundation

The Year in Ethereum 2020
Josh Stark and Evan Van Ness via Medium

Why I’m bearish on Ethereum
Tascha Labs

Solana: A new architecture for a high performance blockchain v 0.8.13
Solana Project

$LUNA Investment strategy discussion on Twitter Spaces (recorded)

Categories
art technology women

A passion for art: Reflection on the Thea Collection by the artist Luchong

Dahlia by the artist Luchong

Intro: I remember meeting Luchong in Twitter Spaces a few months ago. Not long after meeting more of her friends, I decided to post an African artists’ showcase here on Saint Joan Creative Studio. I remember receiving a very excited note when she noticed I plugged her photo into the post. Today, I call her “boss” because she is a verified blockchain diva. Her Thea Collection is the 7th highest trending collection on Open Sea as of late December, 2021.

Open Sea is the biggest platform for NFTs. The platform has reached a trade volume of over US$720 million in the past three days alone (January 3 ~ 6), so imagine the scale of her achievement. Trending is not easy for any artist. Hers is a phenomenal achievement due to her talent, bubbly personality, and the support of established artists around her. Congrats, boss. And now, let us hear from our muse.

Safiya

Hi, I’m Luchong, a 20-year-old digital artist from Nigeria and the creator of the Thea Collection of art which is available on Open Sea. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Where do I start? Last year, 2021, was definitely a wild and interesting year for me. Although it didn’t quite start out on a good note, it ended in a very beautiful way, and for that, I am thankful.

I joined the NFT community in September, 2021 and it has been a life-changing experience for me. This is because of the community and friends I have made here. The community is something I am extremely thankful for because I have found the unity and support I really needed in my life. The best way to describe it is to say that I finally feel like I have found my place and my family. I am happier today than I have been in a while.

Kissa

The NFT community space has made a huge impact on my life and I say that because I have seen so much growth and improvement in myself and my art. I consider this community to be a true blessing. I am especially thankful for my collectors, specifically my first collectors, those who found me and fell in love with my art, those who believed in me and my art. I am especially grateful to Prince Ude, NFT Lover, Lord Olu, Kel Savage and Bolusowe. Their love and support have been unreal and I am extremely grateful for them all.

Thea Collection reaching 2 ETH (US$ 7079 floor price)

Looking forward to 2022, I can say that I am happy and excited for the year ahead because there are a number of things I want to achieve during the course of this year. First is that I want to grow and evolve so much as an artist. I want my art to reach more people and evoke emotions in them. I want my art to effectively communicate my feelings to people and I want more people to truly resonate with my work. I also intend to dabble in 3D art and more traditional forms of painting. My passion for art increased so much this year, I am grateful and excited to create more.

The artist Luchong with her beautiful work

May I mention a few brilliant artists I intend to collaborate with in future? You may have heard of Kel Savage, Torera, Freddie Jacob, Pascal Okafor and Design with MJ. If you haven’t, please get to know them. They are amazing.

And I guess that’s a wrap. I have a really positive feeling about 2022 and I feel this will be my best year yet. I am thrilled to start the year with this newfound drive and love for art.

Sales notice from Open Sea

Outro: Hello everyone, I am fine artist and author Lily Nicole, and as you can see I am back from a very long break. My domain was renewed automatically (thanks WordPress) and Saint Joan Creative Studio is alive and well. Let us pretend that thing you never saw didn’t happen.