The Avalanche NFT space certainly exploded in late 2021. The artist Marvin Paradox really stood out to us and many others in the community during this exciting year for NFTs.
Marvin answered a variety of questions on art, NFTs and the Avax scene in the general. Understanding his artistic process and view of the Avalanche ecosystem, has inspired us and hopefully future NFT artists.
So Marvin, how long have you been an artist? And where did it all start?
I started to draw as a child, moving on to graffiti snails on walls because I was really bad at drawing letters. It became an obsession and I received some well-deserved fines. I made a conscious decision to stop painting walls and to start creating stickers, much less conflict. But it wasn’t until 2015 that I discovered the enormous benefits of doing it digitally. I am 100% self-taught, mostly through online platforms such as Youtube.
The truth is that I have never considered myself an artist, but rather a guy who enjoys making things. It is an honour to be described as an artist because I love to create. If people like my art, that’s great. But I usually work to satisfy myself first and foremost.
Why did you choose the Avalanche Blockchain over SOL or ETH?
I became interested after speaking to a friend about the possibilities that were available to artists that entered the NFT world. I like the idea of giving an artist the ability to earn money, without intermediates. But after my initial research, I found out that there was an underlying ecological problem within most blockchains and I decided to look for greener alternatives. I simply couldn’t be part of a network that created problems in the real world.
Avalanche was recommended to me by my friend and it was my first crypto experience. Since becoming part of this wonderful Blockchain I haven’t had to look elsewhere.
Tell us about your creative process
My creative process starts on a mobile notepad. After I find a concept or idea that I like, I consider how to capture it visually. Usually, it’s a crossover of concepts that I like and ones that I would like to mix in. It can be hit-and-miss and may require lots of versions, but I have patience and keep at it until it is complete. Sometimes, I get frustrated watching an artist speed drawing because I know that it takes much longer for me to create my drawings.
What software do you use when creating your art?
Photoshop from start to finish. In my first year illustrating I didn’t even use a tablet. I did everything with the trackpad and it took about three weeks to complete a drawing. But back then it seemed great to me and I had a lot of fun!
We hear of Beeple using a lot of Cinema 4D & turbosquid.com, are you looking into more 3D work at present?
I confess I have no idea how to do things in 3D, however, I am fascinated by this medium. The quality, level of detail and overall output are phenomenal, but my brain explodes when I try to get my head around it.
Beeple is a rock star. He’s been creating a unique piece every day since 2007, now that’s consistency!
Who inspires you as an artist, on-chain or IRL?
I was born in 1993, so I have lived through the Banksy sensation in real-time. I cannot deny that it has been a huge inspiration. I watched Exit Through The Gift Shop back in the day and loved it.
I generally absorb things around me. If I run out of ideas, I often go to a museum. They are great places to absorb and learn. Movies are another great source of inspiration for me. Monty Python, The Coen Brothers, all of the Pixar movies and, unironically, Waterworld. In past carnivals, I have even dressed up as a “Smoker”.
Your portfolio has a common theme in our eyes. Community growth whilst having fun. Are we correct in our interpretation of your values as an artist and contributor?
I came to Avalanche without experience or a network of contacts, I was really amazed at the horizontality of this space. I personally think that community is everything and I love to collaborate with other projects, using something I call the ‘Pokemon Philosophy’.
Do you remember when you talked to a character and helped them in some way? “Hey Ash, help me fight these punks”. When you have completed the quest, that character would reward you with something strange and useful. I try to apply that to my involvement in the Avalanche Community.
Now that I am a full-time artist I do have to consider my bottom line, but generally, if the project is not a clear scam and I see good intentions behind the team, I have no problem collaborating with people, although sometimes I am sceptical and always make sure I do my own research before committing.
We are excited to announce that @MarvinParadox has joined Fief as a contributor to help drive the creative direction — Fief NFTs will be 🔥.
— Fief 🔺 (@FiefGuild) December 23, 2021
Collaboration is one of our favourite aspects of the Avalanche scene, we picked up on a real sense of community support very early on in our experience of the space. We know you are a big fan of collaboration with other projects, can you tell us about your next exciting project?
Of course, I have just joined the FIEF Guild project and I am very excited about what is being developed. I initially liked their medieval approach and the guild concept. When I saw that Leo was joining the team it became a no-brainer decision. I made contact and I am now part of the project. It’s going to be great! I also continue to support Teddy in everything they need, it’s a great project and the team is wonderful.
If you could own any NFT what would it be?
I’d sell my soul to the devil for chikn 2138. It’s obviously the best in the collection.
If you could own any piece of art what would it be?
I cried when I first saw Picasso’s Guernica in Madrid. I would say that it has had the most emotional impact. In some ways, I wish that it was never created but also I am thankful that it was because of the personal impact that it had. I would, however, not like to own it myself, it should be owned by the public.
I have a lot of affection for the APA team. They took my banner, and from a simple design, they created a wonderful project that benefitted a worthy cause. I think they have built a spectacular community and I love their philosophy.
Any advice for budding NFT artists out there?
In my opinion, the trick is to collaborate as much as you can. You can be a superb artist and launch your own NFT series alone, but without people’s support, you are simply not gonna make it.
Everything changes so quickly here, it’s truly amazing. Forcing you out of your comfort zone and into working with talented people. In return, you will gain visibility and experience. It’s a win-win.
My advice is to not think of a great project that will lead you straight to the end destination, try to work with good people along the way and never be afraid of the journey.
I am very happy to work with other projects because you discover new perspectives, travel the world, make lifelong friends (see all of you in Barcelona!) and it’s literally impossible to have a creative block with all the stimulation.
Make sure you follow Marvin on Twitter for the latest updates
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