Finally! We spoke with one of hottest rising art talents within the Avalanche ecosystem, Rich from TapTapKaboom. Get comfortable, as this is a fantastic, in-depth read for anyone interested in creativity and art!
So Rich, how long have you been an artist?
I’ve been doodling and drawing since I can remember. So I took art in school. When I saw the awesome illustrations and animations students at my future university were doing, and that they got paid to do it, I signed myself up to a palace called Vega for 3 years where I learned brand communication, marketing, graphic design, and a bunch of other things. I specialised in multimedia design, which means specialising in doing multiple things. I developed a knack for learning things quickly and spent hours trying things and honing my newly acquired skills. I later studied more graphic design. So, add all that together, plus many years in the web, UX, UI, and product design business, plus a raging imagination, plus always doodling, and you get me.
I always struggled with the word “project.” Because as a 1/1 artist (this was also a weird term for me) you don’t think like this—you think “I create stuff. Where can I put it?” So, In 2018 MakersPlace reached out to me and I minted a few pieces on the Ethereum blockchain. I had no idea what I was doing or who could possibly want to buy digital art. When I finally “got” the word “Project” I created The Doodleverse.
I had a call with Sarp Suerdas, set up by a mutual friend. He told me about this blockchain called Avalanche. I was doing a 100 Day Project where I was creating an NFT every day for 100 days. I had already tried 4 blockchains so trying another one couldn’t hurt. I’d tried Ethereum, Polygon, Tezos and Solana and was trying to understand the differences and nuances. I was trying to meet people and not just be another fish in the bottomless sea. Sarp introduced me to countless awesome people on the Metamorph Discord and from then on I haven’t looked back. The community is awesome. The gas is so much cheaper. Everything happens so much faster. There are far fewer scammers and from what I’ve read it’s all operating on superior tech. There are people who could be on high horses walking with the rest of us.
“The community is what set it apart for me.”
My brain farts out ideas at a rapid rate but all kinds of non-related things. Some are brilliant and some are terrible. What I’ve found is that a story is something I can create rapidly around. I can brainstorm very quickly around that. I have a massive whiteboard in my studio so I’ll often do some rough sketches so I can establish an idea. If I get an idea in my head I try to draw it to see if it works, or so that I can expand upon it. Then it’s like my brain starts generating ideas all around that one specific thing. Sometimes it’s an image, sometimes it’s an idea. For a 1/1 Doodleverse piece the process goes like this: idea/s, sketches on paper (sometimes skip this), sketches on an iPad using Procreate, linework, erasing, more linework, adding fills, adding gradients, changes and adaptions, and then some final grit and grain to make feel less digital.
“I’ve created a lot and I don’t plan on stopping.”
So I’ll talk from creating The Doodleverse onwards. The Doodleverse is an expression of authenticity for me. It’s me being a kid sitting in his bedroom drawing stuff out of my imagination, and I believe that helps take viewers back to when they were kids. When they had wild dreams, crazy imaginations and massive ambitions where anything was possible and where joy and happiness were abundant. So, a lot of what I’m creating now stems from this place.
I’ve created dynamic NFTs, ones that change based on the time of day, a Happy Sun 1/1 pfp collection, a 50 piece Leopard Queens collab collection with Josiah Soren Garrett, a Realms of Weird generative collection to help fund AVAX PDX, the 10 piece 1/1 For Love collection, which I’m super pumped and proud about, and I have ideas brewing about a generative collection called Limina. All these stem from The Doodleverse and find themselves in The Doodleverse. I accidentally created a fertile ground for new ideas, new projects, new themes all in the same place. The Doodleverse is a dreamlike reality with multiple realms, so anything is possible much like in a dream. There are no rules, but there are often recurring themes that appear based on real-life events.
The transition happened this year. I decided to create authentically and try to make money using my imagination. Doodling is me being authentic. That’s what I did most when I was a kid, and I’ve continued to do it as an adult. In meetings, to relax, for online classes. I’ve just never really taken it to the next level and I’ve never had a macro-level opportunity like NFTs to kick start it. This journey into NFTs has sped up my art journey massively. I’ve learned so much this year and I feel like I’m fully alive. Before becoming an artist I taught online classes, which I’ll continue to do, although probably much less. It makes me come alive in other ways.
Do you have a favourite piece of work you’ve made?
This is a very tough question. I think “Juggernaut” from my For Love collection may be my favourite. It speaks of love not being timid and shy and gushy. But rather a ferocious monster that devours The Shadow. But each and every Happy Sun, and a few Doodleverse pieces really have a spot in my heart.
The ideas come from everywhere. I could be reading a children’s book, sitting in church, walking outside or even washing the dishes. Something will spark my imagination then I take it through a Doodleverse filter and imagination process which is highly intuitive and fantasy-based. There are definitely recurring themes of movement, eyes, and the cosmic realm, which links realms in The Doodleverse together. The base of it is a doodled dream world. I take in all stimuli and render it in The Doodleverse.
— Adobe Creative Cloud (@creativecloud) July 12, 2022
Thank you! I did two Adobe Live sessions earlier this year. During one of the Live sessions, I created a Doodleverse piece but I didn’t know it was an advert, I thought it was just a tweet! Whatever it was it felt like the whole Avalanche community saw it and rallied behind it. It felt really good like I had a very big and very awesome family.
I have journals, sketchbooks and a notepad beside my bed. This is where I capture and process ideas. Then I use Procreate and Adobe Fresco on my iPad to create. I do still want to try to do it all in Photoshop and I have a big Wacom tablet I’d like to use more of.
There are so many and I find it difficult to remember them all. I tweeted a list the other day of some people who inspire me but seriously, I’m inspired by all kinds of things all the time. My favourites are aquariums, zoos and old cities full of beautiful old architecture. I often drink coffee in Amsterdam and walk around soaking up all the architecture. I’ll pop into bookstores and galleries as I go. And then fantasy, anything fantasy! I’m really getting into mythology at the moment.
✨ People keep asking me who I’m inspired by.
🎨 Here’s a thread of visual artists—living, dead, IRL, and NFT—who’ve either influenced or still influence my work. The list is in no particular order.
— TapTapKaboom 🔺✨ (@taptapkaboom) August 9, 2022
My next project, after the 10 For Love pieces have been auctioned off, is one called Limina. It will be my third generative art collection. The story is centred around a bunch of gateways that link realms in The Dooldeverse together. Some are officially commissioned, others are not. It may be my first dynamic NFT collection on Avalanche. We’ll see how the artwork looks and if the code can support it.
Someone cried tears of joy because of how she felt watching me during one of my streams, I love inspiring people to create, breaking down the process and teaching people how I do things. It allows people to believe they can do it too. Also, it’s fun!
Drawing and chatting can be tricky, but I’ve had some really good conversations. And for collectors who collect to support an artist, or because they believe in people get to see how I work and think. Which brings far more depth to a piece or a collection than just the art. I also created a bunch of YouTube videos before I started working on NFTs, and I have 30+ online classes teaching a bunch of stuff from creating your own website, to animating in Procreate. I wrote a book called The Perfect 100 Day Project which got published earlier this year, which I believe can be a life-changing process. So, I believe wholeheartedly in inviting people behind the scenes as teaching and streaming and doing Twitter Spaces are all forms of art too.
I’d love to own a Deadfellaz, an Invisible Friends, and of course tons of 1/1 art. I’ve collected a lot on Avalanche, a bit on Tezos and a tiny bit on Ethereum.
I’d convert my Henri Matisse Blue Nudes prints to the real deal. They’re awesome and tell a story of an artist who continued creating despite health challenges and old age.
So much. I couldn’t cover it all here. But maybe a few things to remember: