It was a little over two years ago and it was Friday.
Fridays in the winter are made for snowboarding with Eric and i’m always looking to be off my phone on Fridays when we head up the mountain.
But today was different… Blake a friend of mine from NYC who has been a long time supporter of my art kept blowing my phone up.
Blake planted a seed. Eric and I sat there chatting about how we didn’t quite understand what a non-fungible token was as we drove to the mountain.
The seed grew and grew and grew until I just said F- it. When you get enough nudges in life it usually means you should check it out. Unless its a nudge to eat a beet.
Beets are never a good idea.
I was looking to change things up with my art and it had been 10yrs of pretty much the same routine, so something fresh seemed attractive. Like the first time my wife Britta came over to my house. Felt like a risk I had to take.
The landscape of social media was constantly crushing the community I built over the years as the algorithm kept pooping on my efforts.
And a couple weeks later I got a message from some random guy in turkey
Random guy ended up having a name “Berk” and for whatever reason out of the hundreds of DMs I get I decided to answer his.
“I am doing NFT’s”
“Can I help you build a discord?”
Me what’s discord hahaha
So I burned the ships
Long story short Berk came in and taught me the ropes and if it wasn’t for his help building out a community the rest of this story would have never happened. There was just so much I didn’t know.
I don’t even know how to explain the following 8 months.
We planned and dreamed and executed.
It was ecstasy.
When work, life, and your passion line up it truly feels like heaven on earth. It’s a beautiful thing and i’m someone who’s always trying to bring that heaven here even if its just for a quick minute.
It was wild, exciting and hands down the most fun I’ve ever had with my work.
We built a Genesis Collection which consisted of 222 SLOTHS I uniquely created to all be different and we sold it out, we raised over 12,000usd for people in need, we collaborated with Gary vee and Vee Friends (Blue Chip nft collection), I spoke at one the biggest conferences Vee Con on the main stage with Gary vee and legends like beeple, drifter, Jen stark, Betty from dead fellas, and most importantly we built a community of people online that truly supported the art and most of all the people in the community.
But like every wave you catch and ride it ends and you have the choice to stay on the shore and watch everyone have fun or paddle back out for another ride…
Shortly after the VeeCon 2022 conference the market crashed and at the same time it crashed I was so close to finishing my next big NFT collection. I’d like to say the timing was unfortunate but i’m starting to understand how things work in the world and they don’t abide by my “Timing” everything is on borrowed time and the universe is on its own secret clock and all we can do is try to be inline with the masters clock not our own. So it just was what it was hahah
What we thought would be a month or two of a bad market turned into scam after scam and the mainstream media just tanking the whole industry.
The second Art collection I had been working on was my baby its why I did the first collection…And its why I was doing NFT’s and I had already been deep into it for a year long and I had a community of thousands of amazing humans that were all in patiently waiting for it to come out.
I’d like to call that a sticky situation.
Like when you get syrup on your fingers and you go to wipe it on your shirt and it just gets worse and then you realize you were eating syrup in the desert and theres no water for miles.
But like a sloth I decided to be patient with it.
The Turtle (SLOTH) wins the race right?
Keeping a community alive for a year banking purely on relationships is a tough thing. As a community we left Egypt and were searching for the promise land. Just wandering the desert of the interwebs.
It’s a beautiful thing when you build something the right way and thats what I realized in this season of waiting. We built this community on two main things Creativity and the love for people. The whole reason why I wanted to do this was to find a way to make my art bigger than myself. To serve others in a way that was more than just a jpeg on a screen and more than me. Because it’s not about me.
Markets continued to dropped and the NFT scene was dying.
But our community stayed strong and optimistic.
And at some point I knew i’d need to finish what we started regardless of the landscape.
Because to me finishing is everything.
A year later…
Jan 2023 after spending a few days up north at my parents cabin unplugged and planning for the year.
I got a txt at 5am, the morning before I was to leave the cabin.
”It’s time to drop the NFT project”
Tim and I chatted and decided in the coming months he predicted there to be a window for a good opportunity. The market was coming back a little bit and there was a little light.
So I decided too paddle back out.
I knew it would be hard.
There was a lot of work to get done if we wanted to get it released in the coming months and in all honesty I felt a little burned from the NFT scene. I was still mourning the loss of what it used to be so jumping back into it full-steam was hard.
It’s like being dumped after having the best date of your life and then mustering up the courage too ask her out again a year later.
And thats just it.
The game of life is risky, scary and full of what if’s.
But isn’t that what makes a good story?
And look you’re writing the story of your life and the pen is in your hand and one day your kids are going to read it and their kids are going to read it and the last thing you want is to be one of those shitty books that have a cool cover but the story in-side is flat like someones butt who skips leg day at the gym.
Like watching the sound of music.
Sometimes you just gotta roll the bones and leave it in Gods hands.
So for the next 3 months I paused mostly everything I had going on and just focused to get this done. I had people support me on so many levels and I hadn’t worked that hard since the early days when it was just britt, Asher and I.
Late nights and early mornings.
I reclaimed my gritt.
Its funny how these situations can make you realize you lost something you thought you still had. But I was fluffy and domesticated and I had forgotten what it was like to throw the boots on and kick some shit down.
We laid bricks, one by one.
My community came together and we got after it.
And on April 25th we finally released the 2yr long NFT Collection iamslothnft
Releasing something you spent two years on is a vulnerable thing. You’re putting yourself out there and if it doesn’t pan out the world is there watching.
I’ve always been someone who leans into that. Because on the other side of vulnerability and fear is a stronger version of your past self. It’s a constant rinse and repeat process to continuing to level up in life and its something i’m dedicated too.
The release day came and only 2,769 pieces of art got scooped up so we cut the supply and decided to cap the project at 2,769 pieces of art instead 5,555.
We came up short.
Like a kid reaching for the cookie jar…
Initially it felt like a blow to the nutsack. I worked two years and we put everything we made back into this project and more, sacrificed time away from family and friends and we came up short.
I paddled back out and I got pitted.
I wasn’t mad or angry though. How could I be I just paddled out to catch the biggest wave of career .
It’s a weird feeling to be at peace when you didn’t get what you were hoping for.
But that’s the beauty life offers you when you go after big things, when you run full speed into vulnerability and fear. The more you repeat this process the more you get yoked. Failures become a source of strength.
Don’t get me wrong I was bummed that day but I was okay with it. Because I left it all out there and let it go and hoped the timing of the universe was inline with my hopes.
3 Days later,
On May 1st we revealed all of the art work to everyone who purchased a piece.
We were showered with love on twitter and discord. People LOVED the art. People started trading and buying more and there wasn’t one negative comment.
I gained some clarity that day.
I had just received a community that doubled in size, LOVES what we built, an amazing team and unfortunately I got caught staring at the wrong thing and I missed the blessing.
Perspective shift activated
Life is funny.
When you realize the timing of the universe isn’t on the same time as you its a freeing feeling and it gives you the permission to take chances, to risk big and to go on the best adventure of your life because what matters is going for something and letting go because the outcome isn’t in your control.
None of this is.
Besides your character and the will to act on something.
And in a weird way thats peaceful.
So i’m excited.
I’ve got something new to build on-top of, a community that loves my art and loves people and i’m looking out on the horizon watching all these beautiful waves come in and i’m eager for the next ride with the SLOTH Fam.
So cheers to it all.
Whatever you do in life leave it all out there.
You have a story to write and it deserves to be exciting and full of adventure because you are amazing.
We’re gonna keep laying bricks.
Love my SLOTH Fam
Thats life babbbbyyyyy
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Proud of you buddy! You didn’t just start, but you kept going and earnestly finished!
Have so much hope for this community because the art is more than enough to hold it together, but the vibes and engaged energy… that can’t be a coincidence. That’s a culture. Happy to be along for the ride!