Insights from GeNFT Talk with fxhash Dragon Series-Artist William Mapan
January 6, 2022
This week saw the second edition of GeNFT Weekly, a new weekly Twitter spaces-series focused around Generative art on Tezos initiated by Electric Artefacts co-founder @aljaparis and collector @delta_alpha_ohm. The duo welcomed artist and software engineer William Mapan to speak about his background working with generative art, dragons, and exciting projects to come. Here are three insights:
1. Mapan is a veteran of generative art
In the opening of the talk Mapan shared that he has been making work that could be categorized as generative art for a decade: “I’ve been doing this for over ten years maybe, but it wasn’t called generative art. Well - I wasn’t calling it generative art at the time.” He explained that he was experimenting visually with code, but it took him a while to become aware of “all the generative art stuff.”
It actually took NFTs for Mapan to piece everything together, and see where his work fell within a larger whole. His realisation offers a great example of how NFTs have helped digital artists form an identity, as well as find a community.
2. Insights as to why generative artists flocked to Hic et Nunc
Some may find it striking that so many generative artists were immediately pulled in by the first Tezos NFT marketplace Hic et Nunc in March 2021. According to Mapan, it makes sense given the fact that the platform was still under construction when it first launched, and generative artists are essentially developers themselves too. He said: “the interface could be overwhelming, but it was something perfect for generative artists to tackle.” Mapan explained that they wouldn’t be scared off by the way things looked, and would be happy for a more rudimentary space to experiment in with fewer restrictions.
3. The process behind creating the successful series ‘Dragons’
The project took him 6 weeks to complete, and was borne out of a desire to experiment and not get too boxed in. Mapan described his work on visuals, and the decision behind adding shading. Soon, he “started seeing reptiles, tails and claws” in the visual outputs, which inspired him to play with an idea of what he imagines dragons to look like. Mapan commented that this process is usually how he goes through a creative process: he experiments, “leaves all doors open” until he finds the direction he wants to take the concept towards - but always leaving room for unexpected creativity.