No One is an Island
This week I have had the extreme pleasure of getting to know CryptoPOM.
JL: Yay! I am so glad you wanted to do this! I will likely focus on collecting for this interview unless you would like to focus on something else?
CP: Sure! I mean, I’m an artist myself as well as a collector, but I’m very happy to discuss how both of those factors intertwine for me, too, because it’s honestly hard to separate the two lately.
JL: Why do you say lately? Has something changed since you started collecting?
CP: Actually, I initially started in this space as a struggling artist, and hardcore collecting came after I managed to find success selling my own work! And since I’ve been making bigger and bigger sales of my own, I’ve been able to collect more and really expand and diversify.
JL: How long did it take for you to get your first sale?
CP: Weirdly enough, I got my first sale before I even had Twitter, which is kind of madness, because almost all of my sales since then have come from actively promoting on social media. But it took about a week — I sold two pieces in a single day all of a sudden, and I realised, “God. There’s a future for NFTs.
JL: Was it this one?
Night Traders #01: HODL - cryptoPOM | OpenSea
I'm cryptoPOM, a Chilean-Scottish freelance character artist and video game developer. After graduating from the…
CP: Damn right, that was the first!
JL: How did you make sales without twitter? Did you know the buyer?
CP: No, I had no idea who the buyer was at the time. He just found me by browsing through the listings on OpenSea. It was just sheer luck!
JL: Awesome to see your prices increase tenfold in 6 months. Impressive.
CP: Right?? It’s been madness. My friend Kate the Cursed picked up the first piece in my Disordered series on OpenSea for 0.14… And the latest in the Disordered series actually sold for 1.25! It’s mind-boggling to me, but I can’t complain!
JL: I see you have some Kate the Cursed in your collection. Was she your first buy?
bathing in starlight
CCTV feedback on a 27" Trinitron CRT makes for some gorgeous textures
CP: She definitely was one of my very first, although it’s been a few months now, so I might have picked up one or two before I got to hers, but she was my first buy from an artist who I got to know personally and connected with as a friend, which made it far more meaningful.
JL: Do you try to connect with all the artists you support?
CP: Yeah, I would say that I’m actually in touch with every single artist I’ve bought from. Or, well, at least touched base at SOME point, but most of them, I consider genuine friends now. And I absolutely prefer collectors who become friends, rather than mysterious shadowy figures who buy and then I never hear from again, ha!
JL: I agree. Connecting can be a big part of collecting. Who has the most pieces in your collection?
CP: I definitely think Poetic Artificial Intelligence gets that award! I freaking LOVE PAI and their work. It’s so startlingly unique, and they are just one of the warmest, loveliest and most supportive artists I’ve met.
[THE PRIMORDIAL SOUP] - Etherpoems: Spoken Word | OpenSea
Etherpoems are minted fully on-chain through a "collective deployed" smart contract. Traditionally, only a reference to…
JL: Can you walk me through your collecting process?
CP: Actually, I co-admin a Discord community of artists called the #NFThypesquad, which started back in my earliest days on Twitter. Me and a couple of friends I’ve made in the space were discussing how lost we felt in a big sea of shill threads and promotional posts, so we decided to start a Discord for other artists in the same boat to connect, get to know each other, and just generally make friends off of Twitter. It’s actually grown to 300+ members, artists, collectors, NFT enthusiasts, just everything in between. We even have people who work at OpenSea, KnownOrigin and Showtime in there with us. It’s fantastic.
JL: That sounds awesome! What are you most proud of?
CP: In all honesty, the NFThypesquad. Building a little home away from home (along with @ArtByT3D) for artists to be able to let it all hang loose, ask questions, get advice, find support — that has been my favourite part of this whole journey.
JL: Have you made any mistakes on the way?
CP: I have a bit of a fierce temper, especially when somebody screws with the people I care about, so sometimes, I’ve gotten a little bit TOO down-and-dirty when it’s come to defending friends from internet drama. Thankfully, this has gotten much rarer, but I’m the kind of person who calls people out on their bullshit, loudly, so, welp. There you go, hahaha. While this approach generally is appreciated by the community, the people targeted certainly didn’t like it.
JL: I can relate to that. I am quick to call bullshit. Too quick.
CP: Right?? I come from a bit of history as a political activist, so I’m a bit used to the soapbox. But I’ve started toning that down a bit in this space because I’ve come to realise, hey, this isn’t my leftist bubble anymore, we’ve got a bit of everything here, and that’s awesome. I love that not everyone will agree with me, but we can debate and discuss things rationally.
JL: Are there political themes in your art?
CP: I do touch upon political themes, usually involving my experience as a woman in a man’s world (blah blah blah THE PATRIARCHY blah blah), but I’ve been more interested in emotional/cultural themes rather than strictly political. However, I feel that politics play into everything in a way, so you’ll see it come out in the subtext of my work, I’m sure. Because of GamerGate, I actually went through a period where I thought about releasing my game under a male pseudonym precisely for that reason, but I just decided, screw it, I’ll be me.
JL: Interesting, that’s similar to why I decided to go by JL, I didn’t want my gender to get in my way, but now I am more comfortable being a woman in the metaverse.
CP: Haha! Okay, so I bet you’re familiar with people assuming you’re male, then, right?
JL: Oh yeah, and I love your broseph nft!
CP: I had way too much fun with that one.
JL: So what’s the average day in the life of CryptoPOM? Are you a creature of routine?
CP: So one thing to know about CryptoPOM is that I suffer from both panic disorder AND agoraphobia of varying severity (sometimes, it’s manageable, sometimes, I don’t want to leave the house AT ALL). So, yeah, routine is hugely important for me, and most of it involves just sticking to my comfort zone these days. Usually, it’s all art, the internet, video games, cooking, and spending time with my family, fiance and Okosan.
JL: Coffee or tea in the morning?
CP: HAHAHA. You’re going to worry about my physical health forever after this, but… Diet Coke. Yes, in the morning. It’s refreshing, it wakes me up, and it’s probably destroying my teeth — I really need to see a dentist once I get vaxxed.
CryptoPOM may not be the best at looking after her teeth, but she is good at looking after the community around her. It is clear that her success came from collectors getting to know her, love her, and then buy her art, and now she is doing the same for another generation of artists. Inspiring to see such growth in such a relatively short amount of time, heartwarming to see how much support she has. No one is an island, and this swashbuckler has assembled a mighty crew.
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