TokenEditions proudly welcomes Francis and Laurence Minoza, the brothers, designers, and 3D animation artists behind Nicebleed, as they present their newest collection of NFTs, “Wanderers”. The artworks in this collection follow lone astronauts as they roam planetary systems, stand at the forefront of galactic portals, and transmit signals that traverse space and time.
Growing up in the Philippines under the same roof, Francis and Laurence, aka Nicebleed, also worked at the same photo editing studio in the early 2000’s. They discovered Photoshop and began designing t-shirts for apparel marketplaces. The name “Nicebleed” was inspired by an old Counter-Strike handle they used to go by, “Nosebleed”. They felt the name was a bit intense as an artist name, so they tamed it down to Nicebleed.
The two continued their growth as visual artists and designers over the years, while working in wedding photography to hone their skills in Photoshop. For fun, they began uploading their personal art onto Friendster and Multiply, while also submitting their favorite projects to design contests. Their hard work and passion paid off when they won a design competition for a renowned t-shirt manufacturer. In 2011-2012 the duo, Nicebleed, was able to quit their day job and call themselves artists full time.
Overtime, Nicebleed’s main creation theme became astronauts, and surreal galactic scenes. In 2021, they sent their astronauts into the NFT space with “Kryptonauts”, a collection of 100 unique, non-generative exploratory beings. Will the interstellar journeys of Nicebleed’s “Wanderers” cross the paths of other space beings? Join them on their cosmic quest to find out.
Nicebleed's creation tools for this collection: Blender 3D, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Premier.
TOKENEDITIONS TALKS WITH FRANCIS MINOZA OF NICEBLEED
What was your first childhood memory of being creative?
I remember tracing dinosaurs and drawing Dragonball z characters.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really didn't have any idea what I wanted to be until I got into college and touched a computer for the first time. I said to myself that I wanted to do something with this awesome technology.
What led you down the path of being an artist?
I was interested in AutoCad, Photoshop and some other multimedia softwares back when I studied information technology. I really liked the Photoshop software when I began using it around 2005. I experimented with different filters and gained experience by editing wedding studio pictures. I believed that this tool could give me creative freedom. Just creating graphics and uploading them to Friendster or multiply gave me that satisfaction. I participated in design contests and eventually my experience led me to being a digital artist full-time.
Who do you look up to as an artist, and why?
Since embarking on this journey, it's always been about the visual and emotional impact of the art that fascinates and moves me. Artists like Salvador Dali, James Jean and other surreal artists who were uploading their works into Deviantarts at the time ignited a fire in our hearts.
When did you begin to call yourself an artist? Was there a specific moment / accomplishment that led to this, or was it gradual?
It was a gradual feeling over time as we transitioned from working in a company into full time artists. The year we quit our day jobs was around 2011-2012. I think that period was the turning point.
Who or what inspires you most?
Friends and families.
With the life experience you have now, what advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
We make mistakes, and see those mistakes as an opportunity to improve. The more mistakes you make, the better you become.
How have you had to adapt the work and art you create to the “COVID era”? Please elaborate on the impact it’s had.
This period of time has been hard. It's an abrupt awakening to all. I contracted the virus in the first week of April 2020. This was a dark time because no one had a clear idea on the true nature of the virus. I even thought that I might die. On the brighter side, it was great for us because we focused on creating more and experimenting with more tools. I guess our nature was countering the dark and sad atmosphere of those times.
If you could collaborate with any musician / composer / singer with your art, who would you choose, and why?
Pink Floyd. The harmony and the melodies are so good it will get you floating in the cosmos. :)
Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone) famously said “The most important thing about the first sale is for the very first time in your life something written has value and proven value because somebody has given you money for the words that you've written. And that's terribly important. It's a tremendous boom to the ego, to your sense of self-reliance, to your feeling about your own talent.” This quote is applicable for all creatives, not just writers. What did your first sale feel like, and how did it change the course of your life (if at all)? How much was the payment amount, and what was it for?
That is so true. Our first moment was when we won our first shirt design contest with a grand prize of $500. I remember we were so happy inside that we could not believe they selected our design. We had this feeling of fulfillment, a satisfaction that is the same as Rod Sterling has described. Our first sale in POD (print on demand) websites had not happened until like a year and a half from where we started. That is crazy. The important point here is to just create your content or art, and put it out there. Eventually, people will find you.
Why do you make art?
I guess it's an impulse or urge for us to create and express what we have inside. Sometimes we react to the happenings of the world or some political issues that we feel we have an opinion on. We express these feelings through our own ways, and that is creating art.
What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative is when you are in the flow or in a trance with your brain, and recording that experience using whatever medium you have available.
If you could live in any era (past, present or future), when would you live, and why? Who would be the first person you try to collaborate with?
Maybe in the future. A millennium later would be interesting to see the future technology and improvements of the human species.
What music are you listening to right now?
Some chill reggae playlist.
What do you like to do outside of creating art?
I'm trying to be more active and spend more time with my family.
What tools did you use to make your drop on TokenEditions (e.g. software, computer, tablet, etc)?
Blender 3D, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Premier.
Can you talk about your evolution as an artist and your journey into the NFT space?
Last year was the boom of NFT space and we kind of missed some big opportunities there. We started working on traditional and digital media when we were first creating art just with Photoshop. I recently picked up Blender last year to have more flexibility in terms of art elements and compositions. Eventually we fused these tools to create our art today.
If you’ve released NFTs before, how has releasing your art as NFT’s changed your life (if at all)?
We released our first NFT more than a year ago. I guess it gives us a bigger boost in confidence because this new technology/platform creates value for digital art in a new way.
What was the subject of your first NFT release?
The subject of our first NFT was all about cryptocurrency. This piece was an astronaut with a skull head in space. The character is dripping in gold, with a Bitcoin emblem in the background and an Ethereum symbol in his hand. We were pretty stoked and proud of the piece and decided to mint it as our first NFT.
Why are NFTs important for the world of digital arts? Why are they important to you?
It's important to the world of digital art because it’s a new way to value digital artists' works. NFT’s are also appreciated by more collectors and allow people to enjoy art in new forms. It gives us a tremendous boost in confidence to put our best works out there. Pushing more on the creative aspects of our limits.
What is your favorite NFT piece or collection to date? (Yours or someone else's)
This must be our first NFT released Kryptonaut.
Who are your favorite artists in the NFT space right now?
Loving the works of Ruben Ireland.