NFT Steez Hosts Alyssa Expósito and Ray Salmond chatted with Victor Solomon to discuss his journey to connecting his real-life artwork with NFT and how he cultivates the community and culture that surrounds his art.
Solomon’s work focuses on basketball—not just the subject, but the sport itself. For Solomon, the inspiration for his work comes from an early childhood desire to play hockey. It was a sport that was not accessible to him at the time, but it led to his eventual discovery of basketball, which was more accommodating to him.
“Basketball has been such an inspiring platform for me because there is no barrier to entry.
According to Solomon, the open nature of basketball is “an incredible parallel to everything that happens in Web3”, and during the episode he explained the symbiotic relationship he experienced while building VesselVerse, his collection celebrating basketball in the metaverse.
Bridging the gap between real life and digital spaces
Asked about the liberating elements of creation and repetition in Web3, Solomon noted the “enlivening” nature of being able to create things that cannot exist in real life, such as “a planet inside a hollow basketball.” He also noted the process of taking physical elements into digital renders and composites.
For Solomon, building the collection and the community that would gather around it was second nature. His extensive experience in the traditional art world has given him the same insight and structure he uses in publishing digital collectibles.
Taking inspiration from other NFT projects like Nouns, Solomon’s VesselVerse digital collection works much like his real pieces, except that one “vessel,” or basketball, is auctioned every hour.
Unlike physical installations or gallery shows, Solomon noted that creating within Web3 offers participants and collectors a greater say in the direction of the work, rather than making their participation a one-time experience.
Related: A Comic-Con guru explains why storytelling is a key part of successful NFT projects
Unleash collaboration within the community
When it comes to Web3 and metaversions, the core principle of a successful project or ecosystem is the community that surrounds it and builds alongside it. Solomon described how “it’s exciting to be able to work side-by-side alongside a growing community”, where different collectors allow “an open forum where they can constantly visit, discuss and consider the direction of the project”.
Instead of shying away from opening up considerations to the community, Solomon said he embraces the more decentralized aspects of building and unlocking community in Web3:
“What attracts me as a founder is unlocking that opportunity for everyone to have a voice.”
For Solomon, the comparison of Web2 and Web3 highlighted what he sees as a “massive unlock.” As he described, the collaborative nature and “community spirit” present at Web3 was not something he could have experienced in his physical work, and is “energizing.”
The biggest challenge facing Solomon right now is re-educating a segment of the ecosystem that may have had a bad experience in the crypto and NFT market. However, Solomon suggested that the adversity is worth enduring because the promise of Web3 is far greater than any particular negative experience.
To hear more of the conversation, tune in to listen to the full episode NFT Steez on Cointelegraph’s new podcast site or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Tune in.
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