Lost amongst the headlines of record-breaking sales of ape jpegs and other Twitter profile picture fare is the true ethos that is making NFTs interesting: the technology is opening up opportunities for artists to monetize their work with fewer obstacles than ever before. Whether it's the bureaucracy of the gallery world or the institutional prejudices of art vendors, NFT tech has removed the middle man, allowing artists to sell their work unfettered by the powers that be.
Moon Landing Aims to Highlight Neurodiverse Artists in the NFT Space
The inaugural collection, NFToons, just launched on Gamestop's marketplace
Moon Landing: NFToons
Moon Landing is an initiative intended to support neurodiverse artists in the burgeoning web3.0 space, producing projects in collaboration with nonprofits disability art centers and the numerous artists who work under the umbrella of these centers.
They just launched their first such collaboration yesterday on Gamestop's new marketplace; the first project is a partnership with Project Onward, a Chicago-based disability arts center that has been working to provide artists with disabilities the resources and spaces they need to thrive since 2004.
The first collection, entitled NFToons, features the work of eight artists: Ruby Bradford, Jacqueline Cousins Oliva, Louis DeMarco, Stephon Doby, David Holt, Michael Hopkins, Sereno Wilson, and George Zuniga.
You can browse the eight works that comprise the collection on Gamestop's marketplace right now, and I had the opportunity to ask some of the artists for some of the inspiration behind their very first non-fungible tokens.
Alter Gender by Stephon Doby
A poster for Stephon's graphic novel of the same name, Alter Gender is the culmination of his myriad inspirations. "I am inspired by the need to understand diversity for gender, disability and race. Also, I am inspired by understanding relationships between families and social groups. Sports also seem to be involved as well as references to anime and other cartoons," Stephon tells me, noting many of his favorite artists hailing from the world of anime, such as Tomoko Iwasa of Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl and Jeremy Zag of Miraculous.
Chi Chi DeVayne by David A. Holt
David's work explores obituaries as an art practice; this body of work began in 2009 following the death of his grandmother. This particular NFT memorializes Chi Chi Devayne from RuPaul’s Drag Race, an image which he refers to as a "memorial portrait."
Snoop by Michael Hopkins
Michael chose Snoop Dogg for this portrait as an homage to the history of American hip hop, but also as a nod to Snoop's own involvement in the NFT space as a collector and investor. Michael sadly passed away at the end of 2021, but his work will live in as we keep him in our thoughts. Here are a few pieces some of his dear friends did in memoriam for the wonderful artist.
Fluffy vs Muffin by George Zuniga
In a style that Zuniga has coined as "artism" (the work of an artist with autism), this image is just one cel from his series documenting the struggles of the feline protagonist.
“My favorite artists are Cezanne, Manet, Picasso, and Basqiuat. I also love the animators who created Superbook and Flying House,” Zuniga tells ONE37pm, adding that he is "influenced by American cartoons that are animated in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, such as DC cartoons and Thundercats."
Donna and Darla Apartment by Louis Demarco
This piece represents a set from the pilot of Demarco's proposed television series “Toasters,” an imaginative mashup of "Friends" and "Cheers."
"When I was little, I started drawing because I wanted to draw trains and Victorian homes. Now I use art to work out my feelings about relationships with family and friends, sometimes putting them into the characters I write. I’m trying to understand the world with a sense of humor and self reflection," Demarco tells ONE37pm, adding that some of his favorite artist is Bob Ross: "I like his technique and his sense of calm." He also notes that David Byrne is his favorite musician, which I—an avid Talking Heads fan—love to hear.
Good Cherries by Sereno Wilson
Sereno's quote about his piece was so wonderfully candid and concise: "I am motivated by trying to earn money, the Bible, and trying not to get whooped. To get these things, I make good luck symbols and alters to bring me good fortune.”
The piece invokes emojis and other ubiquitous symbols of the modern era in his trademark glitter-paint style.
Superman Cat by Ruby Bradford
“It’s about time," Ruby cheekily noted to ONE37pm, adding: "Glad my work on Superman will finally get some recognition. I’ve been working on his legacy for almost 25 years.” She boasts that she is "the biggest Superman fan and collector. That is why my mom called me Super Ruby." Take one look at the piece and you can see how it is overflowing with her adoration for the character.
Ruby's inspirations are "Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Cats, the Beatles, and the British Royal Family beginning with Diana and Prince Charles," and her favorite artists are Alex Ross and Dan Jurgens—two DC artists.
Suplex by Jaqueline Cousins Oliva
We cover a lot of wrestling here at ONE37pm, so I especially loved this piece and its exploration of the acrobatics of women's wrestling. “I am inspired by all women wrestlers in the WWE, Jacqueline tells ONE37pm. "I love how they are tough, but I also love their fashion." She first got into drawing wrestlers to explore costume design in her art.
Check out her Youtube channel for wrestling reviews and other pop culture commentary.
This is just the first such project from Moon Landing, keep up with the initiative on Twitter to stay up to date on what's next.