Catching Up with Artist Steven Rea aka BRAiN VOMiT for the 25 Days of POAP

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Photo by Malaki Butow

For me personally, speaking with Steven back in November was a turning point in my ever-evolving perception of NFTs. With no disrespect to other projects, as an editor steeped in a world of faceless devs behind record-breaking collections, chatting with Steven himself was a breath of fresh air. It reminded me of what I believe makes the space great: putting the power back in the hands of artists.

Not only does Steven not shy away from being the face of his project, but he's managed to embed a personal intimacy in every single one of his 4,444 avatars. Despite being a generative project (based on hand-drawn attributes), the assets and components in each flower give the viewer a feeling of intimacy with the artist; you can't look at a member of the garden without feeling yourself draw closer to Steven himself.


When Rea and I speak this week, he's just returning from a trip to rural Oregon. He tells me about the trials and tribulations he faced through the return, which I—with my limited knowledge of auto mechanics—can only distill down to his text to me: "it was definitely a mess but we’re all good and back home now." The much-needed respite took him away from his studio for a time, but when we catch up I can hear in his voice how excited he is to get back to his process.

Rea's explosive style, which can truly only be characterized as "brain vomit," is exceptionally well-catered to one-of-one designs. While the flowers are beautiful, they don't always get to incorporate a full narrative the way that many of his independent pieces do. I've been carefully keeping an eye on Steven's socials since his project popped off, and I love seeing what he's working on on a daily basis.

Rea's most labor-intensive undertaking since his Flowers mint is a love letter to the community. BRAiN VOMiT is an art project, not a utility-focused-roadmap-video-game-to-come-metaverse-compatible-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type of collection. So in that ethos, the best thing he can do is create more art for his community.

For the past few weeks, he's been chipping away at creating 444 one-of-one pieces. He's randomizing all Flower holders, and airdropping all 444 to different holders in the community, one at a time. “It’s been quite the task already," he tells me, diving into the process: "I'm hand drawing them. I go to the drawing board, go to my sketchbook, make 40 doodles, photograph them, put them into Photoshop, upload them to contract, then to Opensea." The list goes on.

The physical to digital pipeline can be monotonous. But eventually we'll come back to the physical. At the end of February, Steven will open up a burning option for holders of the 1/1s. Holders can burn their token to receive the physical art piece instead.

I ask Steven when he's been conducting the airdrops. He's sent out about 44 so far, and mostly sends them on Saturdays. “If I’m feeling generous, I start dropping them throughout the week," he jokes to me, telling me he likes to keep the community on its toes. “The mail’s here!"

Tune into our Twitter Spaces today at 1:37pm EST to hear more of Steven's story and what's to come for BRAiN VOMiT.

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