Read on (continue here if you’re a visual reader like me)
Let me start by setting some expectations for this article’s readers... I precisely remember when this idea sparked and started developing, a full 35 days before Christmas 2021, yet I only got started 2 days before... No doubt, this could be a much richer collection (with more creative gifts for cool humans), but hey for now let’s blame the rest on “burn-out.”
What is it?
A gift of your Essence = Human connection x My perception x Your Excitement
NFT x AI x WebAR
I still don’t understand?
I’ve recently gotten into the habit of asking both my friends and new cool humans: “If you had the day to yourself, with zero obligations or places to be, what are 3 things you’d do?”
I love this question because it’s a great conversation starter, it actually gets people thinking, and is a fresh reminder to take a break from following your stresses, and to make the time to follow your excitement.
I wanted a way to turn that into art... A few sleepless nights later, 16 NFTs as GIF animations were born.
My first NFT collection , gif(t) edition.
12,800 iterations of essences, using three randomly chosen themes and one picture.
“Are you dizzy yet? Whalecome. A reflective collection of how it feels jumping into the v3rs, gif(t) edition.
A limited collection of uniquely-generated art pieces of the essence of some human beings, inspired by them, of them, and gifted for them. Respectively, inspired by 3 random themes of the recipient, using one original photo of them and created for them; congrats!
Created as both an effort to introduce more humans to the v3rs, and a creative exercise to stay inspired with personalized and meaningful gifts for the Holiday season. Let's talk about it, can you guess your themes? Do you like the essence of today, and if at all, what does it prompt in you?
Disclaimer, don't forget to go outside and touch the grass.”
Three themes of things each gift recipient likes (from my perception of them today).
One picture of them that best represents their essence (depending on the availability).
For context, I spent an average of 5 secs for each person’s themes; both a combination of what first came to mind, and my memories of recent interactions.
Eight of the NFTs are revealable via WebAR by image-tracking the one secret picture chosen for the gif(t).
Why only eight? Lower back cramps. They were chosen a bit less randomly.
Scan your secret photo to reveal your NFT gif(t)!
The fun part is that the AR experience is SO targeted, only the collection recipients can activate their secret image with the filter.
Who are they?
The recipients’ professions are quite diverse, which I did not do on purpose and was a refreshing find to reflect on.
Ranging across tech and non-tech-oriented worlds, the breadth of professions spans entertainment, medical practitioners, hospitality and shipping experts, tech, engineering developers, architects and creative directors.
How does one claim their NFTs?
Lucky you, I wrote a guide! (NFTs contracted via OpenSea and minted on Polygon in this instance).
For the love of sanity, why?
Fast-tracked learning method by signing myself up for fun projects. Stay inspired and inspire others to be better humans, and build more meaningful connections. Get more humans introduced to the v3rs, the truncated and confused version of the metaverse... because metaverse is a mouthful and by now, its connotation is so loaded I get a new forehead wrinkle every time I hear it Get the general public introduced to the terms, get past the stigma and its associated superfluous talk, and get a wallet! The first step is always the most difficult, and if I can get one person to do it, it’s a success in my book.
Let’s take a fresh breather from this self-imposed torture. Meditate with me.
I stumbled upon this fresh take on by Aaron Frank. Take the 20 mins, it’s worth the grounded read!
SOME KEY LEARNINGS
Was it worth it? And for whom?
No brainer YES, for me.
Maybe, but realistically, not yet, for others.
Choose your audience carefully: patience and open-mindedness are both crucial. Your audience doesn’t have to be NFT savvy, let alone crypto savvy, however they do NEED to be willing to learn, and generally curious. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Do not sacrifice the fun in finding new ways to connect: the conversations that have already come out of this fun little project have been exiting and inspiring.
Would I recommend anyone do this and start gifting NFTs?
In fact, I would start by raising awareness to an NFT’s purpose within the artist and creators community first, and go from there.
As creators, the goal is to invest in each other as a community and show support for work genuinely cared for (be it in physical, digital, auditory, visual, 3D or interactive formats, etc.), before expecting total strangers to do so.
Don’t expect someone who briefly mentioned they were interested three weeks ago to jump in and start adopting, and more importantly, don’t get disappointed when they don’t. Instead, use your kind judgment to ease people in at their own pace.
If you are the gifter
Don’t do it. Just kidding
On openSea.io you can either transfer the NFT (aka gift it), or setup a private sale to the specific recipient using their wallet address. In the latter, you’d be “selling” the NFT for the minimum allowable value on the platform you’re using (ideally zero). Today, OpenSea’s minimum sale value is 0.002 eth + any gas or transaction fees + any first time fees. So once you establish your private sale, the recipient can go and “buy” it. When in doubt, always account for gas fees or platform transaction fees.
Have your definitions and how-tos ready to go before launching and gifting
This is imperative. Build on the excitement and suspense of the gift, but don’t wait too long before following up.
The overall process
The is already 6 more steps than what most humans are willing to do (hence the need for open-mindedness). The gifter must allocate time for individual calls and communication for each recipient to get through the hoops, and navigate troubleshooting jointly.
On troubleshooting, there are quite a few obstacles that may present themselves along the way, so it’s by far not a seamless process yet. In this case, the NFTs are on OpenSea and minted using Polygon. One example is the contract established uses the ERC-1155 Multi-Token Standard which is still in development and may present some glitches (not all owners could always see their NFT in their mobile wallet, or desktop wallet extension, or vice versa, however it was safely registered and apparent on OpenSea, still giving them a chance to guarantee ownership).
This is a “micro collection” that is both highly-personalized and quite time-consuming...
You’ll see that most NFT collections (and some really fun ones) are based on generative art, and can range between hundreds and thousands of NFTs within that collection launch. I just stumbled upon an article by that summarizes the process quite well, view his collection of !
What I’d do differently
Open up the participation to the AR filter to anyone wishing to experience it One of the goals is to minimize the steps required for a rich experience, achieved with the use of WebAR that can launch the experience directly without the need for an app. However, I am not quite ready for the full 8th wall membership price, so building filters on Snap Lens Studio and SparkAR are fun options to continue publishing! The last step assembling the .gifs was done on Procreate; it only later dawned on me I could’ve used the Google Photos animation option for a tenth of the time spent. Sometimes, some ideas only come one at a time... Navigate verified contracting on Rarible and other NFT platforms, rather than just on OpenSea I now feel more confident to announce before launching my next collection When it comes to gifts, consider gifting your NFT recipients a digital frame along with their NFT transfer. At least they can display it and view it at home!
Until the next fun project, go outside and touch the grass!
Please connect with me if you have any comments, questions or feedback. I’m always learning more.
Born to heal | Driven to create | Honored to Inspire.