The next artist in our quick Q&A posts is the artistic mind behind the hugely popular Zombie Chains.
We chatted to Brian Allen to find out more about his artwork and how he got involved in NFTs on Cardano.
If you’d like to see more posts from this series you can find them here.
Why don’t you introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Brian Allen, and I’m one of the lucky few who Doodles for a living.
I have worked for companies such as Activision, Marvel, Adult Swim, Metallica, Hulk Hogan, Chick-Fil-A, and many more.
I’m most recently known for my work designing Gritty, the new Philadelphia Flyers mascot that became an internet phenomenon.
What is your art background? What got you started?
I worked for a Motorcycle Graphics outlet right out of school, and then for a book publisher for almost 7 years. In 2012, I had enough of my own clients to quit my job and work full-time as a Freelance illustrator.
I’ve been doing that ever since, and my business grew enough to allow my wife to quit her job and work with me as well, which has allowed us to spend more time with our two kids.
What attracted you to blockchain and NFTs?
I’ve been a fan and holder of crypto since around 2017. I’m extremely hopeful for all that crypto can accomplish.
For the artist, NFTs offer so many opportunities, benefits, and protections that no other industry can match right now. And I think we’ve only scratched the surface of their capabilities.
It’s very exciting to be involved so early in their evolution.
What NFT projects have you worked on? Any plans to work with others?
The first NFT project I created artwork for was Zombie Chains, and the second was Zombie Hunters. We are currently working on a third that will be released Q4 of 2022. It’s called Zombie Fight Club, and will be a way to combine the NFTs from the first and second launch into something new.
I’m very excited about it – what we have planned is something pretty new that hasn’t been done before.
Any plans to do more solo work, maybe some 1/1 art?
Yes! I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile, but have not had time.
I want to create a new piece (perhaps monthly) that is very experimental and fun, and treat these one-off NFTs as an outlet for expression that I can’t normally exercise in my Freelance work.
There are still a lot of artists that are hesitant to get involved with NFTs. There is a lot of fud around, calling NFTs scams etc.
I encounter this occasionally. Most of these Artists are just parroting a reactionary sentiment that unfortunately has remained pretty persistent.
I find that in most cases, they simply don’t know enough about NFTs.
Some of the artists I know who openly criticized it later reached out to me asking how to get involved, once they saw that I had success with it.
What would you say to an artist who was perhaps on the fence about getting involved with NFTs?
Be careful who you partner with. There are a lot of predatory project leads out there looking to take advantage of artists.
If possible, work with a team who you trust, and verify their identity. If you’ve never met them before, insist on Zoom calls to meet face to face, and get their contact info.
It’s also very important to value your time effectively. Remember that the beauty of NFT’s is that they are creator-centric, and YOU are the creator. Don’t enter an agreement that just pays a small flat fee for your time – insist on a large percentage of sales.
This can be riskier (if the project tanks, for example), but the reward can be huge, and well worth the risk.
And finally: ignore the haters. Most of them don’t understand NFTs or the opportunity they provide to artists.
Why did you choose Cardano to launch your NFTs over other blockchains?
I’ve been attracted to Cardano for a while because of its extremely low gas fees, and it’s much lower impact on the environment (as opposed to Ethereum).
But in the case of Zombie Chains, they chose me – I had worked with Cardano Dan in the past, and he brought this project to me because he loved my zombie work, and it just seemed like the perfect pairing.
If you could work on a collaboration with any other NFT artist, who would it be?
We have some collaborations in the works that I can’t announce just yet, but it’s with some of the top Cardano projects. Very excited about that.
In general though, I’d love to work with an NFT artist that can take my 2D art and animate it.
I’ve seen some very cool things being done with animation, and I’d love to be a part of that.
Do you collect NFTs too? If so, what is your favourite?
This may be a surprising answer, but I don’t actively collect any. I decided going into NFTs that I already have too many hobbies that take up my time/money, and that’d I’d rather admire from a distance. I’ve spoken to a lot of the artists behind the different projects and complimented them when I see something that is really awe-inspiring. But I don’t hold any myself (other than my own).
I’m going to cheat and pick two.
Claymates (on sheer originality alone, there’s nothing else like it out there).
BAYC – Not Cardano, of course, but hard not to mention the OG. They started it all, and after all this time, the images still look perfect to me. The way they are drawn – it’s so clear that artist knows how to breathe life into a character.