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  • Writer's pictureJeff WIlson


Updated: Aug 8, 2022

For a first post, I suppose I should start with introducing myself.

Get the visual walkthrough on Twitter here.

I’m Jeff Wilson and delving into the world of NFTs and fine art pretty late in life.

For the past 26 years, I’ve worked in IT — IBM, design agencies, startups galore, and even Whole Foods Market (launching their first, real mobile app). I’ve made the full engineering rounds.

Oddly enough, I got my degree in fine arts - sculpture, actually.

Over the years, I’ve put my art on the back burner.

60 hour+ work weeks, kids, grown up responsibilities. You know the excuses.

I’ve had a great career, and it continues, really. But I am folding in a second act. One that might have been a first act but I suspect will benefit from a “brief” pause allowing more of my brain, perspective, and approach to mature and evolve.

I am certainly ready to put that into action. I am hoping this is a story of reinvention, refocus, and personal accomplishment.

Early Years

After graduating, and spending a few months trying to figure out what a “real art job” was, I got swept up in this new “internet” thing.

Within a year, I had partnered on an ecommerce company and my art took a back seat.

Turns out I had an aptitude for programming and found this new world of possibilities scratched the same creative itch that fine art did.

It was the “wild west”. There was crazy, speculative money. Nobody really knew what you could do - but everyone thought you could probably do anything. “Everybody”, that is, were the few that actually understood what an “internet” was.

For context, there were the same “I don’t really get it” conversations being had today on NFTs, crypto, and blockchain.

I Like to Make Things

I really don’t recall when I first started socializing this idea. But, “I like to make things.”

Throughout the years, I continued to make art on the side. My house is full of this old crap.

I took a month off before starting one gig to learn how to make cheese. And another pause to panel a room.

I’m an avid cook (probably thanks to my Italian grandmother). I’ve made my own bread, bitters, sausage, fermented hot sauces, and wine. And, yes, I created an app to auto-generate a weekly “inspirational” meal plan that ensured a spread of cuisines and diversity of ingredients. (There’s that engineering creeping back in.)

I’ve filed over 40 patents while at IBM and was granted the title “Master Inventor”. (Oop, there it is again.)

Every year since I was 40, I’ve concocted a personal birthday cocktail.

I’ve made furniture, arduino thingies, bunny ears, and fancy Valentine’s Day pancakes for the kids. I love gardening and large-scale landscaping projects. I own more than my fair share of power tools.

I even built my own house. I certainly had some help, but still…

From Engineering to Fine Art

No doubt here, my career has been great.

It’s provided more than just a decent paycheck. Technology is full of brilliant creatives, from every walk of life, who expect anything can be done, somehow.

It’s full of problems to be solved - sometimes years out - sometimes right in front of you.

It combines beautiful user experiences and solutions to the world’s greatest problems. And for those that want this, it tracks against both the left and right sides of your brain.

That said, I’ve been trying to weave my art back into my life for years now.

Early on, it was paintings in a spare bedroom and straight to the walls (and closet when the walls filled).

When I moved from IBM to frog design, I began to see how art and technology intersect and first found my way to my own personal style — “digital woodcuts.”

Initially this was simply an obvious blend of old world technique and modern tools. I’ve always been drawn to juxtaposition.

In 2012, I had the opportunity to present at SXSW Interactive on technology and a new world of fine art - one that blends physical and digital experiences.

At the time, QR codes (inspired from Asian signature stamps) bridged online and off - intending to capture data and solve problems in ways that blockchain now does in a far more solid manner.

If only I had seen where this was all going. Well… I see it now.

Onward NFTs!

I was part of a sculpting collective in the early 2000’s. Dot-com days were crashing but I was still crazy bullish on “anything is possible online”. I recall repeated discussions with a rather successful, local artist on how “art does not work online”.

I still don’t know if I agree with that stance of the time, but, now? Hell no.

You might likely see what intrigues me about this new, NFT space.

I am excited for all the opportunities available to up-and-coming artists who may have to struggle just a little less.

I am confident those who are already successful have such an opportunity in front of them.

For those like me, those that put a passion to the side, those that are looking for that second act, those that simply want to expand and grow even later on in life, here’s our chance.

I’m the first to admit that I have no idea where I will take this. That’s the creative process. No clue what’s in that block of marble, what can be dropped on that blank canvas, or what that executing code might mint.

For the near future, expect regular drops. I am planning monthly collections, additional 1-of-1s, and weird experiments.

I have dreams of generative while maintaining my own style and approach.

I am committing to community and providing more than just some sweet prints.

I’m looking to find out what is available and what becomes. I’m looking to see what I am capable of. I’m looking to try new things - even at 50. And probably again at 51, 71, 99, and beyond.

Thank you for taking the time to hear a little bit of my story. Thank you for taking a look at my work. I hope we can continue the closer artee/arter relationship this technology is enabling.

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