NFT Steez hosts Alyssa Expósito and Ray Salmond chatted with Victor Solomon to discuss his journey in bridging his in-real-life artwork with NFTs and how he cultivates the community and culture that surrounds his art.
Solomon's work centers around basketball — not just the object, but the sport itself. For Solomon, the inspiration for his work comes from wanting to play hockey in his early childhood. At the time, this was a sport that was not accessible for him, but it led to his eventual discovery of basketball, which he found to be more accommodating.
"Basketball was such an inspirational platform for me since there's no barrier to entry."
According to Solomon, the open nature of basketball is an "incredible parallel for everything that's happening in Web3," and throughout the episode, he explained the symbiotic relationship he has experienced in building out VesselVerse, his collection celebrating basketball in the metaverse.
Bridging the gap between real life and digital spaces
When asked about the liberating elements of creating and iterating in Web3, Solomon drew attention to the “invigorating” nature of being able to create things that cannot exist in real life, like a “planet inside a hollow basketball.” He also noted the process of taking the physical elements into digital renderings and composites.
For Solomon, building a collection and a community to rally around it was second nature. His extensive experience in the traditional art world gave him the same insight and structure that he uses in releasing digital collectibles.
Drawing inspiration from other NFT projects like Nouns, Solomon’s VesselVerse digital collection operates similarly to his real-life pieces, except one “vessel,” or basketball, is auctioned off every hour.
Contrary to physical installations or show pieces in a gallery, Solomon noted that creating within Web3 offers participants and collectors a larger say in the direction of the work rather than their participation being a one-off experience.
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Unlocking collaboration within a community
When it comes to Web3 and the metaverse, a core tenet in a successful project or ecosystem is the community surrounding it and building alongside it. Solomon described how “exciting it is to be able to work shoulder to shoulder alongside a growing community,” where diverse collectors enable an “open forum to constantly visit, discuss and consider the direction of the project.”
Rather than shying away from opening up considerations to the community, Solomon said he embraces the more decentralized aspects of building and unlocking community in Web3:
“What attracts me as a founder is unlocking that opportunity for everyone to be able to have a voice.”
For Solomon, the juxtaposition of Web2 and Web3 has highlighted what he considers a “massive unlock.” As he described, the collaborative nature and “community spirit” present in Web3 has not been something he has been able to experience in his physical work, and is “energizing.”
The biggest challenge Solomon currently faces is re-educating a segment of the ecosystem that may have had bad experiences in the crypto and NFT market. Nonetheless, Solomon suggested that the adversity is worth enduring, since the promise of Web3 is much bigger than any particular negative experience.
To hear more from the conversation, tune in and listen to the full episode of NFT Steez on Cointelegraph’s new podcasts page or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or TuneIn.
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