Last week, I released a new NFT collection in collaboration with Post Animation called Muhreens. There’s a wide spectrum of opinions and feelings regarding NFT’s in general, so I wanted to talk about the collection as an artist, and how I came to create it.
To talk about Muhreens, you have to go back in time quite a ways. In fact, you have to go all the way back to when I first created the “POST” animated short film back in 2011. I had just gotten out of the Marine Corps in 2010, and I wanted to study animation and filmmaking. Thanks to the GI Bill, I was able to enroll at the California College of the Arts, where I majored in animation for my BFA. I created POST as a school assignment (Flash Animation class), but I knew that it was going to be something I could show my burgeoning Terminal Lance audience as well…
Those of you that haven’t been following Terminal Lance since the beginning may not know this, but POST was a huge hit! The “Muhreens” that starred in the animated short film became really popular as stickers that I gave out as promotional items, and even found themselves tattooed on many arms, backs, and thighs.
What most of you probably don’t know is that I had always wanted to do more with the “POST” characters. I went through many different versions of building them out into their own little spinoff universe. The original vision was actually to have a website where you could build your own little avatar using a selection of interchangeable pieces. Sound familiar?
Try as I might, this idea never really came into fruition. I was a full time student at the time, going through a lot of life, and just didn’t have the capital to really see this through. It wouldn’t be until 2021 that the Post series would get revived in the form of the 3D animated short film “Post: Frag Out” that I wrote and directed.
We released this short film with the intention of building out a series, and with the completion of the film, we knew that we were going to need to fundraise in order to create more. NFT’s hadn’t really exploded at this point, so I was mulling around with the idea of a Kickstarter campaign, but my experience from doing it with The White Donkey (graphic novel) had really turned me off of the idea. (The White Donkey was a great success, but it’s a very stressful endeavor)
At some point a few months later I began looking at the world of NFT’s. Like most independent artists, I thought it was a very interesting idea (if nothing else). As an artist, I adopted digital art very early (back in the early 2000’s), so the fact that someone had figured out a way to confer ownership and provide a means for artists to actually make money on their digital art was of course intriguing to me.
Now, I’m not some kind of crypto-douche-tech-bro that tries to sell people on blockchains and bitcoins. Not even a little bit, and I’m not looking to become that either. However, I’ve always attributed my personal success as an artist to the advent of modern technologies. Without Facebook, social media and otherwise, I would have never been able to independently reach the vast audience that Terminal Lance reaches every day. I have a tendency for embracing modernity and new ideas rather than scoffing them away.
As I looked at the collections arriving on OpenSea, I saw an idea that seemed perfect for Post: interchangeable pieces generated into unique, adorable, collectible avatars. In many ways, Muhreens is exactly what I always wanted Post to be since 2011. For me, NFT’s arrived at an interesting intersection of art and technology that seemed perfectly catered to a tech nerd/artist hybrid like myself.
So I dug into it! I learned how to set up crypto wallets, generate images, metadata, rarity levels, partnered up with a great developer named Christian, and I sketched and painted the 50+ individual pieces that make up the Muhreen NFTs. Simply put, I had a lot of fun with it, and I’m proud of the collection that I’ve made. I think Muhreens stands apart as being legitimately great in the vast sea of NFT projects ranging from total schlock cash-grabs to the pretty great stuff like Doodles.
After revealing the project, I was of course met with criticism regarding the NFT space–some of it legitimate, and some of it not so much. Simply put, there’s a lot of opinions out there on NFT’s, Ethereum, blockchains, and crypto in general. There are legitimate environmental concerns regarding the current technologies behind blockchains, but I am taking part in this endeavor fully expecting that technology to get better (and greener) sooner than later. For my part, I don’t particularly care about crypto or blockchains or Ethereum or even NFT’s all that much. What I do care about is creating things I enjoy for the world, and I absolutely enjoyed creating the Muhreens.
For me, Muhreens is about creating something fun and new, creating a community, and creating some animation.
If you want to mint your Muhreen and support the animation we’re creating with Post Animation, head over to muhreens.com to mint and learn more.