A HEART-TO-HEART WITH YON
Hello everyone, welcome to my first medium article in a veeeeeeery long time! I decided that today being my birthday, it’s a special and proper day to update you on a couple of things regarding PEACEVOID.
A year ago, I was only polishing what ended up being the trippy characters we all know…so much happened since then.
You may be wondering why I’m writing this, why you’re here, and what’s going on. Think of this as a combination of 3 things:
- An annual report for PEACEVOID.
- A passage into my mind to understand where I stand, how I’m doing, and what I’m doing.
- A heart to heart with the PEACEFUL GROUPIES community.
There is a lot to uncover here, so let’s get started…
I started my journey in Web 3.0 in the spring of 2021. I first began selling editions and 1/1 art on Rarible, selling pieces for a few hundred dollars at most. Then, at that point, I wanted to experiment badly, so I joined Hic Et Nunc, where I minted a bunch of pieces for Tezos and grew a whole different collector base than I had before.
Prior to NFTs, I made a few bucks illustrating album covers, making animated music videos, doing tattoos, all while working at hostels. It was honest work for garbage pay.
I’ll never forget the feeling of my first few pieces selling. I didn’t know how to process it, and though it was only a few hundred dollars, I realized I had found my place. I was finally doing what I love even though I was getting paid just to survive day-to-day.
Within only a couple of months of hustle, my work was selling for thousands of dollars and being collected by some of the biggest names in the space. My pieces were sold out in Rarible, KnownOrigin, Hic Et Nunc, OpenSea, SuperRare…I truly was on Cloud 9, I thought I was ‘rich’. I didn’t think it could get any better.
That was until the profile picture craze in the summer of 2021, when my life truly changed forever.
On September 13, 2021, I would mint the PEACEFUL GROUPIES collection onto the Ethereum blockchain. My biggest and most ambitious piece of art I ever made. A collection I’ve been working on for about 7 months and it finally came to life. After less than 48 hours from mint, the entire 10,000 supply of PEACEFUL GROUPIES would sell out.
Did I really just sell 10,000 works of art? Did I really just gain thousands of new collectors? Did I really manage to grab the attention of the entire NFT space?
It seemed surreal, but yes, yes I did.
I had no idea how to feel or what to do next. I was still incredibly new to the space and to NFTs, and much of what was to come was unknown. However, one thing that really did change was my newfound following and community.
I still reminisce about waking up post-mint, hopping on discord and Twitter, and engaging with the community. I watched the buzz around the Groupies grow day by day. Eventually, the PEACEVOID was at the centre of attention of the entire NFT space. People who I looked up to as creatives, collectors, and artists were joining the PEACEVOID. Together we watched people value my art from 0.08 ETH all the way to 2 ETH. The feeling was indescribable. Not only because of the prices, but because of the number of people that were appreciating my works of art, and eagerly waiting to see what would come of the PEACEVOID.
It was all rainbows and butterflies for the month of September, however, everything changed very quickly when the majority of the NFT space began asking one particular question…
At first, I didn’t even know what people meant by this. My original plan was for the PEACEVOID to be an artistic hub for creatives in the space where they could share, connect, and create together. This is what I first marketed the project to be. This is what I meant by “the metaverse’s most colourful festival.”
However, after some time, it was clear that this vision was not what the space wanted or was looking for, so I pivoted. What did the market want? They wanted the standardized roadmap, consisting of staking, tokens, VX, merch, and IRL events. At the time I was persuaded by the pressure. I tried to do what the people thought would bring success to the project, so it was a no-brainer to try to bring this roadmap to life.
I learned quickly that this decision would not benefit anyone. In fact, this decision would cast a huge negative shadow on the team, project, community, and myself.
For months, I would attempt to execute this “roadtrip” that I was told would lead the PEACEFUL GROUPIES into the promise land of NFT projects. The truth is, my heart was not in many of these initiatives. I felt that my true vision for the PEACEVOID was veering farther and farther from what was occurring. This would take a huge toll on me, mentally and physically. My motivation to execute drastically declined. Delays began to occur, and even more detriment, my mental health declined. Luckily, these challenges never took me away from my lifelong project or the amazing collectors and holders who made the PEACEVOID possible. So, I powered through, and even after a slow start I was able to deliver PEACEVOID merchandise, $PEACE token, Decentraland wearables, metaverse parties, and more. I was ecstatic to proudly release these deliverables, at the same time I continued posting my art every day. I was awaiting for the value of Groupies to increase with every release, as I felt it should, as I thought it would.
I was very wrong.
Again, I was left confused, mentally exhausted, and stuck. What was I to do next? How do I bring value? How do I keep the community happy? Was all hope lost?
This mental block would hit harder than the last. I did everything that I set out to do, but it wasn’t reciprocated into a net positive.
NFT LA was an amazing experience for all of the normal reasons — networking, parties, art exhibits, and more. However, for me, the biggest takeaways were the conversations I had with other project founders, both established and new projects. I learned that everything I was going through and had experienced in the past 6 months, they too felt the same way.
I enjoyed an entire week of living and breathing the same air as Tyler and Ev, friends whom I’ve been working for months online but never got to meet in person until that point. It felt like we knew each other for a good time already, as if we were brothers. It wasn’t only extremely fun, but very fruitful to have endless talks about what to do next, how to approach these new ideas, and where we should be in 5 years. It was a fresh start.
All of a sudden, the vision for the PEACEVOID became much, much clearer. As a project founder and coordinator…
Following trends = ngmi
Utility for the sake of utility = ngmi
The ‘safe’ approach = ngmi
Innovative products = gmi
Immersive experiences = gmi
Creativity and art = gmi
So, you may be wondering, what does this mean, why am I writing this article, what’s next?
Well, the truth is, this is me telling all holders, collectors, and fans of my work that I, YON, am ready for the next phase of the PEACEVOID. This is me letting you all know that as a creator, artist, and builder I have never been more motivated and ready for what’s to come regarding the future of this project.
Everything that you previously knew, thought, or perceived about the project has changed. We are back to square 1, or day 1, per say. Using the infrastructure that is currently laid out, mixed with a freshly reorganized team and a community that has stuck with us from day one. So yes, in a way this means that the old roadmap or ‘roadtrip’ is now obsolete. Including what was intended to be the next deliverable, trippy shrooms.
This may come as a surprise, and many may even be angered by this. But in truth, this is a good thing. First, because of how I feel about them. At the current stage, whenever I was sketching the shrooms and creating mock-ups, I did not love the work or the story behind them as I kept moving forward. It felt as though I was drawing something that I did not love, and I would never want to release work under these impressions. Second, because of expectations. I never want to disappoint, from an art and value perspective. In the current climate, if I were to release this collection, it would only dilute the current ecosystem, not bringing in new eyes on the PEACEVOID. So, Trippy Shrooms are in the backlog, waiting to be activated when the time is right.
Now, PEACEVOID will begin to make the vision that was first laid out for the project as a reality. The brand and IP activation of the PEACEVOID is the main goal, with plans already underway to make this a reality the way we envision. Every collaboration, deliverable, and utility put out by us, will tie into the larger theme, story, and vision of the project. It is truly a creative and artistic experiment.
So, for those who continuously want to know what’s next, or what’s the utility, or wen this or wen that, the best answer I will give you is the following. Here are the goals of the PEACEVOID. Here is what we work every day to bring to light. Here is why you should or should not collect a PEACEFUL GROUPIE NFT.
- Being a creative hub for artists, photographers, musicians, comedians, etc, as a place to empower and connect with each other.
- Put the PEACEVOID and PEACEFUL GROUPIES in front of as many eyes as possible through out of body and unique art, real-world and metaverse activations, and connecting with community members and collectors through social media platforms.
- Empower the Latin community through Spanish-speaking initiatives, such as LATEgm Twitch streams
- Innovative and never seen before utility within the space, which has since included our very own decentralized marketplace, a ‘puzzle’ on our website to collect FREE artworks, and much more.
- Collaborating and partnering with a range of people, from Fortune 500 companies, to other NFT project founders, and even community members, to help bring Groupies to life.
- Community lead initiatives, we want to hear more voices! Enabling community members to suggest new ideas, and even joining in helping us create it.
And, for those who still need more concrete answers, please see below for what is currently in the works:
- A metadata refresh
- A secondary collection
- A tertiary collection
- A clothing line
- A subsidiary lifestyle brand
- The Continued activation of puzzle pieces and marketplace drops
- The Continued IRL activations
- Twitch streams and live drawing sessions with YON
- Further community development and building
- Activating, educating, and expanding the Spanish speaking community
- And of course, more dope art!
At this stage, your perception of the PEACEVOID may have changed, either for the good or bad. Those who purchased PEACEFUL GROUPIES for prices in the thousands may feel this is not the right move, especially after seeing prices decrease since the initial ‘pump’ when we first launched. Some may be thinking that I should be rapidly scaling up and seeking VC funding to bring more eyes our way. And those who won’t see the value in an artistic Web 3.0 creative hub and movement, will see this as a “slow r*g”. Of course, I never want to see people lose money, it pains me, especially those who lost what they could not afford to. However, if the PEACEVOID is going to become what it was always meant to, it will be done the right way, the way I always intended it to.
Well, this is just about everything, or everything I can think of. Every single day, the PEACEVOID team is working to bring these to life. This is exactly what the treasury will be used for, to ensure that PEACEVOID as a company sees success in the long run. I can’t be anymore blunt or transparent, this is why we wake up every single day. It will not be easy to make PEACEVOID the next this, or the next that. But we are here, trying to do so every day.
Thank you for your time. Thank you for your support. Thank you for sticking by me. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your honesty.
This is me. This is the PEACEVOID. This is day 1.