KG: Hey Supafray, so nice to have you on here, big fan of your work. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Supafray: I am a visual artist based in Oakland, California. I'm currently living in an artist live-work warehouse that is home to around 200 working-class artists. I’ve always had a strong connection to art all the way back to my earliest memories. It’s been a journey to get to where I am today. My art practice started as a form of personal therapy while attending school in North Dakota where I studied Entrepreneurship and Marketing. The artwork that I created was vibrant abstract forms. Heavily inspired by my experiences attending music festivals.
Following college, I launched and collaborated on multiple start-up projects. I struggled with addiction throughout which eventually led me to experience homelessness. This was a challenging period in life where it was difficult for me to find purpose and direction. Thanks to support from my sister and friends I was able to regain my equilibrium. From this experience, I see very clearly how crucial it is for all humans to have access to housing.
Next up for me I listened to my heart and stepped away from the digital marketing space as the screen time was damaging my headspace. This was five years ago when I received my Urban Permaculture Design Certification and dove into ecological gardening and habitat restoration. At the same time, I was introduced to a digital art technique that sparked the right side of my brain.
My art is deeply inspired by a connection to the unknown in nature and beyond. This includes outer space, the deep sea, human energies, plant life, psychedelics, and thoughts exploring futurism. Color plays a large part in my creations. I work to tap into colors that resonate with a peaceful and at times uplifting mood. Daily meditation has an important role in my creative flow.
I aim to create something new daily along with learning and improving my style. Music is another major source of inspiration and my work has been featured as album art, animations for tracks, music videos, and fliers for shows. Grateful to have had the opportunity to become a full-time artist starting in May of 2020.
KG: When and how did you find out about NFTs
Supafray: This is a fun story to share. In 2019 I was in an art show next to MakersPlace and they had a bunch of computer tablets hanging showing digital art. I talked to them for a minute and the whole concept went over my head haha. The idea continued to float around in my head as I discovered SuperRare. In March of 2020, I minted my first piece on Rarible without fully understanding the space. Learned so much by spending enormous amounts of time in Clubhouse rooms. I’m here to grow and love the limitless possibilities we have available in the Web3 space.
KG: There’s a lot of image channel isolation and beautiful color bursts that are very prominent in your work. In fact, some of my favorite pieces include a series of manipulated images of different animals that you did in 2020 like the chimpanzee that were offered as prints – With NFTs opening up the doors for all kinds of creators to participate in the space, in your opinion how important do you think it is for creators to develop their own unique style?
Supafray: Happy to hear that you resonate with those pieces. I think finding and developing an individual style is crucial as we’re all unique human beings and it’s important to let it show through our artistic output. In the NFT world, this is true as well, especially now as we’re pre-mass adoption. In addition with there being many creators, I believe it’s important to own a look that is unique to the artist to help stand out.
This will only become more valuable in time as more people enter the space. Creating an individual look that’s true to the artist will also help collectors more accurately identify their work. It is an exciting time where artists can blaze their own trails during this historic moment in time artistically.
KG: Talk a bit about the work that you’re doing with the emergency tiny homes in Oakland, how it started and what your involvement is in this project
Supafray: For sure, it’s a project that started with my partner Annmarie distributing resources to our unhoused neighbors. With COVID many talented builders and creators at our space were out of work and wanted to give back. At this time there were already over 10,000 unhoused community members in the city of Oakland. Seeing this need we co-founded Artists Building Communities. To start we built the homes prefab style right outside of our home and constructed them in encampments.
Today there is one large encampment where we focus the majority of our energy. The land spans miles and is home to over 200 unhoused residents. When we formed the 100% volunteer ran org our goal was to build 12 Emergency Tiny Homes. Later this month we’ll be hitting that number and we’re excited to dream bigger!
My role as a co-founder is to assist with marketing, fundraising, and the construction of the homes. One of my favorite experiences was curating my first art show last September as a fundraiser. We showcased over 30 Bay Area visual artists and musicians including unhoused artists/musicians. The event was headlined by Tajai who’s a member of the iconic Oakland hip hop collective Hieroglyphics. We raised enough to comfortably build our next tiny home!
You can get a better look into the work we do through this article from Al Jazeera: In tiny home villages, unhoused Americans find temporary reprieve
Already doing work in the social impact space had me aligned and excited to collaborate with the heart led platform DoinGud 💚
KG: No doubt that Web3 has and is continuing to unlock opportunities for creators through new platforms like DoinGud that help artists leverage NFTs, social tokens, and DAO infrastructure to create new economic models around creativity and fan engagement.
However, there’s still a lot of skepticism and backlash about the space, either because of the growing amounts of scams, a fairly large percentage of the works on some of the platforms being plagiarized works, or market manipulation. What do you think in your opinion would be solutions that can be implemented to curb some of these rising issues that are negatively affecting the ecosystem.
Supafray: This is an incredibly important topic. It’s definitely a bad look at the moment and leads people to have second thoughts before entering. To help mitigate these issues I see the value in artists onboarding new artists/collectors into the space. This can help people not repeat mistakes that we’ve made ourselves or know someone else who has. Overall accessibility to education needs to be highlighted even more.
Maybe that looks something like learning to earn through various NFT platforms before users have the ability to mint/purchase. As for manipulation and scams I foresee there being some type of NFT project/artist grading tools that can help reduce risk and provide more transparency. Looking forward to seeing how the space evolves in a positive way to reduce scams and market manipulation
DoinGud is an NFT ecosystem focused on inspiring creativity and positive social impact. We pride ourselves on accessibility and sustainability, providing next-gen Web3 tools to empower our community to create, curate, collaborate, and connect with one another in the digital space.
Thank you for being part of this amazing journey with us.