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  • Writer's pictureJ.T.

The Niftyist Podcast Episode 2: On Pioneering "Artistic Utility" with Toomuchlag & Mauro

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Today I am thrilled to release the second episode of The Niftyist Podcast, which features heavyweight duo in the world of blockchain art - Toomuchlag and Mauro, the two minds behind the epic Le Anime project.

The video version of the podcast includes the full range of our conversation. A condensed audio version is also available.

Readers may already know that I am a massive fan of this project and its many gorgeous, RPG-inspired artworks. But not just the art itself - truly, it's the visionary fusion of art and blockchain technology (along with a highly engaged community and a range of secret puzzles) that really makes this project so special to me.

I started this podcast to talk to the visionaries, artists, and architects who are pushing the realm of what's possible with Web 3 and NFTs. This duo fits that description exactly. From their breakthrough creative work "Satoshi's Coin", to the surprise release of "shadow NFTs" in connection with the original Le Anime drop, and now the development of in-world, on-chain powers for holders of their NFTs, Toomuchlag and Mauro are continually reimagining and redefining what's possible with blockchain art.

(Disclosure: I own a number of NFTs by Toomuchlag and Mauro, and am a moderator of the Toomuchlag discord server.)

For our conversation, I wanted to focus on the present and future of the project (as it would simply take too long to review the twists and turns of its surprisingly dense history.) After the briefest of reviews of the project's history, we discuss the forthcoming experience mechanic, which promises a new way to reward NFT holders for interacting with the project. Toomuchlag and Mauro explain how experience is accrued and what it will be useful for.

That brings us into a discussion of a second innovation in the new phase of the project - extensibility. The duo recently revealed that holders will be able to earn and equip extra layers for their heroes based on factors like point-in-time participation (something like a POAP) and the spending of experience. Layers can take the form of backgrounds for heroes, or different skins for existing traits of an NFT (like a sword).

Toomuchlag tells me also about the soon-to-be-released Le Anime Comic, written by himself in collaboration with an up-and-coming illustrator who goes by the name EasyWeasy. He hints at how the comic will be distributed, and tells me what he's thinking about a physical release.

I was very excited to be able to ask Toomuchlag about his newest 1/1 piece, "Axis Mundi". Like a previous 1/1 NFT by the artist, "The L.A.B.", Axis Mundi will grant its holder a special title within the Le Anime universe - "The Archivist" - which in turn will grant that holder on-chain powers to influence lore. I ask the artists how they came up with the idea of using NFTs to give creative powers to community members, and Toomuchlag tells me about his conception of "artistic utility."

The audio version of the podcast is a condensed interview.

This was a fantastic conversation with a pair of brilliant and capable artists who are truly blazing paths in the world of blockchain art. I'm so excited to share it with you.

You can find the newest episode of The Niftyist Podcast on your favorite podcasting app. I am publishing this content for free, at cost to myself. Please support my by sharing it with a friend, share it on social media, or leave a rating or review.


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