EXCLUSIVE: LonelyPop on Mental Health, Combating Loneliness and Togetherness
Noinah and Radiosolace sit down with John to discuss how LonelyPop came together, the community they’ve built, and what the future may hold.
At the time of publication, John held 3 LonelyPop NFTs worth 0.268 ETH ($438 USD) in total. All of these NFTs were acquired via the secondary market.
Over the past several months, I’ve been spending more time exploring ETH NFTs.
Not Bored Apes, CryptoPunks or Doodles, but niche communities. Projects that focus on a collective, human purpose. A common good. A positive message.
After some digging, I found exactly what I was looking for – LonelyPop.
LonelyPop is a project all about mental health, combating loneliness, and the idea that we can be lonely together. Away from the scandals, infighting and noise that dominates the NFT space, they’ve carved out a slice of the internet unlike any other I’ve seen.
In an exclusive for NFT Insider, LonelyPop’s artistic lead Noinah and business lead Radiosolace sat down with me to discuss how they met, the story so far, and what building this community means to them.
John: Could you tell us a bit about the team, and how LonelyPop came together?
Radiosolace: Noinah – the artist behind LonelyPop – is a renowned Thai illustrator and cartoonist with a 20+ year career in the industry. Drawing is his way of speaking with the outside world, in spite of his introverted nature. Discovering NFTs has helped him to rediscover his true self.
0xStudio – a blockchain solutions team with a global tech firm background – partnered with Noinah to bring his vision of LonelyPop to life. For us, it’s more than just an art project, it’s about building a meaningful community.
Taken from Noinah’s Personal Story on Medium:
I rarely verbalize my feelings, especially if I’m sad or depressed. I always keep them inside.
I don’t have many close friends and I don’t like being in the spotlight. If you would like to imagine who I am, I’m the boy who sits at the back of the classroom. I want to be a rock that no one pays attention to, because it makes me feels “safe”.
I remember one time when I was camping on the second highest mountain in Thailand, and I was the only visitor there. It was cold and lonely, but I love that feeling – the sense of solitude. I found a pine tree among the thousands of other trees. It looked different from the others. It reminded me of myself, and caused me to reflect. In a big city, I’m among so many people, but I never feel like I belong with them. I think if this pine tree could have felt, it would have felt the same way I did. Alone.
I started to paint with this feeling of loneliness. From this, my signature character, the kid in the yellow raincoat, was born. I drew this character to tell the story of loneliness, and the feeling of yearning for someone you love. I’m not sure whether those who see my paintings can feel what I feel, but all of my works are the same – they’re a time machine. I record my feelings and the stories of those moments in the past. Every time I look at my work, it reminds me of those memories and makes them much clearer. It helps me remember those days.
LonelyPop launched in June 2022. What was the inspiration behind LonelyPop, and how have you found the journey so far?
Radiosolace: LonelyPop is an NFT collection and community centred around the artistic expression of loneliness, and the idea that we all can be #LonelyTogether. Our launch took place in a challenging period for the market, but with our strong values, clear message and immense support from our community, we sold out of our initial mint.
We’ve since announced Journey Together, our roadmap dictating where we’re headed, and what we’re building. It’s been a lot of fun since then, and we’re really enjoying working on LonelyPop every day.
The importance of mental health, and especially the challenges of loneliness, are at the core of LonelyPop. How have these values shaped the project, and what are your plans to push the idea that we can all be #LonelyTogether?
Radiosolace: Mental health is a topic that we all agree is very important – but we often overlook it. The art of LonelyPop conveys the different faces of loneliness, with the hope that each piece will resonate with someone who will want to be a part of our community.
We’ve worked with our community to make Twitter Spaces an important cornerstone of LonelyPop. We discuss the importance of mental health and how to get through challenging times – both inside and outside the NFT space. We’ve invited renowned figures in Web3 to share their perspectives, experiences and life tips too.
Our Journey Together roadmap is not just a description of what we’re working on, but a representation of the #LonelyTogether movement, built with initiatives both from us and the LonelyPop community.
Have you always been inspired to create art, or did you discover art later in life? Did you study art, or are you self-taught?
Noinah: I’ve been drawing since I was a child.
I can’t remember days when I didn’t draw.
Whether it’s drawing for work or drawing for relaxation.
I always have a pen in hand wherever I am.
I missed out on an opportunity to study art.
But I learned by myself.
And I keep learning.
What artists or other sources do you look to for inspiration? Was there a pivotal moment in the evolution of your work?
Noinah: There are many artists that I love.
Whether it’s for their ideas or a love of their work.
Learning from those artists has allowed me to continually improve my art.
If you want to be successful,
you must be able to create unique art that is truly yours,
and make it recognizable.
In addition to being inspired by your favourite artists,
it would be best to create in your own way to find acceptance.
What have you enjoyed the most about creating LonelyPop so far, and which is your favourite one?
Noinah: Actually, I like all 10,000 LonelyPop.
But that was at the point when the work was finished.
What have I enjoyed the most about creating LonelyPop so far?
I enjoy working with the team.
I enjoyed the creative process before the LonelyPop’s were finished.
I’ve always worked alone.
But when it came to working with my team,
it was much different.
We worked hard with our duties,
suggesting ideas and helping one another.
That’s what I enjoyed the most about creating LonelyPop.
And I still miss it.
How do you think NFTs will impact the future of art?
Noinah: I wanted to present my art to the world without limits.
Previously, there were many restrictions on displaying or collecting art.
NFTs make those restrictions disappear.
People see the artwork they like and can choose to own it immediately.
For me, NFTs are fun and an interesting challenge.
To come up with something new and exciting to offer to people.
And it’s cool that they can be immediately presented to the world.
I think we’ll see a lot of cool art from many new artists because of NFTs.
And I’m looking forward to seeing it all with excitement.
You’ve recently announced partnerships with The Phoenixes by Habit Nest, and the Mental Health Collective. What is the goal behind these partnerships, and do you have any other partnerships in the works?
Radiosolace: The Phoenixes by Habit Nest is a very interesting project with a solid team behind it. Habit Nest is a company that focuses on health & wellbeing. With their habit-building journals, iOS and Android app and more, they align perfectly with our interests and those of our community.
Not to reveal too much, but the product they’re currently developing is wonderful, and will gamify the habit-building process. We want members of our community to experience it with the hope of aiding their personal physical and mental wellbeing journeys.
Regarding future partnerships; yes, we’re continuing to work on several partnerships that will be announced in due course.
The rights given to NFT holders have become a hot-topic in recent months. What rights are given to LonelyPop holders?
Radiosolace: Holders have a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use their LonelyPop for both non-commercial and commercial use. Full information can be found in our Terms & Conditions.
Over the past few weeks, you’ve asked the Discord community to take part in numerous votes to decide on patch designs to be used in your first line of merch. Could you tell us more about your merchandise plans for LonelyPop? When will the first pieces of merch be available?
Radiosolace: The patch votes were super fun!
Noinah’s art has so many shades of emotion. We didn’t want to be the ones who decided which pieces of her art should go into the first merch drop, so we let the community decide. Now that we have the winning designs, the merch is being developed and will be available in Q4 2022.
Where do you see LonelyPop 12 months from now?
Radiosolace: 12 months is forever in Web3 – time runs differently in this space. The most realistic outlooks we can provide cover the next 3-6 months.
We’re working hard on delivering our first merchandise, and on character development for the rest of 2022.
Alongside that, from now until Q1 2023, we’re preparing to open the first-ever LonelyPop cafe & art space in Noinah’s home province of Chanthaburi, Thailand.
We’re monitoring the NFT market closely and are looking at additional ways to add value to our holders along the way.
Is there anything you’d like to add? Anything you’d like to say to the reader?
Radiosolace: We need to thank everyone that has supported LonelyPop so far.
LonelyPop started as a single picture drawn on a lonely day. It was launched in challenging market conditions, but with enormous support from the community. Since then, we’ve pursued the #LonelyTogether message, and continue to encourage our community to #JourneyTogether. We’re continuing to build!
For those of you who are hearing about LonelyPop for the first time, we welcome you to the LonelyFam!
It’s time for our quick-fire questions!
What fuels you?
Noinah: I always keep my feelings inside of me,
and use them as fuel for my work.
One unusual fact about you?
Noinah: I rarely get angry or hate other people.
When there’s a mistake, I always blame myself first.
If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Noinah: Do what you want.
Whether it succeeds or fails,
at least you’ve done it.
You can invite three people, real or fictional, to dinner. Who do you choose and why?
Noinah: Little Prince, I love everything he is.
Momo, she’s the best listener I know.
Zeze, I want to see his growth.
What is your purpose in life?
Noinah: To be an old man who enjoys drawing!
How can we follow you and your work?
Noinah: You can follow my Twitter, I provide updates on my work there.
Noinah’s selfless nature, altruistic personality and passion for his purpose has created one of the most genuine, heartfelt communities in the NFT space. Web3 is notorious for bringing likeminded people together in ways seldom seen before, but no project has done that quite like LonelyPop.
LonelyPop doesn’t approach mental health from an overtly positive, unrealistic perspective – it faces it for what it is, accepts the problems of loneliness in an increasingly digital world, and uses their platform to rally likeminded people to combat it together.
Friendship. Affection. Camaraderie. These characteristics – and many more besides – eschew everything the LonelyPop community stands for. I’ve witnessed in LonelyPop something rarely seen elsewhere; a community that genuinely cares more about one another than about the floor price of the collection.
I know many of you reading will be new to LonelyPop, and new to ETH PFPs in general, but I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll find their community to be a heartwarming, supportive and welcoming corner of the internet – and perhaps a new place for you to call your digital home.
If you’d like to learn more about LonelyPop, check out the collection on OpenSea, visit their website, follow their Twitter and join their Discord.