An Interview with Louis, Co-Founder of Neon Space
Coming off the back of a hugely successful pack drop, we catch up with one of this neon-loving team to discuss nostalgia, photo collections and pop culture memes!
One of the biggest trends of the last few years has been 80s and 90s nostalgia. From Netflix hits such as Stranger Things, to fashion items (retro football shirts are BOOMING) and hell, even the GPK and Atari releases on WAX, those golden years are back in a BIG way. What if you could go back in time and actually be there? That might not be possible anytime soon, but Neon Space can help you own a piece of the glory days.
Rather than an imitation, this project is built on the back of a huge collection of photos personally taken by the team, so they can give you as authentic an experience of neon signs as they can.
Neon Space is ran by a group of close-knit friends who are simply sharing their passion with the world, and Louis’ passion certainly comes through here!
Read through to the end of the interview for our Neon Space Interview Card, dropping Saturday at 22 UTC!
Pssst… once again, there’s three hidden claim links to previous Interview Cards within this article. Happy searching!
Hydro: Hi! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Louis: Hi! I’m Louis (a.k.a. polishguy90), and I’m a professional audio engineer that’s been working in the film & television industry for the last 5 years.
I moved to LA to pursue a career in music but had a hard time making a living with it, so I pivoted to working in film. My roommate Max is also a professional freelance artist in the film industry, and has held BTC since 2014. He got me into BTC in 2016 as he told me it was a way for him to make money in-between jobs. In our industry, it’s standard to be laid off and to be looking for work constantly. It’s part of the gig – it’s pretty hard to survive in Los Angeles without some sort of side hustle if you’re a freelance artist.
We found out about CryptomonKeys this winter, and fell down the NFT rabbit hole from there!
You’ve just come off the back of a super-successful pack sale! Could you tell us the story of Neon Space so far, and how you’ve got to where you are today?
Yes, we are floored at the support our community has shown us so far, and we’re super grateful that we were able to sell out so quickly!
Neon Space started a few months ago as a collaboration between my roommates. Max modelled a virtual space called Neon City on his PC, and my roommate Paul decided to put 2D neon signs into it. When I saw their renders, I was blown away by the concept, and was lucky enough to convince them to let me add music to their art.
We have all been friends since high school and have lived together for 6+ years now. Max and Paul are married and I was the best man at their wedding. Our other team members Marc and Bob we’ve been friends with for 10+ years. I went to college with them – they help us with the admin side of things. I feel incredibly lucky to have teamed up with my best friends to make art that people from around the world appreciate!
It’s great to hear you’re such a close knit team! What’s it like to be working with your close friends like this? Does it make the process easier?
It’s a ton of fun! It definitely makes things easier – communication is one of the most important parts of any relationship, and we work great together in this respect. I feel much more open in sharing dumb ideas with them than I would do around others!
What inspired the Neon Space collection? Do you take inspiration from film, music or pop culture?
Max and Paul are big fans of neon signs. They take photographs of signs that they see, and have built a huge collection of images from signs they’ve seen on their travels.
On top of that, we’re all into pop culture and internet culture, and try to blend 80s/90s nostalgia with memes!
We also love the vaporwave aesthetic, so I slow down the music I compose to match the feel of that genre.
What has your experience on WAX been like so far? What hopes do you have for the future of the blockchain?
Our experience on WAX so far has been incredible. Other creators have been extremely helpful and I’m blown away by their generosity. Recourier from MetaForce, Darren from Graffiti Kings, and Dan from Immersys were all super helpful (and patient!) in giving us advice on how to get up and running.
The community is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We’ve been nerding out privately about crypto for years so to find a community interested in crypto, gaming and art is like finding a home I didn’t know existed.
What’s your favourite NFT from the collection so far?
That would be Cut My Life Into Pizza. Strapping a Papa Roach pun to a character inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this sign hits all the nostalgia buttons for me.
Man, Papa Roach is my jam! Any more puns lined up for the future?
Absolutely! Everyone on our team likes to think we are funny, but Paul, our 2D artist who does a lot of the concept art, is a graduate from the comedy school Second City in Hollywood, and has been writing & performing comedy every week for years. We aren’t inherently trying to make comedy NFTs, but since one of our lead artists is a comedian, it sneaks its way in!
I hear you’ve got an auction coming up tomorrow – could you tell us a bit more about that?
Our auction on Saturday July 10th is for a 1 of 1 at the Supernova rarity – the first of its kind. Our rarity structure plays on the brightness that the neon glows; Dim (common), Lit (uncommon), Glow (Rare), Neon (Epic), and Supernova (1 of 1).
This NFT will show all 5 signs on Genesis Street, rather than just the one. The camera will move around the street to showcase all of the signs, and will also feature a new song composed specifically for this NFT.
The winner will also receive a 50×50 plot on Genesis!
We’re donating 100% of the proceeds to the Climate Emergency Fund. Global warming is a huge issue, and we appreciate that other projects like YoshiDrops and even the WAX team themselves are focusing on environmental sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint of crypto. Energy consumption is a major criticism of cryptocurrency in general, so to be on a blockchain that is actively combating this is awesome.
We’ve built our Supernova charity auctions into the structure of our drops, and will be selecting a new charitable cause we care about for each of our new street releases.
A wonderful cause to support – we’ll be watching the auction with eager eyes! It sounds like it’s important to you guys to have a wider positive impact both within the community and on the planet – would that be correct?
Yes – on a personal level, I’ve been terrified of global warming since I saw An Inconvenient Truth when I was much younger. Living in LA, it gets hotter every year. Last year, it was 115 degrees in my neighbourhood and my cellphone charger melted in my car.
There’s a common misconception that crypto and NFTs are only there to make the rich richer, or for tech bros. We’ve met a lot of people in this space who have proven that to be totally untrue, and we’d like to prove those misconceptions wrong.
I get the feeling this first pack drop is the start of bigger things for Neon Space… what plans do you have in the works?
Yes, Genesis Street is just the beginning! We intend on adding more streets, and of course, more neon signs! Neon City is a virtual space, so all of the previous signs still exist when we make new ones. Eventually, we would like the entire city to be plastered in original neon signs that we created.
Our next sign will be a collab with CryptomonKeys, and then we’ll be adding an entire street for MetaForce. MetaForce Avenue will have 5 signs – one for each citizen – which will animate into their champion.
After that, we’re planning on making a street for Graffiti Kings, called the GK District!
We’re really fortunate that our style lends itself very well to collaboration, and we’re excited to be able to work with brands that we enjoy collecting ourselves.
Neon City is available to explore in The Uplift server Genesis. We rebuilt the city just as it looks on Max’s PC. There’s other options we’re exploring (Immersys for example…), but we’ll see where we go with these.
Where would you like Neon Space to be in 3 months? 6 months? 12 months?
In 3 months, I’d like to have 2 more collab streets locked down and a roadmap for our future collabs in place.
In 6 months, I’d like to have our second original drop street lined up.
In 12 months, I hope we can hire a construction crew to start building Neon City in real life… just kidding!
The NFT space moves so fast that I have no idea where we’ll be a year from now. I know we’ll still be working on Neon Space (we aren’t going anywhere!) but last July I didn’t even know WAX existed, so it’s very hard for me to predict that far ahead!
Pitch time – why should the reader buy into your NFTs?
You should buy our NFTs if you like the artwork.
As I say frequently on Twitch, we don’t give financial advice, but personally, I don’t buy NFTs unless I’m okay holding them if they’re worth nothing. Every NFT could go to zero, but as long as you value the art, that doesn’t matter. Yes, we believe strongly in low mints and digital scarcity, but at the end of the day, NFTs are only worth what other people think they’re worth. If you value the art personally you should buy the NFT, because nobody can take that value from you.
On a more specific level, you should buy our NFTs because 20% of all future Neon Space drops will be airdropped to those holding our NFTs.
When our CryptomonKeys collab comes out, 20% of all rarities for that sign will be airdropped to holders of Genesis Street and our previous NFTs. When our MetaForce street releases, 20% of all of the rarities for their signs will be dropped to holders of Genesis Street AND the CryptomonKeys signs.
The more of our signs you hold, the higher your chance to be airdropped new signs. There’s no limit for an account, so if you hold 1000 of our NFTs, you might receive a decent percentage of our new signs!
Any final things you’d like to say to the reader?
Thanks for reading, and taking the time to find out about us! We know there’s a ton of cool projects in this space and appreciate anyone who takes the time to even consider learning about ours.
We’re very active on Discord and hold daily giveaways, so if you want to learn more or have a chance at some free neon signs, come stop by and say what’s up!
Let’s wrap it up with some quick-fire questions!
What fuels you?
Art fuels me. I’ve devoted most of my life to studying and pursuing a career in music, and ended up pivoting to work as an audio engineer. I’m always looking for an outlet for my creativity.
One unusual fact about you?
I lived on a couch for multiple years when I first moved to LA.
Long-term; crypto or fiat as the predominant currency?
We call fiat “boomer bucks”. I’m just waiting for my landlord to accept crypto and I’ll be able to cover most of my expenses with LTC.
You can invite three people, dead or alive, to dinner. Who do you choose and why?
Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, and Kurt Cobain. I’d force them to write & perform a song before I served them dinner, because who wouldn’t want to hear that?
What is your purpose in life?
I really don’t know. Every time I think I have it figured out, something like WAX and NFTs smack me in the face and change my life. I’m excited to see what life throws at me next though.
How can we keep up to date with everything that you do?
NFTs are as much about the people behind the art as they are about the art itself, and Louis and the rest of the Neon Space team hold tons of credit in both areas. I can’t wait to see where Neon City goes next – their plot on Genesis is a sight to behold already, and with so many streets planned for the future, who knows where these bright, neon lights could take them!
As is tradition, to celebrate the interview, we have our Neon Space Interview Card, dropping this Saturday at 22 UTC!