From ETH to WAX: An Interview with Shnazzy
We caught up with this talented multi-disciplinary artist to discuss her creative origins, her journey into digital art, and her cross-chain adventure to find an NFT community to call home!
When an artist decides to enter the NFT space, a thousand choices are presented to them.
The question of “Which blockchain?” is usually not one that’s given too much thought. For those unfamiliar with NFTs, the Ethereum blockchain and OpenSea marketplace are often the only ones they’ve heard about, and so are the natural choice – but they’re not the best fit for everyone.
For those in search of a stronger community, better services and, of course, no gas fees, WAX could be the perfect home. One artist has recently made the switch from ETH to WAX and made this discovery for herself – Shnazzy.
With her Shnazzy Saga series well underway and her generative E-Girls collection fresh out of the box, now seemed a great time to discuss her NFT journey!
Head to the end of the interview for our free Shnazzy Interview Card, dropping next week!
Pssst… there’s three claim links hidden within this article. Happy hunting!
Hydro: Hey! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Shnazzy: Hi! Before I decided to stay home with my kiddos and jump into the world of finance, I worked as a professional cake decorator who specialized in crafting wedding cakes. It was such a great fit for me at the time because I naturally build up so much creative energy that I *need* some form of outlet for it or else it affects my mental health.
When I was growing up, my parents took notice pretty early on that I loved getting lost in a creative headspace. We didn’t have much money, so I remember getting my first set of art supplies in a little wooden box at around the age of 5 for Christmas. It was a really big deal!
I absolutely treasured it and treated every time I opened it up as a present-minded experience. I’d sit and just stare at the pencils and markers in it until I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them.
It’s funny to think about, because I’ve probably blown through 15-ish of those same little boxes in my childhood, and so many other supplies since then.
Have you always been an artist? What artists, or pieces of media, inspire you?
My art litters the homes of all my friends and family, and even the walls of a couple of local businesses. There is very seldom consistency in styles though.
I have always experimented with different techniques inspired by other creators, from Salvador Dali, Bob Ross and Agnes Cecile to Norman Rockwell, Tim Burton, Michelangelo, and so many more.
For date nights, my fiancé and I often go to our local used bookstore. I always grab an old art textbook, he picks up fun pulp fantasy gold, and we often exchange them back and forth. We’re strong believers in feeding your brain new creative content on a regular basis to inspire growth.
How did you get into NFTs?
When I stepped away from my position as a cake decorator, I soon became overwhelmed with a hunger to make again. I initially turned to my favourite medium of watercolours, but mixing toddlers with paints was a terrible idea, so I bought an iPad.
At the same time, whilst I was home with the babies, I was teaching myself about swing and day trading to garner our family a little extra money.
When the GameStop stock saw its first short-squeeze, I had an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that included shares of GME in it, which led me into the rabbit-hole of the APE movement – where retail investors were trying to save businesses they love from malicious short-sellers forcing them into bankruptcy.
This consumed me. It was a fight for a fair market – and I loved it! I felt like the best way I could contribute was to educate others about it by creating art that would draw people in!
After posting my art on a few threads, someone reached out to me and told me I needed to put it on the blockchain to mark the history of the movement that would forever change market structure transparency. It was at that moment that I took the dive into learning and understanding NFTs.
Soon after, I launched my first collection on OpenSea called Retail Revolution, and I filled it with diamond-handed, smooth-brained, crayon-eating apes, which is what the investors that held these shorted stocks were called by the media.
Speaking of OpenSea, you jumped ship from ETH to WAX relatively recently. What led you to make this decision, and how has the experience been so far?
I first heard about WAX through being an $AMC investor, following their WAX NFT announcement. I collected the AMC Investor Coin and a rare Spider Man animation from their pack drop, and after I was exposed to how easy it was to use AtomicHub and the WAX Cloud Wallet, I started seriously considering WAX as a future avenue for my NFTs.
Then, as if it were meant to be, Bret Blackburg and KryptoKumas started hosting their very insightful WAX Wednesday Twitter Spaces. The atmosphere is always so welcoming and informative, so I attended each one that they held!
At the same time, OpenSea started having server failures and regular downtime without much communication with their user base, which certainly affected me.
After the fourth WAX Wednesday space, I was starting to feel the FOMO around the WAX blockchain, and the morning after getting these feelings for the first time, OpenSea announced a cap on the total number of NFTs allowed within a collection, and a limit on the total number of collections a user can create.
This came without warning and absolutely devastated the smaller creators and their communities. Most collections, including mine, already housed more than 50 pieces within them, which meant that no more could be minted. It was very, very disheartening. I knew in that moment that I could either close a door and all my hard work would have been for nothing, or I could open a new one.
To push forward, I started working on a character piece that I had written a comic about at the beginning of the pandemic. I announced that I would be minting my first piece on WAX, and the community exploded with excitement! Everyone rallied together and gathered to help welcome me into the space, and it was truly a sight to see!
So many people reached out to offer me help in getting started and understanding how the WAX blockchain works. It was an overwhelming sense of community like I’ve never witnessed before!
Later that evening, I released my poster-style WAX NFT onto AtomicHub, and within the hour, all 20 editions were sold. My mind is still blown to this day with how wild that was to experience!
Shortly after that, I went on a WAX NFT shopping frenzy – which was so much easier and more enjoyable to do without having to worry about gas costs. I spent all the WAX I earned straight away to give back to this amazing community! From there, I got to work on introducing two more characters and releasing my next piece. It sold out just as quickly as the first one and people were able to make some striking secondary sales!
Your Shnazzy Saga NFTs are being released alongside story chapters within your Discord. Could you tell us a bit more about those?
I knew I had to act wisely, and I got my fiancé involved. He is a phenomenal writer and hopes to be able to quit his day job to focus on writing soon!
To help get his footing and to aide me in helping my story be told, he took on the task of transforming my comic into a readable and engaging narrative whilst I focus on bettering my art and being able to really capture the vibe of the scenes I love.
Our goal is to release a weekly chapter and poster drop until the book is done. After that, we’d love to get the story edited, printed and sent out to collectors!
I’ve been working to create AR utility for the poster NFTs as well, and we’re hoping to soon be able to drop the QR codes into our Discord for the community to play with.
This project has a very special place in my heart because it just feels like everything is aligning. My fiancé and I have spent so much time brainstorming collaborative projects and it feels so right to tell this saga together as our first.
You’ve just released Shnazzy E-Girls – a 10,000 piece generative PFP collection. Could you tell us how this came about, and what your plans for this collection are?
This collection has been in the works for over 5 months now, and it’s so amazing to see it finally come to life!
It all started when more female focused PFP collections started hitting the market on ETH. Whilst really admiring the idea of female representation, I didn’t feel like I could personally connect with the art. I realized that I’d either eventually find a project I connected with, or I could make one myself!
The potential of a PFP project stems from the utility, so I focused on trying to figure out how I could incorporate uplifting women and solving blockchain issues at the same time.
The biggest hurdle right now in the space is the stigma around NFTs. The best way I could think to tackle this was to highlight the women in electronics outside of the NFT space!
Part of the revenue from the project will go towards sponsoring streamers and creating a collectible art piece in their likeness for their viewers to collect! By offering fans of a personality a collectible NFT of them for free, I believe it’s a great no-stakes way to introduce people into NFTs for the first time. This will help bring more eyes to the WAX blockchain, and my E-Girls are in the perfect position to do that!
What do you prefer about the WAX NFT community over the OpenSea/ETH NFT community?
They’re night and day!
I feel that the ratio of collectors that are genuine fans of art and the ones looking for a quick flip are much more balanced on the WAX blockchain. Most people on ETH are business-oriented, whereas it truly feels like WAX focuses on the art and the people.
I also believe that because there are no gas fees on WAX, the collecting mentality is amplified. For example, when I sold a piece on Ethereum for $180, I would try to take my earnings and reinvest in my peers only to find that I had to pick and choose which one I’d be able to afford supporting.
Most of the time, I would only be able to pick up a cheaper $40 piece from a friend as I’d have to pay $140 worth of gas fees. Now, if I sell a piece for $180 worth of WAX, I can collect from well over 20 artists, and I think that’s what helps make this community so tight.
You’ve recently done a collaboration with Crypto Swatches! What do you enjoy best about working with other artists, and can we expect more collaborations from you in future?
Yes! The human behind Crypto Swatches is so passionate and kind. They reached out to me before I ever posted any NFTs to WAX and sent me the ingredients to do my first blend!
I was so grateful when they offered to do a collaboration with me, so we set a date a few weeks out so that I could get my footing in the space before our piece launched.
Collaborations provide so much insight into how different creators function in the space. I’ve learned quite a bit from my past collaborations and plan to have many more in future. I believe my next collaboration will be with a friend I made on ETH, to help show them what the WAX community is all about!
Take us through the process of creating one of your NFTs – what software do you use, and how long does each one take to create?
Being a mom of three young boys, my day is full of chaos, so I keep my iPad on hand constantly.
Everything I’ve minted as an NFT has been created on ProCreate. I love how simple it is to use and how lifelike the brushes act when I use them. The ability to export timelapses was also a huge sell for me, because I absolutely love showing off all the progress, thought and detail that goes into each piece.
It typically takes me anywhere from 6 to 30 hours (frequently interrupted by the kiddos) to complete each piece. I certainly feel as if I’ve been picking up speed recently though!
Who are your favourite NFT artists right now? Are there any pieces that you like in particular?
Oh wow, there’s so many that come to mind!
My favourite single NFT I’ve seen up to this point is Cool Aid Test’s #1 Hell Rider. The animation is some of the most satisfying I’ve seen!
What is the piece that you’re most proud of creating?
This tickled me, because my favourite piece changes on almost a weekly basis as I develop my art further!
I love how well the sky and the smoulder came out in this piece, and think I’ve really captured the personality of the character, Rhiley.
Is there anything the ETH community does well that you’d like to see more of on WAX?
Honestly, I believe the WAX community does most things better than ETH! I think the only thing that we need to work on is to make onboarding easier, and to promote WAX to the wider crypto/NFT communities!
The 5 WAX creation fee for the WAX Cloud Wallet, or having to link your account to Facebook, really weirds newcomers out. I understand why it’s in place, however I’ve personally paid the fee for every person I’ve onboarded to WAX, and it adds up quickly!
With your poster drops finding success on WAX, do you have any plans to create physical prints, or any other IRL merch?
Absolutely. I’m so ready to journey into vIRL NFTs. I’m a much better painter than digital artist, so releasing 1-of-1’s of physical paintings, not related to a Shnazzy Saga, would be something I’d love to do!
As for merchandise, just know it’s coming. I’ve got plans to open a print-on-demand shop for different products from prints to mugs very soon!
Is there anything you’d like to add? Anything you’d like to say to the reader?
I want to say thank you. To this day, almost a year into my NFT journey, I have never sold an NFT to someone I know in real life. The only support system I had before NFTs were inside of the walls of my own home, and now there are people all over the world excited to be a part of this journey with me.
This community believes in me in a way I’ve never experienced before, and I treasure that so much more than I know how to express. I’m going to continue to grow and make strides to create better art, not only because that’s what I want more than anything, but it’s also the best way for me to bring value to my collectors.
Joining the WAX space changed my life, and I want to be the NFT creator who gets the privilege of helping change their collectors’ lives.
It’s quick-fire time!
What fuels you?
I want my children to have a strong example of what it means to make your dreams a reality and to show them that they really can do anything they set their mind to.
One unusual fact about you?
My middle name is Luv!
If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never stop working on yourself. You can always do and be better. Don’t get comfortable.
You can invite three people, real or fictional, to dinner. Who do you choose and why?
Jeff Goldblum and Keanu Reeves for sure, because I’m a huge fan of not only their way of thinking, but also their ability to submerge themselves into a character.
The third person would be my fiancé, because he’d have the time of his life in that moment with the four of us together!
What is your purpose in life?
I feel like my purpose, and everyone else’s, is to see all the experiences this life has to offer and to provide perspective as to what that means to me. The way I personally provide perspective the best is through art and conversation.
How can we follow you and your work?
Shnazzy is one of the first of what I’m sure will be a long-line of artists making the jump from ETH to WAX – and it’s fantastic to hear that she’s found a community to call home, and that she’s bringing some of her creative friends with her!
Her personality, approach and strong moral character come through in each piece she creates, and her willingness to support and uplift those around her make her someone we’ve all welcomed with open arms.
Whether it’s with the continuation of her Shnazzy Saga, her E-Girls PFP collection or with something else entirely, we’re certain that the future on WAX is bright for this humble, eclectic creative.
To mark this interview, we have our free Shnazzy Interview Card, dropping soon!