Dirt: WIYW w/ John Jannuzzi
Our new series asks NFT collectors, “What’s In Your Wallet?”
What was your first blockchain purchase?
After holding on to some ETH for a while, I made my first blockchain purchase via the Crypto Coven NFT project. That was lucky, not only because the project has done exceptionally well, but because the community there was extremely supportive. Having that be my first venture taught me what to look for in communities that rally behind projects.
Most recent blockchain purchase?
I bought an Akutar mint pass after my project, Avius Animae, minted out. It was the most I’ve ever invested before but Micah has a pretty incredible vision. The contract snafu was regrettable of course, but I still have faith in that team, particularly after watching everybody in the space rally behind them. But, all that money lost to the Ethereum Planes? Heartbreaking.
Is there a theme to your collection?
Perhaps you could call it “Recovering Degen.” It’s so easy to get sucked in to hype cycles and when you first jump into the space it’s hard not to imagine minting yourself a millionaire overnight. So I hopped into things that didn’t make sense for me. Now, I keep an eye on the visuals, shop from projects I respond to aesthetically. I’m artist first, everything else next. I love that Web3 provides utility to art that you can’t find in more traditional spaces, but there’s no reason owning art or images you love can’t be its own utility.
If you could narrow your collection down to 3 NFTs which ones would they be?
So let’s exclude all the ones I’ve made from this. I would absolutely have to keep my Dour Darcel, that project really opened my eyes to the possibilities of Web3 and the founder and me share a similar sensibility around building things in a deliberate and honest way (vs. promising a future that can’t be provided).
Next would probably be one of my Starcatchers. I have a lot of faith in the team there and they’ve been wildly supportive of my journey in Web3. I also love the 2-D art style and when I think about where Starcatchers as a “brand” could go, I see big things. Not so with other projects.
Lastly, my Invisible Friend! This was the first NFT collection I really fell hard for. I love the simplicity of the concept, the community, and the artist is so talented. I missed out on the mint because I was a little behind in finding them but eventually managed to get one by trading a 1/1 Dour Darcel for a Mutant Ape and an Invisible Friend. I jettisoned the Mutant Ape to take care of some expenses and gave my Invisible Friend a permanent home.
What is your grail?
Doodles! I love everything they’ve created and think that they build in very smart ways. Their brand also has the potential for mass appeal outside of the Web3 space. For better or worse, a lot of the top projects have an art style that doesn’t necessarily resonate with a broader audience. Doodles, however, mirror styles that people are more comfortable with while remaining original. Their use of color, the rocket ship treatment, and the SXSW event (particularly the interior part integration) sold me for life.
Have you ever been rugged?
Oh, yes. I think it’s a right of passage. You get stuck in a hype cycle and suddenly your left with a piece of creative you don’t vibe with and have to sell (if you can) at a big loss.
Which artist (of any medium) do you most want to see embrace web3?
I like anybody who could bring something that I feel is missing from the space right now. First name that comes to mind would be Meredith Mejerle—she’s an artist based in Athens, GA and has a very delicate and sort of entrancing style of drawing. Generally she sticks to floral line drawings with drags of color. But the more I look at her work, the more I think she could really make some interesting things happen with generative art or 1/1 editions.
Are you a member of any DAOs?
I am not! I love the concept of it though.
Top 3 Discord communities?
I’ll preface this list with a disclaimer that I find Discord insufferable. Rife with all kinds of terrible people and just too unwieldy for me. But, a few I like…
Nifty Portal: It’s a very fast pace here but the members are all about helping each other win. They’re funny and understanding. And I love the daily weekday Twitter Spaces, NFT Morning Alpha.
Meta Angels: You won’t find a more wholesome Discord (except maybe for Avius Animae). The mission at MA is all about acceptance and uplifting others so it’s hard to leave there not feeling better than when you went in. A wonderful place, truly.
Random Character Collective: This is a group consisting of three projects: SlimHoods, MoodRollers, and Invisible Friends. I don’t hang out here as often as I’d like, but it has some really creative approaches to community building and I am such a die hard fan of all the artists behind it. Definitely something I look to as a gold standard for my own projects.