Erick Calderon: NFT platform’s rapid art block growth ‘seems unreasonable’


NFT Art Blocks art platform highlighted during the 2021 bull run, with individual examples of the generative art created on the platform selling for millions of dollars.

But Art Blocks creator Erick Calderon, aka Snowfro, said Decrypt‘s gm podcast that the platform’s rapid growth “seemed unreasonable, it seemed unsustainable.”

He added that the crypto crash has resulted in “calmer” conditions that “make it much easier for me to have rational conversations with human beings about art.”

“From a mental health perspective, it wasn’t healthy for Art Blocks as a team, and it wasn’t healthy for the artists of Art Blocks either,” Calderon said of the release. meteoric rise of the platform in September and October 2021. “Yeah, they were about to make a lot of money on a drop, but it’s actually not always healthy, especially when you wonder about the real value work.

In recent weeks, despite the bear market, Calderon said “Art Blocks has kind of started having another resurgence.”

That, in turn, saw speculation rear its head. “In my travels and conversations with people in the contemporary art world to bring value to Art Blocks outside of our little echo chamber, the conversation boils down to speculation,” he said. he declares. Decrypt.

Calderon was quick to clarify that “We have no problem with speculation,” but said: “We want to make it clear that’s not what we’re here for. We’re happy when you make a lot of money, and we’re gutted when you lose a lot of money, but those things are actually extraneous to our goal, which is just to host amazing artwork by amazing artists. in this new way.”

NFT Bear Market Hiring

The bear market does not seem to have shaken Art Blocks’ ambitions; calderon said Decrypt that the platform is hiring, “We want Art Blocks to grow, and we realize that time is running out,” he said, adding that the platform recently hired an art director.

Art Blocks artwork Fidenza #313 by Tyler Hobbs sold for $3.3 million ETH in 2021. Image: Art Blocks

“We’ve seen amazing artists appear on Art Blocks; some of them have a traditional artistic background, but many of them are computer scientists who realize they have a creative side,” Calderon said.

The new artistic director will help these neophyte artists to develop their careers, he explained. “We need to help educate artists on how to manage their careers, how to get reviews, how to get feedback to help them not only in their artistic project, but in their artistic career.”

Calderon also plans to expand the Art Blocks engineering team.

“We are very aware of how lucky we are to potentially be in hiring mode,” he said, suggesting that companies that hired during the bull market may have overwhelmed themselves. “In fact, you don’t have the luxury of sitting down during a bull market and saying, ‘We’re not hiring until the next bear market because people aren’t being reasonable with their salary expectations. Because then you are left behind.

Having witnessed economic cycles before, Calderon explained that during bull markets, “incredibly talented people are hired for incredible amounts of money that become unsustainable during these down times.” That, in turn, means that in a downturn, “you’re looking at potentially having to lay off ten people, because you want to keep this superstar, because you’re paying them too much. You start thinking, okay, well, maybe I can’t afford to pay this person that much, because these other people are actually earning a normal living.

Fortunately, he says, that’s not a concern for Art Blocks, which is “thriving” in today’s economy. “We’re excited, we’re lucky and we feel very privileged to be in the position we’re in.”

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