One of Solana's best pixel artists
Zen0 is an artist who needs no introduction. With a background in the games industry, he specializes in Pixel Art here on Solana. He has been releasing his art here for over a year now, including various 1/1 series as well as a generative collection called Zen0verse last November.
1. Why did you choose the name Zen0? Originally it comes from Alien - Xenomorph. So I shortened it and swapped the X for a Z. "Z" is just an all-round cool letter, plus I like the connotations with the word "Zen". 2. What made you want to get involved with the art scene on Solana? I've always been fascinated by blockchain technology, and when I learned about the intersection of the blockchain with art - something I first witnessed on Ethereum - I instantly wanted to dig into it. A lot of the art I was discovering was really up my street; a lot of cool ASCII art, pixel, algorithmic/programming art, etc... it inspired me. I wanted to collect it as well as create it. However, it was actually the allure of flipping NFTs for profit that led me to Solana. Somewhat ironically... because I'm a terrible trader, I rarely flip anything and no longer have time to keep up with all the mints. But it did lead me into the art scene on Sol, and that's what I've dedicated myself to ever since. The art scene on Sol is still very young, but it was even moreso back in October 2021 when I first became involved. I discovered a small community of indie artists through the Skeleton Crew project, where I learned about creators like Degenpoet, HighwayNFT, Pinkskullqueen and Peanug420. The art scene was so welcoming and supportive, it really drew me in. 3. What inspires your work? As many can probably tell, old-school and classic video games are a key inspiration. I love traditional roguelikes and ASCII games like Dwarf Fortress. These games create atmosphere and tell stories with limited art, and that minimalism is what inspires my art too. I think encouraging the viewer to use their imagination, by using a very low resolution and restrictive style of pixel art, can create even more powerful responses than if all the details were all simply laid out. Other than this, I also appreciate minimalism in other areas - graphic design, early computer interfaces... there are lots of areas where I draw inspiration from. 4. You've been involved in a lot of artist collabs and have several series of your own; which has stuck out to you as the most unique experience & why? Yes, I love keeping a broad reach and expanding my audience through collabs or partnerships. Out of those, I would say that my partnership with Mortuary Inc, a series called "Zen0verse Unearthed" stands out the most. This was a set of banners I created that were sold using $ASH, which Mortuary holders could earn by burning rugs or trash NFTs. The banners were made from unused Zen0verse color palettes, so it was a way of bringing them back from the dead and creating art from "waste". I thought the conceptual aspect of that was pretty cool, as well as the mechanics of bidding in $ASH. 5. Is there anything you wish you'd known when first starting out as an independent artist in NFTs? When I first joined I knew nothing. I observed as much as I could, but almost everything I have learned just by experimenting and throwing myself in. I think the biggest lesson for me towards the start was building an understanding on how to properly serialise works. Grouping pieces into finite collections, and planning supply or drop frequency ahead of time, for example. It seems obvious to me now, but when I first started there really wasn't many artists to use as reference! 6. What's coming next for the zen0verse? There's a lot in the works. As well as my ongoing 1/1 series, I'll be focusing on building out the Zen0 website with new features, more merch and other fun things... I've also recently been preparing some exclusive art airdrops to send out to holders, with pieces created by artists like Duke, Kratt Studio, and RGB. I don't want to spoil too much though... 🙂
Be sure to follow Zen0 to keep up with the latest on the zen0verse!