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Right so thanks to Seth and David I have a brand new meet the artist . I have been following there project since they launched there Twitter profile and thanks to Seth who happily chatted about there project between he even popped out for a surf during the interview lol .
First things thanks for agreeing to chat to me . So how you today?
thank you! I appreciate the interest in our project .I am doing very well.
Brilliant to here how have you found the community reaction to your project?
Honestly, surprisingly positive! Coming from a background in entertainment and social media, you get used to communities being slow to gel, or jaded and unenthusiastic, but people have really been excited and giving us great feedback and support. And it's especially surprising because Gridiron Goons is very niche in theme
In Wax blockchain I don't think there is anything niche there is over 5 million wax wallets out there is a community for ever thing . How did you discover NFTs ?
That's true. As they say: get in where you fit in! I started hearing NFT buzz I guess a couple years ago from friends in the art world who were getting interested. I heard about Punks via word of mouth, and then when the pandemic started, pretty much everyone I know started working on metaverse plays and NFTs seemed to be the hottest topic . David, who founded this project with me is an avid collector .
Ah when did you guys decide to create your own project and why Wax blockchain ?
Just like a month ago! We decided to take an agile approach where we crank out an idea and then devote a sprint to developing it with a test-and-learn goal. Then if the test went well, we would have a few roadmap options to provide long term value, and if not...well, we would learn some lessons. Fortunately it went fantastic! We chose WAX because we wanted to focus on a collectible that could later have some utility, interoperability etc. and also price point for collectors. We really want to convert people to owning their first NFT . Also a green chain was a draw for us .
Of course so when did you drop your first NFT ?
Our first card went out 10th August . It was the El Freaky Lamar Jackson tribute .
Did it sell well ?
Yeah! We did the first 4 cards for free. One each day with 1 claim limit and they all went in 10-40 minutes .
That's brilliant can we have a look at the first NFT you dropped ?
here we go:
He is class . How many NFTs have you released since then ?
Thank you! we did 4 in that promo series, then a promo sticker pack. After that we did our Series One packs and a free expansion player for people who bought Series One. The first 500 Series One packs have a season ticket for all the free stuff . So 5 players, 5 variants, a couple stickers...4-5000 cards so far...I think...gotta check my math haha .
Oh wow and where did the idea for the project come from ?
It adds up fast! So David and I are both (American) Football obsessives. And I do a lot of funny horror art. We don't own any IP in the football world, so we knew we would have to do a parody set, so we referenced "Monsters of the Gridiron" which was this NFL/Coca Cola promotion and card set from the early 90s that they did around Halloween. It's mostly forgotten, but they would dress players in costume and take photos for the cards. It was cringe AF, but really funny and kitschy
Of course so I am guessing it has been fun to work on so is series one finished now?
We've got some additional players coming and are trying to lock in some collabs. And a few people have asked for mythical and legendary rarities. So I think we'll be doing expansion packs or one-offs on Series One through the football season if interest and engagement stays high, and then we can do some really cool stuff with Series Two
Awh so what one has been your favorite to create so far ?
I grew up in Baltimore, and we got the team when I was playing high school so I'm a huge Ravens fan and the El Freaky was naturally my first choice. People seem to love the Zombie King (Derrick Henry) card....that one was fun to draw!
Can we have a pic ?
Sure! Here's the Epic variant El Freaky and the Rare variant Zombie King:
They are really cool . Did you draw them?
Thank you! I did. I hand draw each one .
How long does that take ?
I can knock one out in about a day. I typically ask what player people would like to see and then think of a concept and draw it in Fresco. Then I usually sleep on it and come back for a fresh look to make sure it doesn't suck haha .
What programs you using to create them ?
I draw in Fresco on an iPad with the Apple Pencil and then drop a PSD over to my Mac to design the backgrounds in Photoshop and do GIFs in Premiere .
Have you done any collabs yet ?
Not yet but hopefully soon! We're also working on some additional projects with a broader team and I consult for other projects...always like to make cool stuff with creative people!
Who would be your dream collab ?
Oh man. I can't name just one, but I would definitely say the best immediate path to interoperability for a card set is to collab with existing games and become playable, so we 100% want to do that on any and every level. Beyond that, we always save the #1 mint of every variant of every card for the athlete in case they are ever interested in the project. None of them are so far, but maybe one day I'd really like to work with the athletes to design their character .
Who is your favorite artist ?
I have a looooong list of influences and was lucky enough to learn from some amazing artists and illustrators during my school years. But I am a Peanuts and Simpsons fanatic, so when world-building I always try to think of those two properties and what Charles Schulz or Matt Groening would see that I'm missing. Also, specific to NFTs, I think it's good for anyone in the space to get super familiar with Warhol's process and theories...as usual, he predicted everything.
What is the biggest collection in your wax wallet ?
Goons! I always get the #2 but I have a couple of a lot of things. TMNT, GK, Monsters of Rap, Ali. David has a huge collection. He’s Packrip Mahomes!
Is this just a two man team ?
It is! We are working with a couple rockstar engineers I’ve worked with in other companies on upcoming projects too .
So is this a full time job ?
We’re treating it as full time for now! I also do contracting, so it’s long hours…but I’m a startup veteran, so used to it
Is this David and you first time working together ?
David and I go way back! We’re at our first startup together in 2007
Do you and David have agreed jobs in the project ?
Definitely. David is an MBA, business guy and does a lot of the ops stuff. I do art/design and a lot of community/mktg . But everything is collaborative/group decisions .
Of course . Have you introduced many friends or family to NFTs ?
Oh absolutely! Introduced or re-introduced. I think everybody has heard about someone getting burned in the space or doing shady stuff, and we can give them a pack and show them the fun side and the vast potential of this tech. My godson is 9 and he just ripped his first pack of goons
Ha ha so I am guessing then you have your family support ?
For sure. For the most part, I'm from a more blue collar family and everyone's older, so it's hard to explain exactly what we do. My fiancé is really intrigued and is learning along with me as we crank out projects
That's brilliant . Tell us something random about you ?
I just moved 3000 miles from Venice CA to Wilmington NC...so the reason I had to duck out earlier is because we have a hurricane passing and that's one of the few times there's decent sized surf. Basically, if there's waves, the Gridiron Goons office closes for a couple hours .
Ha ha ha lovely what you like to do for fun when you aren't working on the project?
Play music (mostly guitar), walk the dogs, and of course watch football! But honestly, creating this collection is a blast. Not much I'd rather be doing .
When is the next drop ?
Series One sale closes Friday, so I think we'll likely introduce a new player next week.
Oh nice. Where can the community keep up to date with the project ?
We' just fired up the Discord and we're active on Twitter.