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So a little background about Oliver Hassell he is one of the exclusive artists that AGORA guys have brought to the WAX Blockchain which in turn he brings his form of NFTs to us so if you like clowns your in for a really treat .
Hey Oliver how's things ?
Hi all good thank you, how are you today?
I am good get up to anything exciting today ?
That's great, today I've been painting a picture for my garden and prepping some more for the upcoming project. Also just finished my work-out, so fairly productive today .
Any work on your NFTs ?
Not so much today, I've finished the current artwork for THE CLOWNS, so the main focus now is marketing them. The guys at AGORA have done a great job at building a community hub, so now we're trying to draw in all potential collectors and create hype. However, I did make a Clown version of my profile picture last night, which I think is pretty cool.
I seen that . So what brought you into the crypto world ?
So, I graduated from Uni back in 2019 with an illustration degree, and have been super hungry for opportunity ever since. I didn't fancy getting a job, so I've been out on my own consistently developing my practice and putting my work on social media. It's proved difficult to make a lot of money due to most of my work being digital, so when I heard about Beeple's success in selling digital art as NFTs on TV back in March, I knew I had to get on board. I had no real knowledge of crypto or NFTs, so I started learning about Ethereum, the blockchain, all of that stuff, and then minted some artwork on OpenSea. Nothing happened initially, but soon enough, Sam Pepper reached out to me on Instagram, saying he wanted to make an NFT project with me. After creating the artwork for the now infamous SHADOW PEOPLE, I was initiated into the community, where I've met great people who have been super helpful in guiding me through the space.
And when did you decide to join WAX ?
After Shadow People crashed, and I started the original batch of CLOWNS on OS, Jarrod (CollectingCoins) told me he would be starting a project on the WAX network within 60 days of that time, and that he wanted me to be a part of it. That project is now AGORA Ltd. and I'm very proud to be involved. Again, I had no real knowledge of WAX so it's been on-the-job training for the most part, but I'm liking it more than ETH now - also loving the absence of gas fees.
Where did your idea for your project come from ?
A few places; I saw clowns as the opposite of the Shadow People - as they were plain black characters, whereas the clowns have white make-up and colourful outfits. There's a lot you can do with clowns as they can all have different vibes; like happy, sad, scary, etc. and there was a lot of potential variation for their traits, meaning that I wouldn't get stuck for ideas. Another reason being that The Joker from Batman is my favourite villain of all time, particularly Heath Ledger's interpretation from The Dark Knight, so it's sort of a tribute to him - I used his eyes and lips as traits for the project. Also, I like horror, and clowns are pretty scary so it works there as well.
Of course as a lot of people find clowns scary would you call this a horror series?
Yeah, I would. Horror with a splash of comedy .
How many NFTs will be in the series ?
To start off, there'll be 100 unique clowns in 5 different versions: Original with 1 mint each, Signed with 10 mints, Gold Framed with 25, Starlight with 50, and warped with 100 - meaning 500 unique pieces of art, and 18,600 total NFTs up for grabs. They will come in packs of 5 (small) and 15 (large), packaged in 2 different collectible trunks. There are also the 6 Black & White promotional posters dropping over the next 10 days - of which there are 200 each. If a collector can acquire all 6, they will receive a 7th poster, which is yet to be revealed. There may be more unique clowns joining the party in the future, but we'll just have to see.
And do you have a favourite one ?
This guy! He's already been revealed so it's ok to show you. I like the hair and green/red/black colour scheme - got a real punkish attitude. The traits for the clowns were all randomized, so when they come out as co-ordinated as this, you gotta love it!
How long did it take to create them all ?
About 2-3 weeks. I worked really hard to get them out as fast as possible, as they were initially made back in April/May to compensate Shadow People collectors, who had lost out after the project tanked. They weren't rushed, though. I painted every piece with the utmost care. For the WAX version, I re-coloured almost everything and added some extra traits, which took about a week. Also made the special variants (gold frame, etc.) which took another week. All-in-all, the art took roughly a month in total to create, so a lot of work.
What programs did you use to create them ?
To make them, I paint each trait by hand with acrylics - so every trait is painted separately by itself. I then scan them onto my computer, load into Photoshop, cut out the pieces, and edit the contrast and colours. i then line them up with other pieces, and save each piece on it's own with a transparent background. That way, I can drag-and-drop traits on top of each other, and make a bunch of images really easily. Pretty much everything is painted. The grungy texture for some of the backgrounds was made with a paint roller on cardboard, and then edited with Photoshop. I used to mainly draw my images with fine liner black pens, but painting takes a lot less time and is more appropriate for projects like this.
Have you thought about collabs for yourself in the future ?
I actually have done a collab for this project, on the collectible trunks. I did a 2D design for them, and we sent them off to become 3D. I can't say too much about who or what as it's a surprise, but they're gonna look hot - super exciting! As for future collabs, I haven't properly considered collaborating with anybody in particular, but if I did, I'd wanna work with someone who does 3D rendering. I could really see the Clowns, or maybe some other work of mine, in 3D. I think it would be sick.
Do you know many wax artists ?
Only the one's who are linked with AGORA at the moment. As I said, WAX is still new territory to me, but so far I've seen some great work. LevitatedArts is fire, RomanPunks is cool, I've just found Mr. Clever's stuff which is great, too.
Have you start to collect any WAX NFTs?
Not yet, mainly been focused on getting my own stuff together first, maybe soon I'll start buying into other projects that I like.
How have you found the wax community so far ?
The community is great! a super positive atmosphere - everyone I've met so far has been awesome .
And are you excited for your drop ?
I'm absolutely buzzing! get more excited everyday that goes by. AGORA is growing quickly and the guys are working really hard to make sure it's all in place, so I have no doubts that the drop is gonna go crazy.
Can I ask where you from ?
I am from Birmingham in the U.K .
So tell us something random about yourself ?
My favourite ice cream flavour is cherry, and my second would be chocolate brownie I think .
What does your family think of your project ?
My parents said it was cool, they have a pretty good understanding of NFTs and crypto now .
That's brilliant . What do you like to do to chill out ?
On a nice day, I'll go sit in the grass, observe nature, and listen to the birds - on a cold day, I'll paint something. I don't chill much anymore. In my mind, if I find myself with a lot of time on my hands, it means I'm not doing enough haha
Where can the community keep up to date with your project ?
On twitter https://twitter.com/oliv3r_hass3ll?s=09 and @agora_ltd; also check our twitter bios for the AGORA and OG THE CLOWNS discord servers. The AGORA discord has information and active discussion about upcoming drops .
Any chance of a drop or a competition for the readers ?
A giveaway is HIGHLY likely soon enough... keep a look out for updates
No problem so before we finish up is there anything you would like to add or say to the readers ?
I'll say a big thank you to the people supporting the project - I'm super grateful for everything that's happened up to this point, and everyone that's helped me to get here. If you're an artist; keep working hard on your craft, keep sharing with the world, and keep a good attitude - tomorrow could be your big break. God bless
Thank you for your time .
My pleasure, thank you for yours
Anytime good luck with your project for the future .