On December 2, NFT Steez hosts Alyssa Exposito and Ray Salmond spoke with Victor Solomon to discuss his journey connecting his real-world artwork to NFTs and how he cultivates the community and culture surrounding it.
Solomon’s work centers around basketball, not just the thing, but the sport itself. For Solomon, the inspiration for his work comes from his early childhood desire to play hockey, a sport that was not within his reach, and his eventual discovery of basketball, which he found to be more suitable.
“Basketball has been such an inspiring platform for me because there is no barrier to entry.”
Solomon says the open nature of basketball is “an incredible parallel to everything that’s going on in Web3,” and throughout the episode, he explains the symbiotic relationship he experienced building the VesselVerse, basketball in the metaverse.
Bridging the gap between real life and digital spaces
When asked about the liberating elements of creating and iterating in Web3, Solomon drew attention to the “animated” nature of the ability to create things that could not exist in real life, such as “a planet inside a hollow basketball”, but also the process of taking physical elements into digital designs and vehicles.
For Solomon, building a group and community to rally around was second nature. His extensive experience in the traditional art world has given him the same insight and structure on how to release digital collectibles.
Inspired by other NFT projects like Nouns, Solomon’s digital collection, VesselVerse operates similarly to his real-life lots, except for one “ship,” or basketball, that is auctioned off every hour.
Unlike physical installations or display pieces in an exhibition, Solomon noted that Creating Within Web3 provides contributors and collectors a broader, larger say in the direction of the work rather than a one-off experience.
Related: A Comic-Con expert explains why storytelling is a key component of successful NFT projects
Opening horizons for cooperation within the community
When it comes to Web3 and the metaverse, the key principle in a successful project or ecosystem is the community around it and building side by side. Describing how “exciting it is to be able to work alongside a growing community”, Solomon allows diverse collectors “an open forum to visit, discuss and study the direction of a project constantly”.
Rather than shy away from considerations of openness to the community, Solomon embraces the decentralized aspects of building and opening up the community in Web3. Suleiman said:
“What attracts me as a founder is opening up this opportunity for everyone to have a voice.”
For Solomon, the juxtaposition of Web2 and Web3 highlighted what he considers a “huge opening”. As he describes, the collaborative nature and “community spirit” was not something he was able to experience and “animate” in his physical work.
Solomon’s biggest challenge currently is re-educating a part of the ecosystem that may have had bad experiences in the crypto and NFT market. However, Solomon suggests that the adversity is worth enduring because the promise of Web3 is so much greater than any given negative experience.
To hear more of the conversation, tune in and tune in to the full episode of NFT Steez and be sure to mark your calendar for the next episode on December 16 at 12 PM ET.