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From a jock in Colorado, to an aspiring actor in Wisconsin, ending up in LA as an NFT creator. This is Gino Loffredo.

A real life Hollywood story, with an added taste of NFTs.

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Gino grew up in a small town in Colorado, surrounded by some of the more known ski resorts in the area, such as Vail, Keystone, and Breckenridge. Since his dad was a ski instructor, he was also into sports at the time, until he moved to Wisconsin with his mom and two siblings when he was 11 years old. That was a significant change because that is when he got interested in acting and singing. After high school, Gino enrolled in the University of Minnesota to pursue a theatre degree. After the first semester, his acting agent asked him to journey to Los Angeles, where he auditioned for several movies, tv-series, and commercials. Realizing he enjoyed this kind of lifestyle, he told his mom he’s staying in Los Angeles and dropping out of college. Until this day, we still haven’t found out what her reaction was.

Soon after, Gino got acquainted with painting. He and his roommate at the time wanted to try something new, so one night, they just bought some canvases and random paints. They were new to it, so they each picked one color and just went to work. Gino picked red and ended up painting a surreal piece that ended up being pretty good, so his roommate told him, “he gotta keep this up.” So, as they say, the rest is history.

Over the years, he experimented with many different art styles. Still, the one that stayed with him the most is surrealism, which is very similar to the one he painted first, with his roommate Patrick Flueger, now one of the main characters in “Chicago P.D.,” the TV series. When asked where his inspiration comes from, Gino mentions Salvador Dali: “I remember seeing a poster of Dali’s “Persistence of Time’ piece in college, and it just spoke to me. I had never seen art like that before, and I felt like Dali was speaking my same language. It wasn’t till I started painting and drawing that I noticed my style resembled that of Dali’s.” Usually, he starts with a small square of the size 1inch x 1inch and keeps adding to it, going with the flow. His inspiration comes from books, music, podcasts, and even just listening to people’s conversations and then adding imagery to the words he’s hearing. “I’m always surprised on what the final figure turns out to be. Often, I feel like I am being led to draw a particular animal that speaks to where I am in my life. When the final image forms, I like to look up what that animal or figure means in different cultures and see how it relates to my life. Most of the time, it aligns with something that is going on in my life.”

“I believe that art is a healing mechanism for me, where each drawing is a therapy session where I get to layout my soul and dissect the intricacies of my life story and anything that is influencing it. People who take the time to look at my piece react very positively and keep finding new things in my creations. It’s what I appreciate the most when people hang out and interact with my art.”

He gained a larger audience when he started to do large-scale murals, and people were able to interact with his art through pictures, music videos, advertising, and more. His largest mural to date is “Love Wins” in Santa Monica, California, and it is 3,600 square feet of surface. It is on the corner of a low-income housing building on Pacific and Main St. The main image is of two hands coming from each side of the building to create a hand heart symbol on the corner of the building hovering over a sunset over the ocean. You can see the whole piece if you go to the opposite side of the intersection, where you can see both sides of the building. Inside the arms and hands is an intricate, surreal portrayal of Santa Monica and the community there. He had a ton of “nuggets” of different people passing by who wanted to either be in the mural or hoped with an idea to put into it. Gino says it felt like an actual community project, which brought many smiles to that area.

 “Love Wins” in Santa Monica, California

“The first Mural I did was also pretty big; I called it ‘L.A. love story.’ I was actually on my honeymoon when I was asked to do the wall. I thought I was working on a 10ft x 10ft wall on the picture they sent me. It ended up being about 24ft x 50ft wall. It was huge, and I had never worked on something this big.”

He ended up using a 1inch bristle brush to paint the whole thing because it was the tool that most closely felt like he was drawing. He learned a ton on that first mural; how to drive a lift, how to paint large scale, about different paints, time frames, working at night, pricing, and how great the experience was when you are painting outside for hours. That mural is still around today, and he got it through the non-profit organization called Beautify Earth. Murals have been a fantastic way to give back to the city he lives in.

During the pandemic, Gino joined TMFA (The Most Famous Artist) community to hang out and learn from other artists online. The community’s founder introduced him and other artists to NFTs when he proposed they get involved with an NFT project, celebrating Beeple selling an NFT at Christie’s Auction House by having 50 artists do digital renderings of a specific picture of him. They dropped the project on OpenSea, and it took off. Gino drew his style art on the face of Beeple he printed out and then just uploaded it into photoshop to desaturate it into a black and white piece. His piece was listed as the first NFT in the project. All his 100 editions sold out in 24 hours. Thus, a decision was made to list different colored editions of his piece as rare limited pieces with only 3-5 available for each colored edition. The “Rare Black Beeple” sold for 10 ETH, and the whole project itself earned almost half a million dollars in 4 days. That made Gino start researching NFTs for his solo work.

Since then, he dropped a few collections of NFTs as a solo artist, the first being the SurReals collection of drawings. These are some of his pen drawings with a solid color background to highlight each piece and give them different attributes. Each drawing is a limited edition of 100. The next drop he did, was his CryptoChameleons and his HODLS drop on Opensea. He started using his artwork and animating them as color-changing GIFs. The next one was a Crypto Gnomies Drop. He liked the pixel art that was trending and thought he would give it a shot. He was obsessed with Trolls when he was little and wanted to do something based on his collecting habits as a kid. He collects lawn gnomes now, and he thought he would combine the two and make a pixel collection based on this. Each gnome has different attributes, style, occupation, and colors. Gino even started making personalized gnomies for anyone who sends him a picture of themselves and their instagram.

The last drop he did is called MetaPunks. It’s a homage to the original crypto punks but juxtaposing his artwork with their faces. Each one is a look into the mind of what Gino thinks the psyche of that particular Crypto Punk is thinking about in the metaverse.

Gino sold quite a few NFTs already. He uses the money he has made off his drops to support and buy other artists’ NFTs and learn more about all the different capabilities NFTs can have. He’s been impressed with some of the projects he’s seen and is excited to add this tool more to his artistic life and to learn new ways to create more exciting art that would be amazing in the NFT world. “I am always looking to help, learn, and teach what I can to any artist entering this space. It’s been a great first few months for me, and I hope to meet more and more creators to see what else we can do. I love this NFT community, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into it.”

ART & COLLECTABLES

The Ethereum Metaverse’s NFT Real Estate Sells for a Record $913K

For Ethereum-based open world crypto metaverse game Decentraland, Republic Realm establishes a new all-time high-value LAND sale.

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In the open-world metaverse game Decentraland, a virtual plot of land sold as an NFT for a record amount: more than $913,000, based on the price of the game’s Ethereum-based MANA money at the time.

For 1,295,000 MANA, the estate NFT, also known as a LAND token in the game, was sold. According to NonFungible’s data, this is the highest-valued LAND sale to date in terms of money. However, sales for greater MANA have occurred in the past when the currency was significantly less valuable. In November 2018, the record was set with 2,772,000 MANA, which was valued little under $211,000 at the time.

Republic Realm, a firm that invests in virtual real estate in crypto games, has claimed the new record purchase. Republic Realm is a division of Republic, an online investment platform that itself has notable investors, including AngelList, Binance, and Galaxy Interactive. Republic Realm has not yet disclosed how it plans to utilize the Decentraland estate, which is located in the game’s Dragon Kingdom district.

The business tweeted, “We can’t wait to disclose our enormous plans for this estate.” “We are more committed than ever to constructing and expanding the metaverse.”

Decentraland is an Ethereum-based online metaverse where players can freely explore the realm, engage with other players, and play games. The 3D game resembles a hybrid of virtual world pioneer Second Life and blocky sensation Minecraft, but with a blockchain-based twist of actual item ownership and a player-driven economy.

Decentraland isn’t the only blockchain-based game that revolves around digital land plots marketed as NFTs. Other Ethereum-based games that have made millions of dollars selling virtual real estate include The Sandbox and Axie Infinity.

In this example, Decentraland shattered an estate sale record set only a few weeks prior. Boson, a blockchain protocol, said earlier this month that it had purchased a Decentraland estate in the game’s valuable Vegas City sector for roughly $704,000, with ambitions to develop a virtual shop to market its decentralized infrastructure products.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Tezos Joins McLaren Racing as a Blockchain and NFT Partner

McLaren Racing has announced a multi-year technical agreement to develop the NFT fan experience platform on Tezos, an energy-efficient blockchain network.

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Tezos has been named as McLaren Racing’s Official Blockchain Partner in a new multi-year technological cooperation spanning Formula 1, INDYCAR, and esports, according to a press release.

McLaren will establish a non-fungible token platform with a focus on the fan experience, using the energy-efficient and upgradeable Tezos network.

Tezos NFTs

Tezos is an open-source asset and application blockchain that is constantly expanding and upgrading itself through efficient on-chain governance.

McLaren will create a specialized platform that will bring together its illustrious racing history and famous driver lineups across all of its teams to provide an unsurpassed NFT fan experience.

Tezos and McLaren believe that innovation is the key to long-term success. By embracing clean NFTs and energy-efficient networks, the impact of this new medium for sharing creative expression will not be diluted by excessive energy usage.

Tezos’ pioneering Proof of Stake mechanism is a substantially more energy-efficient technique to securing its network than typical Proof of Work blockchains, consuming two million times less energy than Proof of Work networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

This enables Tezos to run in an environmentally friendly manner, with little energy use and a low carbon impact.

Teams With Tezos Branding

Tezos will be represented across the McLaren Formula 1 and Arrow McLaren SP teams as part of the agreement, including on the race suits of McLaren F1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Riccardo, as well as AMSP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.

“Tezos and McLaren Racing joining forces to build a unique fan-focused NFT platform is an exciting and quickly evolving industry,” said Lindsey Eckhouse, McLaren Racing’s Director of Licensing, eCommerce, and esports.

She went on to say that the new relationship allows McLaren to enter a market where fans can own essential components of the team, and that the firm is excited to launch the platform with Tezos to create bespoke NFTs with our Formula 1, INDYCAR, and esports teams.

In the meantime, Hubertus Thonhauser, Chair of the Tezos Foundation, issued the following statement:

“We are pleased that McLaren Racing has opted to extend their NFT fan interaction platform to the Tezos blockchain, as it has one of the longest and most prestigious legacies in Formula One racing.”

“Blockchain as a concept is changing, getting faster, more secure, and more efficient,” he continued. This necessitates a blockchain capable of keeping up with the current rate of innovation. Tezos, the first and fastest-evolving blockchain, stays at the vanguard of innovation, providing real-world solutions in a robust and fast-growing ecosystem as brands explore for new ways to engage with their fans.”

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ART & COLLECTABLES

The Original Code of the World Wide Web Will Be Auctioned as an NFT by Sotheby’s

The luxury auction house Sotheby’s announced on Tuesday that it will auction off a non-fungible token containing the original source code for the World Wide Web next month.

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Digital files such as music, video, and artifacts are represented by NFTs, which are one-of-a-kind collectibles. On June 23, the NFT for the code, which was created by British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, will go on sale, with bids starting at $1,000. Berners-Lee has signed this NFT, which includes his original time-stamped files.

“What is the purpose of an NFT? It’s a natural thing to do when you’re a computer scientist and you’ve been writing code for a long time.” He went on to say, “It feels natural to digitally sign my autograph on a purely digital item.”

The NFT also includes an animated visualization of the code, a letter written by Berners-Lee about the code and his process of creating it, and a digital “poster” of the entire code generated from the original files using Python, which includes a graphic of his physical signature and is all digitally signed.

The NFT files comprise around 9,555 lines of code, which incorporate components of the three languages and one protocol established by Berners-Lee: HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) (Uniform Resource Identifiers).

Berners-Lee said in a statement, “Three decades ago, I built something that, with the subsequent cooperation of a great number of partners around the world, has been a significant weapon for humankind. NFTs, whether they are artworks or digital artefacts like this, are the most recent playful creations in this area, as well as the most acceptable method of ownership. They’re the perfect method to package the origins of the internet.”

The entire sale earnings will go to causes that Berners-Lee and his wife support.

The auction is Sotheby’s third featuring NFTs. In April, the auction house sold its first NFT by unknown digital artist Pak, and only last week, it sold its second NFT, a rare CryptoPunk, for nearly $12 million.

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