As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about NFT women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Fairlane Raymundo.
Fairlane Raymundo is a Los Angeles-based author, illustrator, scriptwriter, and marketer. She has served as scriptwriter and producer for seven full-length films, including White House, Loving You, and Shake, Rattle, & Roll 8 and 9, the latter of which entered the Metro Manila Filmfest. Fairlane has authored and illustrated two graphic novels and a cartoon series, all of which she plans to sell as NFTs, and authored and edited two books.
Many thanks for doing this for us; please let our users know about yourself and about your NFT Arts?
MY NFT comic book will be released in April, the first of a series. It features 4 Asian mythological monsters who are terrible at being monsters. They were disowned by their elite monster clans. Hungry, homeless, and desperate, they ended up enrolling in a school for superheroes. This is where their adventure begins.
I’ve always loved Asian mythology, but I feel that very few artists have managed to modernize Asian mythology the way Marvel and DC comics are modernizing classic graphic novels. My art starts with a narrative. I have different stories about various mythological characters in modern-day settings. My NFTs are the first models of my characters, and each has a developed story.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Comics were a big part of mainstream culture in the Philippines, where I was born and raised. Serial comic novels and episodic stories were all the rage. I liked reading them as a kid because they had pictures. We didn’t have TV; we were very poor. My aunt ran a convenience store, and she would rent out these comics. I got to read them for free. My father, an artist and an avid reader, eventually introduced me to traditional books. Since my introduction to literature was with pictures, I always visualized the novels I was reading. From the images in my head, inspired by the novel, I would create my own stories. I’d tell my father about it. One day, he just said that all great writers and filmmakers are a little crazy. He said you needed to be a little crazy to come up with stories of a mouse talking, a friendly dragon, etc. and then he said I was a little crazy, too!
I decided to channel that craziness into something. So, I started writing down my stories. In the Philippines, I wrote full-length movies, TV shows, and novels. When I moved to the U.S., I sort of paused my writing, and it gave me a chance to think about what I wanted to do next.
I realized I wanted to work with my dad, which would give me a chance to go back to my first love, comic novels. Together, we started creating comic novels.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I don’t know if this is the most interesting story. More like inspiring. Many years ago, when I first came to the US, I used to go to parks in the Bay Area to write and draw. I was sketching, and some old guy sat beside me and started talking to me. He read through what I was sketching. He would react, laugh, comment… more to himself than to me.
Eventually, he said I deserve to get paid for what I was doing, but he didn’t have a lot of money. He gave me a quarter and told me to not get insulted. It was really all the money he had. I was so shocked… I don’t remember if I tried to give him back the quarter or if I said anything at all. I still keep that quarter with me.
Do you think NFTs, which are open to virtual reality, could adversely impact our health due to increased screen time?
That may be a more suited question for mental health experts and maybe even physicians. I can talk from personal experience, though. I have always treated art (painting, books, movies, poetry, etc), social media, and entertainment as an escape. When things become too much, when I just need a break from this life, I can get lost in art. Whether it’s in an angry Eminem song, a game of Magic The Gathering, or in that genius of a TV series Breaking Bad, art allows me to get totally detached from this life and be in the dimension those great artists created. I get to breathe. I get to rest. I just let go without thinking or worrying. Maybe I’ll learn something. Maybe I’ll get a glimpse at worse situations, and when I come back to my real life, I feel better about it.
I think that’s what NFTs will do, and the Metaverse, too. It will be an escape or a different kind of experience to teach us something that we can use in our real life. From that perspective, it can help.
But I also know that just like social media and other forms of entertainment, it can be destructive. It’s just a matter of how we decide to use it. I have always believed technology is neutral, we are not.
What key highlights of your NFT Arts make it unique from the other NFT artwork?
The narrative behind every piece. Everything I have created so far is based on a full narrative. So when you buy a piece, that piece is always a part of something bigger. Also, the futuristic aspect. Each piece will eventually be in the metaverse, and owners of the original model in NFT form will be able to experience their characters’ whole world in the metaverse.
What do you think could be the future of NFT? How useful can they be for everyone?
NFT is not just for art. Virtually anything [and anybody] can be tokenized. This is where the real value lies: the ability to create a unique, immutable digital representation of anything. Let’s say you’re a real estate developer, for example, and you are developing a $2B state-of-the-art apartment building. In the old days, you would have to approach investors in person for them to invest. Now, you can tokenize that property and allow 100,000 people to invest from all over the world with full security and encryption. Same thing with producing a movie: You can allow 100,000 people to invest in your movie seamlessly. They would buy a token and automatically become co-owners of a property or movie. That’s fractional ownership. The future is fractional ownership and non-existent geographical boundaries. Imagine being in Timbuktu and being able to own a piece of that real estate or being one of the producers in a movie without even having to meet people? NFTs, afford so much power to creators. You don’t need the backing of huge companies anymore.
The future of the digital world might be ruled by blockchain and cryptocurrency. Do you think it would be challenging for all age groups to gain knowledge about the same? How can we educate them?
No, I think access to knowledge is the least of our worries. Give it a year, and you will be surprised at the number of educational materials and channels that will be up. People will be volunteering services to educate people. Educational institutions will be offering courses.
The bigger problem is the willingness of people to learn. Crypto and the blockchain are polarizing subjects; many of those who say they’re willing to learn actually just want to argue that crypto is a scam or want to make a quick buck for themselves from it. What we need are people willing to see how this can potentially change our financial system in the long run.
What are some upcoming programs you hope to launch this year?
We will open a program for Asian Artists to bring their ideas into life in the metaverse. Right now, we are developing our metaverse land. We want to create a bridge, an oracle that will make it easy for Asian artists to put their art there to be experienced.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Hopefully running an Asian creative village in this world and in the metaverse to help highlight Asian culture and arts.
Any female entrepreneur who inspires you the most in the Metaverse field?
None yet in the Metaverse field, but here are some I really admire:
Yang Yoon-sun of South Korea developed the use of stem cells from umbilical cords to treat critical illnesses. She quit her high-paying job and risked it all to put up Medipost (offering cord blood research, therapy, and storage). She is making money and helping save lives.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao of Vietnam is the only woman to found and run her own major commercial airline, Vietjet Aviation. She is Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire, with a net worth of $2.5 billion, and the wealthiest self-made woman in Southeast Asia.
Angeline Tham (Philippines) Founder and CEO of the pioneering motorcycle taxi service ‘Angkas’. Traffic is bad in Manila, and she picked up that market need and created a solution.
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?
A sense of humor. It’s a messy world. Therapy is expensive, drugs are harmful, marijuana smells bad, and alcohol will damage your kidneys. There is no time machine to take us back when times were simpler or to the future when things will (hopefully) be better. We just gotta live in the now. We need some crazy-ass humor to get us through now!
I believe when we are laughing and happy, even for just a moment, it’s easier to find the good in every situation and in every person. When we see the good, we respond better, we think better, we talk better, we create better. Seeing the good brings out our best. And we need our damn best if we are to make this world better soon enough for us to see it through.