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 Nicole Ruggiero & Sam Clover (PLANTTDADDII).
The collection is the latest brainchild created by Nicole Ruggiero and PLANTTDADDII (Sam Clover). Ruggiero is an internationally acclaimed 3D artist based in New York City; her work concentrates on technology and the emotional and social culture surrounding it. Clover, aka PLANTTDADDII, is a digital sculptor originally from Seattle. Her work is recognizable by her energetic blend of flora, fauna, color, and her own characters.
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Nicole Ruggiero is a 3D artist based in New York City. Her work concentrates on technology and the emotional and social culture surrounding it. Nicole creates stills, animations, and interactive AR and VR experiences and has exhibited her work internationally since 2017. She was one of the first people on the Foundation in late 2020 and she spoke at NFT NYC in 2021. Her recent exhibitions include a VR exhibition at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and at HeK Basel during Art Basel 2021, a 1/1 exhibition at LA Art Show in partnership with SuperRare and Vellum, an international billboard exhibition in partnership with König Galerie and Porsche, an exhibition with Rarible during Frieze Art Week in LA, a viewing exhibition with Christie’s in the middle east during the Art Dubai, and an exhibition with Unf01d and OpenSea at SXSW. Her most recent works explore themes of digital identities, self-care, online romance and vulnerability, sexuality, internet subcultures, and meme humor.
Sam Clover – also known as PLANTTDADDII– is a 3D artist from Seattle. Her work is recognizable by her energetic blend of flora, fauna, color, and her own characters. Sam started sculpting at a young age and started sculpting digitally in 2018. Although joyous in appearance, her work is typically about personal battles, and the exploration of mental health. A few notable galleries her work has shown with: Pellas Gallery, Boston 2022, The LA Art Show, 2021, The Taj Mahal (viewable in AR) 2021, and The New York Public Library, 2012.
Nicole and Sam met on Twitter in 2021 on a thread Nicole made urging queer artists to share their work and began working together quickly after that. They both found success early on in NFTs, Nicole started her journey in NFTs on Foundation, and Sam on SuperRare. Both have had work collected by many well-respected collectors in the space.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to make these mix-and-match NFTs?
We wanted to make something that felt like a true 50/50 collaboration as well as something that has a really cool utility. Since Nicole makes work about all things internet and Sam makes work featuring animals, we thought it would be a great idea to create a collectible that focuses on meme animals from the past 10-15 years. Each animal in the collection pulls inspiration from collectibles like Pokémon cards and digital pets like Tamagotchi and was chosen based on popularity and personal stylistic relatability.
It’s important to note that this collectible project is the first women-led and LGBTQ + designed collectible of its kind. We are excited to have this collection available on Voice, the NFT platform for creators, and for the Voice NFT Residency to give us a platform. The program is designed to empower creators like us, bringing together established visionaries in arts and culture with emerging creatives to mint NFT collections. Through the program, we were given the opportunity to collaborate, build and transform this NFT project into what it is today.
How are “Meemz” NFTs different and what makes them unique from other NFTs?
One of the most exciting parts about Meemz is that it’s gamified. Most NFT collectibles are one-and-done transactions. Meemz collectors are given the opportunity to combine NFTs together to unlock something even more rare. We wanted to create a more personal and fun experience with Meemz, because after all, that’s what makes traditional memes so special. We hope to capture snippets of important internet history with Meemz.
Regarding the combinations, people can combine the base animals of doge, froggo, dolphin, and kat with different bits, or items. If a successful combination is collected, the collector will be notified that they can claim a combination NFT. Certain bits can be reused, so buying just a few bases and bits can yield you many NFTs. The full combination list is frequently updated here.
What do you think could be the future of NFTs? How useful can they be for everyone?
NFTs provide a lot of utility. The more we get into digital life, the more we will represent ourselves with digital assets. A very basic instance that is available right now is an avatar or a collectible. Once we have more augmented reality in the coming years, we may represent ourselves with digital clothing or makeup. In this way, NFTs allow us to own those assets, like property, and trace the asset back to an individual. It’s really exciting because we will continue to represent ourselves in digital ways, and this is just the beginning.
How can people get a profit through these “Meemz” NFTs?
You can make a profit by listing Meemz you’ve collected for sale! You can also choose to hold onto the Meemz and sell it in the future. Currently, you can purchase and sell your Meemz on Voice, the NFT platform for creators starting at $40.
What’s unique about Meemz is you only have to buy a few bases and bits to be able to collect many NFTs if the combinations are successful. For instance, the candy and the paint bucket bits can be reused for each animal. Currently, they are halfway sold out and we’ve only done two out of our eight drops! If they sell out completely, they will have to be purchased on the secondary market. And, if that happens and a collector wants a certain color animal, they will likely be more expensive than the mint price.
The rarer your Meemz NFT is and the higher the demand for it, the higher it will sell, so it’ll be good to look out for the combinations you think may do well. We will also be expanding the future in the project and airdropping rewards to certain collectors for free as well.
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?
Educating people of all ages on how NFTs are the future of digital and physical purchases is incredibly important. NFTs add a whole new layer of validation and security. Getting people educated through mentorships and having a welcoming community to educate people of all backgrounds and age groups would be a great solution for onboarding individuals.
In the meantime, we need more accurate media coverage from media outlets; NFT Now does a great job with educating the community. Getting major media outlets like news stations to reach out to key players in the NFT realm for interviews and accurate information would be great too.
Do you think NFTs, which are open to virtual reality, could adversely impact our health due to increased screen time?
As digital artists, we spend a lot of time in front of a screen. And with constant advancements in digital technology, it can sometimes be difficult to disconnect. That said, we always make sure to carve out time every day to do something for ourselves, away from the screen. Leaving phones and devices behind and getting outside and connecting with people IRL (in real life) is always important to make time for.
What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?
Making your own schedule and self-discipline. Do not procrastinate and make it harder for yourself than you need to!
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
Staying off social media and just going back to things that make you happy and provide you with inspiration for your art. Everyone needs time to refuel, it’s extremely important. Surrounding yourself with people who bring you up is also important and taking a break from those that are giving you negative feelings or causing you to doubt yourself is really important.
Also, it’s important to not be too egotistical at the same time. That can also be really dangerous and push those good supports away from you. It’s a fine balance.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Continuing to make amazing work together and using the newest tools available to do that. Getting further into our practices and styles and bringing ideas to life that reflect the (digital) world around us.
Who are the top 5 Women in the NFT space that inspire you?
- Maalavida (@Maalavidaaa)
- Klara Vollstaedt (@kvollstaedt)
- Jen Stark (@Jen_Stark)
- Laurenft.eth (@lauren_nft)
- Riniifish (@riniifish)
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?