Sitting in a public sauna alone, a bunch of translucent demons appear out of nowhere. Like a half-awake vision, the line of reality and a storylike moment blend together. Full in my face, they start to punch through me with well-curated negative truth. This was a made a big mistake, you are ours now, and your path is ruined, they said. In some sense, they know you better than you know yourself, so every single punch lands under the armor with unforgiving punishment. Already sweating physically before this due to training upstairs, I took a full round of about two minutes, and then got up to go for a cold shower. First, a big bucket of ice water, then the cold tap on full, until I felt the top of my head tingle from the freeze – to step out of it all.
Lessons & Revelations
I remember in school, at the tender age of 14, all of a sudden being put on the spot to talk in front of the literature class. Everyone had to speak for a full minute, about whatever they wanted, but with no preparation. Mechanically and in rows one by one, everyone had to get up and start talking. The dread kept coming closer, as one student after another stumble and blabber nonsense. That minute was a long time, on a stopwatch, having nothing of value to say. It was a good and necessary lesson.
Curating Crypto by Javo, has already given me, and many other crypto artists a supported space to come to talk about what we do and how we got here. The designer portraits he offers us for free have that hero sensibility some of us saw happen to others when watching our childhood idols being turned into toys. It is part of the journey to feeling like you have made it to the big leagues, that emancipates the suffering and price paid along the way there. For some of us, it has taken much longer than expected. Artists are often branded as unstable people, but the truth is only the strongest survive the circumstances we do our work under. It is also not something that goes away once you have elevated. You need to be able to sustain the place you’ve earned while assisting others. The support given by some along the journey goes a long way, so those that are now here, deserve your attention.
Curating Crypto episodes thus far:
(in order of appearance)
I’m looking forward to hearing the Nanu Berks and Tom Badley episodes about to be released soon. This podcast feels like those, where all episodes will be listened to by many. So what is this really about as far as I see? I remember watching an interview by John Trudell, a Native American activist when he talked about our world. He said: “Protect you spirit as you are in a place where it gets eaten.” For context, watch the brief clip here.
Dying While Live
The title of the article refers to something every artist worth their salt will have to go through. It’s a trial by fire and multiple dark nights of the soul. You have to be aware and cautious of the big machine that eats artist alive. The naivete of the Picasso line, that every child is born an artist, never sounded quite true to me – even with the full awareness that I’ve said dumber things in the past. It must have been during his communist period. You could say every child is born an astronaut, but it would ring equally untrue to me now. Perhaps the lesson is, even the king(s) make mistakes. You will undoubtedly make some yourself, but that is no excuse to stay cocooned.
Looking back, the kids I grew up with certainly weren’t artists, but most were quite obviously educated out of creativity. Saying you are an artist today is as loose a term as most, but some of us treat it with reverence and respect. We are born with diverse temperaments, and a life mission to be supported and challenged. The point is, those who have fought long and hard to have something to say, with a unique expression are undoubtedly grateful for the support Curating Crypto now offers.
Illustration of the cold shower feels after the sauna demons.
Before the sauna episode mentioned earlier, I was listening through my episode of the Curating Crypto podcast, while lifting weights upstairs. Turns out letting go of some filters, and opening up can invite in the demons of insecurity. Some 25 years later from the school class, I can easily talk for 60-minutes with a lot left to say but in some sense, delivering value never gets easier. The aim is to give as much as possible and earn the attention given. Coming to terms with vulnerability is another issue entirely. For those struggling with this, as I do, this TED talk by Brene Brown might help.
The Bad Journey Continues
Vinay Gupta, aka @leashless from the Ethereum launch and Mattereum joined the previous crypto superstars in signing the “Blood On The Podcast Floor’ piece at a recent Coinscrum, NFTLondonUK, #ETHLDN, and Wax.io sponsored event at a London park. Much respect for him to come to join the Bad Crypto, Tour De Crypto, and HAWC cause. The piece will undoubtedly be gathering more signatures in Las Vegas soon. See more on the piece here.
The Litecoin Summit and World Crypto Con in Las Vegas are now about two months away. As mentioned in the podcast, WCC is still unsponsored. Get in touch if you want to see the pitch deck, and not repeat the mistakes that most companies keep doing with their events marketing – time and time again. I realize that if my episode was a drinking game, every time I said something about being taken seriously, people would have gotten smashed.
It is the major issue however despite the obvious due to being a totally left-field proposition to most companies. That is also why it has so much value packed in it. With Codex Protocol, we are making every conference attendee an owner of the digital limited edition version of “Beyond Moon”. See the project page here.
To bookend the story from the start. The payoff to speak your truth, battling demons and putting yourself out there can ultimately feel a bit like the jailbreak of Shawshank Redemption. Crawling through all that shit can turn into the clensing rain and an open field. After the sauna, I was splashing about in the pool like a kid. Often, despite all the conspiracy theories, hardships, and excuses, life and success are simple. Conquer your fears and just take your place in the world.
See you there,
V E S A