Paola Castillo: Styling Fashion Into CryptoArt

How Digital Artists Succeed With Cryptoart, Acknowledging Black Artists & How To Treat Collectors

Ann Marie Alanes
29 min readJan 14, 2021
Click the image for the full interview! Cover features The Promise and Seasonal by Paola Castillo

Rare Digital Bird, Episode 4

Paola Castillo talks about acknowledging black artists, how Rarible can help with how collectors should be treated & helps me see how artists succeed getting into cryptoart. She is a self-taught minimalist & digital artist with a love for Barbie dolls & vintage fashion.

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Table of Contents

0:00:00 Coming Up!
0:01:48 What’s Rare Digital Bird?
0:02:09 The importance of community
0:02:24 How to successfully get into cryptoart
0:03:12 How to find a mentor
0:04:22 Other places to find cryptoartists & cryptoart enthusiasts
0:04:35 People of note to follow (to start off with)
0:05:21 How cryptoart collectors think
0:05:51 Who is Paola Castillo?
0:06:46 How she got started with art
0:13:18 Her inspirations & love of fashion & vintage
0:20:03 “The Promise” — A minimalist piece inspired by gospel music, the peace & calm of nature, and God
0:24:21 “Seasonal” — This work reflects Paola’s love for fashion & her belief about change. Set in the fall with crypto details small enough that it becomes a delight in its discovery.
0:28:07 How her retail job got her into cryptoart
0:29:04 Personal struggles with Known Origin, Rarible & her own work; her determination to learn the platforms and digital art tools
0:34:00 Paola compares cryptoart platforms to the greed seen in the traditional art world
0:34:54 Struggles with understanding Cryptoart Twitter, etc.
0:36:32 What Paola noticed about black artists
0:38:17 Her advice to artists
0:40:07 What Rarible isn’t doing (yet?)
0:41:26 Paola talks collaborations
0:43:42 How to contact Paola & the meaning of “les dore”

You can read all this, or you can click HERE instead for Episode 4 of the “Rare Digital Bird” Series — with closed captioning!

🙏 Appreciate this transcript? Help me reach other readers by smashing the 👏 button for up to 50 claps at the bottom of this transcript, please and thank you.

[00:01:44] What’s Rare Digital Bird?

Hey, peeps! What’s up? I’m Ann Marie Alanes, and this is Rare Digital Bird — a series about artists, their creations, and their experiences — both good and bad — using blockchain technology.

In Episode 3, we discussed why blockchains are important for all of us, and where cryptoart fits in all of this. Guide your cursor up here for the link to Episode 3.

[00:02:09] The importance of community

For this episode, let’s talk community. Just about every artist interviewed for Rare Digital Bird mentions how supportive the cryptoart community is. So it’s evident that it’s an important ingredient when you’re looking to become a cryptoartist.

[00:02:24] How to successfully get into cryptoart

Cryptoart is still an intimidating and obstacle-ridden world for most artists. So how do some artists get past these barriers to entry? Mentors.

One thing I noticed for some artists who have entered this world successfully is that they have a cryptoart buddy or mentor to soften their landing in this new world. Neurocolor helped Ann Ahoy. Daim Aggott Honsch helped Fabin Rasheed. Jarid Scott’s eyes opened to the cryptoart world through his friend Justin, also known as cyberart_by_justin. And as you’ll see in this episode, Jahleel Dowdy helped Paola Castillo. These are just a few of the key people in the cryptoart space that have helped navigate and motivate artists to take the leap.

[00:03:12] How to find a mentor

How do you find a mentor or buddy to help you become a cryptoartist? Every cryptoart marketplace or platform that’s worth a try has very active, supportive online communities mainly on Discord and/or Telegram. Here you’ll find a variety of mostly veteran and new artists. You’ll also find a community manager and moderators or ambassadors for each platform. Try hanging out for a while in these online communities first to get the gist of who the main players are, what they’re like, and observe what everyone’s talking about. Get an idea of who the cryptoart marketplace platforms’ team members are. Observe how they operate and how well they support their own communities. After you get an idea of who’s knowledgeable, chat with them and message them with your questions to get an idea of who you vibe with. Keep in mind that team members are employed or contracted to work for their respective platforms, and they might be limited in time, capacity, and nondisclosure agreements. So it’s good to ask team members as well as cryptoartists and cryptoart enthusiasts your questions for broader insights.

[00:04:22] Other places to find cryptoartists & cryptoart enthusiasts

Other places cryptoartists and cryptoart enthusiasts are active are on content sites like Hive and Cent, and virtual worlds like Cryptovoxels and Decentraland, and something a bit more familiar to you: Twitter.

[00:04:37] People of note to follow (to start off with)

A couple of people to start off with on Twitter would be Jason Bailey, also known as artnome, for his general art knowledge and art analytics. And Serguei Vinnitskii, also known as powerSurge. He’s great for keeping up to date on cryptoart news and culture. Art curator and manager and CEO of Blockchain Art Exchange, Sascha Nishikawa-Bailey has quite an extensive collection of videos pertaining to cryptoart on his YouTube channel, BAE. Josie Bellini, cryptoartist and fellow Chicago native, also has an ever-growing collection of cryptoartist interviews on YouTube. And there’s also the collection of interviews on the Matthew and Rizzle Show Podcast on Spotify.

[00:05:21] How cryptoart collectors think

Another thing to be aware of is how cryptoart collectors think. DCL Blogger and Whale Shark are a couple of our most vocal collectors who share their insights on cryptoart collecting. I’ve posted all the links to these and more in the description below.

Now, if you’re an artist who’s considering exploring the cryptoart world, or if you’re a blockchain dev interested in creating something better that artists will want to use, consider clicking on the Subscribe button and the notification bell.

Paola Castillo

[00:05:51] Who is Paola Castillo?

For our fourth episode, I’m super delighted to welcome today’s guest, Paola Castillo. Paola is a Dominican digital artist who currently resides in New Jersey. She was born and raised in the vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, also known as Little Dominican Republic. Her art is not only shaped by the culture she grew up in, but also by social media and her love of fashion, nature, and Barbie dolls. A few of her works can be seen at Synoptic’s Digital Art Gallery in the virtual world of Cryptovoxels. And you can find her art on both and

Select shoes from Paola Castillo’s virtual show collection

[Interview begins]

Ann Marie Alanes (AMA): How are you doing?

Paola Castillo (PC): I’m good. How are you?

AMA: Good. So, I got to hear that story about how you started with art. So, could you share that with the audience, how you got into art in the first place?

[00:06:46] How she got started with art

PC: Sure. Well, when I was a child, I used to love drawing. But it’s like…how can I explain it? Like I enjoyed drawing, but I didn’t take it to a serious level. I would just doodle, and then Mommy hangs it on the wall, like “Oh, Mommy, I made this for you.” But that was about it. But my main focus when I was a child was Barbie dolls. I had this thing for them. Every time we would go to Toys R Us, I always ran to the Barbie doll section and see what’s new, and I just had a thing for them. And then from there, I don’t know, when it comes to Barbie dolls, they have this thing where they sell the wardrobe separately.

AMA: Yeah.

PC: And I would take that and then just play around with the dolls. I change up their outfits, because sometimes the doll would just come with one outfit or sometimes two.

AMA: Right.

PC: But you want to change it up. But that’s how I started my journey into it. And then from there, when I was in middle school, I kind of like was not really into it. I wasn’t really focused because I was trying to get myself together when it comes to school, grades and all that. And then from high school, that’s when fashion got into it. I was like really into fashion. I always had fashion magazines every time I would go to school or to classes and stuff. And I would always look at the trends. And from there, I got more interested in…I connected them to the dolls and the fashion. And I tried to play around with it more, like with the wardrobes. I started to go out and buy more dolls at the time. And I still have a few dolls. I still have one with me. But sometimes, as you get older, parents are like, “You know, you need to get rid of them already. You’re getting too old.” And I’m like, “But I really like them. I don’t want to let them go.” But I guess at one point, I’m going to have to, which is kind of sad.

AMA: No! Don’t! Don’t do that! It’s like having a teddy bear. I still have my childhood teddy bear. I have it on the shelf. I don’t hug it at night, but you know. It’s so awesome you just kept them.

PC: Yeah. It introduced me to porcelain dolls.

AMA: Oh, yeah.

PC: Like a collection of those too. And yeah, then I started getting into vintage instead of modern fashion. I started looking back in the old fashion magazines, looked at the trend, what was popular. And then I started getting more fascinated with the vintage items, like things that have so much history

AMA: Oh, that’s cool.

PC: I really loved it and everything.

AMA: Yeah. So like vintage clothing or…?

PC: Yeah, clothing, jewelry, anything, accessories. They really inspire me, because my mother, she always had this vintage side to her. So she would buy a lot of vintage things. The house was full of vintage items.

AMA: Oh, how cool.

PC: And sometimes I would be like, “Mom, I think we’re overdoing it too much.”

AMA: So she would collect a lot of vintage stuff.

PC: Yes.

AMA: Okay. So you can argue, since you like a lot of vintage stuff, I get to hold on to my vintage Barbies.

PC: Yes.

AMA: And so, you grew up in Washington Heights, and then you went and… Or you were born in Washington Heights, and then you grew up in Long Island?

PC: I was actually born in Washington Heights where it’s mostly known for the Dominican community, I would say, because everyone that mostly comes from the Dominican Republic either moves to Manhattan, which is Manhattan but to Washington Heights in Manhattan. Now they’ve moved to the Bronx or Queens. But my mother decided to move to Manhattan at the time when she came from Dominican Republic. So yeah. And then from there, before my first birthday… I think it was my first birthday. Maybe my third or fourth birthday, my mom decided to move to Staten Island.

And then it was kind of different, because when you’re in Washington Heights, it’s very crowded, more unity, everyone’s loving, the food is there, the culture is there. And then when you go to Staten Island, it’s a completely different environment. You’re like an outsider from all the other boroughs. Like you have Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx. I believe that’s it. But yeah, like you’re just an outsider. So a lot of people really know a lot about Staten Island. And normally, it’s just like a small island, and it’s just very quiet. There’s not really much to do there. But my mom decided to move over there. She still lives there to this day. But yeah.

AMA: So you were surrounded by water and…

PC: Yes. I mean, to get to the other side of the island, like if I want to go to Manhattan or Brooklyn or whatever, I would have to take a ferry, and the ferry would take me straight to Manhattan. And then from there, I would have to take the train in order to get to Brooklyn, Queens, and all the other boroughs.

AMA: I mean, that’s kind of cool, though, having to take the ferry.

PC: Yeah, it is.

AMA: Pretty cool.

PC: It used to be cooler when they actually let drivers…they used to drive their vehicles onto the boat. And it was so cool.

AMA: Oh.

PC: It was so cool.

AMA: That is pretty cool. And so, do you live in Manhattan now or…?

PC: No, I actually moved to New Jersey.

AMA: Oh, okay. All right. So New York suburb.

PC: Yes.

AMA: What they call it. No taxes. Yay! Did growing up in these areas influence your art and your interests around art?

[00:13:27] Her inspirations & love of fashion & vintage

PC: Yeah, it completely did, because, like I said, from time to time, I would visit Washington Heights because I have family there. So when I would visit them, the fashion is different. The food is different.

AMA: Right.

PC: Everything is so different. But when you go to Staten Island, it’s really quiet. There’s not a lot of people outside. Everyone’s just doing their own thing. And it was just so different. I don’t know. And then when I was in high school, it was a lot of…how can I explain it? It was all uniform, so it was very strict, like you couldn’t really express your style. So the only way you could probably do it was maybe like if your shoes were black, maybe you could put something on it and make it look stylish or something. But yeah, my mom loved me in uniform. She didn’t want me to wear whatever I want. I guess because it got easier to dress up. You just put on that, and you’re ready to go. So then, as I was in high school, then I kind of like got into the uniform. I’m like, “Oh, this is actually cool. It’s not bad.” Because everyone wore their uniforms differently. They walk differently. They act differently in their uniform. So I was like, “Oh, it’s actually pretty cool in a way.”

AMA: Yeah. And you mentioned shoes, and I noticed that a lot of your art is shoes. Actually, transcontinental shoes, like from different parts of the world.

PC: Yeah.

AMA: Which I think is really cool. Are these from your collection of shoes, or is this just something that you may have seen in a fashion magazine that really touched you in some way?

PC: It’s actually from the fashion magazine. Because mostly, the shoes that I see, I’m like, “Oh, they’re really nice.” And you want them, but then when you look at the price, it’s like, “Um, I can’t pay that.” So when it comes to fashion, I learned to budget wisely and not overspend. Because at the end of the day, it’s going to wear out. You’re not going to have it for a long time unless you wear it for special occasions and stuff. So yeah, I just learned to budget and not the designers and all those other stuff, because at the end of the day, it’s just going to go to waste.

AMA: Yeah. My favorite places to go are thrift shops.

PC: Yeah.

AMA: I always find gems there. In fact, when I walk down the street or something, people will always be like, “Oh, that’s a beautiful dress.” And it’s the only dress that I got from the thrift shop and not from some designer house or something like that.

PC: Yeah, exactly.

AMA: So it’s nice to hear that, especially when you go to a thrift shop.

PC: Yes.

AMA: And it’s fun to find gems and stuff like that.

PC: Yes, exactly. Especially that one-of-a-kind piece, it’s like the best thing on the planet.

AMA: Yeah.

PC: Because it fits you, and it just suits you, and it looks good on you. And that’s what I like about, well, fashion, yes, but when it comes to vintage, it’s just one of a kind.

AMA: Yeah. Totally. I know that you were inspired by your Barbie dolls and fashion magazines. Are there any particular designers that you really love, or any particular types of fashion that tends to inspire you more?

PC: Well, for me, I just look around. It could even be social media. I follow a lot of fashion pages there, designers. Maybe those underground designers that nobody really knows about, I follow them. Because at the end of the day, everyone has like a really cool, creative thing that they do when it comes to making a piece to wear. It’s very unique. And that’s where I get most of my inspiration. I just look around on social media. I would go to Pinterest. I would go to Instagram.

AMA: Pinterest is great.

PC: I mean, not Facebook. I don’t have Facebook. But I could go to Twitter. And people post, and I’m like, “Ooh, that’s cool. I really like that.” And I know sometimes, as a person, you want to buy something from them, but it’s like, “Okay.” I look at the price. I’m like, “I can’t afford it.” But I will support you by retweeting your page or making sure that you’re known or somebody knows about you or something. I think that’s like the best thing to do since sometimes you can’t afford to buy certain things. So yeah, that’s where I get my inspiration from, just looking around. Because at the end of the day, we have so much free resources that can help us to do so many things and build up our skills and everything.

AMA: Yeah.

PC: But when it comes to art, I like Picasso. I like…what’s this other name? Van Gogh. I really like his style of art. And it’s mostly like vintage artists, I would say. Their art is amazing. And then now we have new artists that came, and I just really love their style and the meaning to what they’re trying to put down on the canvas and stuff. It’s really cool. But yeah, I really don’t know. There’s just a lot of artists that I really like.

AMA: I can really see a lot of your art is very elegant.

PC: Yeah.

AMA: It’s minimalist but elegant. So I could see how Vogue would inspire you, for sure. I guess we can go into your two pieces…

PC: Okay.

AMA: …now. So, I see that you shared with me both “The Promise” and “Seasonal.” Let’s do “The Promise” first.

The Promise by Paola Castillo

PC: “The Promise”? Sure.

AMA: I think it’s so beautiful. So, I love what you said here. “Life will be different and there will be peace and joy as the waves sing and the wind blows into fresh clean air, as we laugh and see the beauty of God’s creations.” It’s very hopeful, especially in a time like this now.

PC: Yes.

AMA: I love what you say there. So tell me the meaning, the story behind it.

[00:20:35] “The Promise” — A minimalist piece inspired by gospel music, the peace & calm of nature, and God

PC: Sure. Well, the story behind it was I was like, “All right. I need to find my next idea for the next piece that I have to make.” So I was browsing on social media. I was on Instagram, and someone shared a story or something on Instagram. And the video, it was like three little boys running around in the beach, and it was sunset. And I was like, “Hmm. I like that.” I liked the view. So what happened was it’s a video, so I had to kind of like figure out, “Okay, when should I screenshot it?” So then I screenshotted it, and then I’m like, “All right. I’m going to do my piece on this.” So then I started doing it on Adobe Illustrator on the computer. And then now I recently got the iPad Pro thing, so I was like, “All right. I’m going to test it out” because I never really used it before. And then I have Procreate on there, so I was like, “Okay, let me just do this.” So I started playing around with it. And then from there, I started looking at the finished product, and I was like, “Ooh, I really like it. It’s very me,” you know?

AMA: Yeah.

PC: I’m like a peaceful, calm person. I love the natural and all that stuff. So then the description that I got from this, I was listening to gospel music.

AMA: Oh, cool.

PC: Because I listen to gospel music because it gives me ideas, especially when it comes to words that they use in the song to describe, and I’m like, “I want to use that word.” I think it was a song, and it said something about promise. And I was like, “Hmm. ‘The Promise’ would be the title for this one.” So then the description for it later on came up. I don’t know. Sometimes I’m the type of person that I don’t have the description ready at the moment. Normally, some artists would have the description for their art ready. I do it last minute. Once everything’s done, then I could look at the image and stare at it and be like, “Okay, let me think of something.” So then that’s what came to my mind. And I feel like God just put it in my head, like “All right. This is going to be it, so just put it.” So that’s what I did.

AMA: I love the colors. The colors in the sky especially, with the purple and the yellow and the pink and grays. So beautiful. So, you actually used your iPad for this. So you usually create in Adobe Illustrator on the computer?

PC: Yeah. I used the laptop. And then now I just started first using the computer, and then from there, I’m like, “All right. Let me transfer it so I could do the details and everything.” And then I transfer it to the Procreate.

AMA: How did it feel doing that on the Procreate? Because Adobe Illustrator, do you use a stylus with Adobe Illustrator?

PC: No. It’s click, click, click.

AMA: Right.

PC: Yeah.

AMA: So now you did this piece with Procreate with a stylus, right?

PC: Yes.

AMA: How did that feel? Did you have more freedom? Did it feel uncomfortable?

PC: Yes. It’s more freedom, but getting comfortable with the pen is like a little issue with me, because I’m like, “I’m not used to this.” I’m so used to clicking…

AMA: Right.

PC: …and getting little curves and everything. Now it’s just different.

AMA: Yeah. Well, it’s beautiful.

PC: Thank you.

AMA: And let’s see. For your second piece, I see here, is more fashion-oriented.

PC: Yes.

AMA: And it says “Seasonal.” It reminds me of, I mean, there are a lot of fall colors.

PC: Yeah.

AMA: And it looks like there are leaves in the back. Tell me more about this.

Seasonal by Paola Castillo

[00:24:36] “Seasonal” — This work reflects Paola’s love for fashion & her belief about change. Set in the fall with crypto details small enough that it becomes a delight in its discovery.

PC: Well, that one, actually, I was on Pinterest, I believe, and I came across a photo, and it was part of a magazine. So it was a model and it just tells you…you know like when you go on Vogue Magazine, it has the photo of the model, and then it has like a little description on the bottom, like “Okay, she’s wearing this. She’s wearing that.” So I was like, “I really like this image.” So then I took it. I started doing work on Adobe Illustrator. Then from there, I transferred it to Procreate. And I was looking at it. I’m like, “It looks something seasonal,” so I said, “Hmm. ‘Seasonal’ it is.” And then I just put that “As time changes, that can affect everything around you and everything about you.” And I totally agree with that. As seasons change, people around you change. Everything changes. So I thought of it, and I’m like, “Maybe that has to do with my life.” Maybe that’s something that I can share with other artists, I guess. We’re all going through stuff.

AMA: Yeah.

PC: So yeah, I just used that for the description of this piece. And I try to do as much detail as possible. I don’t know if you noticed, but the buttons, they’re supposed to have the ether logo on.

AMA: Oh, wow. I did not notice that. That’s so great. Looking at your whole collection, when I look at some of your pieces, I know that you said you love nature, but when you cover some of your fashion pieces, they also have a lot of architectural details.

PC: Yes.

AMA: Which is really beautiful. There’s this nice contrast between the angles in the architecture, and then the curves and the fashion, how that flows. Is that something that you see in the magazines as well?

PC: Yes, I do.

AMA: The architecture?

PC: I do.

AMA: Yeah. It’s really beautiful. It has a nice contrast, for sure. There’s a lot of also vibrant colors…

PC: Yes.

AMA: …in your work. What is that inspired by? Is that inspired by the magazine itself or images you see? What’s your thought process with deciding on color?

PC: Well, sometimes I use the actual color from the image, or sometimes I just play around with it. But I feel like I try to pick vibrant colors, but also minimal colors, because my life is about that. My wardrobe is like minimal. I try to find pieces that go with me, that suit me. The color has to suit me. So I try to put that into my art pieces. And also, I feel like when we use colors, colors can represent who you are as a person, like as an artist. That could be your signature piece. And yeah, that’s really it.

AMA: So I think this will be a really great time to talk about all of your art is… Well, I’m not sure if all of your art is, but you definitely have a large amount of art on both KnownOrigin and Rarible, which are blockchain platforms. How did you get introduced into the whole blockchain cryptoart world?

[00:28:21] How her retail job got her into cryptoart

PC: Well, what happened was I was working in retail at the time, and that’s where I met Jahleel Dowdy. He introduced me to it. One day, I just came to work, and during my break time, I believe it was, he was on his break or whatever, and he was talking about it to a lot of people working there, to the coworkers, about these platforms, and like if you use your creativity, people would love your art, and stuff like that, he was saying. And then I was like, “You know what? I’ll just give it a shot. It doesn’t hurt.” So then

after he showed me how to use these specific platforms, because, honestly, when I looked at the page, I’m like, “I don’t know how to use this. This is very complicated.” So yeah, he showed me how to use it.

And then from there on, I was like, “You know what? I’m going to give it a shot, go for it.”

[00:29:18] Personal struggles with Known Origin, Rarible & her own work; her determination to learn the platforms and digital art tools

So then that’s why I notice when I look on my first pieces, it wasn’t like, “Oh, it’s amazing” because I still struggled on how to use specifics on programs on the computer, so I was trying to figure out how to use it properly. But as time adapts and changes, it’s like you get a little better. You know already what to click on, what to do here, and how to do this and that. So then I got adjusted to it. Now I know what to do on the programs that I use. And I guess that also improves your skills, and also improves you as a person too, because now you can go and share it with other people, like “Okay, I’ll show you how to use this program because I had a hard time too, but I taught myself how to do it.” And yeah, like I said, there’s a lot of free resources. Like I use YouTube to show me how to create certain things. Like for example, I was trying to figure out what was vector illustration, so I looked it up. It gives me a video of what it is. It shows you how to do it. I was like, “You know what? This is so easy. Anyone can make art.” So then that’s what I’ve been doing really. Each and every piece that I do, I try to add something new to it because, at the end of the day, I want to improve my skills, and I just want to learn more and more.

AMA: Yeah. That’s so awesome that you had Jahleel’s guidance too. Do you think without Jahleel’s guidance, do you think you would have continued to try to use it?

PC: If Jahleel would have not introduced me to it, I would have not known anything about it. I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t even be into art as much as I am now…

AMA: Oh, wow.

PC: …because of that. Because, you know, when you start working and then you have school and stuff, it’s like you don’t have time for it. But now it’s like, “All right. I have time. I can do this. I know how to do it.” Because at first, when I started posting on KnownOrigin, Rarible, and I forgot the other one, but I was having a hard time liking my own work to the point I was like, “You know what? I don’t think this is for me. I’m just going to quit.” Because I look at other people’s skills and I’m like, “Wow. I’m not even close to that yet.” And then I just tried to give up so quickly, but I told myself, “You know what? I can’t be giving up.”

And also, that’s what happened too when I was in college. I was taking a painting class, and I remember we had to paint something. We had to look at…it was like a vase and we had to paint it onto the canvas. And I was just having a hard time. I’m like, “I can’t do this.” So eventually, I just dropped the class, because I was looking at other people’s talents and skills, and I’m like, “You know what? This ain’t for me. I’m just going to go.” And then eventually, I kind of regret it now because it’s like you should never give up. Even if you don’t see the final touch of your piece or whatever it is, just never give up. Just keep going. Your arms, your hand, your wrist, or whatever it is, is going to get you there. Just keep practicing. It’s going to get you there. So now I’m very grateful in a way that he introduced me to the platforms.

AMA: I think it’s cool also that it’s actually motivating you to want to do more art, the platform itself.

PC: Yes.

AMA: Which is really cool. So, I think the other platform you may be on is OpenSea. Is that…?

PC: Yes, OpenSea.

AMA: So, if you could share with me how your experience has been, like the joys and benefits of KnownOrigin versus Rarible versus OpenSea, the community around those particular platforms, what they’re like, and just the good things that you’ve seen for yourself and in general, working with these different platforms.

[00:33:42] Paola compares cryptoart platforms to the greed seen in the traditional art world

PC: Well, honestly, to be honest, it’s kind of hard because when you have to pick and choose, like, “All right. Which one should I put my piece on?” there’s three or four different platforms. I don’t know which one to choose. That was kind of like a hard one for me. But I feel like they all have great benefits, because at the end of the day, everyone’s very welcoming, loving, caring. And to me, when I see them, they’re not greedy. Compared to like if you are a painter in the real world, there’s a lot of things going on that can kind of trigger you as an artist. Maybe you’re like, “You know what? I don’t want to work with you because of this and this and that,” or “I don’t want to put my piece here because of x, y, and z.” But when it came to the cryptoart platforms, they’ve been amazing. Like I said, they’ve been loving, caring, supportive. If you don’t understand something, they’re always there to help you. And everyone’s just so supportive. And that’s what I like about it.

[00:34:53] Struggles with understanding Cryptoart Twitter, etc.

I don’t know.

I’m very quiet, especially when it comes to social media. I don’t really talk much because I’m still trying to figure out and understand the terms and like “What are they talking about? I don’t know what they’re saying.”

AMA: Yeah.

PC: And then I don’t want to be the awkward one, like “Hey, guys. Um, I don’t know what’s going on here, but can you explain this to me?” Whatever. So that’s something I kind of struggle with on it. That’s why I don’t really talk much on the platforms, because of that reason, because I don’t have a lot of knowledge about it, which I know I have to do that on my behalf.

But yeah, that’s what I could say about it.

AMA: I think there are a lot of people who really don’t know what the heck blockchain is, and you actually know more than most people. You know what I mean?

PC: Yes.

AMA: And I think that even if you asked a question that you think maybe you should know, I think people would still be open to be supportive.

PC: Yeah, that is true.

AMA: Yeah, for sure. So, how about… I know that you’ve had struggles with deciding what art to put on what platform. What other struggles have you experienced using blockchain for yourself? And also, what have you also observed, as far as struggles or ways that it can be improved for everyone or for artists just coming into the space? Is there anything that you can…?

[00:36:29] What Paola noticed about black artists

PC: Honestly, I’ve noticed someone, I don’t remember their name, but they started doing this thing for black artists. Because mostly, I noticed

black artists don’t get a lot of acknowledgment. Is that the proper word?

AMA: Okay.

PC: Nobody really notices them, or they’re just like, “It’s just some artist” or whatever. But they started this platform for them, and I’m just like, “That’s also really amazing” because now it’s like we’re known for our work. It’s not just like, “Okay, this person painted this” or “This person did this.” They just know them by their art piece. They don’t know them for who they are as an artist. And I think that that was amazing that that person did that.

But honestly, I don’t have anything negative. Like I said, everyone’s very supportive, nice. And they’re always there. Like for example, if I post something, they retweet it so other people can see. As an artist, that helps a lot. And also supporters and everything. They’re very, very nice.

AMA: Tell me more about the person that started to create a platform for black artists. That would be great to know.

PC: Sure.

AMA: So people can…

PC: It’s called @xx1off.

AMA: xx1off?

PC: Yes.

AMA: Okay. And this is on Twitter?

PC: Yes.

AMA: That’s so great that whoever this person is, is doing that, for sure. So, what would be your advice to artists just thinking about coming into the cryptoart world? What would you tell them?

[00:38:27] Her advice to artists

PC: I would say, just don’t give up. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Because later on in life, you might regret it, because you’re going to be like, “Oh, I should have done it. I should have done this and that.” And also, never, never, never compare your work to someone else’s. Everyone is built differently, do things differently. They’ve probably been doing this for a while, so that’s why their skills are a little more advanced and stuff. But never look at someone else’s work and try to compare it to yours. Always be yourself. Always make sure that your work is yours, not take someone else’s work. And if you do, let’s just say, when it comes to me, I use someone else’s photos and stuff, and then I make it into illustrations. I always make sure that I credit them in, because at the end of the day, that’s their work. And like I said, never give up. Always be you. And just stay focused, determined. There’s going to be days you may not have a lot of inspiration. Nothing’s coming to your mind or whatever. Just go ahead, look around, take a day or two. Maybe you need to relax or something. I love to look through our books, magazines, and just gather ideas. And then once you gather ideas, then you can, like, “All right. Now I know what’s my next piece going to be about.” So that’s the thing. Just never give up.

AMA: Awesome. Those are great words. And how about for people who are creating these blockchain applications, software, all the blockchain developers? What would you say to them?

[00:40:17] What Rarible isn’t doing (yet?)

PC: Well, for one of them, I believe it’s Rarible. The only thing I wish they had was if someone purchased one of your art pieces, you get a receipt or something. Because I noticed you don’t get a receipt. Sometimes you have to go back to the page and just like “Okay, let me see if one of my pieces sold.” That I wish they had. Because I know KnownOrigin has it. They give you like a notification and stuff. That way, on time, you can thank the person, like “Hey, thank you for purchasing this piece,” and making sure that you’re not just ignoring them and stuff like that. But yeah. I always have this thing, collecting receipts also. I don’t know why, but I get excited. I’m like just, “All right, let me put them there.”

AMA: Yeah. I think that’s so important to acknowledge collectors, for sure, because they really are supporting the artists. And it’s good to be prompt in showing them thanks. So, what are you currently working on? Are there any current projects people should look up? I know you’re on Cryptovoxels.

PC: Yes.

AMA: Synoptic, I think he’s the collector who has your pieces…

PC: Yeah, yeah.

AMA: …in Cryptovoxels. Okay. Are there any other projects that people should know about?

0:41:40 Paola talks collaborations

PC: Well, right now, I don’t have any projects. I’m just working on a regular piece. I’m always open to collaborate with other artists. Because at the end of the day, it’s like when I think of collaborations, I think of it like a test, because now you have to test your skills of “How can I work with their style, with mine?” So you have to find something that connects when it comes to making the final piece. So I think that’s pretty cool, just testing your skills and, yeah, just doing that.

AMA: I think you did a collaboration with Jahleel Dowdy. Correct? And where can people see that? Is it on Jahleel’s?

PC: Yeah, I think it’s on Jahleel’s, and it’s called “Peaches.”

AMA: Peaches. Okay. And do you have any particular artists that you want to collaborate with next? Anybody that you’ve been…?

PC: For me, honest, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t like saying like “I want to do it with this person” because at the end of the day, I don’t want to limit myself. I’m always ready for challenges. Even though it could be a challenge because now I kind of have to think of like “All right. What can I use or what can I make to connect it with the other artists’ work?” It’s tricky, but it’s always good to build up your skills and just have fun with it. Because at the end of the day, when you create, you should always have fun and just be positive and fun.

AMA: Awesome. Yeah. It’s so important that it’s fun, that you enjoy what you’re doing and also get paid for something that you love doing, right? So that’s great. So, where can people find you or contact you?

[00:43:45] How to contact Paola & the meaning of “les dore”

PC: You could find me on Twitter. It’s @les_dore. And then for Instagram, it’s the same thing, so @les_dore.

AMA: Okay. And what is the meaning of…? Is that French?

PC: It’s like French. But the thing was it was supposed to be called “The Good Finds” or something like that, but when I looked it up… Because this was a while ago. I looked it up. I’m like, “Well, I need something.” I like the French style, like the words and how they pronounce it and stuff. I was like, “You know what? I want something French. I want something with that romantic type of name or something.” So I was like, “Let me look up something.” So I just put something in English. And I think it was called “The Good Finds” or something. And then it gave me that. And then now, when I go back to look at it, it gives me a different… I’m like, “Wait. What’s going on?” So now I’m like confused about it all.

AMA: “The Good Find,” why did you choose that?

PC: Because I feel like when it comes to that, I always thought when it comes to vintage, you always go to the shop, you always find something that you like, and it’s one of a kind. So it’s like “the good find,” one of a kind.

AMA: That makes awesome sense. Thank you so much. It was so much fun, so I appreciate all the time with us.

PC: Thank you. Thank you for having me here today.

AMA: If you haven’t already, please help support this channel by hitting the Subscribe button, clicking on the notification bell, and smashing that Like button. Thank you, my Rare Digital Birds. Until next time. Fly high.

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Ann Marie Alanes

Pastry-loving stan of the NFT crypto art and music space, and your self-appointed stylist. I am not funny.