The tattoo industry has always fostered small communities of artists throughout its shops and studios. In more recent times it has done so by interconnecting them via their visibility on social media platforms.
Now a new opportunity for artistic expression has arisen and it’s caught the interest of creative communities across the spectrum. Blockchain has allowed for the creation of NFTs (non-fungible tokens), a certified and unique digital asset which once minted, will exist for as long as the blockchain does. For an eternity in other words.
In London during the Covid-19 pandemic we were forced away from our communities in the real world. But being drawn away from our usual proximate social networks allowed us to knit tighter together in the digital realm. New possibilities opened up and we realised that the world evolves much faster than we’d thought. We reconnected with old friends who brought us new opportunities made possible by emerging technologies. The possibilities of the digital marketplace had expanded.
So much potential in a place where so many territories remain untouched. Small talk grew, and we realised there was a space for tattoo artists in the NFT market. In many ways they were halfway there already, most would create some form of digital artwork to advertise their practice, and there is always a demand for something singular, unique. Most artists will only tattoo a flash once, so why not consider a platform fully oriented to their practice and responding to a new and previously non-existing demand?
So, we had the nucleus of a project. Projects often start at a very slow pace and sometimes what they need is an external force. There are many ways for this to happen and chance being what it is, one found us in the form of the NFT Hackathon powered by ETHGlobal 2021. What is a Hackaton? It’s very simple: imagine the complexity of such a project as a fully operational NFT market platform. Then subject the process to the restriction of 72 hours. In just three days after enrolling, one has to formulate an adequate team to respond to the task. Front and back-end developers, technical advisor, team coordinator, graphic designer and many more. Not only this but also from the start of the clock to create the plan of action to present something coherent and fully developed to an expectant jury. If one is used to a leisurely working pace, then it’s time to have a rethink. From now-on you will be led by the person who knows most and for the next three days if you fancy a catch up with the world of dreams, you better ask if you deserve it.
From that spark at the very beginning of an idea to the precise programming required in the use of encrypted data from other platforms to mint an NFT, everything must be thought of, developed and put in form. Meetings are flowing like you’ve never experienced, “Guys catch up at 6AM”, “Guys another one at 1PM” and if things are lacking on one side, other people are ready to support you because the purpose of such event is to give yourself at 100% and see how far your team can go.
Three long, wakeful days with many microsleeps at the keyboard pass. Ethernaal is born. We were lucky to find such a perfect harmony amongst our members and we were able to bring it to the end with success!
The most stressful thing in a Hackathon is to push the boundaries until the end when find yourself relying on one person submitting the project before evaluation by the jury. At that time all you focus on is the clock and the messages on the group chat overviewed by the team co-ordinator “has it been done? (2 min before deadline)”, “how about now?! (30 sec before deadline)”. Then the relief comes knowing that it has been submitted and here comes the final stressful wonder: How well have we done?
As first time Hackathon contestants we didn’t have high hopes. But we were surprised, the jury were impressed. The concept to mint a tattoo flash design as an NFT was met with approval. Not only this but we received commendation from the jury thanks to our talented teammates who developed an impeccable functioning structure and an accompanying whitepaper. We were awarded two prizes, the Near and NFTX prizes respectively.