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Today I want to introduce you to Nicole Buffett, an amazing artist and an NFT creator, whom fortune has called one of the top 50 NFT artists and creators in our industry. I’m excited about this interview today. And you do not want to miss this one. Nicole is going to be dropping gold nuggets and value bombs left and right. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Nicole Buffett. Nicole, it’s an honor to have you here and a pleasure. Thanks for coming out.
Thank you so much for having the honors all mine.
You are welcome back anytime. Before we dive in, Can you share with our listeners just a little bit about who you are and what you do?
I’m an artist, I’m a painter. I consider myself a mixed media multimedia artist, I got my master’s in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. So kind of starting in a very traditional place. Over the years, I have just really evolved in using non-traditional materials, being very nature-based, bringing in spirituality, my art practice, and I am committed to being an artist and knowing that I am an artist from a very, very young age I feel very fortunate about. So, here I am now, at this new amazing moment in our history where there’s this amazing technology and space for me to bring that… my work as a painter as an artist into this new dimension has just opened up worlds upon worlds for me creatively.
Well, we’re gonna dive into some of that today. Where does your inspiration come from as an artist?
I think that my inspiration mainly comes from nature, I would say it comes from nature, it comes even from the music, music is a huge source of inspiration for me. Most of my family members are musicians and they are in the music business. My father is a composer, my mother was a singer, and my grandmother, Susan Buffett, who passed away in 2004, was a singer. All of my family are artists, visionary artists, and their influence on me has been the greatest inspiration throughout the years.
The kind of the intersection of spirituality and creativity. I was never raised as a religious person, religion was never really a part of my life. But in some ways, you know, being an artist and what that looked like was kind of the culture and the lifestyle that I was raised in. So, I was exposed to Buddhism from a very early age, my grandmother introduced me to Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism. Her collection of art and looking at culture and traveling, that informed me as an artist and opened up different reference points, different reference points of, you know, the purpose of art, what that meant and creating an identity through art and so the role in the meaning of what it meant to be an artist was modeled for me.
Thanks for sharing that, I love music. I mean, when I’m working I’m always playing the music of course, minus you know, doing episodes, but just in my regular day-to-day I always have music on, it’s such a big part of my life. When we travel, you know, we always have the headphones on and we’re, you know, we’re on planes and cars, and however we’re traveling, you know, so have you always known that you wanted to be an artist, or was there a certain time in history that you were it was like your aha moment or take us down that rabbit hole if you could?
Yes, there was a moment. It was an art class when I was maybe four, just turning four and we were in San Francisco, it’s at Fort Mason, near the bay. It was like these cool spaces out there. I was taking an art class and I went outside on a little break, and I had my little brushes and my smock on, and I was looking out to the horizon. I said to myself, I am an artist. This is who I am. I felt it to my core. This is me, this is what I want to do. This is… It was more than about doing it was more about being like, I know who I am, this is it.
I remember that moment.
So you’ve known yourself since you were four years old. I mean, that’s profound.
I feel so lucky that I just felt that connection. It was cool too. When I got my master’s, the show for my masters was at Fort Mason, I thought that was…
Wow! where it all started.
Like a total full circle. I was like, oh my goodness, yes. But then another important moment, that was kind of like the first one. But the next one was avoiding doing my homework. My dad had given me his record player and a selection of his favorite records from the 60s and 70s. And stuff like Cat Stevens,
I grew up on all of that.
Yeah, it’s a great way to listen to Tillerman, Led Zeppelin. I think there was like, oh, a Devo album with the red hats. I remember, you know, I remember, here’s what I’m going to do, instead of doing my homework, I’m going to put the record on. And I’m going to get a pad of paper out. I’m going to copy the actual album while listening to the album. So, I dropped the album cover while listening to the album itself. That was how I taught myself to draw, I was just, you know, copying images, looking at an image, and copying it. That’s what I did most of the time… instead of doing my homework.
Wow! The 70s were filled with some awesome album covers too. I mean, I grew up on all that my parents were playing that when my sister and I were growing up, you know, so, Zeppelin, I mean, all of the groups that we refer to now is classic rock, you know, back then, when we were growing up, it wasn’t classic, you know? Exactly. They had some awesome album covers.
Yeah, they did.
What would you say? Like was the biggest impact in your life that positively influenced you as an artist? Would it be that moment when you were four years old in San Francisco? Or was there maybe another time?
I would say a huge awakening for me as an artist as I was already in undergraduate school, I was transferred to the San Francisco Art Institute. I was working at a textile, at an Indian textile design shop, there was a hand woodblock printed textile design shop in San Francisco, and the owner of the shop said, you know, this company has had artists coming out to India and doing these internships, and then you can have your work kind of, you know, made into textiles. This would be such a perfect fit. I’m going to call them and see if you know, they want to have you as a guest, which they did. Then, I created a very extensive year-long independent study through a school to go to India and do that.
I went for about three months, I was in India and living and working at this company out in the rural part of Rajasthan, Jaipur, and for a company called Gnocchi, which means unique in Hindi, and they are responsible for the preservation of the original way of dyeing the fabrics with natural materials and woodblock printing. They hired all of the original masters from these rural areas, including the man that was, you know, in his 80s, carving the wood and he was living treasure, and along with the people in the rural areas that still knew how to do these methods of dyeing the fabrics and they paid them they pay them a wage, bust them in every day, send them an amazing lunch, even the beautiful setting. It was revolutionary.
So, I got to go out there and live at the base in Roger Stone, and design textiles. That was where this kind of spirituality, art, and spirituality intersection came together for me there in India, and just opening up the scope of, you know, art in all of its forms, whether it’s kind of used as a textile, it’s a painting on a wall. It’s a cup, it’s whatever it is, just the expansion of the possibilities that come and then the spiritual practice, that of basic meditation of art. As a meditative practice of art-making, that landed deeply for me when I was in India.
Oh, I bet that must have been an amazing time. You were talking about, like, the dyes and the colors. That brings me to the question, how do you choose and go about choosing colors when you work on a new piece?
Well, color is so profound in its effect and the feelings that it evokes. So, it’s more of a color that tells me about where I’m at. Colors that I’m attracted to, are more of an indicator of maybe where I am, what I’m already feeling, or what I need to be doing. So, you know blues and blues are cooling colors. They’re very calming and soothing. You know, white, just this, just pure white has so much effect, it’s light, it’s pure light, and I’m very aware of, you know, sometimes I just need to make work that doesn’t have that much. It’s very simple, you know, and it’s less about kind of proving something to myself or to other people and more about what’s the feeling that this is invoking, and invoking within myself. Sometimes that’s just… It’s like a ton of space and simple marks, as my spirit coin collection. My intention with that collection is just, you know, invoking a kind of fresh breathing room, spaciousness, and peace.
Awesome. Yeah, I love the colors you chose for that collection for all the different pieces. You know, I’ve been on the open sea and checked him out. I showed some others, you know, around me, which brings me into, like my next question, when does your art first come together with the blockchain and in the form of NFTs? Because you’re a traditional artist, you come from a painting background, I mean, you were educated in art and one of the most prestigious places in American San Francisco. So take us to paint us a picture as to how your work, you know, came to the blockchain.
It was about a year and a half ago.We were pretty much you know, midway into the pandemic, and arches that I had planned, were halted. Everyone was pretty, you know, like, what’s going on? When are people going to be able to gather? So, that being the context that made this the blockchain and the NFT space, even more attractive, and, in a way, because of those circumstances, I feel like I was connected to the function and the gift of what this was offering and that hey, I can connect with people can I can share my work where otherwise, you know, people aren’t getting together, and just a whole new community. So what ended up happening was my partner Justin Aversano was doing clubhouse, a bunch of clubhouse stuff.
I was jumping on some clubhouse, we were doing some stuff and he connected with an amazing leader in the space by the name of GMoney. He started talking to GMoney and she’s like, Hey, you know, you gotta turn your stuff into NFTs don’t like. This is cool. It was just very like, hey, this should be NFTs. I was like, okay, and Justin showed me and the next thing I know, we were just both like, just, we just opened so much up. I jumped on Twitter for the first time and, you know, 15 years, I haven’t been on Twitter. It was Instagram, and Facebook, which was amazing. You know, I just started meeting so many amazing people. Yeah, over the world. It was like, I have people that I joke with, I’m like, so funny. When I first started tweeting with you, I had in my mind that you were like this Korean guy. You know, he’s like, why? Like, I don’t know. You could be talking to anybody from who knows where. And it was. Yeah, it was so fun.
An amazing thing about the crypto NFT-Blockchain industry is there are people, you know, literally from all over the world, we have listeners on the show and almost 160 countries. So more than likely people are going to be reaching out to you after they see this episode on social media or wherever. Now it’s just an awesome industry, people are so welcoming and warm and, you know, willing to share, introduce connections, like it’s just, you know, it’s fantastic.
It’s what’s been missing in, you know, not just the art world, but just in the world. You know, the truth, the connectivity, and the inclusivity. That space has activated, you know, on the heels of, you know, a very traumatic experience that all of humanity has been enduring and transformed through the pandemic. There’s really like a sparkle of light on the horizon. I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
Yeah, myself included. So when did you first get into crypto and NFT’s was it back in a year and a half? or was it before or did you guys dabble a little bit? Do you know?
I had been knowing about crypto so funny about eight years ago. I was at the talk show host’s home, Ricki Lake, matrix, you know, Ricki Lake, but I was at her home with another amazing author and friend of mine. She was talking about crypto. That was the first I’d heard about it. She was talking about Bitcoin, mostly Bitcoin, there’s like, there are these other kinds of cryptocurrencies you might want to buy, and I’m gonna get some. I was, like, what, which ones are there and she’s like, oh, there’s Ethereum. I remember feeling like, Ooh, I like, I like the sound of that one. I love that name. I didn’t buy any of that point. I was advised against it, which I’m like, oh, but that was when I was first really exposed to it. It was on my radar. But it was not until like a year and a half ago, maybe a little bit before I got into NFTs. Okay. Almost two years ago, I bought some bitcoin. I bought, you know, I set up a Metamask wallet, I got a, you know, an account.
And then it was pretty quickly right thereafter that the whole NFT thing came upon me.
Bloated, you know? Yeah. So what do you like most about crypto and NFTs? Is it the fact that it’s global, and people all over the world? Or, you know, crypto in NFTs? In general? What would you say that you know, you like most?
I think what I like the most is that it meets you wherever you need it. I mean, if you can imagine it, it can happen. And…
So much. It’s like, there’s so much capacity, you know, capital, people are willing to support it, if you can, you know, just put yourself out there. It’s just like this open-ended space of abundance.
I agree. It’s the fastest-growing most lucrative industry of potentially our lifetime, I think this is going to be bigger than the dotcom of, you know, 1999-2000. And, you know, it is truly global. The fact that technology has, you know, really accelerated in the last 2021 years since, you know, the .com boom. That has just helped NFTs in crypto. And you touched on it a little bit earlier, the world situation the last two years. I think many people in the industry say that crypto is exploding and will accelerate at least five years ahead.
Kind of take the tech, the, you know, technology aspect, serving us the way that I think it’s meant to serve us, which is actually when you can’t be real in person when you can’t be connected. It’s a link that allows you to have a connection. It’s not as you know, there’s a lot of criticism and around technology with you know, social media and just like anything else, you know, if you abuse it and you use it improperly, it has a negative effect. This is a perfect example of it being utilized for the greater good. Everyone has a voice everyone can share.
You can build into projects, borderless payments, you know, there are so many projects now that have near-instant finality where you can just, you know, send payments across the world in moments, you know, is a game-changer.
So circling back to your art, like talking about your art, which piece is your favorite? And why?
Oh, my best of all my work?
All your work, okay.
Like a favorite or you know, I don’t know, maybe there was a story connected to creating a certain piece that…
Well, there’s a piece that the first one that pops to mind is a piece called STB, which was my grandmother’s initials, Susan Buffett. We also named that source the beacon, and I did a piece, this was in my Mom manifesto of the Magic series. It’s a small group of pieces that I knitted back early. I think I’d just done some fear coins. Then, I did some Manifesto of magic pieces and these were expensive. I call them medicine mandalas that I was creating for people.
Which is something that I do for about a few years because they’re so extensive in detail. But this one I created for my cousin and we did it in honor of… they asked: let’s do a piece in honor of my grandmother. This piece was a lotus floating in this very rainbow kind of galactic cosmic space and it’s really about the feeling of compassion and wisdom and love that we all, you know, learned and experienced while we were in the presence of my grandmother. And so I did this piece for my cousin and I brought it to their home, and then created a great mural around the piece on the wall. That is on my Instagram page, you can see that it’s on Nicole Buffett’s art, Instagram, I think it was one of the first images on that page. You know, I think that that’s a great example of how art is capturing the spirit, you know, it is the spirit in matter. What does that look like? How do you express that? What are the forms that you know, embody those feelings? So? Yeah.
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That was amazing that you know, started for me itself early on as well. I had done a painting for a really good friend of mine in honor of her husband who had passed away and his favorite creature and he just loved dolphins. And she asked me would you be willing to do this piece in honor of my husband. I hadn’t been doing a lot of representational work, and I just said. Oh, I’d be so honored. It was such a challenge. That piece was really like how do I capture? This is a challenge. This is amazing. Dolphins are just so magical and incredible. And I spent months working on that piece for her. I felt like I had captured it, you know, I captured the depth of the water, and I created these dolphin stencils. When I gave it to her she was just so touched and it was such a success for me personally as an artist and for her to feel and she loved the piece.
Early on in the space she called me and said Nicole, how would you feel about turning that painting that you did for me into an NFT, we can create fun for dolphins and I love that idea. That’s amazing. Yes, let’s do it. She had worked at a company called portal when she still does her name is Molly Lubbock. She’s an amazing friend of mine. She works at portal who you know that’s creating these hologram boxes and she said let’s take it one step further let’s have it be the first holographic NFT and that’s what we did so she got the guys of PORTL to capture it and do that and then we made the whole painting as a hologram. And then we got in touch with the Open Earth foundation and we worked with them. The funds that were raised from this collection went to protecting a specific group of sanctuary and a specific group of dolphins of Cocos Islands and maintaining and keeping that as a protected sanctuary.
The ocean it’s another world that is so imperative and crucial to our life here on land. You know just the oxygen in the air and you know the aspect of the thing water which water is life. And you know, I just think it’s an interesting way of course and appeasing the technology is like how do you reach into that space as a single individual or as an artist and effect change, you know, this is a perfect example, if you can imagine it, and you can, you know, think of it, you can do it. And, you know, we don’t do things alone here in space, that’s another aspect of this culture that I love. It’s super collaborative. Every person is equally important. It’s really about knowing what you’re bringing, and then coming together with a common vision. So it was, obviously, my painting, but it was so many other people that also believed in it and wanted to do something, and we all came together and made that happen.
Wow, I didn’t know that whole story. Thanks for sharing. Not too long ago, I interviewed some guys here, co-founders of a crypto project that is designed to save the coral reefs around the world and sea life. And they’re doing that by they released, like a collection of NFT’s and things like that, actually might connect you to them, because they’re all about working with organizations, and saving the seas and, you know, playing a part in that, you know, and they’re into NFT’s and they have art and things like that.
I love, you know, I think there’s a lot of criticism, and understandably, uh, you know, mining and blockchain technology has taken a toll, you know, ecological toll. And so I think that you know, coming into the space, knowing that it felt very right too, you know, offset any impact that I may have with, you know, creating NFTs or being involved in the space and utilizing it, so that we get at least to a zero space of, hey, you know, there might be a toll here, but there’s a greater more than a toll, there’s a greater ability for regeneration and healing here. So the technology that part can be will be in his being evolved. So it’s… We’re just catching up to ourselves, but I think that the cause-driven, you know, impact of the NFT realm is, I think, one of the most exciting things to me about this space.
Yeah, I have to agree, it’s phenomenal. What’s going on? Yeah, I wanted to ask you, like, what are some of the goals that you have for the future as an artist?
Well, just keep making, keep making. No, I love, you know, the art of ism aspect, where, you know, it’s like, this space, it’s multidimensional, this the space is I explained, three noted pyramids of art, finance, and technology. I obviously, kind of reside mostly in the art node. But, but I’m also in, you know, collaborating with these other nodes that are, you know, really exploring the structure of the community. So, on that note, you know, my goals are to continue to create positive change, and to help others through art. So through something that is so personally satisfying, and, you know, providing for myself with my work then, and then providing for others and providing social and ecological coordinate impact. That’s just that’s the goal, you know, is the power of beauty and art to create, you know, change and transformation in our world. That’s just like, the ultimate thing. So.
Absolutely. So Nicole, for all of our listeners, who are artists, and aspiring artists, and myself would be included in the aspiring and we’ll get into that in a minute, but whom would you like… they would like to bring their art to the blockchain? And what advice would you have for our listeners that would like to do so?
I think the first piece of advice is to, and this is for any artist, whether you’re doing it in the blockchain, or you’re just you’re doing it in the gallery, or wherever, it’s always asking yourself, Do I love this work? Do I feel connected to this? Does this excite me when I look at this piece? When do I look at this image? Do I feel excited? Does this make me happy? Do I say I love this? No questions, you don’t even have to, you don’t have to ask anybody else what they think about it, you are always the first person and the most important person to accept, validate and promote your work. So number one, that’s number one. Number two, you know, I think that creating meaning and purpose behind the work is also really important.
So getting connected to them why you know, why you’re doing it, and what’s important to you about it. Understanding that it’s just this is like, it completely grounds what you’re doing. So no matter you know, how much you’re selling it for how much someone’s buying it for, you know, that is you know, the secondary third, you know, levels of what happens next. Once you get those, once you get that established, then it’s really about asking yourself, what you would need to release the piece out into the world and I mean it as an exchange monetarily. You know, it’s more than just your time, it’s more than just how much time it takes you. It’s the feeling of value. One of the ways that I came into the space and the spirit in which I like operating in this space is a feeling of accessibility. It’s like, I want people to have my work, I want to make it easy. But I also want it to it’s an investment, you know, so where’s that fine medium? Where? What could I ask of this, you know, as pricing wise, that would allow someone like myself or other young artists, you want to think about? Who’s your audience? Who would you like to have to buy this work? Is it young people? Is it other artists and, you know, you can organize and create collections that might appeal to different people have different, you know, capacities to purchase, whether it’s like, this is for the whales.
This is for people who are spending 20 ETH like, okay, cool, you know, do those I say start, start with the people that are, you know, maybe just coming into crypto and really in the spirit of inclusivity, in the spirit of keeping that door open. It’s like, I love starting pieces off at like point two, five, you know, and that feels good. So I think that the first and most important thing is establishing your ethos and your connection to your work.
Okay, well said, and that you actually answered my next question, which was, what advice would you share for anybody who has a passion to be an artist, but they’re just starting? You know, and I think you just illustrated that, wonderfully. You know,
The other thing I’d like to say, though, is something I learned early on in my career as an artist is, I think that you know, we are so to not pigeonhole ourselves into anything. But to understand that the more cohesive and organized you can present a series or an idea, or a concept is a generousness as an artist is like, Hey, this is the idea. This is the concept. These are the five images, these are the 50 images. And that’s what this is about, and understanding that you can have multiple, you know, a multitude of collections, but organizing the series is going to be beneficial.
I want to start to paint more like not so much to sell just to paint like ocean and water scenes, and maybe mountains and scenery. And, those around me, they got me a lot of like all the materials for Christmas and got started. I’ve been working, you know, so much. So, now you’re inspiring me to get all those out, get the palette out, and all the colors and acrylic paints and things, you know.
It doesn’t take a lot of time, even if you just, you know, it’s just like anything, just like meditation or yoga. And something I’ve come to learn is that you know, there are times in my life where I’m doing two hours of yoga every day, I’m doing two hours of meditation. And there’s time for even just five minutes, you know, every day or five sun salutations, you know, it’s just showing up to the feeling and just getting connected to that. And taking the pressure off and remembering that you know, it’s about what it brings to you and then what you’re bringing to other people by giving ourselves that gift of making art or connecting to spirit.
Thank you for sharing that. Nicole. In closing, is there anything else you want to share with our listeners around the world? Maybe about things you have going or maybe things you have planned or just things in general?
Well, I’m working on a series that’s going to be dropping on quantum art on my partner Justin Aversanos platform that’s been up until this point, 100% photography. I am incorporating photography into the series that’s going to be dropping, I believe in summer, June or July. So I’m 100% in that project, and of course, always the spirit coins have become so keep a lookout for that.
Yes. And then in the meantime, I’ve been just working with the spirit coin collection and creating spirit coins for causes. I’ve worked with, I’m doing a piece for Hope for Haiti. And that’s creating for Haiti, I’m working with an amazing organization called blankets, blankets of hope, and created some coins for them. I love the kind of spirit of the Spirit coin, I call it the “Currency of Change”. I’m also working with an amazing group of guys from NFT. We’ve created a series called the “Spirit seeds”. It’s a generative collection of 100 images that were designed, kind of inspired by my “Spirit Coins”, and when you purchase a spirit seed, we give enough of that the proceeds so that you would offset one whole year of your carbon footprint to something called carbon fund. And you also get the spirit seed and then you buy them now actually right before FCCLA if anyone’s in the area, you get a VIP ticket to NFTLA and you’ll get to come and hang out with me and be in the spirits seed Room and meet a bunch of amazing people.
Wow, that’s awesome. Thank you for sharing.
Yes, thank you.
What is the best way that our listeners can reach out to you and stay in the conversation with you? The links are actually on the episode Blog Posts page. But what is the best way they can reach out to you?
Well, I mean, you can email me at Nicole@Nicolebuffet.com. You can find me on Twitter at Nicole@buffetNicole, obviously, on Instagram, Nicole Buffet is, and I’m super open to people reaching out. That’s how I came upon blankets of hope. They just emailed me, Hope of Haiti. So you know, as long as I get to it, I will, you know, take it in. And I love just that we’re all in this together.That’s the beauty of the space.
Awesome, Nicole. It was a pleasure to have you on the show. You’re welcome back anytime. Thank you for coming and being part of today’s episode.
Thank you so much for having me. It was an honor.
Thank you. If you like today’s episode, definitely like and subscribe to the podcast. Show your support and chime in here tomorrow for another special episode. Until then, make it a great day.
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