Episode 92: Show Notes.
Though it often appears that certain NFT artists achieve success overnight, today’s guest has learned that you have to “Crawl before you ball”. In this episode, we get to know Ryan Koopmans. Ryan sheds light on how he discovered his passion for photography while studying architecture and how this passion led him full circle back to photographing architecture. He talks about his previous jobs, his work as a photographer in New York, and how this ultimately led him to Sweden, where he is based when not traveling to different parts of the world for photography. Ryan shares what excited him about the notion of digital ownership when he first discovered the NFT space, what he loves about it, and his advice to other artists interested in joining it before asking NorCal Guy about his predictions on how he sees the NFT art space and traditional institutions coming together. To hear about NorCal Guy and Clutch’s project ClickCreate, the virtual immersive piece Ryan is working on, and his collaboration with Botto, tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
• What it’s like for Canadian Ryan Koopmans to live in Sweden.
• Why he has both Trezors and Ledgers hardware wallets.
• Ryan’s initial excitement at the notion of digital ownership.
• What Ryan loves about the way royalties are factored into the social contract.
• How Ryan discovered his love for photography through studying architecture.
• His previous job in a grocery store.
• Insight into the grind and his work as a photographer in New York.
• Why Ryan would be a peregrine falcon if he were an animal.
• His favorite Swedish dishes.
• The best piece of advice he has ever been given: “Crawl before you ball”
• His advice for artists joining the crypto art space.
• Ryan’s plans to continue a life where he can be in different parts of the world at different times of the year.
• NorCal Guy’s predictions on how he sees the future of the NFT art space and traditional institutions coming together.
• How NorCal Guy sees his art fitting into this space.
• Information about NorCal Guy and Klutch’s project ClickCreate.
• The virtual immersive piece that Ryan is working on.
• Insight into Ryan’s collaboration with Botto.
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Who is this guy? North Calgary, north Calgary, north Calgary and Chill podcast.Guy:
So it's chill time. North Calgary and Chill podcast Put the slob The chill. North Calgary and Chill podcast. So it's chill time. North Calgary and Chill podcast Put the slob The chill. Hey everyone, welcome to the next episode of North Cal and Chill. Today's guest is Ryan Kopeman. Ryan is a Canadian Dutch lens based artist Interested in the built environment and the societies That are shaped by those environments. Since 2007, he has worked as a full time professional artist And photographer. His book Vantage, published in 2020, depicts surreal structures in our world's mega cities And urban landscapes. Kopeman's artwork is collected and exhibited worldwide And has been featured by Wired Architectural Digest, cnn, vogue, gq, the Guardian, mercedes-benz and many more. Everybody, please welcome Ryan. Hey, ryan, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today?Ryan:
Hey, I'm great. Thank you so much for having me on. I'm super, super excited.Guy:
Yeah, me too, Me too. I'm glad we finally like get to chat.Ryan:
Never really have gotten to chat with you, No just seen each other in passing at some of the different NFT events, but never had a solid conversation, right, right.Guy:
I'm a little found out. You live in Sweden And I have such fond memories of Sweden And I love that country And I'm a little jealous.Ryan:
Yeah, it's definitely a great place to live. Like I was saying to you, i'm originally Canadian But my partner is Swedish, so we live here and it's great quality of life, similar to Canada in a lot of ways And really friendly people, but well situated to go to other parts of the world, which is sort of the primary component of my work. Anyways, right, it's a good spot Good people, good culture.Guy:
Yeah, well, it seems like a lot of your work is from like close by And it seems like that's where a lot of that abandoned stuff is. Yeah, for sure, like Eastern Europe stuff, yeah, it's awesome. So I guess, just jumping into it, do you have and use a hardware wallet?Ryan:
Yes, i do, i do. It was one of the early advices I got from the people that helped introduce to the space was to the importance of that. So I have both treasures and ledgers. Oh nice, i think they both serve a similar function, but they're super important.Guy:
Right for sure, they're both very similar. I mean, they function a little bit differently, but they both, you know, it's basically the same thing. What were your first thoughts when you heard about NFTs?Ryan:
What stood out to me the most, what was the most exciting, was just the whole notion of digital ownership, or the ownership of digital assets. That concept was was super exciting because, you know, my background is as a digitally native photographer and the whole you know tendency for your work to go exist out in the world. Once you put it out there, it sort of exists as this nameless JPEG which has a whole life of its own. So the idea that there could actually be like an original prescribed to a particular you know piece or visual or file through its association with the token, was super, super interesting. And, yeah, like the ability to transfer that ownership in such a fluid way and in such like a recorded way where you could actually, you know, have it on chain, like that, on record, like that, was super exciting. So that was sort of like the first big draw to the sort of you know what do you call it? like light bulb moment of oh wow. this is like totally changes how you look at digital assets and digital art.Guy:
Right, right, i mean it's a huge change. I mean it took me a little while to get it, but once I did, i was just like this is huge, especially for digital artists, like you said, digital native artists especially. it seems like photographers have always had like this bad rap or not a bad rap, but like they never got their light in the moment or their moment in the spotlight And you know it's finally like hey, this is your time to shine?Ryan:
Yeah for sure. And you know, like, with a photography like film negative, that can exist, as the say, original for a photograph, but with digital photography you never really had that. So they put some sort of structure of like of ownership and creation and authorship behind it. That was like super inspiring. And then other things that were really interesting, like off the top, were, you know, the notions of royalties being baked into you know the transaction, at least not into the contract but into the social contract. That was something that was super interesting as well.Guy:
Yeah, no, i really like that part as well. You know, to continually support the artist beyond the initial purchase, which is really cool.Ryan:
It's a great idea, And then you know, of course, just the huge array of use cases that NFTs could be prescribed to. It's like once you start with one thing, it sort of leads to the next, leads to the next, And it's just been like a sort of overwhelming excitement and obsession since, since first learning about it.Guy:
Right, right, no, i feel you on that one. I feel you on that one. So why did you choose art? What brought you to photography?Ryan:
So originally I was planning to be an architect And then during the you know after, at the end of my undergraduate, to go to architecture graduate school. During the portfolio making process, basically my dad lent me a camera and said why don't you try to take some pictures that maybe could fit into this you know, creative portfolio? And through that process I sort of found myself like in this documentary photography project about this particular neighborhood in Vancouver that I was living in at the time And I realized pretty quickly that this was that if I could make photography and are focusing on art and creating visuals, if I could make that my primary career and focus, then that seemed like the most exciting, most you know, inspiring and motivating thing. So I actually changed trajectories and pursued an MFA and photo, video and related media instead of architecture. Oh, wow, yeah. And then so that was 2009. And then graduated from that three years later And it's, you know, basically since I started, it just was full on. And of course, you know I was like always creating art and being creative when I was younger, but as far as like making the serious commitment that this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life, that happened around that time, that transition from architecture Ironically, you know, the photography really came full circle, or everything came full circle And now, for the last, i guess even decade, the primary subject has been architecture in itself. So it's like I found the right way. I wanted to look at architecture which was like yeah, step four Yeah, it's definitely fitting.Guy:
I mean, you know, if that was your initial interest, that's what you wanted to do, and then you just went a different route. But same thing, and you know, it's bringing shining light on buildings that are beautiful Totally, even when they're empty.Ryan:
Yeah, yeah, and finding like the different architectural styles and eras and influences and the way you know it reflects the sort of zeitgeist or the status or social context of the time, is something that, like, i think comes from a maybe an original, like interest in architecture itself.Guy:
What jobs have you done along the way?Ryan:
Yeah, well, I've always from a young age. Maybe it's because of my Dutch father was always working in some kind of job from a really young age. So you know, from paper delivery as a preteen to the grocery stores, That was sort of the thing that I spent probably the most time in, up until you know, through university I was the assistant manager of the produce department of a grocery store. Oh, nice Yeah so there's actually still used that knowledge of like fruit and vegetables in daily life quite a bit For sure. But you know, like a similar to what I was saying before, the moment I like discovered photography, or my you know passion and emerging obsession for it, I switched to just doing everything that I possibly could to make that my living. So shooting, like from events to documentary work, photojournalism, fashion, you like, moved to New York. So there you know, you're, pick up as many different kind of jobs as you can when you're early, like to afford living there and lifestyle there. So yeah, like it was just all genres of photography as soon as I discovered it.Guy:
Right, No, it's good, It's good to hear about the hustle. Not many, you know, it's always, you know. I remember as a young guy I was just like you know how they do that so quick, you know, And you're like, well, you know, they're like a generation and a half ahead of me, For sure.Ryan:
I used to. Actually, when I was in New York, i also assisted an artist like a painter there. His name is Nate Lohman And he, you know, had like the amazing studio in Tribeca and like the whole thing. He was also maybe a decade older than me or so And he just said you got to crawl before you ball. So that was one of the lessons that I really has still like live by. You know, like you have to. The grind is there's no like overnight success kind of thing, and that process of grinding is like part of giving yourself and sacrificing your whatever to your craft. Yeah, i love that one. Yeah. Because, we'd be like complimenting something and be like, oh well, you got to crawl before you ball, So get back to stretching the canvas or whatever it was.Guy:
So true, yeah, and you know, it makes you appreciate when you do get to that level. Definitely, all right, i made it, i did all this groundwork, I'm here, i can enjoy it.Ryan:
For sure, And it, yeah, I mean you appreciate it And it's also something you can fall back on, I think, because, like you know, a lot of people ask like, oh, how do you feel about the market? And like you know, those kinds of things. And I think, for a lot of artists, like we've just, we've gone through huge ebbs and flows of bears and bold moments through our whole career so far. So it's like it just is what it is And we're pretty like seasoned for the different market swings in that way to just persevere because there's no, there's no other option, obviously.Guy:
For sure. So if you were an animal, what would you be, in a way?Ryan:
Yeah, and I like this question a lot. I've always loved Perrigan falcons, which is, you know, the type of falcon, but it has a tendency to live in like the, really the top of skyscrapers and in big cities, in mega cities, and they're like the fastest animal in the world too. But what I like about them so much is they're like the perfect combination of form and function. They're like highly efficient. You know like no embellishments, like everything is there, like super efficiently evolved, which I think is pretty cool. And you know like, i released a book in 2020 called Vantage, which was a lot of images shot from really high up positions and on skyscrapers, essentially down, looking at like the urban landscape, and I often would think like, okay, this is like Perrigan falcon perspective, so it's an animal. I've had like an oh, it was an interest with. What about you?Guy:
I've been going with the octopus. Oh okay, yeah, i don't know. You know what they just kind of can blend in. they can just like hide when they need to hide, camouflage, or they can like be out, be friendly, super intelligent I mean at least Super that's a side note. Yeah, they are intelligent, but yeah, they're just been like a fascinating creature, like. and I had a saltwater tank when I was younger and Octopus was always something I always wanted to have as a pet, but I never got to that level because it's just, it is another step to like keeping that Tank, like the right settings for them.Ryan:
I can imagine this there's really hard to keep that happy and healthy. You're right, you don't if you're not, like an expert at saltwater tanks Right.Guy:
So I never did that, but it was always a dream, very cool back in the day. Do you have a favorite food?Ryan:
Favorite food, i think. Living in Sweden, the food is good. I like fish soup sort of. It's like a hybrid of the two. It's really really good. My fiance, alice She makes really good fish soup. I like from a recipe and learn from her dad. He's, like you know, swedish coastal Gothenburg fisher sailor type. So yeah, that's definitely like become my favorite food over the last few years. That's awesome.Guy:
That's great. What's the best piece of advice you have been given?Ryan:
Tricky, you know. I mean, like I said, crawl before you. Ball has been pretty instrumental.Guy:
Yeah, the way I have.Ryan:
Been able to grind it out. But I think, like the idea that you are your own worst enemy, in the sense that You're the only thing that really stands in the way between Your goals, and, whether that's like self-doubt or, you know, often you're like you're the harshest critic of your own work Or you have, you know, it's like imposter syndrome or any of these kind of like psychological Barriers, are sort of debilitating factors. Is is often comes from within as well And that, like your perspective, is everything. So How you can think about Yourself and how you like deal with those thoughts and those kinds of things. I think it's like a huge determining factor on happiness and success and you know, progress and all that. So just recognizing the potential and the power of your own mind to be Your worst enemy as well as your you know your biggest asset, it's something that I've thought about quite a bit and been, you know what, conscious of, since I was first, i guess, introduced to that concept.Guy:
Yeah, no, that makes sense, It's so hard to get in your head and and just Get stuck sometimes. But yeah, I agree. Do you have advice for artists joining the crypto art space?Ryan:
Yeah, i think it's. Like you know, i've had the chance to mentor some artists through different programs, whether it's zero X, society or Wild X, y, z or some of these different web three. You know, like a NFT artist onboarding platforms and The thing that always comes up is like it doesn't matter if it's an NFT, aspiring artist or regular artists, traditional artists. The main thing is just like that, patience and persistence to just continue like focusing, keep your head down at work and get used to rejection, like don't take it personally, and Find that aspect of your work that you really love the most and That you truly connect with, and just really try to hone in on that and dive deep into. That is what I'd say, the main things being Patience and persistence. To once you find that thing that you really want to commit to is then. Those are the two things that you just Have to really commit to, and then, of course, more like practical advice, like be on Twitter, engage with your community, especially for NFT specific artists, because a huge part of the technology in and of itself is like the network effect and the, the community and connectivity of the work and the way that it is shared and etc. So building that likes that online Presence, i think has some value in the NFT world, more so even than the traditional art world.Guy:
Yeah, no, it's good, solid. if you could live or move anywhere, where would you live?Ryan:
and why I think I wanted to continue a life where I can be in different parts of the world at different times of the year, basically. So whether it's following different projects which lead you to different parts of the world, or seasonal things, or being with family because it might be the families still in Western Canada So being able to have that freedom of movement and mobility like that is really what I want to have in the future. Qualcomm's a great base, so I guess maintaining that kind of like real privilege and gift that you have of being able to move around the world is really important to me, especially as you see geopolitical things and whatever kind of stuff happening in the world. It's not something you can just take for granted.Guy:
Right, Right for sure. Do you have any questions for me?Ryan:
Yes, i do Lots of questions, no, but Perfect, perfect. One thing I'm super curious of is how you see the relationship between, i guess we could say like Web 3 or NFT art space and the traditional institutions, like with the emergence of the auction houses really having a presence, or traditional galleries or the museums. How do you see the future of those two kind of things coming together and the pros and cons of it in a general?Guy:
way. That's an interesting question. So I mean, i'm not from that world at all but my initial thoughts would be like that generation currently that is like from what I remember hearing from I think it was like Patrick Almond I was talking to about it The current generation that determines like art is like in their 70s and 80s. So there's definitely like this gap there. So education from potential the auction houses is definitely part of it. I think they could. One way they could spin it would be like hey, you can buy this thing to diversify and then we could shop it around to museums or whatever and potentially make some money for you with this thing That's not hard to transport. I think that'd be interesting. But it's definitely going to be education for that older generation. But some of it is going to be taste. It's just not going to be their thing and it's just going to be a time thing.Ryan:
Do you have any like long-term plan or ideal outcome for your collection, or you just sort of go with the flow at the moment?Guy:
It would be cool to put it in. Some have like exhibits around. It'd be cool to have that something along those lines, with the exhibit and museums showing the art to people. I think that'd be really awesome. I haven't looked into it, but I've myself just wanted to. I know there's like at the airports there's sometimes like this, like an open room, like that's like this mini gallery, and I've thought about like hey, what would it take to do that at like the Sacramento Airport is the one that frequent and they definitely have like something like that. So I'd like to get it out there and shown more for sure. It's just not, i guess displays aren't quite there yet, but still, i mean the TVs don't look terrible or the computer monitors don't look terrible. It's only when you're like up close, is that when you're like noticing things. But I think my goal is to I'd like to get it out there and be able to like curate different, i guess, collections from within my whole collection. So, like hey, or maybe museums could be like hey, you know we're looking for this type of thing and I could like curate something and like submit it for like hey, if you guys are interested, i'd be willing to like share this, something like that would be cool, because I know lots of the collectors. You know we all have our thing and we get all submit. Like it'd be, like it'd be fun to have like a contest like that, like who submits like the better curated thing, it'd be fun.Ryan:
I know it's kind of all over the place that answer, but I guess just not, It's super interesting And I agree Yeah, I mean from an artist's perspective I think it's a show. Having the work shown is like one of the best parts of it, right? So if you can have your work seen, exhibited or displayed publicly or whatever, that's really, really great.Guy:
Great. Now I'd love to do that more, you know, and I think we're on the edge of being able to do that easier. It's great to have it. That time square stuff It's really cool, but it'd be great to have it you know where people are going to see the art intentionally. Yeah, any other questions?Ryan:
What are you most excited for for the rest of the year? any particular projects or things that you're really is your passion at the moment?Guy:
Well, i mean currently the project that clutch and I are working on, click create. I'm really excited about it. You know we're using artists to curate each month and they have generally been picking like a theme or a prompt for the artist that they choose for that month to work off of, and that's been fun to see. You know, to try and have like a cohesive month that people can like look at the art and be like, okay, i understand where that art came from And curated by an artist, and you know, just each month is gonna be different. I don't know. I'm excited about it. Yeah, i don't know. I mean, it's definitely a grind to get, because it sounds like whenever people hear about it, they like love it but haven't heard of it. And I think we're promoting artists and doing promos better than anyone has in this space. So that's you know what's what I'm excited about We're getting the promote artists and we're getting to have like diversity in our curation, because it'd be one thing if it was just like clutch and I like, oh, let's choose this for this month and let's choose for this month, but when you have artists, you know they have the potential to, because there's a ton of art I don't see, and the artists bring that to the project.Ryan:
For sure it helps. It keeps like a sort of finger on the pulse when you have multiple, you know different eyes, like suggesting different things, as opposed to it just coming down to like whatever's come across your feed.Guy:
essentially, Right, right, for sure, for sure. But yeah, that's been fun. The next question is actually if you have any projects or shout outs you would like to do.Ryan:
Yeah, well, next week. I'm actually super excited about this. It's the first immersive space, like immersive piece that we're gonna release which is essentially like you can walk into the image you know, and then it'll be like a virtual immersive environment where you can look around everything, so shot like a whole photogrammetry scan of the inside of this building, and then there's the actual NFT is still like the two dimensional, you know moving image, but the immersive component is the extra thing which is new and something I've wanted to do for a long time, because people are often saying, my God, it'd be so cool to like go into this piece or like, oh, i wanna sit there, or something like that. So it's the closest I've gotten to doing that. Also, working on a collaboration with Bodo you know Bodo, the AI, you know collectively curated AI artists, and it's the first collaboration that they've done. So it's been super fun working with that community because it's basically the same as how one would go back and forth and like share ideas with a singular artist in a collaboration, but it's the sort of collective voice.Guy:
So it's a really interesting process, but it's through.Ryan:
It is really actually like drawing me more into the whole Bodo concept and like Bodo project itself. Yeah, I think it's really interesting, actually, so the collab should be fun too, yeah, but shout outs. I mean shout out to everybody who's day in, day out, committed and, you know, trying to make it a better space, and whether it's artists or collectors or enthusiasts. I think that. I think it's something like really special and really unique and really encouraging that has emerged over the last few years. And, of course, there's lots of noise and like peripheral genres of the NFT world which can take attention, but the art space and the people that like, really believe in it. I think we're onto something really interesting and I think it's super inspiring and exciting.Guy:
Right, definitely is Well, ryan, i just want to thank you for your time, for coming on the show today, and I really appreciate it, and I hope to catch up with you at an event soon.Ryan:
Yeah, likewise, Thank you so much for having me and nice to actually get to chat with you a bit and exactly see you somewhere soon, sometime this year, I hope.Guy:
Yeah that'd be great. Cool man, we'll take care of it. we'll talk soon. Thanks, have a good one.Ryan:
Who is this?Guy:
Who is this guy? Who is this guy? Who is this guy? Who is this guy?Ryan:
Who is this guy? Norkal Guy Nork Cal Guy. Norkal Guy Nork Cal Guy Nork Cal Guy Nork Cal Guy Nork Cal Guy. Nork Cal Guy Nork Cal and Chill Podcast Show.Guy:
It's chill time Nork Cal and Chill Podcasts. What the Nork Cal and Chill Show. It's chill time Nork Cal and Chill Podcasts. What the The show.