NorCal and Shill

Monster Mike - Artist

May 16, 2024 NorCal Guy Season 1 Episode 140
Monster Mike - Artist
NorCal and Shill
More Info
NorCal and Shill
Monster Mike - Artist
May 16, 2024 Season 1 Episode 140
NorCal Guy

I couldn't help but grin ear to ear when Monster Mike shared his unexpected pivot from a cutlery salesman to an avant-garde crypto artist; it's that sort of unpredictability that spices up our latest episode. Embark on an auditory odyssey with us as Mike, a maestro of the digital canvas, recounts his gastronomic escapades in Singapore's hawker markets and his trailblazing journey through the burgeoning world of NFTs. He's not shy about the realities of the art scene, offering pearls of wisdom for emerging talent in the digital realm, and emphasizing that true quality and authenticity are the cornerstones of success.

Our conversation was a smorgasbord of topics, each more tantalizing than the last. We waxed poetic about shared passions, from the transcendental experience of witnessing a solar eclipse to indulging in the world's finest cheeses. Mike drew parallels between the art of food and the art of tech, unpacking how the Silicon Valley 'rush-to-market' ethos often undercuts the value of patience and craftsmanship. And for those on the cusp of adulthood or those simply seeking a renaissance in their careers, Mike's reflections on identifying one's true calling amidst life's noise strike a chord.

As we wrapped up our session with laughter and a few off-tangent tales, Mike unveiled a sneak peek into his upcoming endeavors, including the innovative Polytick game and his non-linear comic book project birthed from live art sessions. It's clear that Monster Mike is not just creating art; he's weaving a vibrant tapestry of community and storytelling that continues to evolve with each project. So, if you're craving a conversation that's as rich and varied as a well-aged cheese platter, tune in and let your inspiration soar with the incomparable Monster Mike.

https://twitter.com/monstermike_art

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

I couldn't help but grin ear to ear when Monster Mike shared his unexpected pivot from a cutlery salesman to an avant-garde crypto artist; it's that sort of unpredictability that spices up our latest episode. Embark on an auditory odyssey with us as Mike, a maestro of the digital canvas, recounts his gastronomic escapades in Singapore's hawker markets and his trailblazing journey through the burgeoning world of NFTs. He's not shy about the realities of the art scene, offering pearls of wisdom for emerging talent in the digital realm, and emphasizing that true quality and authenticity are the cornerstones of success.

Our conversation was a smorgasbord of topics, each more tantalizing than the last. We waxed poetic about shared passions, from the transcendental experience of witnessing a solar eclipse to indulging in the world's finest cheeses. Mike drew parallels between the art of food and the art of tech, unpacking how the Silicon Valley 'rush-to-market' ethos often undercuts the value of patience and craftsmanship. And for those on the cusp of adulthood or those simply seeking a renaissance in their careers, Mike's reflections on identifying one's true calling amidst life's noise strike a chord.

As we wrapped up our session with laughter and a few off-tangent tales, Mike unveiled a sneak peek into his upcoming endeavors, including the innovative Polytick game and his non-linear comic book project birthed from live art sessions. It's clear that Monster Mike is not just creating art; he's weaving a vibrant tapestry of community and storytelling that continues to evolve with each project. So, if you're craving a conversation that's as rich and varied as a well-aged cheese platter, tune in and let your inspiration soar with the incomparable Monster Mike.

https://twitter.com/monstermike_art

Support the Show.

NorCal Guy:

Who is this guy? Who is this guy? Who is this guy, who is this guy, norcal, guy, norcal and chill podcast.

Monster Mike:

So it's chill time, norcal, and chill podcast. What the f***? Norcal and chill podcast Podcast. What the sh-. What the sh NorCal and Shill Podcast. So it's Shill time, norcal, and.

NorCal Guy:

Shill Podcast what the sh what the sh-? Hey, everyone, welcome to this next episode of NorCal and Shill. Today we have Monster Mike. Mike delves into topics ranging from the culinary world, like unusual foods and spicy noodle games, to the challenges and insights of the crypto art space. Mike advises aspiring artists to focus on quality and authenticity rather than quick profits. Mike also shares his global culinary interests and recounts his experiences with Michelin star street food in Singapore and, additionally, he discusses his personal journey, touching on past jobs and his shift towards NFT trading and digital art creations. This discussion wraps up with shared memories, like watching the solar eclipse, and a mutual appreciation for various cuisines and cheeses. Altogether, this episode offers a blend of food talk, art insights and personal stories from Monster Mike's diverse experiences. Tune in for this engaging conversation on Knorr, cal and Schill. Hey, mike, welcome to the podcast. How you doing today?

Monster Mike:

I'm good.

NorCal Guy:

Thank you for having me yeah, well, you know, it's kind of random and kind of fun and I'm glad I just you crossed my timeline. I think it was a couple weeks ago. I was just like he should be on the podcast. I should was going to send him an invite, so it worked out.

Monster Mike:

Worked out, great dude. Thank you very much. I'm excited to be here.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah, I appreciate it, and you having a good day.

Monster Mike:

Pretty good. I'm a little under the weather. I got sick at NFT NYC actually a month ago and then I got better after a couple weeks and then I flew home from new york to la um this past week and I'm I got really sick again. So other than that, good day, perfect perfect.

NorCal Guy:

At least it's sunny outside, I believe in southern california it is.

Monster Mike:

Yeah, socal's nice is, norcal nice it is. It's a great day. This past weekend was really stormy up here. We had hail in Southern.

NorCal Guy:

California it is. Yeah, SoCal's nice Is, NorCal nice it is. It is a great day. This past weekend was really stormy up here. We had hail and really strong winds. A ton of rain.

Monster Mike:

Nice. Well, I'm glad it's not bad anymore.

NorCal Guy:

Right Cabin fever it's real and it sucks on those days sometimes, yeah. So what were your thoughts when you heard about this whole? And it sucks on those days sometimes, yeah, so what were your thoughts when you heard about this whole crypto art space?

Monster Mike:

Oh boy, dude, I well, I mean, you know, like most people. I saw the shoot. What's his name? I'm having a brain fart. Beeple, why can't I? I forgot the name. People brief with it. It's not a giant 69 eath, no, 69 million people, sale, yeah and uh. Apologies, again, I'm a little under the weather so my brain is like operating at 60. But, um, yeah, I mean it, it was interesting, you know, because it's like it was interesting. You know, because it's like like money.

Monster Mike:

A lot of people still feel this way, especially in, like the traditional art world. I've found they don't understand the concept of digital scarcity and being able to collect a digital piece of art. So, like, when I saw, oh, there's a mechanism where you can actually have ownership for these things, that was hugely exciting. But, again, a lot of people today still don't see that. Like, I showed a piece in Dubai and it was to an older clientele, because a lot of those galleries they're traditional collectors, they like photography and stuff like that, and they were like, oh, is it a video game? I was like, no, I was like what it's like digital art? And they're like what's that? So, even though you and I are like, oh, I get it digital art. There's still a large chunk of the world that they just have to wrap their head around it, and it'll take a little while, you know.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah, yeah.

Monster Mike:

They had to maybe wrap their head around cryptocurrency first and then, oh well, that's over.

NorCal Guy:

I actually think it's easier to just say digital sculpture and they go oh okay, oh yeah, all right, yeah, yeah, fair yeah, fair explaining digital currency that's.

Monster Mike:

I mean, I guess you're like it's like dollars, but digital okay.

NorCal Guy:

I guess, that's it.

Monster Mike:

It's like x, but digital.

NorCal Guy:

I mean, yeah, it's hard, it's a hard one. I mean it is weird. It is weird to have digital scarcity well it's.

Monster Mike:

I think it's awesome, like my most. The things I'm most excited about in digital art are all, uh, rooted in reality, right, so like and I think my personal philosophy is, for this is you know, we live in reality, people have been on Earth for quite a while, so making digital stuff that is like reality is just the best. It just like rings a chord in our head that everything else, nothing else, compares Like. I do think the early ages of the Internet it was like too new, you know, it was too different. But now that we're kind of coming full circle it's like no, no, digital stuff is like reality, feels familiar and it's kind of understandable. If you just let yourself go to it, you know, right, right yeah, I don't know.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah, I mean it's definitely, it's definitely a transition for sure. I mean it's definitely easier for, like the, the younger generation, for sure they get it 100%. They grew up on it.

Monster Mike:

Yeah, no, but I guess what I'm saying is like I think it's natural to like have digital stuff be scarce and obey the laws of reality, Like it. Just I think it think it like tickles a very innate part of the brain.

NorCal Guy:

you know, you can see that, yeah, bringing, I don't know yeah, like it's may, applying a real world um things to it. So it has. Yeah, I mean, because in the real world, scarcity is a thing. We are careful with things that we value because they're scarce. You know there's only so many. Well, because you don't want to buy it again, you don't want to lose it, you don't want to do that.

Monster Mike:

So I don't know, just a, just a hunch. I think you know we're approaching the, the singularity of the digital simulation. It's like everything will just be like reality, but digital. And then we start over In a not creepy way.

NorCal Guy:

Start inception Going deeper and deeper. Exactly the digital digital. Exactly the digital digital. So why did you choose art I?

Monster Mike:

really didn't really ask your question.

NorCal Guy:

I'm sorry no, this is a great start to the interview. Let's keep going so what brought you to art? What brought you to art?

Monster Mike:

oh man, so I've always drawn. Um, my mom always encouraged it, it's. It's like I've always, I've always drawn. It's been very natural. I have all of my little doodles from like childhood and I remember how I felt for each one, what I was thinking of, like I'll see this like scribble and I'll be like that's my goldfish, like I remember that guy. You know, it's just always been very natural and very, pretty deep in my brain.

Monster Mike:

And then, yeah, I mean I did some art lessons as a kid but I didn't really like how they like they had like a structure for doing art. I didn't love that. So I do, I remember once quitting an art class and like being very conflicted and crying. You know it was a whole thing. I was like eight. And then, you know, you know, in school I always excelled at art. I did ceramics and glass blowing in high school, which was really fun. I always had a good mind for 3d in particular. I always really liked drawing and doing 3d stuff. So I, growing up, my whole thing was I'm gonna be an architect and I went, went to Frank Lloyd Wright camp in Arizona, taliesin West, his summer home, like built models, did all this stuff, did internships. And then in college I studied architecture. So and that that was really interesting because it taught me a lot about um, graphic design actually, and graphic representation. There's certain like standards for architecture, how to communicate depth, surface materiality, highlight different objects, um, but, but rooted in 3d. So art was always there. But I did for much of my life think I will use this artistic talent to be an architect because that feels like a real job. But then in school, in architecture school, it was not a great fit and it has nothing to do with the medium, it's more, the industry itself of architecture is soul crushing and hugely debilitating to anyone with a heart and I say that a little bit as a joke, but also very much not as a joke and I'm sure if there are architects out there listening they're like yeah, there's a great quote from Virgil Abloh, who also studied architecture, where he said everybody should study architecture, no one should be an architect and what this. I like.

Monster Mike:

If you've been in architecture, you get this essentially in architecture school. They they teach you how to think about creative issues in a really practical way, how to get stuff done, because you know you have to design a building, so you have to break down into parts. It's a huge undertaking, but, um, if you want to go a building, so you have to break down into parts. It's a huge undertaking. But if you want to go into the industry, you essentially have to be what they call a CAD monkey, where you work on AutoCAD for the first 10 years for very little pay, no credit, long hours. Architects often die in their 40s or 50s because they sleep so little. This is true. So long story short.

Monster Mike:

Architecture was not a good fit. I could spend the whole podcast complaining about architecture, but I won't because that's not what we're here to do, and I do that plenty in real life. But architecture school is also very good because it taught me how to think, taught me a lot about graphic representation, more 3D stuff, also about how to think about space, how people use it. So then I got into NFTs. I started NFTs right before I graduated architecture school and I was just trading at first, did very well in the beginning, and then I'm not a good trader, so I lost it all, which hurt and was a whole great lesson unto itself.

Monster Mike:

Um, but I I didn't want to leave the space because it was so much fun. You know like. It just seemed like this is where it's at. This is art, this is tech, this is money, this is culture, this is everything. And I was like, oh, I've always done art and my character that I draw jeff, I'd been drawing at that point for like eight years, right so and it. But it was just like personal. It was like doodles for myself, cards for my family, like birthday cards. Mother's day did a couple shirts for like my sister, and everyone was like you should sell this. And I was like I don't know how, like what, I, you know what, yeah. And then, um, but I was in nfts and I had lost all my money and I had this moment where I was like I don't want to leave and I have this character and I see other people making, selling stuff with stuff that I think is just very stupid.

Monster Mike:

Maybe someone was like jeff and he wasn't even called jeff at that point. He was just like my buddy, you know. Okay. So I was like, well, he needs a name, how about jeff? And I was like that's jeff. And then, um, I posted a, a jeff as like a pfp, just for, and it was just like a, you know, like this post to enter the raffle. It got like five likes and then I minted it and I gave it out to someone. Oh no, I think it was 0.01. It was something. It was like I have to get some money for this so I know I could stay in, but nobody knows me so it can't be expensive, so I think it was like 0.01. It was like 20 bucks. And then later that year I had my first mural in Wynwood and then a few months later I had a show in New York for the AR thing. And now we're here. It was like that. So how I got into art, always been there and then NFTs was like oh, maybe I could actually like live off of this.

NorCal Guy:

I like it. I like it. That's fun and a little crazy, but fun. So okay, before art, before architecture, if you did any work, as in that realm, what kind of jobs did you have, like in high school, like?

Monster Mike:

Oh boy, or call it early college. Ooh, so I never. This is another reason why NFTs are perfect for me. I never was one to enjoy jobs like that and I just can't hide stuff like that, you know. So I think my first job, do you know? Cutco? Yeah, oh yeah, knife salesman, yep. So that slash pyramid scheme borderline. So my sister she's a couple years older than me she did Cutco when she was in high school and she like got to like their private event in Vegas.

Monster Mike:

Okay, like she like did very well. And so you know, I grew up like always trying event in Vegas Okay, it like she liked it very well. And so you know, I grew up like always trying to sell stuff. So I did Cutco for a bit, um, and I made some money, but I think I quit after like three days Cause I was like this sucks, like, I did the training for a week, I sold for like three days and I think I made like a hundred bucks and then I quit. I was like this sucks, like I hate this, um, and I then, uh, so in high school I also did, I tried e-commerce because like that was a thing, yeah, so this hat actually. So I had a store called save the north and I was like, because I've always been like I love nature and I always loved polar bears, I ran the polar bear club in high school, which ended up being about nothing but me and my friends chanting polar bears. I was very dumb because I wanted to do a polar plunge club. They wouldn't let us for liability reasons, so it just became appreciating polar bears, anyways. So I did e-commerce, save the North.

Monster Mike:

I did okay for a little bit and I realized I really just wanted to make clothes and art, so I got these hats made. This is a puffin puffin, which is a pun that my mother thought of. He's smoking a pipe and he's a pun all right. And I actually sold these hats online and to friends and it did okay. And then, being the hold on, I'm plugging in my computer the, um, the, the extra savvy businessman that I was. I sold out the first batch of hats and I had a whole another batch made, but I didn't think that I had no more market because I'd sold all my friends already and they didn't want two hats. So then I just wound up sitting on like 50 hats that I still have. But now that I wear this, in a few events people actually have asked to buy it. So I'm going to actually sell those from high school Right, there you go. So I did that.

Monster Mike:

I did Cutco e-commerce in college. I worked at a fried chicken restaurant called Honeybird at USC and I was their master pie cutter. They liked me because I could cut pies perfectly Like. They told me that that was like. My only job was to cut the pies.

Monster Mike:

But then architecture school had so much time commitment I had to reduce my work hours to like like twice a week for like an hour. So after the semester ended they did not invite me back. They told me they didn't fire me. But they said you will not be invited back, which is essentially being fired. So then I also had a couple architecture internships Didn't didn't care for them, really. I learned, like I don't. A couple architecture internships Didn't care for them, really.

Monster Mike:

I learned like I don't really like architecture as a profession. I love the art of it, but the industry itself is different, as I'm sure a lot of creative industry people can relate to. And then I did so my last job. Ever before I went full time in NFTs I had I had already been trading NFTs. It was when I was doing well, it was before I lost all my money.

Monster Mike:

So I I in in college I loved movies too. I minored in screenwriting and at USC I got to study with like all the top directors, the top directors, the top screenwriters, people who wrote for my favorite shows, for my teachers reading what I wrote, and they, you know it was really cool, yeah. So I was like I don't. I know I don't really like the architectural industry, but I have these skills. Maybe I'll. I'll try something in set design for the movies.

Monster Mike:

So I got a job, yeah, and I feel so, and I feel so bad because it was these really everyone's so nice. You know, I say I don't like the industry, but the people are very friendly. So I worked in this small office Do you know like Studio City, yeah, where it's like a thousand degrees and it's like an hour and a half from where I live. So I got this job up there and it was doing set design for the Oscars, the Emmys, all the big award shows. It was like a big deal, yeah, and I lasted four days and then that was my last job. So art is a much better fit because I can do whatever I want. I got my own schedule. I get to talk to people and draw, you know Perfect. I've do whatever I want. I got my own schedule. I get to talk to people and draw. You know Perfect. I've learned who I am through trial and error and I am not a yeah, I like it.

NorCal Guy:

I like it yeah.

Monster Mike:

I'm sure it's not unique. In NFTs People do their own thing, you know. Poker players abound.

NorCal Guy:

This is true, this is true. This is true. So, I mean, I feel like I know the answer to this, but if you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Monster Mike:

Oh, definitely a bear. Polar bear comes to mind Definitely, because it's like a little bit lazy but kind of big. You know, I used to be obese. People called me well, I will, I will dot. Anyways, they called me not nice things. Um, yeah, and so I've always been like bigger, a little bit slower moving. I'm not a sprinter, I'm not a cheetah, I'm more of a slow moving, broad strokes kind of guy. So yeah, probably polar bear alright, alright, that's fair what about? You oh, octopus oh, interesting, why that's a smart one.

NorCal Guy:

I mean partly because you know they can like, they just observe, they can hide, they camouflage really well, but like I had a saltwater tank for a couple years, um, and I always wanted a pet octopus. I never got one but just because they're so interesting, like to have them as a pet, because they're like friendly, they get to know you as a pet, because they're like friendly, they get to know you, they you know they have their own like personality. So that was always my dream to have a pet octopus.

Monster Mike:

Never happened, but have you seen my Octopus Teacher?

NorCal Guy:

Yes, it's really good.

Monster Mike:

Yeah, amazing, so crazy.

NorCal Guy:

That's a good one so yeah, do you have a favorite food?

Monster Mike:

Oh boy do I dude? I have several. The big three for me Cheese, chocolate and cured meats. Oh, okay, I'm a huge cheese guy. After the VVD sale, which was like my biggest success in life the first thing I did was I went to the cheese store and I bought some cheese. The second thing I did was I bought rock climbing shoes but because I had like yeah, it was my tiny splurge but cheese, oh my god, especially alpine cheeses, blue cheeses, ah, when I was I think it was like six weeks old I was in diapers, I couldn't speak. Okay, my mom took me to the grocery store and she put me in the shopping cart and we're shopping, at one point she puts in a block of blue cheese Gorgonzola. When we checked out, I had eaten the whole thing as a baby. I couldn't speak, but I liked blue cheese, and that still holds true today. So I would say cheese.

NorCal Guy:

That's fair Solid Parmesan's my favorite snack.

NorCal Guy:

Oh yeah, when I oh man, I'm blinking on the name of it. But there's this company. They make like little blocks pre-wrapped of Parmesan. It's like the snack block and I like once I found those in the grocery store and they're only at Safeway or what's the sister company? Vons, is that the sister company? I always have to have those because I'm like if I want a snack, that's an easy go-to. It's pre-cut. I don't have to pull this big block out and cut it off, I just open it and eat it. It's so good.

Monster Mike:

See I'm a big block out and cut it off, I just open it and eat it so good. See, I'm a big block kind of guy. I, especially like you, can go to Whole Foods. You can get chocolate and bulk, so I get that. I get the like bulk pound of chocolate and cheese. I literally gnaw on it. And my girlfriend hates it. She's like it's like what are you doing? I'm like you, awesome. And there's like these, like big blocks of chocolate with teeth marks in my kitchen. It's really I'm not like it. I shouldn't maybe I shouldn't have shared that, but uh, yeah, oh man, yeah, well, yeah I guess, part of it's just because I'm like frick.

NorCal Guy:

I don't want to like wash a knife or anything like oh you just bite it, I'm the same true. True I mean I could.

Monster Mike:

It's gross, that's all it's tempting it's tempting. You ever seen seinfeld? You know george costanza, yeah I just want to take a big bite out of a block of cheese.

NorCal Guy:

I get that yeah, now I can see that, I can see that, I see the temptation and I see how it would be appealing. But oh, it's the best I'll also say, when it's thinly sliced is also when it's really good too.

Monster Mike:

That's when you get the most flavor, especially for, like, a good alpine cheese where there's like flavor differential between the rind part and then as you get to the center it's different. Yeah, you get a thin slice, you get all of it. Oh, man, and cheese with honey too. Add, try some honey. Okay. Also, you can get into varieties of honey like chestnut honey has a slight bitterness, okay. So if you have chestnut honey on a nice, say, a stilton or a blue, you're activating literally every taste, but on your tongue it's it's other otherworldly I have to look for that.

NorCal Guy:

I mean, I usually stick to local honey, but good, I'll have to look for maybe some chestnut honey. It's really weird, but anyway, yeah, around here we have a lot of oh, what was it like? There's some star thistle honey and then I think it's star thistle honey and then some clover honey. Those are the ones like my faves around here yeah, I mean.

Monster Mike:

What does star thistle honey taste like?

NorCal Guy:

it's like this weed. It's really pretty sweet, pretty sweet honey, but light, fairly light, like I can dip a spoon and just like lick on it, it's good I love that.

Monster Mike:

Honey is also a big thing for me.

NorCal Guy:

I want so good I'm jealous.

Monster Mike:

I saw you interviewed og the other day. He keeps bees and that's a lifelong dream of mine. I want bees oh yeah, yeah I think that would.

NorCal Guy:

if I had, if we get some more property at some point, like move to a bigger piece of property, that would be on our, our thing, like have a little orchard, have a little a beehive and yeah.

Monster Mike:

Also ice cream. Yeah, there's. Oh man, I could talk about ice cream for years.

NorCal Guy:

Custard ice cream is my favorite.

Monster Mike:

What is it?

NorCal Guy:

Custard Custard ice cream. Oh, okay, yeah, yeah, custard-based ice cream.

Monster Mike:

There's this place in Brooklyn that has this incredible gelato. It's a restaurant, but they make their own gelato and it's very custardy.

NorCal Guy:

It's incredible, yeah well, next year I guess I'll have to like, hit you up and be like hey, are you? Here, oh yeah and are we going to this place?

Monster Mike:

oh yeah, dude, it's the last time I was there. They had um chocolate orange cardamom ice cream. That was one flavor yeah. Like you can't describe it. And they had this just Italian cream, which was like their base vanilla, but it was custardy, that's why I bring it up, you would oh man, yeah, I like it, oh yeah, yeah, I like it, oh yeah.

NorCal Guy:

so what's the best piece of advice you've been given, or do you have like a mantra that you like kind?

Monster Mike:

of like always go back to lately. It's been. I think I saw this on like a business instagram motivational speaker thing or something, but it's like or not Instagram, uh, I don't know. I saw it online but it's like what would this be like if it was easy? You know, I do a thing where I I overcomplicate everything. When I have an idea, I'm like, oh, then we could do this and that and that, and then I have trouble finishing stuff. So it's like what's been helping me is keeping all like, having all those ideas, but then having an extra period where I go. What would this be like if it was just easy and simple?

Monster Mike:

And I don't like the like Silicon Valley minimum viable product thing where you just like get it out the door and it doesn't work, but like it's out there, you know cause. I think that's sort of um, that's. That was a good solution when everything was too complex. But I think the pendulum swung to the other side now, where we just see a lot of schlock, like if you saw the, uh, the, the rabbit AI that came out, or the humane pin, like it's not done, but they're you know they're operating under the mvp model. They're like just get it, get it out there and like crypto suffers from this a lot too.

Monster Mike:

There's a lot of stuff where they're just like just get it done and it's like all in this game to get market share, but then what you're left with is a whole industry that's half baked. So like, I think, the sweet spot for me I I overly complicate stuff. So saying what would it be like if it was simple brings me to center um, but I do think some people would benefit from let's finish this before we sell it, you know right, right, no, uh, true, true.

NorCal Guy:

I mean it was funny to watch some of those reviews about that rabbit device. Oh my God, it only shipped with like five apps or four apps or something like that actually work or semi-work, and some of them don't even work.

Monster Mike:

Dude and the Humane pin had like nothing it was like, but they and it's 700 bucks, I don't know, it's just like, it's crazy.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah, that reminds me of, like the icos, you know, over like 2017. Like the white paper says this, this and this.

Monster Mike:

You know it's in the works it's nft's last bull or it's like they're building a game guys. It's like, where are any of these games? You know, I mean nothing, yeah, but yeah, that's, that's fully like silicon valley mindset and it works great for like short-term money, but they all fall.

NorCal Guy:

You know, I don't know so do you have advice for artists joining this crypto art space?

Monster Mike:

oh yeah, if you're just now joining, well, okay, a few things first. Just because something is expensive doesn't mean it's good, and that was maddening to me in the beginning because I was very much believing what people said. That's nothing. Don't believe what people say. Think for yourself, because people be like oh, this is the next so and so, and you're like this and what they're. They're just saying that to get money. It doesn't, it's not true. So think for yourself, have a brain. That's step one. Um, step two move to new york this is, like all, the worst advice.

Monster Mike:

So why I say that is if you're trying to sell art, all the big collectors are, or not all, but like there's a higher concentration in New York than most other cities, I would say New York and Dubai. This is I haven't done as much research in Dubai, but this is what I've heard. So if you're serious about trying to sell your art, go there and just meet them and don't try to sell, but just meet them. And then, if you're three, make good work. And if you're making good work and you meet people, I think it's only natural that they, if you can present it to them in a non-shilly way, some of them will want it Not all, but some, and that's all you need. But yeah, do good work. I do think the space suffers at times from people. Just Like in the beginning of the first bowl, the work was amazing, and the reason the work was amazing was because it was from artists who had been working in obscurity for years and who only did the art not to sell but to make art, which is what art should be. So they made this stuff for nobody other than themselves, and then it just so happened that there was a new way to sell it, and that's why it did well. And so you have these products that had been worked on for years and years and years. Like tyler hobbs has been working on fidenza for many years, right, not directly, but like he'd been playing with it. And then, oh, artblocks comes along. Fidenza's perfect.

Monster Mike:

But then you got to a point where the machine had to keep going. They had to keep feeding it new art, but there was no new art, so artists would just go quickly make stuff, and so you did see a quality drop off because people hadn't put in as much time. And I'm not saying everything was like that, but I think the general trend was in the beginning it was like how is there so much good art? And then it was like how did that sell for so much? The narrative switched, you know, and that's fine, um, but like focus, just focus on making good stuff. Don't don't do it for money, like just do it because you got to do it.

Monster Mike:

I think that is what separates All the true artists in the space recognize each other because they're not doing it for anybody other than themselves. And then it just so happens that, oh, if you present it well, you meet the right people, then it can sell for a good price, good price. But then there is like a sort of underground thing where there's like, anyways, I'm, maybe we'll avoid going into that. Um, but yeah, some advice. Yeah, just to summarize you know, that's fair yeah you, you saw where it was going.

Monster Mike:

We're not going there. Um, just to summarize, think for yourself, go where the people are and do good work, and if you do all that and you live very cheaply at first, you'll be okay. I do think you can. I still think it's sustainable to be a full-time artist and went through.

Monster Mike:

I see a lot of people saying it's, it's harder now. Oh, no one's buying. But I think part of that is, um, misaligned expectations, like if you have bull market expectations, you're going to be disappointed. But if you have expectations of just making one or two decent sales per year or a good number of smaller sales and not living well, you know not being like my lifestyle. I'm not spending tons of money, I'm trying to live very cheaply.

Monster Mike:

When I was in New York for the past couple months, my biggest expense was rent and then I tried to cook and then I got a girlfriend and my food bills went up because we had to go out more, because you know you have to have a nice time nice time but even so, I was always very frugal, um, for now. But I'm definitely like playing the long-term game of I want to increase my reputation now and do better work now, and I do believe there'll be another bull, and I want to be ready baby, because then we can live large, you know, and that's also why you meet collectors, so they can take you out to meals.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah, exactly, some of them do that, some of them don't.

Monster Mike:

And it's okay, but you know, just have fun with it. I don't know, just like I don't know, just like I don't know, yeah.

NorCal Guy:

So if you could move or live anywhere, where would you live and why?

Monster Mike:

oh boy. Well, the many places I mean. I'm from la. I love, love LA. It's beautiful here, my family's here, friends. New York is also spectacular. These are both the places I've lived most recently. New York oh my God, the food, just what's happening. So many people, it's really cool. But also in my life, I'd like to live in Singapore for probably a year. Singapore I'm a huge food guy. As I said earlier, used to be obese, medically obese. Food is very important for me. Singapore they have Michelin star street food. If you've never been, have you been? No, I have not Michelin star street food.

NorCal Guy:

Okay, that sounds amazing, it sounds weird, but it sounds.

Monster Mike:

It sounds amazing. No, it's amazing. They have these hawker markets where it's like it's essentially big food courts, but they have all these tiny stalls and you just go each, each meal is like two dollars. So you're like I'm gonna get a huge thing of noodles, I, I'm going to get some chicken satay, I'm going to get some chili crab, I'm going to get some fresh sugar cane juice, some shaved ice. You just end up with this mountain of food and it costs you like $10. And it's all delicious. The weather is beautiful, the architecture is amazing, they're very green and natural.

Monster Mike:

Some people don't like Singapore because they have a strict no drug policy, but like I'm not a huge drug guy, so I just the food, you know. Um, also, it'd be nice to live in tokyo, maybe for, maybe for like a year. My mom lived in japan for seven years and so, like I've been, tokyo is amazing, not Ireland, ireland is too depressing. Maybe Iceland for like a couple months, I don't know. Maybe Dubai for a little, although you got to stick to the nice parts of Dubai. The rest of it it's like. It's like Las Vegas, you know. Right, yeah, have you been to Dubai yet? No, nope, have you been to Dubai yet?

NorCal Guy:

No, nope.

Monster Mike:

It's weird, but parts of it are spectacular, like their mall. You walk in there's a dinosaur skeleton. Oh, wow, okay, wow. They have a three-story aquarium filled with sharks across from a cheesecake factory. You're like where this is insane. It's like it's kind of cool, yeah.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah, one day, one day, yeah. Do you have any questions for me?

Monster Mike:

Oh, quite a few. Well, first of all, um, I know you saw the eclipse with Scoble Scobell, yeah, yeah, yeah he told me you guys were going on that. How was that?

NorCal Guy:

that was fun. That was really cool. Um, you know, it's definitely. You know, if you get a chance to check it out, I would do it if it's you know nearby, because it's definitely. You know, if you get a chance to check it out, I would do it If it's you know nearby, because it's like this three, when you're in totality, it's like a 360 degree sunset.

Monster Mike:

That's insane.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah.

Monster Mike:

So, yeah, it's kind of cool, was it spiritual?

NorCal Guy:

No, no, I mean we thought there was going to be less people, kind of where we were, but maybe we should have gone to a more remote location. But yeah, yeah, that's interesting, it was good. Would you do it again? Yeah. I would do it again. It was really cool okay, I guess.

Monster Mike:

Another question I have is what's your favorite food?

NorCal Guy:

man, I, if I'm gonna stick to like a genre of food, it would be mexican food I love mexican food so much. I'll just eat rice and beans. I'll eat burritos, tacos, carne asada it's my favorite meat from that, uh, from mexican food. So yeah, I just love it. It's such I don't know. I grew up with it, I grew up in Southern California and I just Mexican food is just like a part of me.

Monster Mike:

I feel like I agree with you there. I love you really like Mexican food. If you start with, I could just eat rice and beans. True, true, true. Yeah, you're at the most basic level of that cuisine dude.

NorCal Guy:

It's true, man, I'll. I'll make my own beans at home. My wife will make some cilantro rice or something. Just put it together, throw some cheese or cotija cheese on it.

Monster Mike:

Oh god and uh, it's good I love those like um, those sort of atypical cheeses like cotia or like um halloumi, you know, like grilling cheeses, uh, okay okay, yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

NorCal Guy:

I'm gonna have to look up humili. I am, I am not. Oh, you don't know, halumi.

Monster Mike:

Oh my God. Okay, so it's like Middle Eastern grilling cheese.

NorCal Guy:

Oh, okay.

Monster Mike:

It's I would call it's slightly rubbery, but not in a bad way. Okay, and you grill it and it gets these beautiful golden brown grill marks and it's a little salty and it's just phenomenal. Golden brown grill marks and it's a little salty and it's just phenomenal. It's similar to cotija in terms of it's like less crumbly, but it's a similar genre of cheese.

NorCal Guy:

Okay, alright, I'm going to look that up. I'm going to see if I can find some.

Monster Mike:

Oh, it's at most grocery stores. It's way overpriced, though. That's what bugs me.

NorCal Guy:

At most grocery stores. It's way overpriced, though that's what bugs me At most grocery stores. Okay, yeah, I will have to. I don't know why. I just don't. That just doesn't ring a bell for me.

Monster Mike:

I feel like have you ever, have you had Middle Eastern food? Yeah, I'm sure you've had to have had it, or, like I don't know, maybe a mediterranean restaurant dude another. Um. So my girlfriend is persian and she's shown me a lot of persian food. Oh, those guys have some good rice, they do rice totally differently from anywhere in asia or from mexico.

NorCal Guy:

Very different, very good yeah, I'm a food man. I like, I like a good, good food, wherever it's from.

Monster Mike:

Just oh yeah, I just want good food what's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

NorCal Guy:

uh, I'm not gonna have anything that interesting. Um, I can't even. Uh, I don't know if it's weird anymore like I. I remember I tried some like protein bars made from crickets. That's not that weird though Like from cricket flour they call it flour. I think it's called cricket flour or something like that.

Monster Mike:

Much better than ground crickets.

NorCal Guy:

And they weren't bad. They weren't bad at all. But I don't venture down the weird. It's not my thing.

Monster Mike:

I just want enjoyable. No, that's better Me and my friends in college. There's this restaurant on Sautel in little Osaka in LA called Killer Noodle. Okay, and it's like their whole thing is it's super spicy, so we used to do this thing. You go and you can order like your spice level and this other spice, uh, sancho pepper, which numbs your tongue.

Monster Mike:

So you can get more spice because your mouth is numb. So we'd go and we'd like compete to see who could eat the spiciest one, and I won once, but it was not worth it. The same thing of like I don't venture you not wanting exotic foods. Yeah, I get that. It's not like you just enjoy your food yeah, yeah, there's no.

NorCal Guy:

Yeah, I mean, I've had no. It's not weird, though, like I feel I'm blanking and I went to this restaurant in san francisco and they had I want to say they called it golden caviar and that was pretty good oh, what is that? It's just like all the like uh, clear, white, goldish color eggs in one place it's fish.

Monster Mike:

Yeah, I mean, caviar is great.

NorCal Guy:

Yes, oh man. Well, that's cool. Nothing that weird.

Monster Mike:

That's good. Yeah, I don't think you're missing anything crazy Nothing that weird.

NorCal Guy:

That's good. Yeah, I don't think you're missing anything. Crazy. Funny thing you talk about spice. I was at Lowe's and this year I have seen I've never seen ghost pepper plants for sale before At Lowe's. There was at Lowe's ghost pepper plants for sale before and there was at lowe's ghost pepper plants for sale. I'm like who's even going to eat these? Like people are not. Well, people are dumb. But did they not realize what this pepper is like?

Monster Mike:

well, I feel like when I was a kid. I remember, yeah, ghost peppers were like everyone was like it's the hottest pepper and then I feel like a year later there was a new one and now the peppers are like 20 times hotter. They're like this thing will like damage your organs if you touch it to your skin. Like who's making this? You know Right who's enjoying this, like.

NorCal Guy:

Who's making this, you know Right.

Monster Mike:

Who's enjoying this? I mean there are people like spice just burns your taste buds. So like I have a friend, my friend, adam, his he says his grandpa, his grandpa's like this old Israeli dude, he's like he just eats ghost peppers, like he can't taste anything, he just like eats peppers. It's like there are old, old people from different parts of the world that just like that's their life, they just eat spicy food different strokes for different folks, man yeah no, it's a. It's a different way to live, for sure any other questions?

NorCal Guy:

what any other questions?

Monster Mike:

well, I don't know. I mean I could, I could interview you too sometime. You should, when you're, when you're next to new york, I host interview, I interview people in new york. So at station three, shout out station three. So next time you're there I'll give you an interview, because I, I mean, I I'm the type of guy who I'm like. So where were you born, like, what was your family like growing up? You know, like I did that, uh, with sam sprat on this one interview and he, he was very gracious, but afterwards he was like I, he, I forget what he said, but it was something like that was a weird interview. He said in a very gracious, friendly way, but I knew that was the subtext. It was like huh that's funny.

NorCal Guy:

So do you have any shout outs? Not a shout outs, but do you have any upcoming projects or stuff in the works you'd like to talk about?

Monster Mike:

oh, dude, I have like a bunch of cool stuff. First I mean I yeah, yes, I do Some of it I can't talk about fully yet, but I can share some details after, but the stuff I can talk about, um well, I'm, oh man, where to start, so my whole thing. So I do a lot of the AR and I've become a little bit better known for that. But I also just like, like, I draw a lot and it's not AR, but I think it has artistic merit and you know, they sort of feed each other. So my first project in the space is called Jeff Town and it was that first Jeff. I posted and it's like long story short. I started it two years ago. I'm wrapping it up finally. So there's like about 100 of them so far. They're all one-on-one animated PFPs and I'm going to be concluding that series by doing like 20 more that. Oh, I think it cut out. Are you still there?

NorCal Guy:

there we go. Uh, yeah, like cut out for a little bit and then came right back.

Monster Mike:

Yeah we're back. So I'm concluding je town. It's two years in the making. I'm very excited to wrap it up. We have this great little community of folks who have been supporting me from the very beginning. Shout out to everyone in Jeff town. They're like. It gave me all of my starting opportunities.

Monster Mike:

So I'm going to be wrapping up Jeff town, giving out the last few to friends who have helped me over the past couple years to say thank you and get them in the community. I'm also going to be releasing my first shirts, finally. They've been in the works a while and this so a little clothing drop, all very low numbers, like not trying to do anything crazy. The AR is definitely the attention-getting stuff and this is more like the fun, definitely the attention getting stuff, and this is more like the fun support, the existing community stuff. So wrapping up those things and then going to be doing a second showing of the piece bbd just bought in new york in probably july, as well as showing a new piece that is I'm very excited for because it's got some stuff that I've never seen ever. I'm very excited about that. That's like most immediate stuff. Then there's also a project coming out, probably Q3. I've just learned this term, q3.

Monster Mike:

Which essentially means summer for non-business folk, and this is something I'm really excited about. It's not AR, but we're going to see how people like it. It's a total experiment. So I'll just talk about that real quick and then that'll be the end of my little shill. And then I want to tell you one cool thing that's private, after All, right.

Monster Mike:

So at Station 3, my buddy, eddie, hosted this event called Station 3 by the Sea, where he invited all these people out to his parents' house by the beach and we just had a little art show and he invited me to do some live art there. So, long story short, I ended up having people sit down with me one-on-one and tell me a story and out of that story came a single panel, okay. So it was really really cool. It was just kind of like a chance thing that happened. I had this idea, we tried it. It worked great. But what happened was people really opened up in a really interesting way. So I had I had somebody tell me about accidentally meeting his biological father. Right, I had like, like people got really heavy, people who I didn't know super well, I had met a few weeks earlier. They got really deep because I just invited them to tell me a story and the only parameter was it has to be true. It doesn't have to be like non non-fiction, but it has to have a soul and a heart and be like authentic, right. So some people told me fictional stuff. But I ended up with these panels and each one had this deep story at its root and it was. It was really cool. So I started doing it some more. So at different events I invited people to come tell me a story, and every time it's phenomenal. So in the end I'm left with these eight by eight canvases and I've scanned them.

Monster Mike:

And I'm working with a friend of mine uh, did D, I, I D, who's great at on-chain art. He's, he releases a bunch of cool tools for the on-chain community. He did the smart contract for the piece we would be bought, with all this additional functionality. Um, we're working together to do a kind of game that for the moment I'm calling do, a kind of game that for the moment I'm calling Polytick game P-O-L-Y-T-Y-C-H Not Polyticks, but Polytick, like Diptych, Triptych, etc.

Monster Mike:

The idea is I'm going to airdrop these story panels to everybody who told me the story. It's all free, just for fun. But then there's a mechanism where, if you collect two or more stories, you can mint them together to create a sort of non-linear comic book panel type thing. So okay, so this is something I'm just going to keep inviting people to tell me stories for the next many years, hopefully, minting them for free and then encouraging people to try to buy other people's stories to combine them into this interesting tableau. Right, and it's like an experiment in meaning making, like the meaning comes from that person into the canvas, but then you can see meaning in someone else's piece. Maybe you relate to that. You can combine them.

Monster Mike:

So I'm sort of thinking of it like somewhere in between Monument Game and the inverse of Chex, but like its own thing altogether, you know. So, instead of Chex, you're going from something big into something small. This is something small. You're trying to collect mini and create a bigger thing, and then, yeah, so it's oh, bless you. Oh, you're smart. You muted. I've been coughing on mic this whole time like a bozo. I should have done that. Dang, that's embarrassing. Now you still can't hear you. Oh, now I can hear you.

Monster Mike:

All right you're good, you're good you're smart, you, oh, now I can hear you all right, you're good, you're good, you're smart anyways, so that we're trying to launch that, uh, probably in the summer, and uh, yeah, so if, if we're at an event together, I'm gonna try to have canvases with me and paint pens and just sit down, tell these little stories and then I, anyways, I have some other plans for it that could make it even cooler, but that's kind of where it's at now and it's sort of an ongoing project that I can contribute to. It's just something I enjoy and this is a framework so that other people can participate in it. You know, huh, okay, so that's a non-AR thing that I'm really excited about. And then AR stuff oh man, some just crazy stuff that is still in the technological development phase, stuff.

Monster Mike:

I almost got arrested for part of this. It's really cool. Okay, I can't talk about the details, but it is like it's the, it's like, oh, my God, some people know what I'm talking about, but I've I've been advised to stop talking about it because I'm telling everybody and it's not going to be done for a couple of months and I don't want to, you know so yeah but I'll give you some hints after Awesome.

NorCal Guy:

Well, mike, I want to say thank you so much for this entertaining and fun conversation that we had, and I appreciate you spending some time with me today well, thank you for having me.

Monster Mike:

That was a lot of fun. Hopefully I didn't go off tangent too much, but uh, yeah, had a good time it's all good.

NorCal Guy:

I hope you have a great day and we'll be chatting real soon okay, awesome dude.

Monster Mike:

Thanks so much. Have a good day too who is this guy?

NorCal Guy:

who is this guy? Who is this guy, who is this guy, who is this guy? Norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal and chill. Norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal guy, norcal and chill.

Monster Mike:

Podcast Chill it's chill time, norcal and chill Podcast. What the what the Chill? Norcal and chill Podcast. Chill it's chill time, norcal and chill Podcast.

Exploring Crypto Art With Monster Mike
Early Career Paths and Artistic Evolution
Navigating the Crypto Art World
Food Enthusiasts Discussing Exotic Cuisine
Art Projects and Future Plans
Norcal and Chill Podcast