NFT Showroom Artist Spotlight: @richardfyates

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Richard F. Yates, and I will be 49 years old in a few weeks! I'm married to a Licensed Dispensing Optician (my Sugar-Mama), have two daughters, and one granddaughter (a frequent art collaborator of mine!) My schooling is in language, rhetoric, pedagogy, and cultural studies (I have a B.A. in Humanities with a formal minor in Anthropology), and I went to grad school to study poetry and literary criticism---but ran out of money before finishing my M.A. My ARTZ education comes primarily from personal reading and observation. I love the idea of ART as personal expression---cultural artifacts created by a specific party in a specific context. I'm influenced by a ton of pop / lowbrow / "trash culture" visuals (from Atari game packaging to comic books and vintage Japanese toys to punk aesthetics to Zappa album covers to Tron to Zurich Dada), but I view these works through a semiotics lens---how do symbols / signs / metaphors make meaning for the creators AND (often out of context) for the viewers.

Q: What is your art background?

As I mentioned above, I'm essentially untrained in art. I took a semester long art class in 6th or 7th grade, but I didn't like it. (Too restrictive!) However, I've been an avid doodler and story-teller for as long as I could hold a crayon or felt pen. I used to draw little monsters and ghosts, when I was five or six years old (this would have been 1977 or '78), and put them by lamp bulbs, hoping that the "energy" from the light would bring them to life! (It hasn't worked, yet, but I keep trying. I just need a big enough light source...) I've made little books (wrote and illustrated) from the time I was seven until... Actually, I made one yesterday..., In high school, I discovered the ZINE scene, and started making terrible poetry / short story booklets, photocopying them, and giving them out to my friends. Eventually, in the early 2000s, I discovered postal art, and dove head first into that international scene, sending out hundreds of packages and hand-made collages and zines to various people on several continents; and I started collecting and showing art that I received from all over the world at huge parties, sometimes at my house and sometimes at weird venues, like arcades or the college writing center where I've worked (off and on) for many moons. (Professionally, at the moment, I'm a writing tutor...again. I have also been a screen-printing assistant, a pizza delivery guy, a clerk---and then floor manager---at a record store, a teaching assistant, and a cashier at a couple of different video game stores---and a slave at various fast food joints...)

As for my preferred mediums... I'm a bit eclectic. I paint, draw, work in digital, take photographs, and write (a LOT.) I tend to like to draw and color with my hands on various mediums. I use paper, reclaimed cardboard, canvas, wood, or whatever's handy as a support, and then I draw with pencils, crayons, felt pens, brush pens, watercolors, acrylic... I'm not averse to using collage elements or photography either. Once I have my drawn / painted / collaged image, I will photograph these with my phone then tweak, color, and digitally draw over the pieces until they feel done. Text within the image is optional, but not infrequent. I'm not obsessed with perfection, and I often enjoy mistakes and "flaws," like blurry lines or smudges or when my layers get fucked up and don't line up right. (These errors remind me of old comic books and similar media, where the speed withwhich the items were produced often led to screw-ups! But they look cool to me...)

Describing my style is easy: I'm a Holy Fool practicing primitive magic---conjuring ghosts, monsters, and other creatures from the Brainlands... My techniques come from my reading or through trial and error experimentation over the last four-and-a-half decades.

Q: How long have you been in cryptoart/ NFTs, how did you discover them and what has been your experience so far?

I first heard about cryptoart when an individual from MakersPlace spotted a bunch of my nonsense on Ello and asked if I wanted to give the new site he was working on a test-run. I thought it was a scam, of course. I'd never heard of blockchain or Ethereum or cryptoart---so I almost deleted the message... But, my interested aroused, I did some independent research (this was back in 2018), learned about Cryptokitties, Ethereum...blah blah blah... And I wrote the guy back and became one of the early testers on MakersPlace, when it was still in beta and hadn't opened to the public yet. (They were very kind and helpful, and I owe those folks a debt of gratitude for opening my eyes!)

Since those days, I've been making tons of art (just like I've been doing since the 1970s), and OCCASIONALLY tokenizing a piece on Hic et Nunc or Rarible or Open Sea or MakersPlace---but most of my output, for the last year or so, has been on NFT Showroom, which is my absolute favorite NFT site! (And I'm not just saying that. I like the ease, the cost per piece, the fact that the images are backed-up through IPFS redundancy, the layout, and the super-friendly devs and administrators! I've used many different platforms, but Showroom is my go-to!)

I wish I cared more about SALES, but my primary use for NFTs is archiving my creatures and collages and color experiments. I'm at the age where I'm starting to care about posterity, so I'm hoping that the blockchain heart of the NFT experience keeps some of my conjurations alive after I'm gone! (Plus, I'm hoping that I can haunt THROUGH my digital creations!)

Q: Any new art or upcoming projects you would like to tease?

New stuff is constant from me. I have a daily blog on HIVE ( @richardfyates ) where I post new artwork or poetry or book reviews or pirate radio podcasts or stories every day. I'm a compulsive creator, and I'll often draw five, six, ten different pieces in a day, and I share most of that stuff through my blog. I'm less good about minting NFTs, but if you follow my "feed" on NFT Showroom, I usually force myself to tokenize at least one or two new works every couple of days. (Be careful, though. My output is more like a raging river than a carefully choreographed marketing campaign, and it's easy to get overwhelmed and drown in a sea of snakes, ghosts, bunnies, and beasts! Only follow me if you are certain you can swim in a churning sea of nonsense! Yes, there are unseen creatures beneath the waves...)

Q: What are your top three favorite pieces of art you have tokenized on NFT Showroom?

This is tough because I usually like the piece I'm creating right at that moment the best! However, I've picked three (somewhat half-heartedly) that I'm still happy with... (Remember that the TEXT is just as important as the image for me, so don't forget to read the words that accompany the image!):

"Anxious Journey" by Richard F. Yates (HF)

Gloomy Ian, Mushroom Jim, and Floaty the Bird Head found themselves in unfamiliar territory. They were worried that there MIGHT be hippies about, as they seemed to be being followed by giant flower! Oddly enough, they had no idea WHERE, in fact, that they were! ---Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

"Creepy Ghastly" by Richard F. Yates (HF)

Creepy Ghastly may be creepy, but he likes to shop! (I drew this little creep on Mariah's shopping list, and she took him out into public. I'm guessing he kept her safe, cuz they both came back alive!) ---Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

"Good Fortune Mosh!" by RFY (HF)

[Digitally manipulated photo that I took with my phone, then moshed and embellished. Then I BLESSED each edition of this piece with HOLY FOOL POWER to help bring good fortune! Don't BURN any of these, though, or the potential energy will be released causing astral and psychological fires and, possibly, flooding.] SMILE, BY THE GODS, OR BE DESTROYED!!!! (So blesses THEE, dear buyer, by the HOLY FOOL!) ---Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool) Show less

Each Featured Spotlight artist will now also get their own popup gallery in cryptovoxels!

You can check out @richardfyates cryptovoxel space Here

Find @richardfyates:

Hive: @richardfyates


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Visit our virtual gallery in Cryptovoxels: NFT Showroom Exhibition

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