Fireside Chat with Choen Lee
Updated: Aug 8, 2022
Choen Lee Linktree -> https://linktr.ee/Choenlee
SHE by Choen Lee -> Spatial Gallery
Late Night Twitter Spacing from the Other Side of the World -> Opensea Collection
Where are you located?
The Klang Valley is home to 5 cities, including Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The urban sprawl is more significant than in the island state of Singapore.
How did you first get into crypto/NFTs?
It was around July 2021 when a trading platform contacted me to see if I was interested in creating some cartoons for them on the culture of crypto trading/ Cryptobros. It was during the bear run. I had no idea what that was, so I spent weeks reading up on it but still did not understand what it was. By the time I created three cartoon panels for it, the market had already recovered and was on an upwards trajectory.
My friends and supporters had been bugging me to create some art for NFT, so I got into it by around November, choosing Opensea. Still, the choice was as random as throwing a dice because I had little idea what was what, but I had heard about Ethereum before when doing the cartoons.
Thanks to the IRL collectors, the first batch sold out before they were even listed. But the cryptocurrency tech barrier is genuine, and it certainly took me a while to wrap my head around it before I even moved on to NFT.
Then nothing else happened because I was a nobody on web3, and nobody cared who you were IRL. I had no web3 community. Then I realized I had to grind in Twitter spaces. And my life changed forever.
What platform did you choose and why?
At the start, it was just Opensea. It just seems to be the most commonly used one. So it should be well programmed, with good support and all that, I thought. My gosh, how wrong I was, lol.
Recently I started shopping on the Tezos blockchain, and I must say that Objkt is a much better-designed marketplace than OS.
What are the most essential things in your life?
Food, roof, family, not in any particular order. Yes, I am pretty boring in this aspect.
What do you enjoy when not creating art?
Recently I have been spending a lot more time talking about other artists at the #OffNFTNYC gallery. I don’t have time to create my work. I don’t even have enough time to discuss what I’ve created to sell them.
Tell us about your project.
Thank you for asking about this! I have a lot of different series of work just for NFT.
My first series is ‘Pop Culture Consumption, ' a love letter to comics, manga, anime, and movies, but where all the characters are imagined as out-of-shape cosplayers and are all eating.
But when I started doing Twitter spaces, living 25-hour days 8 days a week, I started doing ‘Late Night Twitter Spaces from the Other Side of the World.’
I also have a lot of stand-alone artwork.
I also have a super lucky charm series.
I also have a small PFP project called #SHEbyChoenLee. The foundation series has 125 illustrations of female portraits based on my experience as a photographer.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am very pop culture, so that’s where my influences come from (though my references are outdated by now). Comics! Manga! Anime! Movies!
Art galleries. Books.
What motivates you/your work?
I don’t have a particular manifesto other than having this intention to break the social and gender divide.
But mostly, it’s all about creating work to pay the bills.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I only realized that my illustration style has different variations after I brought you guys to my 1/1 art gallery on Spatial when some of you thought it was art by various artists.
My career path:
Cartooning > architecture > photography (I was pretty successful, shooting award-winning magazine covers and ad campaigns, but was useless in making money from it). Now I am back to drawing a lot again.
But as you can see, most of it is very commercial in nature, but in commercial circles, my earlier work was considered too edgy.
What’s next for you/your project?
For #SHEbyChoenLee, I need Opensea to pick up the slack and fix the transaction problems.
When it’s all collected, we (the holders) will have a little vote on the direction of the next stage.
I’ll still be doing other 1/1 artworks.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?