Chris Chris 03.12.2022

7,777 Unique Hand-Crafted Digital Art Pieces Bringing the Creators of Web3 Together β€” Creator's Interview

What's good in the hood, folks? I'll tell you what. Today my guest is Desi Velikova — Co-Founder of Open Minds and Pony Studio. The team behind Open Minds is Pony, a design studio based in London.

Chris: Greetings! Thanks for taking the time with me! Open Minds is a collection of 7,777 unique hand-crafted digital art pieces bringing the creators of Web3 together. how did you come around to the idea of creating it? 

Desi: As a design studio, we really wanted to create something that’s outstanding not only in terms of concept but also in terms of the level of design. From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to visualise the human mind, in a unique, creative way. As part of our job, we meet with hundreds of entrepreneurs per year and we really enjoy analysing their personality type. That’s why Season 1, The Entrepreneur, is based on the 7 types of entrepreneurs. 

All 77 NFTs are 100% unique, and hand-crafted by our in-house team. The proceeds from the initial sale that goes line on 13 December will be donated to Freedom United, the world’s largest community dedicated to ending human trafficking & modern slavery.

What we’re trying to build is a “private club” for creatives and web3 builders, who use their collective power as a community to support meaningful causes around the world, while also getting real value as members.

Chris: Sounds cool! Can you tell us about your team? Your artists?

Desi: Pony is a London-based company with a fully distributed team. The collection is a result of the whole team’s hard work, in terms of concept and art direction. There were a few artists involved during the process, which started back in January, but the 3D illustrators who delivered the final designs are Youssef and Subin, our in-house artists. 

Chris: Let's talk about technicalities. What do you think our readers should know in general as far as your collection goes?

Desi: We’re here for the long run. NFT is the technology, the instrument we use, to build our project, it’s not the product itself.

We’re creating a private club for web3 creatives and builders brought together by their passion for art and their desire to create social impact. As a team, our mission is to bring real value to our members, while supporting as many causes and organisations as possible. 

Our formula is Creatives + Partners + Causes = Open Minds.

The 7,777 NFTs will be released in batches, we call them Seasons, and every season will have a commercial partner and organisation we support. The first season, The Entrepreneur is going live on auction on 13/12/2022 and 100% of the proceeds from the initial sale will be donated to fight modern slavery.  From then on, 33% of all royalties from the whole collection will be donated to causes chosen by our community.

Chris: Tell us about The Utility please.

Desi: We really wanted to create a mixture of benefits relevant not only to designers but also to the wider community, and most importantly to offer real value from the moment you purchase your NFT. Here’s what we’re starting with: 

  • Open Minds Club: every member will have access to our members-only portal (OMS Club) full of industry-related perks and discounts.

  • Every member will receive the source file to their unique Open Mind and will be able to create their very own version. Every few months, our favourite design will win a prize, in the form of ETH.

  • Every member will be involved in the art direction of the upcoming seasons. Our co-creation process is completely inclusive. Members will be able to participate even if they're not designers or artists.

  • The first 77 members (owners of S1, The Entrepreneur) will receive a guaranteed NFT from Season 2.

  • Mind in the Spotlight:  Every month we will put the spotlight on one of our members and give visibility to their project, sharing it with our community of over 70,000 people in the form of social posts, podcasts, articles and newsletters.

Chris: How big a role does the community play in your business? Is it vibrant? 

Desi: As for every project, not only in web3, community is everything. I’m a huge believer in product-led growth and I don’t see why we should treat an NFT collection differently. When you build something people need and love, they will stick around and help you make it bigger and better. Marketing is there to support your growth, not to compensate for the lack of product-market fit.

We’ve been around the block a few times, so we have taken the decision to not take the “hype pill” and inflate our numbers, which has unfortunately become a norm in the space.  We’re determined to grow our audience organically, creating authentic, lasting relationships with the people who’re genuinely interested in Open Minds. I’ve been in marketing for over 15 years and I know this is the harder journey (than simply buying the numbers), but it’s the only way to build a thriving community.

Chris: Wonderful indeed. When is the sale? 

Desi: Season 1, The Entrepreneur, goes on sale on 13 December 2022. 100% of the proceeds from the initial sale will be donated to Freedom United.

Chris: Talking of your roadmap - what's the next big thing you can't wait to take place? 

Desi: Season 2, of course! We’re actively looking for organisations to partner with to build the next edition of Open Minds. Also - we’re constantly adding partners, offering perks in our members-only portal, Open Minds Club, so please get in touch if you’re interested to collaborate with us.

Chris: Any last word?

Desi: Our slogan is Art for Social Good. Art is never just about the artwork. Businesses are never just about profits. They both aspire to leave a legacy. Our aim is to help them join forces and build a breathtaking collection that creates social impact and brings an intrinsic value to our members. Join us on our journey, become an Open Mind
We're currently running a free giveaway on Twitter, one of the Minds will be given to a member of the community, so check this out if you want to be the winner