Revealing ONE Secret for Crypto Adoption: Art Blocks Founder Erick Calderon

The Defiant


Today we are joined by Erick Calderon, founder of Art Blocks. You may also know him as Snowfro. Erick is not only a talented artist but also a tech innovator and entrepreneur who has redefined the limits of artistic expression in the digital era. Today we get into how Art Blocks fosters creativity and community via the platform, how they differ from other projects, Erick's views on why you should even buy art in the first place, as well as his passion for generative art and decentralization.

We also get into his views on the NFT market fluctuations and he shares a bit about the community of curators that are curating art on Art Blocks and how you can get involved there. But first, Erick will begin by telling us about his crypto origin story and early involvement in the Crypto Punks community.

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7 Key Takeaways

  1. One of the most powerful parts of Art Blocks is the distribution mechanism of the work, where the goal is to get the work into as many people's hands more than to get the amount of revenue desired. In Web 3, it is about community and dialogue. What happens after the Mint is as important as what happens before and during the Mint. To have that dialogue with the most people would be a metric of success.
  2. Front running is an issue in the NFT ecosystem. It's been an issue in the past. We can’t have some anonymous person on the community curation board. They can be anonymous to the public, but we have to be able to hold someone accountable if someone on the curation board gets privileged information or access.
  3. The images are stored on a server because the algorithm has all the information necessary to reproduce that image on demand. If you open up an Art Blocks algorithm, you can view it as an image that was pre-generated, rendered, and stored on a server. Or you can view it as the code generated in your browser, created algorithmically, running live, and rendered in the browser.
  4. Remarkable of on-chain generative art: a) The ability to reproduce at a larger scale, pixel by pixel, b) When you're looking at it on your screen, it's being rendered live in the browser, and all that information coming together from blockchain data to recreate the piece is a new way of having a dialogue with art, c) It makes it a performance art piece, d) The birth of the artwork in front of the artist and the collector at the same time. And many more layers to this that make it a unique experience.
  5. In parametric art or parametric design, architects have been using sliders for a long time to help make buildings and to design funky, wavy shapes and buildings. Generative art is when you take parametric art and you randomly assign the location of each of those sliders into something that feels random.
  6. For the first time, on-chain art enables this ability for the artist to more easily monetize this passion, and effort facilitated by blockchain technology.
  7. AI brings homogenization. We're letting more people, more individual humans create and do things that 10 years ago they would have had to have a full degree to do or would have had to have some manufacturing plant to do.


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:03 Background and Art Blocks Founding Story
  • 05:40 Art Blocks TLDR
  • 11:07 Art Blocks’ Culture vs. Other Platforms
  • 15:08 The Curation side
  • 22:21 Technicalities
  • 26:14 On Decentralization
  • 30:46 NFT Space Rollercoaster
  • 35:20 How To Get Art That I Like?
  • 47:54 The NFT Market
  • 53:07 Impact Of AI In The Art World
  • 56:29 How Are You Defiant?