Tezos Commons :: Finding ABalance: An Artist’s Journey Into The Tezos Ecosystem With LM Designs

Tezos Commons :: Finding ABalance: An Artist’s Journey Into The Tezos Ecosystem With LM Designs

November 9, 2023 0 By Stu Elmes

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A chat with artist Leah Michelle aka “LMDesigns8” about her experiences in the Tezos art ecosystem and what she’s learned along the way

Just in case you hadn’t heard, the Tezos ecosystem boasts the most vibrant, dynamic, and active arts community in the blockchain space. Famed for its low barriers to entry, welcoming and supportive atmosphere that’s filled with some of the best NFT marketplaces in the business, the Tezos art ecosystem has continued growing, learning, and thriving from the NFT art hype-cycle of yesteryear and the “NFT Winter” the blockchain-powered art world has just begun to come out of.

You can’t have a thriving arts community and ecosystem without artists support. Here in the Tezos ecosystem, we have plenty. One such artist is Leah Michelle, aka LM Designs8.

Leah is a self-described healing multidimensional artist creating immersive experiences that bridge the physical and digital realms right here in the Tezos ecosystem. As an artist who has been plying her trade in the Tezos art scene since 2021, Leah has a lot of insight into the inner workings of this exciting community. When she decided to share her experiences as an artist finding her feet in the blockchain space and discovering the Tezos art ecosystem, I listened up. Here’s what Leah Michelle (aka LM Designs8) had to say…

“I found Tezos and I was like, wait, I can be an artist on Tezos? I can be a collector on Tezos? I can just love the art of loving and I can discover new people every day and transcend space and time? Globally I had now been introduced to more people than I’d ever encountered before because of Tezos. I was like, ‘this is where it’s at’. Why go anywhere else? I will always be a person who’s like ‘yes, you should dibble and dabble everywhere’, but Tezos is just so homey. These people get it. These are my people.”

Like many Tezos artists, Leah’s journey into the Tezos sphere began as a curiosity and quickly developed into an entirely new career. As a “traditional” or “real world” artist, her canvas had always been well… a canvas. What Leah soon discovered was that bringing her real-world works into the digital arena was a relatively simple process, but one which brought her exposure to a new, much larger audience and an entirely new way to share her work with the world. All this exposure, however, brought with it new kinds of pressure and stress, things Leah had to learn to contend with on the fly…

“In Web 3.0 it’s like, literally day to day, anything that was before could be no more. With that comes a heightened sense of ‘OK wait, I need to be aware of everything that’s going on’ and you get thrown out of balance very easily inside of the Web 3.0 space. I’ve been guilty of it. I’m still trying to find my balance. So I’ll scream it from the rooftops: drink your moon water. Drink your regular water. Hydrate and step away! I say it so loudly because I know that for myself, you can get sucked in so deeply to it. The fast pace of it all. The high-risk, high-reward things that other sectors of crypto go through trickles throughout every area. This is a great space for art, and also people are very critical of art, so you bump into all of the different things compounding one another, so Web 3.0 needs a lot of healing.”

Some of that healing, Leah says, she found in the Tezos art community, the amazing people within it, and even Tezos art NFTs themselves, something she spoke about during her recent appearance on TezTalks Radio

“I have found so many different healing NFTs out there it’s been crazy, especially on the Tezos blockchain. The poetry, the music, the way that people are like ‘let me lean into my superpower and here let me show you’. On the strength of what they’re giving, there’s such gifts out there! You have treasures left, right, and center. I’m like ‘you don’t even know that you’re a treasure, but I do’… collect, collect, collect. I have found such strength in the communities. There are people who are transitional through all the spaces, and those people I gravitate to. People are going to come to know — and not fear — NFTs. They’ll realize that that’s one aspect of such a bigger thing. That’s what I’m really in tune to.”

As someone in tune to the bigger picture of the intersection between the art world and blockchain/NFT technology, Leah quickly identified the Tezos art ecosystem as a great place for a newly-minted digital artist finding their way. She leaned into minting and collecting work on Tezos, and, to hear Leah tell it, the Tezos ecosystem and the entities operating within it leaned right back into her and her work in return…

“The way that they support and uplift us is amazing. They’re always shouting out ‘hey, guys, we have stuff for you. We have resources. There’s open calls. We want to see what you have and put it out there. I’ve never had that type of energy come from such a strong community. Doing these TezTalks — it’s incredible. Watching people you know be interviewed and you get to know them even more deeply and intimately. That is a layer and a gift of this whole thing that is amazing. People collect art all the time, but how often are you in a space where you can talk to the artist and be like ‘what was your mindset when you made this brush stroke?’ You can get to do that here. It’s so exciting.”

Today, with multiple years of experience minting and collecting art here in the Tezos ecosystem, Leah Michelle has already borne witness to significant changes. She’s watched the Tezos art community deal with its fair share of adversity. She’s also watched the Tezos art community come together to deal with this adversity as it arose. In Leah Michelle’s estimation, the Tezos art community has, at least thus far, been more than up to the task…

“It’s phenomenal seeing everyone just really lean into ‘this is what I’m great in’. NFTs allow us to be able to do that all together. Being around from when HEN was around, and then the death of HEN — that was a telling moment. Seeing how the community was like ‘Yep OK. We’re going to come together and we’re going to figure this out. Oh, this is where our work actually lives. Let’s learn smart contracts. Let’s learn how to break it apart. Let’s understand IPFS and things of that nature. Then we’re going to have massive spaces and share that knowledge.’ That was key. I was like ‘yes! This is amazing!’ You share the knowledge that you’re gaining and then get more knowledge along the way. There wasn’t any ‘I’m just going to hold this to myself because that will be more profitable’. We understood that together we get it, and we gain more profitable things. It was amazing.”

Although the Tezos art ecosystem’s journey into the Web 3.0 age has only just begun, with people like Leah Michelle involved, its future looks bright. As the passion, commitment, and enthusiasm of this thriving young community continue to drive Tezos and its art ecosystem forward, welcoming new artists and helping them find their footing in the dynamic world of blockchain powered art has never been a more important task. Stories like Leah’s stand as testament to the work that the Tezos ecosystem has put into supporting artists and helping them on their way, and that’s something everyone in the Tezos ecosystem can take pride in. The future has never looked brighter in the Tezos ecosystem and I can’t wait to see what this thriving art scene delivers next.

Finding ABalance: An Artist’s Journey Into The Tezos Ecosystem With LM Designs was originally published in Tezos Commons on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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