We interview Fawkes, the Chief Marketer for Kitsunes, a project that revolves around nine magical foxes that travel through different realms. 'Kitsune' is the Japanese term for fox. The team's project has many features and elements inspired by Japanese art and legends.
1. How would you describe your artistic style?
Our artist's style is pretty versatile, yet, it can be easily recognized because of the comics style influences. Her favorite artists are Gabriel Picolo and Sweeney Boo; both are contemporary comics artists.
I believe the first words that come to your mind when you see ICKitsune's art style are 'cute' or 'adorable,' and that's exactly what we wanted to achieve. Our character, Kitsune, was drawn in 'chibi' style. 'chibi' is a Japanese slang word that describes something short, be it an object, an animal, or a person, usually chibi characters are small and chubby with tiny limbs and other exaggerated features that make the character look cuter. So we followed all the necessary steps to make Kitsune look as cute and friendly as possible.
2. What drew you to NFT creation rather than traditional canvas-based art?
Traditional art is great! But digital art and creating NFTs are more outstanding, especially for the variety of benefits. ICKitsune is our first NFT project, so we've learned more about creating NFTs while working on it. We have encountered many challenges, but each of them represents a reason to be more fascinated by NFTs than before.
They have lots of benefits, like being able to be integrated into a Metaverse. For an artist, this is an excellent opportunity to expand their knowledge about how digital art can evolve. I believe this is the future of art, and I'm thrilled I got involved. I would recommend it to any artist I know as it's something completely new that deserves to be explored.
3. Are there any artists who have inspired you? What do you like about their work?
I think ICPets resemble our class because of their cute and chibi-like characters. We liked their colorful and friendly design. There are multiple artists we got inspiration from, yet, we like to believe our style is unique, so we tried to combine all the elements we wanted in other collections into something original.
Another option for us before deciding on a final design was 8-bit pixel art, because even if the plan doesn't allow you to add as many details as vector art, it looks pretty nice in a complete composition; ICKitties would be our favorite 8-bit pixel collection. But we adopted the style our artist recommended. This technique requires a little more attention to detail but allows you to freely draw whatever is needed without being limited by file format.
4. What made you create NFTs?
Artists are always willing to learn new techniques that might help them improve their skills and knowledge about art and everything related to it. It all started out of curiosity, and it ended up becoming our favorite thing to do. We first learned about NFTs almost one year ago but got recently introduced into this world.
Of course, we had to do lots of research and documentation because just being a talented artist isn't enough, so we had to learn about what an NFT is, how it is created and what benefits it can bring, yet everything we learned orbits around the ability to create art. The main reason we started making NFTs was the challenge of learning how it works. Sometimes it's the road that keeps you hyped, and in this case, the road is infinite, as NFTs are rapidly becoming the future of art.
5. Can you tell us about your project?
ICKitsune is a project that revolves around nine magical foxes that travel through different realms. 'Kitsune' is the Japanese term for fox. Our project has many features and elements inspired by Japanese art and legends. We have a collection of 10.000 kitsunes, but only nine of them have nine tails instead of one. Those are the rulers of the realms they have found.
Long story short, Kitsunes are magic creatures; for the appearance of the nine-tailed ones, we got inspiration from the Japanese legend of the nine-tailed fox; the authentic one is sometimes represented as a negative character that possesses paranormal abilities, so we dared to reinterpret the myth and offered to our kitsunes the ability of time and space traveling.
We created nine different realms the kitsunes have traveled through after finding nine enchanted objects that gathered together will start to fusion and create a magical portal that will lead them to new and unexplored worlds! Arriving there, the foxes will get new features, like new magical abilities, fur color changes, and new traits.
Some of the realms are The Medieval Realm, Witches Realm, Icy Realm, Cherry Blossom Realm, etc. Each Kitsune will have colors that match the environment they're living in. The Cherry Blossom kitsunes will have pink fur, while the Icy Realm will be white, for example.
6. How many NFTs will be minted? Can you talk us through the process of how you create the art?
The collection has a total supply of 10,000 NFTs, from which 9,300 are for sale, 200 will be kept in the project's Treasury for future marketing. None whatsoever will be kept for personal use. 500 of them were used for Marketing (Airdrops and Collaborations).
We designed our collection in layers, so we used software like Procreate and Photoshop. We created an approximate number of 250 layers and these are going to be generated following some rules in order to decide the rarity of the assets.
7. Will people be able to breed, stake, rent your NFT, or will it ever be in a game?
Yes! ICKitsune holders will benefit from holding a Kitsune when we release our app after the launch date. The app aims to allow the ICKitsune's holders to show the IC NFTs they own in their wallets in a gallery. Each holder's gallery will have a link they can share on social media or add to their Bio. Each NFT they hold in their gallery will contain information about the related project and a link that leads to the marketplace (in case that NFT is for sale), offering the possibility to buy it.
The gallery will migrate to metaverse in a future update of Q3 2022.
Also, in the next few months, our Kitsune is about to evolve into a grown fox, looking a little different, more like an adult fox, a new collection that will be airdropped to each ICKitsune holder as a reward.
8. What benefits do you think the Internet Computer has over other L1 blockchains when it comes to creating NFTs?
Over the past years, blockchain technology has gained a lot of interest from people around the globe coming from different domains because it offers immutability, security, and trust when it comes to transactions and different operations, it has a decentralized structure, and so on. This was a perfect environment for art creators and collectors to start using it. But there were some problems that Internet Computer solved:
- Transaction speed is way higher than on other L1 blockchains
- Meager transaction fees and low pollution
- Internet computer's scalability. Blockchain adoption is continuously growing, so IC is entirely adaptable to this. We think the Internet Computer will be the first ecosystem to think of when it comes to NFTs.
- Canisters over Smart contracts are the future of WEB3 as they have a lot more utilities than the soon-to-be outdated smart contracts
9. What other art have you seen that excites you in the Internet Computer NFT ecosystem?
We have so many projects we like that we don't even know which one we should start with. ICDinos got everyone's attention, ours too, because of the accuracy of the design. Everything looks simple but on point, with graphics that remind us of video games. ICPets came with some of the cutest NFTs.
Nuclear Sheep also has a very different design, and we appreciate a project where the artist's hard work can be seen. And as we said before, 8-bit pixel art was an option for us, too, before we decided on the actual Kitsune's design, so I think ICKitties managed to make their NFTs look adorable even with only a few pixels.
10. What excites you most about your launch, and which date is your launch?
We are excited because we'll get to see the results of our work. It's like when you finally get to see your paintings hanging on a wall in a famous exhibition. It's the same thing but digitalized and with few more benefits. So we are mostly excited to show everyone the fruits of our labor and get feedback, as the ICP Community has supported and excited us in our process. We will be happy to reward them with everything our project has to offer.
11. What advice would you give to anyone trying to enter into the world of NFTs?
We believe careful planning is the first and one of the most critical steps, as sometimes the tasks could be overwhelming. A well-developed plan will help you achieve everything you set out to do. Networking is also essential, as meeting new people, discussing ideas, and creating partnerships would be very helpful for growing your project's popularity amongst the community. Interacting with people and answering their questions is another necessary thing because people of the community are important, and they need to know all the significant info you can offer about your project.
12. Do you have further plans to work with ICP Squad in the future after this initial sale?
We plan another collab with ICP Squad, as you guys have been very professional, responsive, and always helped us when we needed you, so thank you for that!
13. Can you envisage a future where the most valuable NFT space is on the Internet Computer?
We strongly believe IC is going to have a bright future. The NFT space has started to gain popularity, especially this year. It is undeniable that so many people are beginning to be interested in it. So there's no doubt it will become the most valuable NFT space when others realize its potential and advantages over other blockchains like ETH and Solana.
14. Why do you think NFTs have become so valuable in such a short space of time?
NFTs are a new and very innovative way of manifesting your vision of visual arts. Along with the opportunity of creating your own digitized exhibition and the chance of exposing your artworks at a large scale, it also comes with other important benefits, besides being an art project, like the proof of ownership through blockchain, for example. The NFTs could have multiple utilities, like being used in games and integrated into Metaverses. Simply put, NFTs are the next breakthrough.
15. Tell us about your team?
The ICKitsune core team has two members. There's Fawkes, who takes care of the marketing, promoting, and technical part of the project, as he graduated from The Management University. He is very detail-oriented and open to learning more about what NFTs could offer. Fawkes is a professional photographer, so working on a visual arts project is a fascinating task for him.
And there's Renard, who created all the collection illustrations; she takes care of all the artistic side of the project, including the story and writing. She graduated from the National University of Arts. Renard is a freelance digital illustrator now. We are old friends, and because we're both interested in the evolution of visual arts, we decided to organize our priorities to create our first NFT project. We both believe this is a massive chance for artists to embrace the future of art.
16. What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?
Having an artist on our team is a great advantage for being creative and constantly adding new elements to the project. Also, the other core team member has a degree in management and a vision for the future. I believe the ICKitsune collection can easily catch someone's eye because the theme we chose it's colorful and friendly, and the first thing you notice when you find a new collection is a design.
We also created an eventful story around our characters, a tale filled with magical elements and adventures in multiple universes. Besides the design and the story, we are going to reward the IC community with an app that's going to be released after our launch date, an app that can be used by all IC Community members in a limited version,
and in full version for ICKitsune holders, bringing more benefits to those who are holding multiple Kitsune NFTs.
We are also going to release a new Kitsune collection with evolved foxes that will be distributed to each ICKitsune holder as a reward.
17. Do you have partners? Tell us about them?
We had the chance to collab with a few charming projects; some of them are ICity, ICKoalas, ICNotes, Dfinity Nuclear Sheep, and more.
18. Tell us about the challenges you face while building your project?
Deciding to create your own NFT collection and getting involved in this world will lead you to a road filled with challenges but also achievements. We started from 0, so we had to learn how the IC network works. Getting used to platforms we had never used before was a challenge, but we eventually got used to them quickly.
We created multiple partnerships with both new and old projects, so we helped each other. Deciding on the final design of Kitsune also took a while, but we are happy with the final result. Getting a perfect launch date was also tricky, as so many projects are starting to appear, but we ended up being very happy with the launch date we got.
19. What are your short and long-term achievements and targets?
Before starting the project, we carefully made a plan, setting short-term targets we managed to achieve, like gathering a supportive community, getting positive feedback from them, having partnerships with other great projects, creating a website, and having all the collection's layers done.
We prepared another Kitsune collection of evolved foxes as a reward for ICKitsune holders. As long-term achievements, we plan to integrate ICKitsune into the Metaverse through the gallery from our app. We are also currently studying having our NFTs tokenized.
20. Give us some details about your roadmap?
Late December 2021:
- Set up the main concept of the collection
- Created the ICKitsune core team
- Built the main marketing strategy
- Started the marketing campaign to build ICKitsune
community on Discord and other social media
- First partnerships with other IC communities & contests
- Showcase the nine Kitsune tales
- Released our website
Finished designs and generated foxes based on rarity distributions
- Released the project's utility in a Dfinity Community article
- Released launch date
- Release the project's utility app details for holders
- Release Evolved Kitsune designs for holders
Marketing boost for launch including AMAs with other
- Launch April 4th
- Release rarities and stats
- Distribution of airdrops
- Utility app release
- Design of Easter-themed wearables
- Easter-themed assets airdrop
Late May 2022:
- Evolved Kitsune airdrop for holders
- App updates to Metaverse NFT gallery for Evolved Kitsune holders
21. Any plan to move into Metaverse?
We are very excited about having a gallery in the Metaverse. Therefore, we are exploring the possibility of integrating our app gallery into the Metaverse; currently working on that; as our roadmap says, by Q3 2022, we should have it ready.
22. Will your NFT be tokenized in the future?
We are currently exploring the possibility of having tokenized NFTs and integrating them into our app. We are studying other projects who already done that. Doing detailed research is very important before announcing a final version of the app, as we do not want to rush things.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions 😊
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