GM Gorgeous Metaversians! Today we're talking to the hyper-talented, hyper-experimental creative coder Nero One about his recent hit project fl00rs. For introduction, Nero One is a creative that wears many creative hats - from 3D, to Motion Graphics, to VJing, to XR (Extended Reality including Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality etc) and now to the Web3 realms creating various onchain products.
Nero One stepped into Web3 together with his colleagues at the NFXT collective in which he is one of the co-founder and also perhaps without exaggeration, the creative spirit that forms one of its main pillars. He had been a part of the movement that onboards many Malaysian creatives onto the scene, many-a-times sharing his wealth of knowledge and discoveries from his experimentations to the community.
His foray into the Web3 space has resulted in various projects - N1 Cards, Autonomous Mechanical Transport, Tujo (generative PFP background), N1-LAB Phygital t-shirt, THE LAB (text based Multi-User Dungeon), COMLINK+ (Interactive NFT Experience) & more. Lately he’s been very focused on creating onchain projects focused on the ETH blockchain culminating in an impressive lineup of creative projects - Moving Four Words (M4W), the cute, commandable Nouns derivative - DinoNouns, X-GEN, among others before he started on his hit generative art project, fl00rs.
Here’s our interview with the man with Big Brains, the Web3 Wizard, the experimentor, Nero One!
The N1 logo
NFT.MY: Let's talk about you a bit and your journey before fl00rs. Maybe introduce yourself and talk a little bit about what you do?
NERO ONE: GM, thank you for the shout out :) I'm Muhammad Syahman, currently using Nero One as my digital presence. I'd say I'm a constant learner, currently experimenting in the Web3 space. Previously explored 3D, Motion Graphics too.
NFT.MY: What is the N1-LAB brand about?
NERO ONE: A big umbrella for all my experiments. N1-LAB is the lab, experiments are all the stuff that happens within it.
NFT.MY: You are a multidisciplinary digital creator which has dabbled with many mediums, from motion graphics, to 3d, to XR, and now you are a builder in the web3 space. What motivates you to learn all these new skills & technologies everyday?
NERO ONE: To be honest, this has been around for quite some time. I kinda feel something off if I do not look and play around with things though I know there are possibilities I'm getting rekt haha.
The word is curiosity, perhaps? Also not being limited to a single thing. I'm a fan of First Principles mental model, so once I'm into something, I'll dig deep into the rabbit hole and learn the basics so that I could apply it anywhere.
NFT.MY: Curiosity certainly doesn't kill the Nero One then, good to know. How did you get to this point as a web3 creative developer?
NERO ONE: I would not say I'm a developer at this point since I'm still learning, haha. I guess it started when I learned about smart contracts and the questions that pop out on my mind were like, 'what is this smart contract thing', 'how do I create my own' and so on.
It all started with CryptoZombies where I learned Solidity and of course Youtube tuts and tweaking around other people's contracts. Then continue doing that even until now.
Commandable cute dino in N1's, Nouns derivative - DinoNouns
NFT.MY: Are you mainly building Web3 related stuff now or do you still do other creative work?
NERO ONE: I'm fully on Web3 related stuff for now. Gotta level up the Web3 skills so focus needed haha!
NFT.MY: You’re already doing so well and seemed to have find a footing within the Web3 onchain niche so keep doing what you’re doing, man. You started your Web3 journey together with your fellow NFXT collective mates, which was in early 2021?
NERO ONE: Yeah, and I'm not good at telling this NFXT history story haha. Just know that I was lucky to be part of the community early.
NFT.MY: I see, we would argue there wouldn’t be the community without you, though! You are an inspiration to many and we were learning a lot from you throughout the years. Anyway, let’s rollback a little, how did you hear of Web3 and what captivates you?
NERO ONE: Hmm, can't really pinpoint the exact when, but I love the fact that Web3 puts in all the decentralization, ownership, and cross-medium within a single place where everyone could participate regardless of the field you're in.
Generative PFP background, Tujo
NFT.MY: It was just about time, I guess, since you were already always exploring new stuff on the creative-tech end. So, since the beginning, what are the blockchains you've experimented with and why did you stick with ETH?
NERO ONE: First, it was ETH, then Tezos, then back to Polygon + ETH and then ETH all the way. I played around and minted an Interactive NFT on Solana but I guess people don't really like it haha.
Because it starts here on Ethereum. The ERC-721 standard and so on. Also because I haven't fully explored EVM and so much things to learn.
NFT.MY: Solana too? Wow you really went places! Perhaps it’s all about visibility since it’s hard to think that people don’t ‘like’ your project…
Well anyways, let’s talk a bit about other projects you've done previously (Tujo, COMLINK+, M4W, DinoNouns, X-Gen)?
NERO ONE: Ohhh, this is a lot hahaha. Can't really put it here but a quick one should be fine right?
I'd categorize my work into different categories to make this easier. Also note that some projects are in multiple categories.
- Works on Foundation, Early works on Tezos, random drops on Zora.
- 3D Works
- Tujo, N1-Cards, AMT
- Ones that you could interact with
- COMLINK+, THE-LAB, DinoNouns
- Onchain stored projects
- DinoNouns, MFW(Moving Four Words), fl00rs, Gertaktur
- Works generated using codes
- Tujo, X-GEN, fl00rs, Gertaktur
- Works that revolve within the N1-LAB meta/lore
- COMLINK+,THE-LAB, TOTEM
If you want more details, there are dedicated channels for all of these on my discord :)
THE LAB (text based Multi-User Dungeon)
NFT.MY: Awesome, what a line-up of products! So Nero One fans, go hop into his discord, pronto!
Now on to the meat of the discussion, what is fl00rs?
NERO ONE: fl00rs is a fully onchain generative art project which explores the inner working of minds, and a visual representation of the thought process.
NFT.MY: What is the inspiration behind the project?
NERO ONE: Inspired by the huge onchain and gen art communities for sure. For sure Mathcastles community is a big inspiration.
NFT.MY: Cool. For those who might be interested, look into https://twitter.com/mathcastles
Mind talking a bit about the tech behind fl00rs? How does it work?
NERO ONE: Oh yeah, I've talked about onc-hain this and that but what is it right?
So first, fl00rs are generated on mint, and using blockhash + tokenID for the randomisation seed.The code to generate the artworks are fully stored onchain, meaning no IPFS / Arweave etc. It is all stored inside the contract and what you view is directly from the contract.
Oh and deploying onchain works cost a lot, just to let you know. So for this one, I worked with Neokry (persistence.wtf) which work on the contract and the site for mints.
N1's most well received project so far, the onchain generative art collection, fl00rs
NFT.MY: We’ve briefly touched about onchain NFTs. Maybe we can expound on what is generative art and what is onchain NFT for readers that might want to know a little more?
NERO ONE: Regarding generative art, I'm not a good person to describe it but based on what I understand, generative art is essentially a piece written using code that then outputs randomizations of curated visuals.
Onchain / inchain NFT some may call it, are NFTs that are stored fully onchain, without any external dependencies. Meaning as long as Ethereum is still there, the NFT will always exist.
fl00rs 511 owned by Owned by 5B4B3F, one of the more 'muted' generated pieces from the collection
NFT.MY: Excellent explanation. May we ask, why specifically 512 pieces for the collection?
NERO ONE: 8 > 16 > 32 > 64 > 128 > 256 > 512
NFT.MY: Is that a reference to bit sizes? Haha!
But seriously, it is crazy how the project has hit 156 ETH volume in less than a month! Did you expect fl00rs to be a hit like it did?
NERO ONE: As the creator, I didn't expect it to hit like that, I was just a small creator sharing my artwork to the space. Plus, the collection had optional royalties so thanks to those who shared their earnings :)
fl00rs is verified on Opensea, a milestone for the creative coder
X-GEN - minimalistic, futuristic, geometric
NFT.MY: You've certainly worked very hard over the past 2-3 years, building through the bear market. What do you think is the ingredient to your success?
NERO ONE: Hmmm, I guess just keep learning and doing? And ship it even though it looks meh, haha. There are several instances back then where I was afraid of sharing stuff I made because of that low confidence level.
Don't think about others. You're not the center of the universe. You're building/experimenting for your own knowledge and for the sake of finding out. I've lost a lot of ETH, like a lot while I was learning just to experiment and play around.
Of course, this still applies to me now, and I'm still learning so I'd say the same thing to myself as a constant reminder. 🙏
NFT.MY: Now that’s a very solid advice that we should all take to heart. And in that spirit, you never stopped creating, quickly coming up with fl00rs-x and fl00rs x 1337.
What are those projects and are you going to keep on developing the fl00rs series? What are some of the things you have planned for it?
NERO ONE: fl00rs-x is an interactive version which gives all the owners license to do whatever they want to do with it, personally or commercially. Imagine an art generator with no license attached.
fl00rs x 1337 is another derivatives made to be given as airdrop for collectors.
No specific plan, art was finished as it was.
fl00rs x 1337 features both FLOORS and 1337!
NFT.MY: Open-source art for art’s sake then. Did the success of fl00rs open up the door to you exploring more Web3 stuff?
NERO ONE: First, thank you so much everyone! Yeah definitely, with fl00rs and my personal account verified on OpenSea, that is such a huge achievement for a solo creator like me. Of course I'll experiment more stuff!
NFT.MY: We’re glad to hear that. So folks, keep on supporting Nero One if you wanna see more creative stuff out of his brain!
Give us some alpha, what are some future ideas that you might wanna play with? Maybe no spoilers, but some hints just to entice the audience?
NERO ONE: Hmm, more onchain stuff, one that is also dynamic with tweakable params onchain?
NFT.MY: Already salivating at the idea. We, and certainly some out there, are waiting in great anticipation for your upcoming projects. All the best with your future endeavors, Nero One!
Nero One has since came up with another excellent onchain generative project: Gertaktur, that is an exploration of movements and changes within a set of x and y grids, creating dynamic, evolving digital artworks that for us, is a lot like active neuron signals flashing in what we imagine to be Nero One’s extremely big brains.
Never stop creating!
Gertaktur onchain interactive-generative art