Thailand-based illustrator Unicris passion for art began in his childhood when he discovered comic books. Since then, the self-taught illustrator has been creating non-stop, taking a few breaks here and there before finally getting back into it with a renewed zest for creativity. His love for art has pulled him back, this time armed with a tablet, laptop, and photoshop.
Inspired by mythology and the edgy icons from Marvel, DC and Manga. Unicris conceives his visions with a strong sense of playfulness paired with a slick sophistication that bears a distinct aesthetic.
I have always been a big fan of comic book style and anime art. When I was a child, I always tried to get my hands on Marvel, DC, and Manga comics.
His artistic refinement enabled him to flourish in the NFT space to become the creative eye behind three sold-out NFT projects on Solana. The Shadowy Super Coder DAO, Waifu Gaming Guild DAO and Fearless Bulls Club. All these projects sold out within hours of being launched, grossing over $3million plus in digital currency Solana, establishing Unicris as a well-known name in the Solana NFT ecosystem.
In this Interview, Unicris shares with us how he got his start, his accomplishment, and everything that influenced him along the way.
Q: Hi Unicris, can you please introduce yourself for those who don’t know you?
A: First of all, thank you very much for inviting me to do this interview. I really appreciate this opportunity to speak about myself and my work. My name is Christopher, but most know me by Unicris by now. Especially within the Solana art/NFT space. I was born in 1986 in Austria. In the capital city of Austria, Vienna, I studied Theater-, Film- and Media studies for quite some time.
After I finished University, I started working in the movie business, where I shot movies and TV shows for Austrian television for about seven years. Mostly I was occupied as a Set-Manager for these productions. And it was in 2017 I travelled through Thailand, where I met my girlfriend, who ended up being the reason to move to this country where I am also currently staying.
Q: How long have you been making art, how did you get started, and why do you create art?
A: I have been doing art since I was a little boy. I always enjoyed drawing stuff. When other kids were playing outside, I spent the time in my room drawing all sorts of comic book characters.
Back then, it was all pencil on paper, of course, and just drawing from references. But when I went to study in Vienna, I almost totally stopped drawing for quite some time. Studying and afterwards working didn’t give me the time to draw. So, I took a break from drawing for more than ten years.
Q: What’s your preferred medium to work in, digital or physical?
A: I just got into digital art when I moved to Bangkok then the whole world suddenly shut down. I have to say covid is the main reason I got back into art. I gave up everything back home in Vienna, moved to Thailand, struggled to find a job and then came covid.
So, I was sitting at home not knowing what to do when I decided to buy a laptop and a drawing tablet, and I started drawing again. I fell in love with creating art. I didn’t go back to traditional art since. I have done a few sketches on paper here and there, but I love the endless possibilities programs like Photoshop or Illustrator offer. So, I guess the answer to that question has to be digital art then.
Q: Your work has manga and anime feel to it. Can you tell us the inspiration behind this and how you developed your style?
A: I have always been a big fan of comic book style and anime art. When I was a child, I always tried to get my hands on Marvel, DC, and Manga comics.
The reason why I like manga and anime so much is simply because I was and still am fascinated by the beauty of some of these drawings. And I am not saying I like every kind of style. But there were definitely some that caught my eye and inspired me a lot when I was younger. And I still enjoy looking at them.
For example, I loved to read Ito Ogure (aka Oh! Great) and his Tenjho Tenge series during my teenage years. I have always been a big fan of character design, and what I saw in manga and anime has just been extraordinary to me.
Q: The studio is the sacred temple of creativity. What are three things you can’t live without in your studio?
A: Let’s say my little digital art corner in my room here in Bangkok has become a special place for me these past few months. Before I got into this space, I had so much time but nothing to do, and suddenly I’ve had so much to do and simply not enough time. And I am very thankful for that. So, if I had to name three objects I couldn’t be without in my studio right now, I would have to say my laptop that represents the source of power, connects me to the outer world and visualizes the things I imagine in my head.
But to put these thoughts into actual images, I also need my drawing tablet. I bought it about a year ago and have been drawing on it almost daily, getting better, learning new techniques, and improving my skills. These two were probably one of the best investments of my life. Oh, and the third object has got to be my phone. Because sometimes, I get lost in time when I work on a project, and I got to keep my phone close just in case my lady tries to call me and pull me out of my zone.
Q: You have been the creative brain behind many sold-out NFT collections such as Shadowy Super Coder DAO, Waifu Gaming Guild DAO (rebranded to Gaming Gods Guild), Fearless Bulls Club. Do you have any advice for artists looking to get into the NFT space?
A: This space has been unbelievable to me. I consider myself very lucky I got into Solana and NFTs. I am here due to some crazy coincidences, and sometimes I still can not believe how all of that happened. Huge shout out to my friend Seatin who brought me into this space and went on this journey with me when we started working on our first NFT project WAIFU Gaming DAO.
He is the reason I am here now, and I owe this man so much. If you want to get into this NFT space as an artist, keep working on your skills, improve, and challenge yourself with your designs. Create an online portfolio (f.ex, on Artstation) that you can show around and, most importantly, get into some NFT projects/communities and connect with other people.
There are many talented people in this space, and there is always a demand for someone reliable, hardworking and good at their craft. Don’t get discouraged even if it doesn’t work out right away. Keep working on yourself. Opportunities will present themselves. I have been drawing for six months, pushing out drawing after drawing, and suddenly I got a chance.
Q: In your opinion, where do you think the NFT space is heading?
A: It is tough to say right now where we are headed with NFTs. I believe that NFTs are here to stay, but not all of the projects popping off every day will probably still be here in a year. One big thing that is hurting the NFT space right now is the countless scams.
Almost every other day, I hear about another project that just stole all their investors’ money. Therefore, I hope that people who work in this space will figure out a way to secure these gained investments. If not, who knows? Maybe NFTs disappear as fast as they appeared.
But in general, the future for NFTs looks very bright, especially when you look at all the big metaverse projects that are coming out lately (Portals, LUX, Suits,…). I am also very excited to see where we are headed with all of this. We are still very early regarding NFTs, metaverse and web 3.0. 2022 might be a revolutionary year for crypto in general, as mass adoption is just around the corner. At least it looks like it is. McDonald’s is selling their McRib burger as an NFT now…YAY.
Q: What does art mean to you?
A: Art, for me, is a very specific and creative way to express my thoughts, emotions, feelings and ideas. Art is a world I dive into, where ideas materialize and are put to paper or put into digital files nowadays. It has always been one of my biggest passions.
I pursued my artistic passion throughout my childhood for many years, creating countless drawings. Unfortunately, I lost this passion for quite some time. But I guess it was fate that during a time when I definitely struggled a bit to find my footing again, my passion for art came back again. It took some coincidences that guided me back to it. In the end, all the struggles along the way were worth it, especially when I look at where all the hard work brought me until today.
Q: Lastly, what’s next for you as an artist?
A: Well, I am not taking a break after these 3 SOLD OUT NFT collections. In fact, I am busier than ever as I am currently working on my 4th NFT collection (2nd one for Gaming Gods Guild). This might be a collection of 10k NFTs (size not decided yet) which will be airdropped for free to all the WAIFU holders. Aside from that, I am still constantly working on things for the Fearless Bulls Club and also on some exclusive 1/1 NFTs for some of my friends’ projects. And as if that wasn’t enough already, I am currently studying Video Game Design at Raffles International College in Bangkok for the next two years. So yeah, I am not slowing down, and I definitely won’t get bored anytime soon.
Thank you very much again for this interview. I am very thankful to be where I am right now and never take any of this for granted. I have and still am working hard to improve, get better at what I do, and make the people who buy into my projects happy about their JPEGs.