bay-of-kotor

Bulldog NFT artist interview #2 : Joelle McTigue

About Joelle

Joelle McTigue is an interdisciplinary artist working with photography and design. Her artworks have been exhibited all over the world and are part of prestigious collections. More than 90 000 people follow her on social medias.

Find Joelle : Website, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin

About Bulldog

Bulldog is a tech company building tools for NFT creators to create outstanding experiences for their collectors. In these interviews our goal is to share the story of established NFT artists to inspire and give tips to other creators. Bulldog is soon launching its utility token.

Find Bulldog : Website, Twitter, Discord, Youtube

Good morning Joelle! Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Joelle McTigue. I grew up in the Virgin Islands and now live in Montenegro. My work is about the things I enjoy: history, the sea, and exploring public spaces to discover the stories they reveal.

Can you describe your art style? How has it evolved over time?

I’m an abstract painter who developed a love for derives and street photography after moving to Los Angeles at eighteen. It was like two different artists making those works in the early years. But, the styles finally began to intertwine during my nomadic life.

I’ve always been interested in history’s fluidity and how perspectives change. Walking through some of Europe’s grand public gardens, I knew I wanted to capture the concept of how a narrative can evolve with purposeful constructs. Eames’ video, Powers of Ten, inspired me to distort my photographs of public spaces to mimic an aerial view of these gardens.

When the world shut down, and I could not travel, I had a lot of time to explore Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor, which are rich in culture and history. Spending time in my studio, I played with different public subjects and compositions. Joining the NFT world helped me realize that what I was attempting to make was essentially modern stained glass.

What techniques do you use to make your art? (mechanical tools, softwares… )

My cameras are a collection of mobile phones. It took a lot of testing to find the right balance of settings, lens, and technology, so I preserved each style and some no longer available apps. After I offload the images onto my computer, I define each series’s mathematical sequence and process. The NFTs I’ve released so far are all manually manipulated based on the algorithm and finalized in Photoshop or HitFilm Express, a video editor.

Can you tell us a bit more about the mathematical algorithm you use to turn your images in stained glass style?

I use mathematical algorithms very literally in that I have a set process that I have developed and customized to each series. The most critical steps are manually calculated and placed because the focal point changes in each photograph.

There are also particular technological limitations to flattening the image. But, through those limitations, I discovered a process to strip out the realism of photography; as the image rips apart by angles, it changes into an illustrative or watercolor-like effect. I don’t use Photoshop filters or pre-installed settings, but there are a few steps that I’ve been able to save as Photoshop actions.

Can you tell us about 3 pieces that best describe your work?

Crimson Bottlebrush, Origin Australia. Photograph Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, 2021

Crimson Bottlebrush is a looped video in The Mediterranean Botanicals Collection: Bay of Kotor.

Over centuries, mariners returned to the Mediterranean with seeds and plantlings. In this collection, I examine how the pursuit of empires, trade, legacy, medicine, religion, and aesthetics forged the coastal landscape of the UNESCO protected site.

Crimson Bottlebrush originated near Botany Bay in southeastern Australia, where seasonal change affects the ecosystem like Kotor, an ancient walled city at the innermost point of the bay that is shaded by two steep and rugged mountains creating a biosphere for extreme weather. The city recommends planting the naturalized shrub because it thrives in the hot summers and fends off frost in the winter while producing its own natural herbicide.

Minted on Nifty’s: https://niftys.com/drops/cl07bkslg01000wl6bji8cxyv 

Full-scale video: https://stream.mux.com/ldj5A6qQFAY3PTk2sCJcsyF57ThoATdYw4fzkmQa5BQ/high.mp4 

Submarine Tunnel: Bow. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.

Submarine Tunnel: Bow. Photograph Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro, 2018.

This subseries to The Mediterranean Botanicals Collection : Bay of Kotor examines the creation of the submarine tunnel built by the Yugoslavian military and how it represents a desire for change. A militarized space constructed for sovereignty and security was repurposed as a public space for pragmatic and leisurely pursuits.

Minted on 1stDibs: https://www.1stdibs.com/nft/profile/joellemctigue/

Los Angeles Theatre. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.

Los Angeles NFT
Los Angeles Theatre. Photograph Los Angeles, California, 2015.

In the series Less Subtle LA, I used my LA street photography and transformed them into stained glass to accentuate how imported influences created architectural follies, which in turn helped to shape the city into a mythical land of hopes and dreams. The Los Angeles Theatre is a city landmark because it was Broadway’s last movie palace, opening in 1931. Architect S. Charles Lee designed it as if “Louis XVI were his client” and reimagined the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors.


Minted on Kalart: https://kalart.utip.io/joellemctigue

How did you enter the blockchain / NFT space ?

I saw artist friends of mine exploring the space and, of course, news articles. I’m always intrigued by new technology and want to know its capabilities.

After exploring the space, I became excited by the possibilities of Web3. I thought it could take my practice in a new direction. Which it definitely did. I began working on my genesis drop last summer. Then, it dropped on Nifty’s in March 2022.

Do you use blockchains other than Ethereum? If yes, which one and what do you like on those?

My work is on Ethereum, and its side chains, Palm and Polygon, both use less energy to mint, making them more accessible.

Which NFT marketplaces do you use? Why?

I like building partnerships. Each platform I’ve joined stemmed from a relationship, including Nifty’s, 1stDibs, and Kalart. Working with the Artist Director or someone in a similar position at a marketplace lets me understand the moving parts and future goals of who I am working with. Initially, it’s to make sure it’s a good fit, but I also want to know if there is potential for ongoing conversations about where to go next.

Do you add “utility” to your NFTs? (for example, “own token X to get Token Y,” Burn token X to get token Y…)

I airdropped an Admirals AirMail NFT to my Nifty’s collectors. The NFT unlocks an Admirals Only channel on my Aesthetic community, Art & The World. It’s where I share information about my work and upcoming events before it’s made public. Then, I also have a free A&W Ducat claimable in Art &The World that also unlocks private channels.

How do you connect with other Artists ?

Are you a member of Artists’ organizations, DAO … ? If yes, which ones?

I’m a member of Refraction, Protein, and Plant Gang. Refraction and Protein are artist organizations. Plant Gang collects botanicals for their virtual herbarium in the metaverse.

Do you make collaborations with other artists?

I’m exploring physical-world collaborations because I believe the mainstream will need a tangible element to enter the digital space. So, I’ve been talking with some artists and companies who also want to help bridge the gap between digital and physical items. 

Also, I’ve been talking with other artists to help continue making space for all artists. Web3 has the ability to shift the power dynamics and make the art world more accessible. Artists now have more tools to show their work and get paid for it without the limits of geography and the monetary means needed to travel to show their work consistently. I hope to be a part of dismantling some of those barriers.

I’d like to see my designs as IRL stained glass or other goods at some point. But, for now, I am focusing on Web3-enabled physical objects and artists working in entirely different genres. It’s fun to explore how work changes as you introduce new levels to it or a radically different perspective.

How do you manage the relationship with your collectors ?

Mostly with my weekly newsletter (Art & The World on Sundays), my tokenized collector’s channel in my community (Art & The World), and private messages. I also use my blog to help introduce potential collectors to the world of traditional and Web3 art collecting.

My prominent collectors discovered my work from exhibitions, so thankfully, I can focus on the relationship instead of handling logistics.

Which social media works the best for you? Can you tell me what usage you do of each?

I use Twitter daily. It’s the social platform I feel most comfortable with because it allows me to meet other people and discuss our obsessions. Also, I check in with LinkedIn and Instagram to keep connected with friends and colleagues.

Do you do a lot of IRL events? If yes, how do you choose them, and how do you take advantage of these events?

I do. So far, my tactic is to ignore the divide between IRL, Web3, NFT photography, print photography, etc., because I don’t think it really exists. I choose Web3 events the same way I choose exhibitions or art fairs, by asking myself if the show adds another layer to the work or introduces my work to new audiences.

Can you tell us about your Art & the World community?

Art & the world

The Art & The World community provides more information and background on my work and practice. It’s where I share my notes, research, and travelogs. The texts I write for my work are heavily researched and essential to me. Being a part of the community allows viewers to experience some of the nuggets that might not make the final edit.

The community is still in its early phases but will evolve as I release more of my work. I think of Art & The World as the universe where my works live and tie together. While Bay of Kotor and Los Angeles may seem unrelated, they are both anchors in the storytelling I want to introduce in future works. I want to play with the malleability of history and how points of view or experiences shape it.

So, once the universe’s stories are created, I can then tackle how to translate them into an interactive metaverse experience. Today that is my Voxels gallery, but I suspect the metaverse will be completely different by the time I achieve all the projects. I also have the Admirals Only channel that’s exclusively for my collectors. You can enter the community at aw.joellemctigue.com.

You have a space in Cryptovoxels. How do you use it? Do you use other metaverses?

cryptovoxels
Joelle McTigue Cryptovoxels space

I use Cryptovoxels as an alternative way to present my collections. My work is text heavy for NFTs. I found the metaverse to be an approachable way to view the work and relate pieces instead of flipping between tabs on a desktop. Once I build out Art & the World, I will likely explore more metaverse options.

What is your vision about the metaverse and the role artists can play in?

Artists magnify and simplify their view of the world. I imagine it will be the same in the metaverse.

What are your next projects?

The Mediterranean Botanicals Collection: Bay Of Kotor is my main nucleus project. I am currently working on my next drop for it. Each project lives within Art & The World, so it will become clearer how each one interrelates with the other over time.

Who are some of the artists who inspired you to join the NFT space or to think of your art practice differently?

Amanda Lopez https://twitter.com/Snapshotlopes 

Barry Sutton https://twitter.com/barrylsutton 

Sally Davies https://twitter.com/SallyDaviesfoto 

Roberto Salazar https://twitter.com/rob_amfr 

Peter Nitsch https://twitter.com/peternitschcom 

Claudia Pawlak https://twitter.com/claudslr 

Any advice for someone who wants to visit Montenegro? 🙂

Come in early September. It’s the best time to visit. It’s still warm, the height of tourist season is over, places are still open, and it’s cheaper. If you want to also explore the rest of Dalmatia, the ferries between Dubrovnik and Split are still running, so you can island-hop.

If you have one piece of advice for an Artist who wants to start in NFTs, what would it be?

Approach the Web3 space as if you moved to a new city. Explore the different subcultures and art scenes to discover if your interests align. The wonderful thing about digital communities is that they are much easier to find and navigate than IRL. If you start talking to people and socializing, you will eventually find your group and settle in.

Many thanks to Joelle for taking the time to share with us her story and her tips for other artists. Thanks to you readers for finishing this interview 💪 If you enjoyed, you may like the one we did with the NFT artist Jaen

Clément @Bulldog


1 Comment

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

GGckureply
2 August 2022 at 12h37

Love this interview really great to understand how creator see NFT world

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