Exeleon Magazine

Between Art, Technology and Groceries By Nicole Buffett

Nicole Buffett Exeleon Magazine

Following is an article written by NFT leader, artist, and writer Nicole Buffett in our Women Shaping the Future issue.

Upon first entering the Web3 space in early 2021, I, like so many of us, embraced the great unknown with a healthy combination of bravery and insecurity. All of us had no idea what would happen next personally, politically, or spiritually.

At this time, I realized that the agitating force of uncertainty offered an immense gift of change and transformation. We were all already out of our collective and personal comfort zone. We had entered a new territory of genuine possibility.

Being a traditional painter, I rolled up my sleeves and instead of mixing paint, I went even farther out of my comfort zone and created a twitter account. The twitter account was my proclamation to meet the world halfway–leading with the intention to connect and resist the foreboding isolation of the pandemic.

My work as a painter up until 2021 had been nature based and very much centered on organic physical materiality. As I became aware of NFT’s, I immediately realized the function and phenomena that technology could play and create in getting my work into the world. I experienced this new digital platform as a means to an end- or really the means to a beginning.

The first phase of this era of embracing technology as a traditional painter relied upon my willingness to GROW beyond even my own highly developed identity as a traditional painter. I realized that what I found the most fascinating initially about the world of NFT’s and Web3 was this new emboldened community of people investing in new concepts of how we do money.

As you can imagine, money is a subject that is brought up often in my family, however not in the typical sense – but in the spiritual sense. One thing we all realize is that where there is money, there is privilege and there is agency. There is the freedom to invest. There is the capacity to choose. There is the power to create. The irony is that agency, freedom, power, and creativity do not come from money. We cannot purchase or buy these qualities. We assign value through our money system. Money is the agreed upon external object of value. Money allows us to act upon the value system that exists within us.
As I embarked upon learning and navigating my way into the new-ish system of crypto currency, I was instantly inspired and started to meditate on the origins of our monetary systems and how they function to reflect our identity as human beings.

This consideration led me to create the concept of my genesis NFT collection, The Spirit Coin. I was inspired to create a series of circular hand painted designs that captured aspects of ourselves that come from the inner source of our own being.

The Spirit Coin collection represents the equity of connection versus transaction. The second phase in this new digital era was the invitation to SHARE more. Because my work was now being seen on a computer screen, the story and the content changed and developed so that the message could be fully received by the viewers.

Nicole Buffett Exeleon Magazine

Each digital scan of each physical painting on paper became a special story to tell and an energy to transmit. The desire to stay connected to my own art making practice and to also share it with others motivated me to reach wholeheartedly into this new medium and embrace the illusion of constraint the screen seemed to pose. The digital space opened and expanded the storyline, the meaning and the multi-dimensional quality of my work. I started to animate my work and create sound pieces to accompany the images. The additional layers of movement and sound brought my work to an even greater life.

While completing my MFA at The San Francisco Art Institute, a professor presented us with a concept I carry with me into my practice as a professional creative to this day. He asked us to consider the extent of generosity in our work. He asked us to consider if we were allowing our audience inside of our work. Were we being generous and allowing our audience to see exactly what it is that we are creating? Or were we treating our audience like outsiders? He then proposed a simple, yet paradoxical question: Does this piece of art have joyful complexity? What is joyful complexity? Joyful complexity is the act of embracing our inherent influence and control alongside our total surrender as to how something turns out with a commitment to keep going until there is joy in the finished product. Joyful complexity is about the balance between what we know and the beautiful mystery that drives us to know more.

One of the most intense times of uncertainty was midway into the pandemic, none of us knowing how long it would go on and what the outcome would be or how we would collectively survive. I remember the simple act of going to the grocery store took on a new level of joy for me like never before! This was one of the most exciting parts of the day for quite some time! So, we come to our final stage, EASE. The Web3 space catapulted my vision not because of initial necessity, constraint, or technological advancement- I have been catapulted into new levels of creative, financial and personal fulfillment because of people.

Something I let go of is the idea that I have to do it all by myself, or that I have done it all by myself. In the West, there is great emphasis on the culture of hyper individualism and validation through singular power structures. In Web3, anyone and everyone who is in the space knows that we not only need each other but we thrive when we work together. It’s about celebrating community and connection. The willingness to partner and collaborate with others in business is one of the most important evolutionary acts that we can make as artists, companies, brands and businesses. Learning to trust in the dynamic exchange and opening to the co-creative force is an act of faith in our need to be together, to work together and to live together. Being together is one of our basic needs as human beings. We need each other like we need groceries.

Togetherness and groceries, like all basic needs are meant to be met.

As I placed my fully loaded grocery bags into my car packed to the brim with beautiful food one recent evening, I was stunned at the depth of my good fortune. It was then at that moment of deep gratitude that I heard and realized the word groceries. I heard it just as I write it here in these three words: grow, share, ease. It is simple, powerful and true: When we grow, we create more to share and when we share, we create an ease based upon the abundance of connection.

Important Links:

Read Digital Version

Visit Nicole Buffett’s Website.

Follow Nicole Buffett on Instagram.

View Web Version of the Magazine.

Read Previous

Maggie Vo: A Trailblazer in Finance and Venture Capital

Read Next

Aishwarya Karnataki: Inventing Possibilities with Translation Gloves