Efdot: Racer 'Likes to Move Fast and Innovate'

The artist made an NFT of the Friend.tech co-founder for our Most Influential package.

AccessTimeIconDec 4, 2023 at 1:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:51 a.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconDec 4, 2023 at 1:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:51 a.m. UTC
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As part of our special NFT series, we asked the artist Efdot to make an image of Racer, the Friend.tech co-founder.

Click here to view and bid on the NFT created by EFDOT. The auction will begin on Monday, 12/4 at 12p.m. ET and ends 24 hours after the first bid is placed. Holders of a Most Influential NFT will receive a Pro Pass ticket to Consensus 2024 in Austin, TX. To learn more about Consensus, click here.

We spoke with the artist about their work for the question and answer below.

How/Why You Became an Artist and Why NFTs:

I always knew since I was a little kid that creating was the main place where I felt most alive and most at peace. I've held onto that feeling ever since. Throughout my life, making art has allowed me to entertain my curiosity, connect with others and self-actualize in so many ways I never expected. I feel called every day to make something from nothing as a form of personal growth, but it's also fueled by my rebellious nature and the culture of skateboarding. My friends and I never wanted to have "normal jobs" or a 9-to-5.

When I finished school, I wanted to figure out how to professionally be myself, and so making my art became this process of self-excavation – digging within myself to share energy and deep parts of my soul with the world. It was very difficult at first, but as I created my world and visual language, I had to trust that others would find value in it, and eventually they did! I grew up around my grandmother who was a talented artist herself. Through her guidance and a few other teachers over the years, I learned the fundamentals and a little bit about my own tastes. At some point, it felt natural to express myself every day, in many different ways from photography to drawing.

EFDOT's image of Racer for Most Influential 2023.
EFDOT's image of Racer for Most Influential 2023.

Why NFTs? That's is a different story. I started learning about blockchain in 2020 and started to understand the social revolution currently happening toward decentralization. After years of only posting my work to social media and my website, the blockchain was a much more permanent way to self-publish my work. I minted my first NFT with my artwork in summer of 2021 and the support I received thereafter was incredible. I found myself in a space where I could connect directly with a global audience without the conventional gatekeepers. The traditional fine art world has so many issues and lacks transparency. NFT's attracted a group of future thinkers that wanted to work together and innovate to fix some of the problems. I couldn't help but want to be a part of that group… I've met so many friends in this supportive community and have been enjoying the ride ever since.

Artistic Approach to Most Influential Image:

Creating an image for CoinDesk's Most Influential is both an honor and a challenge. It's not just creating a portrait; it's about distilling the story into a layered experience with subtle references. I decided to focus my piece on aspects of the friend.tech app, which is the reason Racer was selected for Most Influential. Friend.tech launched with viral success, sparking a lot of controversy, and I wanted my piece to capture a bit of the chaos.

Emphasizing Aspects of Racer's Personality and Profile:

There's not a lot of publicly available information about Racer so I had to get imaginative ... I was not about to spend multiple ETH to buy his friend.tech key (even though that would have been fun to see what they talk about in there). One aspect of the story is that friend.tech came out shortly after the release of Coinbase's Base chain. So something I could tell about Racer is that he likes to move fast and innovate. This was the main personality trait I latched onto, so I decided to turn him into a literal "racer." This will probably go over most people's heads, but the style and layout of the piece is a playful nod to the manga comic / cartoon Speed Racer.

Most Influential NFT Artists Today:

There's no shortage of talent here, but if I had to pick a few of the most inspiring artists, it would be Jake Fried, Reuben Wu, Eva Eller, Billy Dinh and Seneca. I'm inspired by artists who are also passionate connectors – those who that can go deep and stay true to their craft, but also build thriving networks around their art.

Most Disruptive NFT Project in History:

I'd have to say Manifold! Richerd and his team have built out so much infrastructure for artists to thrive. Always making more open-source tools without asking much from the artists in return. I see Manifold becoming something like a Web3 version of the "app store." Transient Labs and Foundation are two other teams who I consider to be innovating at a very similar level, building tools to help artists.

Describe Your Style in Three Words:

Bold. Playful. Optimistic.

Outlook on the Future of NFT Art:

I see a lot of change coming in the next several years, but I can't exactly predict what it will look like. Currently, the fine art gallery world is slowly shrinking and the role of the gallery is changing as our communication methods change. My hope is that the future art world will be more equitable and transparent. NFTs will likely continue to splinter off into subcultures, and some of them will be more sustainable markets than others. It's already impossible to keep up with everything happening, and that will get even harder in the future. ... Still the essence of art remains. As long as creators keep pushing boundaries and platforms evolve, digital art will endure. It's not just a market; it's a revolution in how we value, consume and connect over art.


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