“Expelling creative juices where the whimsical meets the macabre”
In this article, we'll dive into the stories behind Waxbones' work and explore his latest project, Prometheus Lab. This innovative collection allows collectors to take the reins of creation and design their own "Abominations'' through the "re-roll" feature. Plus, we'll share our recent interview with Waxbones, where we learn more about his background, inspiration, and future plans.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he found himself drawing more and more, and it was through a friend's posts about NFTs that he first became interested in this new and exciting space. After spending a few months researching and exploring the NFT world, Waxbones minted his first piece in January 2021. From there, he continued to post, mint, and make connections, eventually quitting his day job to pursue art full-time in April 2022.
But where did the name "Waxbones'' come from? As it turns out, it's a nod to a failed side hustle from years past – screen printing designs onto record player slipmats. The "wax" refers to the record, while the "bones" represent the slipmat, which holds the record in place much like bones support the body.
When it comes to the inspiration behind his artwork, Waxbones draws on a variety of sources, including struggles with mental health, sci-fi and horror, and the music he loves (particularly punk, hardcore, and related genres). He also cites artists like Guillermo Del Toro, Alex Pardee, Mcbess, and old rubber hose animations as influences, and is drawn to the aesthetics of blackwork tattoos. All of these elements come together to create a style that has been described as "juxtaposing the whimsical with the macabre".
So what is Prometheus Lab? Prometheus Lab is a narrative-driven art project that puts the power of creation in the hands of the collector. The collection features a unique "re-roll" feature that allows collectors to customise their own "Abomination" artwork by mixing and matching different elements of the piece. This creates a truly personalised and dynamic artwork that reflects the preferences and imagination of the collector.
The inspiration for Prometheus Lab came from Waxbones' desire to create something different in the NFT space. Rather than just releasing a collection of static artworks, he wanted to put a narrative at the forefront and give collectors a reason to engage with the project beyond just buying a piece of art. This led him to the idea of a "re-roll" feature that would allow collectors to customise their own artworks, and he teamed up with the team at Props to help bring this vision to life.
As for the mechanics of creating and minting an "Abomination", the process is straightforward. Collectors can visit the Prometheus Lab website, select the "Abomination" they wish to customise, and then use the "re-roll" feature to mix and match different elements of the artwork until they are satisfied with their creation. Once they have created their "Abomination", they can choose to mint it and purchase it as an NFT.
For Waxbones, Prometheus Lab is just one piece of the larger "Waxbone Zone" puzzle. He sees it as one story among many, and is always looking for new ways to experiment and explore new ideas. For Waxbones, the "Waxbone Zone" is a space for creativity and innovation, where he can share his vision with the world through a range of projects and collaborations. In this context, Prometheus Lab is like a standalone story within the larger "Waxbone Zone" universe, much like how Spiderman is a part of the Marvel universe. However, this doesn't mean that the Prometheus Lab project is coming to an end – far from it. Waxbones has a ton of other ideas and stories he wants to tell through this and other projects, making the "Waxbone Zone" a constantly evolving and exciting place to be.
Looking to the future, Waxbones has a wealth of ideas and collaborations he hopes to pursue. He sees himself as an artist who is constantly experimenting and exploring new concepts, and his ultimate goal is to create a diverse range of projects that push the boundaries of traditional art and engage audiences through compelling narratives and unique experiences. This might include more projects in the vein of Prometheus Lab, or completely new and innovative ideas. Regardless of what he creates next, Waxbones has plenty of other stories he wants to tell, and we can't wait to see what he comes up with next!
Q. Can you tell me a bit about your background pre NFT, what made you decide to get into the NFT space, and how you came to call yourself Waxbones?
A. “I was a graphic designer originally. I spent a decade designing wayfinding and signage for cities and transportation all over the world. Spend a lot of time living and working in places like Moscow, NYC and San Francisco. Art was always just a personal outlet for me, I never really used social media, I just drew for myself and a mental and creative release that I couldn’t do with my day job.”
“Covid hit and I was drawing more and more and then a friend of mine who goes by JamFactory (Gavin Strange) was posting about NFTs and I was curious so I chatted to him about the whole thing in Jan 2021, spend a couple of months exploring the space a researching, and then minted my first piece. Known Origin contacted me to be on their platform after seeing my work and from there I just kept posting, minting, making connections and in April 2022 I quit my design job to pursue this full time.”
“As for the name ‘Waxbones’, it actually came from a failed side hustle I started years ago where I was screen printing designs onto record player slipmats. The ‘wax’ is the record, the ‘bones’ is something that holds up the body, much like the slipmat does for the record. Kinds just stuck.”
Q. Whats the inspiration behind your artwork?
A. “Thematically, a lot of my pieces come from struggles with mental health. It’s something that I am open about but not something I explicitly say when showing my pieces as I want people to connect however they want rather than me to infer meaning. Sometimes my pieces are just shower thoughts, or inspired by sci-fi and horror. I often have a mad thought in the middle of the night and have to write it down in a notepad.”
“Music is a huge part of my life, particularly punk, hardcore and everything in that sort of scene. I’m sure subconsciously that has an effect on my art too…”
“Stylistically I take inspiration from people like Guillermo Del Toro, Alex Pardee, Mcbess, old rubber hose animations but also comic art and record covers. I am also fascinated with blackwork tattoos which I think can be seen im my style”
Q. How would you describe your style of artwork?
A. “Someone once described it as “juxtaposing the whimsical with the macabre” which I think sums it up pretty well”
Q. From your point of view, what is Prometheus Lab and the inspiration behind its creation?
A. “In a nutshell, Prometheus Lab is a narrative-driven, art-focussed project that puts creation in the hands of the collector, allowing you to swap out sections of your ‘Abomination’ through a re-roll feature.”
“Soon after BAYC minted and PFP projects were on the rise I started creating artwork for what a Waxbones PFP project could look like. I did a tin of art but I looked at it and there was nothing different about it and it was kinda boring. I have no doubt it would have sold out but it just didn’t feel right, so I scrapped it. Unlike most projects I wanted to put a narrative at the forefront and give you a reason within a narrative for minting. That’s when I started thinking about this minting UX and the story of a mad scientist splicing different creatures together. A take on Frankenstein, meets Mighty Boosh, meets Portal.”
“It took me a long time to find devs that didn’t want to dumb the idea down and really wanted to go on this experimental journey with me and when I started chatting to Props about it I knew we were doing something really special.”
Q. How do you vision Prometheus Lab fitting into the overall "Waxbone Zone"?
A. “I never wanted to be confined to only one project. I want to experiment and explore new ideas so I kinda see Prometheus Lab as one story of many. If Waxbones is Marvel, then PL is Spiderman. I’ve got a ton of other ideas, collabs, pieces I want to play with. But this isnt the end of PL by any means… there’s a bunch of stories I want to tell”
Q. Can you tell me about the mechanics of creating and minting an Abomination?
A. “Essentially you are experiencing the minting through the eyes of someone entering the Lab and being captured by Dr Prometheus in his hunt for the Ascendency Strain. He chops you up and splices you with other creatures which becomes the minting experience.”
“In practical terms, you have the power to re-roll each section of an Abomination before you mint. A bit like a slot machine that you can keep spinning until you settle on a fucked up creation that you like.”
Q. What made you decide to mint your collection this way rather than a more traditional mint?
A. “I never liked that PFP projects had set rarities based on arbitrary decisions the artist/devs made. It means the project is a lottery for many… you could end up with something worthless with traits that you find ugly. So all traits in PL are equally weighted and the rarity will be determined by how many people choose to mint a part. I find that really interesting because it means that the most popular pieces actually become the most common.”
Q. What are some of the best and worst things you've found whilst being a creator/artist within the NFT space?
A. “The best things for me have been the friends I’ve made. Starting when I did, I think the community was much tighter and it meant that you were in the trenches with everyone, all finding your feet and your place together. Some of those first people I started talking to are now some of the biggest names in the space and it's incredible seeing them winning. Love that!”
“As for the worst things, I have to say influencers. Not all, but for the most part they are pointless and use toxic positivity to tell artists what they should and shouldn’t be doing, when to be hustling, how to be behaving. It’s dangerous, particularly for newer people coming into the space who gravitate towards these types of people to learn.”
Q. How has the bear market impacted you, Prometheus Lab, and your other collections?
A. “Oh, it massively impacted me. I started at the peak of the 2021 Bull Market when I was selling out editions in a matter of minutes and ETH was at an all time high. So it was a bit of a shock when things crashed and people became more cautious with what they were buying. I had to learn quickly that this market was all about adapting and shifting gears to stay afloat. I wasn’t about to give up that easily so it was a good lesson to learn.”
“I think PL would have been a completely different beast had it launched 6 months earlier but who knows. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve created and the community we’ve gathered around the project and really that’s all I could really have asked for!”
Q. What excites you the most about Prometheus Lab, Your other collections, and the NFT space as a whole, moving forward?
A. “Honestly, I think the most exciting things are the unknowns. I have paths I want to take PL down, other projects I want to expand and launch, 1/1s I want to drop, but I love it when opportunities fall into my lap out of nowhere. A few months ago I did some concept art for a couple of animations that were being pitched to studios which is something I would never have even considered but the opportunity presented itself and I was all over it like a hot flannel!”
While we can't predict the future, we have no doubt that Waxbones will continue to push the boundaries of the NFT space and create new and exciting artworks that engage and inspire collectors around the world. His latest project, Prometheus Lab, is a standout project in the NFT space with its unique and engaging features, along with its captivating artwork.
As Waxbones continues to explore new ideas and collaborate with other artists, we can't wait to see what he has in store for the future.
Keep an eye on Waxbones Twitter for all the latest updates and new releases – you never know what kind of wonders you might find there!
Cal Jepps (aka Waxbones) - Artist/Creator
Props - Project Developers