This will be a different type of article. Do me a favor and play along. Open up this link to a track by ishqqshi, aka Matt Hiller, and listen as you read. This will help open your mind to the general vibe behind Mushroomtopia as you learn about this incredibly immersive and thoughtful NFT project created from the mind of Rubentopia and fostered by the team at Visionary NFT. Don't forget to read to the end for some game-changing alpha!
As I learned more about Mushroomtopia from my research, I began to realize this project was bringing something fresh to the space. This is a clean, fully developed, professional NFT project built to display the tech of RMRK 2.0 in a unique style and vibe yet unseen in Dotsama.
This NFT project is built from the ground up with RMRK 2.0 function in its framework. If you check out this video on equipping you can see features known to Kanarias: Equippable, multiresource, composable NFTs. This essentially enables a create your own NFT function where you can equip alternate items and create completely different features on the final product - your NFT. Translating to Mushroomtopia, you are able to own discrete mushrooms that are NFTs in their own right, but when equipped onto the “Mirror NFT” you reveal your “true self” - a dynamic composable NFT. Let's break this down even more as this will be one of the first projects showcasing this tech outside Kanaria.
As a collector, who doesn’t enjoy grabbing different versions of a similar type of NFT? Within collections artists may change up rarity, style, classes, etc. to create a sense of uniqueness between the NFTs in a collection. With Mushroomtopia, this standard idea of rarity is preserved with unique standalone mushrooms that you can collect such as these:
First of all, these are trippy, intricate and mind-bending in their own right. Ruben spends hours creating these 1/1 pieces. As of now there are 1,000 shrooms and 1,000 accesories. I have a ton of respect for an artist that takes the time to create these pieces without leaning on generative art. This takes time, dedication and focus. He has given his focus to his art and is able to create something special with RMRK 2.0 tech. Now if you skipped over it earlier, make sure to watch this video to understand this next part a bit better. With Mushroomtopia, you can equip these shrooms onto the Mirror NFT and a different feature will be displayed onto your “True Self”. The individual shrooms can turn into an arm, a face, clothes or a hat. Enough shrooms combined, your true self is revealed with many alternate combinations available. To display the "True Self" you need 5 individual mushrooms and the Mirror NFT to complete the set. Here are a couple examples of Mirrors that are needed to complete the full set.
This takes PFPs to an entirely new level. Mushroomtopia is exploring the boundaries of RMRK 2.0 that Kanaria opened the doors to. The tools provided by RMRK 2.0 enable artists to explore their creativity in new and innovative ways in the NFT space. The limit to NFT creativity has expanded and I imagine this makes the process of creation that much more rewarding and freeing. As a delicious cherry on top, each Mirror NFT comes with a unique piece of music composed by ishqqhsi, aka Matt Hiller. that I hope you are getting a taste of as you read this article.
But this isn’t just about RMRK’s tech. The project dives much deeper. This depth is highlighted by the way they focus on community engagement and growth.
Building from the Ground Up
Instead of opening up the whitelist to VIPs or Blue Chip projects from the jump, Mushroomtopia has instead chosen to foster a community from the ground up. Reminiscent of how EVRLOOT has grown their community, there are challenges released by Mushroomtopia to stimulate deeper engagement. The “shroomlist” aka whitelist is slowly growing in this manner. A few different ways to get whitelisted so far have included consistent contributions and involvement in the server, art competitions such as drawing the most eye-catching and creative mushroom, mushroom naming competition, a “Where’s Waldo” type game and much much more. They aim to engage with the community on multiple levels and provide whitelist spots in unique ways. This has helped foster an easy going spirit in the server and has stimulated the creativity of many members of the community.
An Immersive Experience
To add another immersive layer to this groundbreaking project, Ruben has put some deep thought into the lore tying together the project. As alluded to before, these Mirror NFTs will have origins from a certain kingdom within Mushroomtopia. This week, they chose to engage with the community by discussing 7 kingdoms in 7 days. These 7 kingdoms are as follows:
Each has a distinct feel and vibe to it and will be tied to underlying lore within this ecosystem. As we walk with Ruben through his journey of creating Mushroomtopia, we will continue to gain insight into each kingdom. The story begins with this…
As you can see, even though there are 7 separate kingdoms, each is interwoven into the story of Mushroomtopia and will all grow together.
The first of these 7 kingdoms is the Ancient.
I expect an earthy, more abstract style here. This kingdom shows an appreciation for the past and brings it to the present. For the artwork, Ruben gathered his inspiration from the works of Vsevolod Ivanov who brought ancient myths to life within his art. Here is an outstanding representation of what you can expect to see if the Ancient Kingdom is for you.
The next kingdom incorporates the star that brings us life, Solar. A theme of rebirth runs through this kingdom as Ruben reveals his thoughts on Solar
Shades of orange and yellow burst through these NFTs and culminate with the PFP
The Forest Kingdom is one of my favorites. I crave the outdoors and obtain a sense of calm from being in the wilderness. There is no shortage of this relaxing vibe within the Forest Kingdom. Ruben expands his thoughts on Forest mushrooms here and reveals his inspiration.
Deep greens and browns weave their way through these NFTs as we get a glimpse of what’s to come.
Here comes the deep blue sea as the Ocean Kingdom is next. With striking blues and hues of purple, the Ocean Kingdom adds depth and intrigue to this collection.
Hold on tight as we launch into the Sky Kingdom next. With stellar white and piercing features, the sky kingdom draws inspiration from spires that point upward on notable architectural wonders such as the Taj Majal. Ruben sees the sky as the lofty mediator between the Earth and the Cosmos, bridging the gap between two worlds.
As we burst through the sky we reach the stars and land in the Cosmic Kingdom. Here is where Visionary Art truly takes off. Inspiration for the Cosmic is abundant and Ruben takes us to an entirely different plane with his work.
Rounding out the kingdoms, there is no other place to complete our journey than back at the Heart. Take a minute to reflect on the inspiration from which this kingdom arises.
From the Founder
Beyond showcasing incredible tech and incorporating intricate lore, Ruben is an established artist with a clear passion for the creative process. He has created Visionary Art for years; you can see more of his work on his instagram and at the psynft website. Before I say too much about Ruben, how about you hear it from him? Check out his vision and learn a little more about the mind behind the project.
- Thank you for taking some time to answer questions about your inspiration and vision for Mushroomtopia. I know you have been creating incredible visionary art for years, could you tell everyone a bit about your personal inspiration and maybe touch on your journey in the visionary art space?
As a creator I have been drawn towards the psychedelic/visionary scene since I saw works of Escher, Bosch and Alex Grey. It is ironic to put yourself in a box named ‘visionary’, when visionary means transcending boundaries. I want to become a great artist and sometimes you have to dress as who you want to be. Something I like to do is gather information from books and experiences and transform them into visual landscapes full of details. These works depict my journey through life and you see my inner thoughts and ideas hidden in symbols and geometry. There are hidden stories and ideas I want to get out of my head on paper. Creating order out of chaos.
- How did you come into contact with RMRK? Also, was there anything specific about RMRK’s tech that drew you in to create with RMRK 2.0?
Yuri from RMRK invited me to join the Kanaria bird contest somewhere mid 2021. One of these birds won and I sold one of my original works attached to the nft. RMRK is a smaller platform compared to the Ethereum platforms. This is the same as in real life. It might be harder to become a well known artist in a large city than a small one since there are way more people who do the same thing as you. When I was looking for an illustration agency this was the same principle. Agencies with artists focussed on utopian, colorful worlds where occupied and would not need another artist doing the same thing. Opensea is literally a sea where you could drown. And who is going to rescue you?
- Could you enlighten us with your creative process surrounding the lore? Even from an initial look, it feels genuine and unique.
Mushroom Topia is a growing concept. First I wanted to draw 1000 unique mushrooms. These mushrooms are categorized in 7 kingdoms. These kingdoms are related to the chakras. The mushrooms contain special items that can be turned into Mushroom Topians. A matching set of these characters belongs to one of 7 kingdoms. So these kingdoms need background. There is a desert theme centered around the nomads and desert dwellers. An ocean themed mushroom family that lives among the coral. A cosmic mushroom family centered around sacred geometry and the universe. The goal is to grow the mycelium into a stronger network. I want the art to look unique. There is a generative aspect to the project but I don’t want too much lookalikes. I consider this to be an art project just like in art school. For the story lets say all 7 mushrooms together can become enlightened and this might create new species.
- What are some things about Mushroom Topia NFT project that really get you excited? Maybe touch on something that you didn’t expect to have interest in when starting but have explored more now
I started MT because I wanted to be fully immersed in a new project and let it grow into a family from zero. The mycelium can create a network where other non rmrk-artists and collectors can join and share their fruits. Yuri, theFVK, Mari0, Chekov help me to make decisions and let me focus on creating. When creating I read about mushrooms and I look at various cultures for garment references. This is not about creating trippy mushrooms or another standard project. Mushrooms are a very diverse kingdom that have many usages. I use the mushrooms as the fruits of the digital ntf network. Some of them will be very rough, others more detailed. They come in various colors and live in different environments, just like humans.
- Any parting thoughts? (or alpha?)
Right now I am creating the base layers for this project. I am a human being and I draw more than the average person would consider normal. This is not intended to be a dead end project. I want to link the mushrooms to other parts of my portfolio. And use the pfp Topian characters in larger detailed drawings to give it more depth and story. But remember I am human and not a machine. The end goal would be to create mushroom architecture, temples, wellness retreats, bathhouses, magical buildings and fruit gardens that show new ways of living. For now this is still a dream, but everything starts on paper.
I truly think Mushroomtopia is an integral spark to build the creative flame that continues to grow in the Kusama ecosystem. While Mushroomtopia is integral to the VisionaryNFT discord, this server is aiming to be a home base to all Visionary Art on Singular. The server already has robust and rich connections developing between members as they share memories of travels, books and varied interests. Artists give sneak peaks of their ongoing work and share between each other ideas on various projects. Community members share music they are listening to or art they find fascinating. The depth to the server is growing in all directions and gives me an ease about the future of the project. Organic growth with a solid foundation is the key to long-term success and the team understands this.
As eloquently put by theFVK while we were chatting about the project:
A big part of this collection is the vision to create a visionary art community around singular. To bring together artists, creatives, dreamers in a common space to connect and share their experiences, with Visionary Art NFTs as the common thread connecting the community. RMRK 2.0 functionality and Kusama network "expect chaos" ethos are together the natural home for the most creative and expressional NFTs, since they give the creator the wings and space to truly explore their art. We see Ruben's collection as a vehicle to show the possibilities that RMRK 2.0 can unlock for all creators from all different NFT ecosystems, and possibly bring them into Kusama this way. The end result is a thriving creative community, organically formed, that is birthed after this collection is complete and can form the basis of many more awesome NFT collections to come.
Do I need to say anything else? Stay tuned my friends as this is just phase 1 of the Mushroomtopia story. There will be much more to come and don’t worry, there will be many price points to enter so everyone can be involved. In fact, the first drop will be starting next week as the team aims to launch the first round of drops on March 28th, 2022...I heard there is SOMETHING special for the first few people who complete the full profile picture set! The team is playing this one close to the chest though...could it be a special shroom, a limited edition banner or secret kingdom access?!? Only the team knows the reward so it's just speculation at this point, but who doesn't like secrets. Comment below to guess what may be the reward!
- Make sure to follow Mushroomtopia and Rubentopia on twitter to keep up!
- Join in the Visionary NFT discord server to enjoy those relaxing vibes
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