Christian Pearson - Sumo

Christian Pearson, better known as Sumo, represents a key figure in contemporary Luxembourg art. Having grown up and trained in graffiti, he has refined his technique over the years, creating in 1999 his hallmark that will accompany him throughout his artistic career, namely the Crazy Baldhead. Sumo continues with evolutions and experimentations of his art leading him to exhibit in several prestigious galleries. His creative vein is not exhausted, counting partnerships with the airline Luxair, the well-known automotive brand Porsche as well as numerous artworks on iconic buildings in the Grand Duchy.

Crazy Baldhead - The Alpha Generation

Crazy Baldhead Alpha Series represents Sumo's first step into the world of digital art. It is a collection of 20 unique pieces in colors and details that represent the artist's trademark. The collection was released in June 2022 and sold out entirely within a very few hours, representing the first major Sumo success in the modern NFT domain.

Few words from the artist

Yes, I’ve always had plans to do so. I always had this vision to fulfill my end goal which was assembling all pieces of my current body of work created since 2013, by transcribing it into a single oeuvre where the main concepts are time and space. The paintings are layered and linked in depth. By zooming into one image, you will end up in the next canvas, making each piece an integral part of a big puzzle.

My idea, therefore, was to have a video installation where all my pieces would be linked by this depth; by zooming into one picture, you would end up in the next canvas, thus making each of these pieces an integral part of a big puzzle. Each image to be distributed individually, but all parts of this big project.
I discovered NFTs already at the beginning of 2021. It immediately made sense to me because it finally allowed you to sell, collect and preserve digital art. In the past digital artworks would always be used to showcase something during an exhibition as part of a bigger installation or video, but value was never really attributed to these. The only way would have probably been through purchasing a CD or USB key or some type of hard disk, but that would have been the end of it.

Through NFTs artists were finally able to claim their artworks even if they were digital and thus a perfect canvas to release one’s creativity (as mentioned above).

Another element which has always been very attractive was how NFTs delivered a time and authorship stamp on the blockchain. It is kind of a copyright that you know you can already have. It’s like going to a notary and then you’re getting a stamp and the signature of the notary certifying that that individual has produced this piece of art at that particular date. You can prove it. You are the author. You cannot take it out of the blockchain anymore. You cannot tamper with it. For me that was magnificent.  
It took me a while to understand what an NFT actually is and what people are actually buying or creating. First, I needed to get a grasp of the concept of buying digital property, find out what a smart contract is and how these two interact.

Therefore, there was of course the technical aspect that needed to be understood which to this day is still very complicated and I had to get into it and go through tutorials to figure things out.

In addition, I equally had a bunch of questions left unanswered such as “What about my intellectual property?” “How is it going to get taxed?” “How are my rights going to be protected?” and “What is actually being sold?”.  
Yeah, and I also wanted to give people more than just a JPEG, therefore I needed to surround myself with the right people to make pieces that went beyond a simple image.

I already knew how to create digital artwork given that I am also a graphic designer, which allowed me to design the Luxair airplanes, buildings, t-shirts and much more.

But I wanted it to make more sense. There needs to be way more to it if you own my NFT.
I finally gotten my feet wet, and this is now marking the start of this new journey. By releasing the first series I am committing to the fact that this is going to be something I’ll be working with in the long term: There is no going back now.

I really see the future in this, and I think it will gradually become the bigger part of my work. Of course, I am not going to stop painting, but I’m gradually going to do more digital art because it truly allows me to give my audience and supporters a different way to experience my art.
First, I thought it could have been a good idea to present it to a broader audience but after pondering I decided I wanted to present my first 20 NFTs to my Most Valuable Followers before anyone else. Those who have supported me would now have the chance to feel my appreciation, by receiving this special treatment and also establishing themselves as my supporters also in this new stage. I wanted those people who have actually supported me over a long period of time to be the first ones to have access to this.  

I therefore offered a small tutorial where we talked about my projects, talked about NFTs as a whole, we equally gave them enough time to create their digital wallet and thus become the first holders of my NFTs in support of my digital future.   What I have come to realize is that most people were not ready, prepared or informed. And maybe still aren’t.

However, I have also noticed that many took the opportunity to launch themselves in this adventure. I have also discovered a new audience that has been following me for years but was not yet ready to purchase my art up until now. Nonetheless they were more than willing to buy my NFTs. They’ve been waiting on the sidelines, and it seems that NFTs were the right thing for them.  
First of all, Tabulia helped me answer the unanswered questions mentioned previously and also, they helped me understand all the steps that the creation of an NFT entails, helping me step by step throughout the creation. At the start I didn’t expect it to be this complicated, but we went through all the ZIP files and the and codes, digital signatures and the tailormade smart contract and metadata that was created for the collection.

This allowed me to have much more confidence in this realm as unfortunately, I previously read several negative aspects of NFTs and the platforms where these were being sold. For instance, the standard smart contracts and the negative aftermaths, the artist’s rights being passed onto the platform. If one doesn’t know better, these “default settings” could be dangerous though it is what most individuals are doing.

Then it also assisted me with my network in certain instances. For instance, we did do a webinar where a number of aspects were explained to my audience such as what is the blockchain? Where do you buy crypto? What is a metamask wallet.  

Of course, we could not pack up all the content in a few hours but Tabulia held my head all the way through the whole process.
I am very much oriented towards persevering in this “community building” approach. Where I focus on a smaller number of people which have been the first ones to believe in my digital journey. I want to start small and continue to communicate with those 20 people: interact with them, understand what they might seek in this new digital realm and hopefully be able to deliver it to them.   

Then continue into my next series which would be similar to the first but much bigger thus also expanding and opening up to new individuals and audiences and integrate them within the community.  

This would then allow me to build a solid platform where I can communicate with those 20 people which later on my turn into 1000 and so on: just like adding layers into an onion.  

For now, I want to focus on building a community before moving on to more complex projects.  
We did have our first successful release thus I look forward to see in what ways we could continue the journey together.
I think I, I think everyone needs to 1st know what they want what their doubts and fears are and then look for the right partner with whom to do it depending on your needs you may require different things.

But Tabulia could definitely be said partner to guide you through the process of creating your NFT, exploring doubts and creating a tailor-made package for you.

Webinar 09 Giugno 2022

Assisted by Tabulia