Tod Complex, Utility NFT’s, and Aliens — An Interview With Artist Daniel Menezes
Daniel Menezes is an animator, musician, and talented NFT artist behind popular DeSo NFT collections Tod Complex and ZetaReticuli. Menezes originally entered the NFT space as a creative means to raise funding for his animated series, but ended up staying for far more after becoming a pillar of the DeSo NFT community.
We got the chance to connect with Supernovas verified creator Menezes, and learned more about what drives him, what inspires his art, and what he thinks is next to come in NFT’s. Read on to learn more about this community gem!
Tell us about you. How did you get into NFT’s, what was life like prior to NFT’s, and how has your life changed since entering the space?
My name is Daniel Menezes. I’m an animator and musician. I have a Bachelors of Fine Art in Drawing and Painting. I was a graphic designer for a few years before I transitioned into animation. My current passion project is an animated series called Tod Complex. It’s about a reptilian alien who accidentally creates life on earth, and is stuck having to manage it.
I first entered the NFT space as a means to help raise funds for my animated series. I’m the only animator out of 5 creators working on the show, and we’d like to be able to hire more in order to speed up production. Our dream is to get enough funding to expand our operation, with the hopes of one day becoming a fully operational production studio. Although the funding hasn’t come yet, the community I’ve discovered since entering the NFT space has been the best part of my experience. The people are very positive and supportive. I guess you can say it really is about the friends you make along the way! In addition to my Tod Complex project, I also have a DeSo exclusive NFT project called ZetaReticuli. In this series, I digitally paint a gray alien and then utilize graphic design techniques to degenerate the image into 50 iterations and capture the journey of the images degeneration. I kind of have a thing for aliens!
What is your artistic style? What inspires you? What are you conveying through your art?
My artistic style is very much inspired by animated shows like The Simpsons, Rick and Morty, and Bojack Horsemen. I am very interested in creating compelling characters, bringing them to life, and conveying “truth” through comedy. I’m very much into “conspiracy theory” alternative history, politics, philosophy and spirituality. My aim in my art is to find the intersections between these topics, and express my worldview with the hopes of broadening people’s horizons while making them laugh along the way.
What inspires your art? Do you draw inspiration from specific artists or things?
When it comes to Tod Complex and NFT’s, my first approach was to create collectibles from the show, like backgrounds that were used, characters, and small moments. After not seeing much success from that, I created the “Complex Portraits,” in which I’d create portraits of people that look like human alien hybrids using the color pallette I use for our main character Tod. This is more of a utility NFT where one purchases a “Complex Portrait Pass” NFT that gives you access to commission me for a portrait. In the future, I’d like to create a derivative project out of Tod and some of the other characters from the show, as derivative projects seems to be all rage now in the NFT space. I’d also like to create more utility NFT’s giving special access to exclusive content from the show and early access to scenes as we release them.
What do you see in the future for NFT’s?
The NFT space is pretty crazy, I still don’t quite understand it. I find it very fascinating, especially when viewing it through the lens of art history. It really is, in my opinion, the next step of evolution for the pop art movement. I think Andy Warhol would marvel at how algorithms can now mass produce tens of thousands of art pieces for the sole purpose of mass consumption, speculation and trading for profit.
It’s hard to make judgments of whether that is good or bad for the art world. I view it as more of the logical next step a hyper capitalistic society, like ours, would produce. On one hand, you have the promise of a truly decentralized art world where creators have complete control over their creations, and earn royalties on every transaction their art creates. On the other hand, you have the complete commodification of art where the value is not based off of the quality of the art, but rather its relationship to supply and demand, and its ability to create scarcity. It will be interesting to see how this space develops. One thing is for sure — I’ll be along for the ride.