The man needs no introduction. This week we sat down with legendary Axie content creator cloudwhite (yes, the c is purposely lowercase). cloudwhite was the first person in the world to get an Axie tattoo. He directed and appeared in an Axie musical. He’s made Axie raps. Without him, the foundation of the Axie content creation scene would be much different.
cloudwhite is a rebel at heart and we’re proud to have him on our side for this revolution.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get involved with Axie?
My Origin story? I was introduced to Axie Infinity through the CryptoKitties community. In January 2018 my New Years resolution was to stop talking to a girl I was madly in love with. She didn’t feel the same way about me, and with the start of the new year I wanted to begin the process of moving on. CryptoKitties was featured on VICE News and I became intrigued by the idea of digital collectibles. Up until that point, my knowledge of cryptocurrencies was sparse. I had never purchased cryptocurrency, let alone a NFT. However, I found myself interested in learning more. Thus began an entirely new type of love affair. To distract myself from heartbreak, I decided to learn more about this new technology. I was hooked.
It is not commonly known, but the foundation of the Axie team originated from the CryptoKitties community. Even my personal connections to Axie and the team began with CryptoKitties. I met both Jihoz and a fellow Axie player, Chuck Fresco, in the CryptoKitties Discord server. My moniker, “cloudwhite,” was even inspired by CryptoKitties, as cloudwhite was a base colour I heavily collected.
However, I was not happy with the CryptoKitties team, and was actively looking for other NFT projects to get involved in. As a Casting Director by profession, I pride myself on having an eye for talent and being able to spot trends. I have always allowed myself to be driven by a feeling when it comes to finding talent, and in the case of Axie I experienced that telltale feeling. The team and community pushing this project forward were equally strong.
What are you most excited about regarding Axie’s future?
I’m most excited for the introduction of land play and the development of the in-game economy. I think it is going to be something the likes of we’ve never seen when it comes to gaming and finance. Axie Infinity Shards ($AXS), the governance token, was just announced this week, which was a huge milestone in the development of the Axie universe. As a childhood fan of Tamagotchi, The Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and Animal Crossing, I can attest to the fact that for some gamers land play will be more appealing than the current PvP battles system. By creating gameplay that will bring in a wider demographic of players, and continuing to expose all players to the “play to earn” structure of Axie, the growth potential is limitless.
What’s your favorite Axie memory?
My favorite Axie memory is more a period of time. 2018 was what I would refer to as “innocent.” We had a dozen or so people that were true regulars in the Discord server. We would look at our Axie and share our hopes and dreams for what the game could become. The bond between early adopters is almost unexplainable.
To this day my favorite question to ask community members is, “What do your friends and family think about your involvement in Axie Infinity?” Everyone that has invested in Axie up to this point has most likely faced some sort of social adversity. Most people I know barely know what cryptocurrency or Bitcoin is, let alone NFTs or digital pets that sell for tens of thousands of dollars. When I show loved ones my land pixels on the map, and try to explain the rise in prices, I can see their eyes rolling in the back of their heads. The ability to weather this adversity bonds us all together. They won’t be crosseyed and confused for much longer.
Which of your Axie projects are you most proud of?
Little know fact, my first project was actually “Axie to Infinity,” and I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t even publish it on my Youtube channel, Chuck Fresco posted it on his. Another project that I produced was “Axie Infinity: The Musical”, which was important because it set a high bar early on for what Axie content could be. “The World’s First Axie Infinity Tattoo” was life changing. I like to tell people “I literally have skin in the game.” However, my favorite project is hands down Cocaine Cowboy, $COKE. I am an artist at heart, and I love to experiment with different mediums and concepts. Watching $COKE evolve has been most exciting.
For those that are not familiar with $COKE I recommend reading “The Story of Cloudwhite and $COKE.” In short, I fractionalized Origin Axie #2646, also known as “Cocaine Cowboy,” on NIFTEX and gave away $COKE shards to community members that used the Axie in their crypto art.
$COKE as a brand is on its surface provocative, raunchy, and boundary pushing, but under that controversial surface it is so much more. For me, Cocaine Cowboy originally referenced my addiction to Axie Infinity. My insatiable buying, selling, trading, and even my near constant activity on the Discord server. It then turned into a sort of satire.
In this respect, $COKE is also about pushing the limits of NFT holder rights. It is clear that the Axie Infinity team likes to distance themselves from the $COKE project. It is understandable that they don’t want to promote cocaine and Axie Infinity in the same breath. I am not a fan of censorship, period. Nor am I a fan of cocaine, actually. So while the team doesn’t promote it, I very much appreciate their relaxed attitude with the IP.
The goal was to make Cocaine Cowboy the ultimate Axie meme, based in art. So, in many ways, $COKE is about culture. We’ve all heard the phrase “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” and investing in Axie early was definitely a rock ’n’ roll move. It is my hope that Cocaine Cowboy stands the test of time in meme culture, and remains a symbol for artistic expression within the Axie Infinity community.
In addition to what we’ve already done with Cocaine Cowboy, we currently have another $COKE art contest that is still live and ends on 10/31, 11:59pm (CST). In conclusion, I’m so honored to have a number of my creative endeavors included in the Axie Infinity White Paper…
What are your views on the new Axie art policies. How could they be improved?
I agree with all terms regarding credit. While it can look bulky on some of these platforms when you have all that info in the description fields, it is what it is. Maybe “Axie Infinity Fan Art, AxieInfinity.com” is all that could be needed. Also, I would like to see direct representation of the Axie allowed in art and commercial endeavors. There should be proper crediting, but I would like that to be allowable. That said, I truly appreciate how accommodating the team has been with their IP, and I know others do as well. Also, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the art policy was announced shortly after the first $COKE art contest. I’m proud it helped push boundaries, and played a roll in igniting the surge of Axie art within the community.
How do you see user generated content around Axie unfolding over the next few years?
I think the in-game economy developed by the team, such as $SLP, the $AXS governance token, and future land resources, will be accompanied by a flurry of player generated tokens. We’re already seeing this in early examples, such as $WOA and sharded Axie on the NIFTEX platform. Imagine certain tokens that provide access. For instance, my Cocaine Cowboy ($COKE) Plushie will be a means of earning passive income on The $COKE Estate (+C△🗯). The SDK will also provide the tools to expand user generated content. Maybe we’ll see a famous artist design some Axie skins!
What are the benefits that NFTs unlock for creators such as yourself?
NFTs have changed my perspective on what collectibles or game pieces can be. So as someone who was a huge “collector” growing up, this has been life changing technology. Beanie Babies, comic books, Pokémon and Magic the Gathering cards, you name it, I collected it. Once I realized I could have the same positive feelings I experienced with collecting physical objects, with digital products, I knew NFTs would play a large role in my life.
In addition, NFTs unlocked my potential to sell art in ways never imaginable. In art school I studied film, specifically 16mm. I produce pieces using a technique known as “direct animation,” where the artists physically manipulate the film to produce images. This is a medium that is basically impossible to sell. Normally film runs through a projector, and if a 5-second animation is projected it basically appears and is over in the blink of an eye before having to be rewound to view again. By digitally transferring the film, looping the animations, and minting them on the blockchain, I’m able to produce a piece that is truly viable for consumption. I am currently selling art on Rarible and KnownOrigin.
Tell us about your tiny house dreams.
The plan is to build a tiny house, >1,000 square feet, in northern Wisconsin. Optimistically it will run on renewable energy to the furthest extent possible. For the remaining bills, utilities, costs, we plan on playing Axie Infinity. In short, it will be a house that “runs” on our “play to earn” earnings throughout the Axie Infinity universe. If I can make a living making art and playing Axie, well, that’s the dream. We hope to start building Fall 2021.
P.S. I’m building the Axie house with the heartbreaker. Buy Axie, get girlfriend.
Thanks for reading our sixth player spotlight! If you’d like to meet cloudwhite and ask him about his adventure, make sure to join Axie Discord.
The Axie Infinity Team
Axie Infinity Discord — Want to start playing but not sure where to start? Join our Discord, our community will answer any questions you have!
Axie Infinity Twitter — Our DM’s are always open :)