Have you heard of BasePaint? It’s the latest community-driven project that brings together art, technology, and NFTs. I discovered BasePaint while attending a panel discussion at Permissionless II. Since learning about this project, I find myself checking in on the canvas progress throughout the day. It’s been a while since a project has captured my attention like this, so I’m eager to spread the word and share the excitement with others. Let’s dive right into it.
What is BasePaint?
BasePaint is a unique pixel art piece created over 24 hours. Amateur and professional pixel artists use pre-minted brushes to collaboratively paint until the canvas locks. Once finished, the artwork is sold as an NFT for 0.0026 ETH (as of September 2023) as an open edition for another 24 hours. Profits from the sale are then distributed among the contributing artists based on their pixel contributions.
The number of contributing artists has been steadily rising, typically reaching the 700s daily. Total sales for each piece vary widely, with most averaging between 1 to 3 ETH, but some exceptional pieces have earned between 8 to 15 ETH.
So how do they keep this open, community-driven project on the rails? There are some rules that all artist must follow:
Anyone who breaks these rules will have their brush flagged and frozen, meaning that participation with that brush is no longer allowed.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this project is witnessing the creation evolve in real time. Onlookers can observe artists at work throughout the day, engaging in continuous collaboration to enhance the piece. I often find myself immersed in their incredible creativity for 10–15 minutes at a time. It’s a refreshing mental break, especially for those spending long hours online. Here’s a compilation video showcasing all contributions and the final result from Day #48: Comic Book Day. You can see these daily compilation posts on the BasePaint X feed.
Opportunities to get Involved
There are several ways to participate within the BasePaint ecosystem.
Become an Artist
To participate as an artist on the daily canvases, you need to mint a brush. A new brush NFT becomes available every 15 minutes, 24/7, at a price of 0.0026 ETH. Ensure your funds are bridged to Base to secure one.
Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Well, not quite. As interest in the project grows, so does the competition to mint a brush. I’ve been attempting to mint a brush for several days and have yet to succeed. Alternatively, you can purchase BasePaint brushes on the secondary market, but the BasePaint guidelines encourage everyone to exercise caution when doing so. Make sure to refresh the metadata and wait at least 15 minutes before purchasing to avoid acquiring a ‘flagged’ brush that can no longer be used. Unfortunately, scammers gonna scam, so stay vigilant, my friends.
Vote on Future Themes
Every day, the BasePaint team selects the color palette, and the daily canvas themes are submitted and voted on by the community through Quadratic Voting. Participation is open to anyone who owns a BasePaint NFT, and the more NFTs you possess, the greater your voting influence.
But what exactly is Quadratic Voting? This method enables voters to express their preferences in relation to others and gauges the strength of those preferences. It helps distribute power more evenly and fosters broad voter engagement. For an in-depth explanation, you can explore Austin Robey’s informative article from the Tally team titled ‘A Simple Guide to Quadratic Voting.’
Engage With the Community
Not feeling particularly artistic or don’t own any BasePaint NFTs(yet)? No problem! Using the chat feature, you can converse with the artists as they work on the daily canvas. You’ll need either an ENS or a registered Coinbase name to chat. The latter is a free option that you can acquire through the Coinbase wallet app.
In the midst of the challenges we encounter daily in the decentralized space — rug pulls, relentless scammers, and enduring the bear market, to name a few — projects like BasePaint serve as a source of inspiration, rekindling my enthusiasm as an active participant and keeping my optimism alive for what lies ahead. BasePaint is harnessing the power of creativity, uniting a global community in daily artistic collaboration. As the project evolves, it will undoubtedly continue to offer exciting opportunities for both artists and art enthusiasts. I hope BasePaint inspires you to stay involved, create, and explore this ever-changing canvas of creativity!
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