McBess’ Cel Mates NFT project is taking the Web3 world by storm. If you are like us at the, you’re waiting for each cryptic Twitter update with bated breath. Haven’t heard of the project yet? By the end of this article, you’ll be chomping at the bit to break into the Steel Hose Penitentiary.

Created by @mcbess (Matthieu Bessudo) and his team, Cel Mates is a collection of unique illustrated convicts eternally stuck on the Ethereum prison blockchain. But it doesn’t stop there. McBess has created an entire Cel Mates ecosystem. The website,, has multiple components and areas to explore and is ever-changing, with the Steel Hose Penitentiary taking center stage. The artistry of the hand-drawn collection and locations is second to none. As a non-artist, I’m positive these are not the correct terms, but I’d describe McBess’ work as a mix of classic prison tattoo style with an animated, dark Disney-esk twist.

He provides some sneak peeks into the creation of his work on both Twitter and Youtube. We always appreciate an artist sharing their process as it’s very neat to see how the sausage is made! As part of the creative process, McBess uses an electric stippling pen that looks like a tattoo gun to create shading. So cool! (Check it out: Additionally, the team has animated many pieces, and the results are incredible. Needless to say, we are stoked to see the entire collection once it is finally released. The Ladies 1/1’s collection has been released and can be viewed and purchased via secondary sale here. Like many things with this project, we can’t say for sure what is next, but you should check out @cel_mates Twitter feed to see some of his creations.

Owning a Cel Mate will give you access to the members-only Steel Hose Penitentiary, an exclusive space designed for a creative community of Cel Mates to enjoy online and IRL benefits. Based on some of the information released, it appears there will be many perks, such as receiving a welcome pack and exclusive access to workshops, an online storefront, and CelTV. The full explanation of the perks is yet to be announced, but we anticipate they will be awesome.

So, how can you get in? This is the question all 36.9K+ Twitter followers are trying to figure out! Cryptic tweets are released on the Cel Mates Twitter page, sometimes just noting general announcements and other times giving a clue as to how to get on the Warden’s List (allowlist). The catch is the Steel Hose Penitentiary is not always accessible via the website, and you never know when a clue will be released! Each registration clue is a riddle and is limited to a certain number of spots for the lucky ones who solve the puzzle. The hints and riddles to solve have been getting increasingly more difficult. Just last week, the registration period remained open for almost 6 hours! With that said, many of the riddles were solved very quickly, and registration closed in minutes, sometimes seconds. Many Twitter sub-groups have been created with the sole purpose of solving the puzzles to get on the exclusive list.

The urgency of getting on the Warden’s List is compounded by the fact that no one knows when the list will officially close. Additionally, we speculate that being on the Warden’s List will not guarantee you the opportunity to purchase an NFT, but only time will tell.

The Cel Mates project is providing a real-time master class on how to create hype and anticipation for an NFT project. I have yet to see another project with this level of creativity. It is honestly just fun to see what they will come up with next! For this, I must tip my hat to the entire Cel Mates team. So, are you going to try and break into the Steel Hose Penitentiary?

Learn more about Mc’s Cel Mates on their Social Channels:






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The content is for informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this article constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer of a security, token, or application. This is not investment or legal advice. Please do your own research.