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NUCL3AR // DIGITAL ARTS

Pplpleasr Will Not Always Please You: The Rise of NFT Artist Emily Yang

Pplpleasr Will Not Always Please You: The Rise of NFT Artist Emily Yang

The advertisement sale was made for the biggest decentralized exchange, Uniswap, a protocol using smart contracts to facilitate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. The art collective is PleasrDAO, a decentralized automated organization (DAO) that experiments with shared ownership of art pieces.

“I’ve been drawing ever since I was really young,” Yang said. “I like to constantly take in information, whether it’s the commercials, movies, music, videos, TV shows, anime.” But with Asian parents, there was a part of her life where she had to “forget about” the artsy part of herself.

Born in Taiwan, Yang went to elementary school in Canada and moved back to Taiwan with her family until high school. She then attended the University of California, Los Angeles, for a design media arts degree. It was in college that she rediscovered her love for the creation of 3D animation in Pixar movies.

Yang worked as a visual effects artist at several studios since she graduated in 2015. Intermittently she designed visual graphics for motion pictures like “Batman v. Superman” for Moving Picture Company and “Wonder Woman” for Double Negative, as well as the announcement cinematic of the video game Diablo IV for Blizzard Entertainment.

She knew about cryptocurrency since 2014 or 2015 but did not have money to take part in the trend. In 2017, after realizing that her savings in traditional banks were only earning income at a 5% interest rate every year, she started researching cryptocurrency on Reddit. Soon she became fascinated with the innovation in blockchain technology. However, the crypto bear market hit in 2018 so she put the matter on the back burner.

That moment coincided with the so-called DeFi Summer – the period of mid-2020 when the crypto industry suddenly saw a proliferation of newly launched decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols – semi-automated, blockchain-based software programs allowing users to make transactions without financial intermediaries like banks.

“They should hire me,” Yang joked to her friend about the lack of creative talent in the space. She turned the joke into reality by selling some of her personal artwork to the DeFi projects as Twitter posts. “This was to pass time while I was applying for jobs,” Yang said, “I only did that to make myself feel like I was not wasting life.”

Yang soon made a name for herself. Many of her animations went viral on Twitter, and soon Uniswap, a protocol of much bigger scale, approached her with an ad request for the launch of a system upgrade. She then made the video named “x*y = k,” the price curve function behind Uniswap. In it she portrayed a unicorn walking in a colorful forest, searching for the Ethereum wonderland.

This content was originally published here.