Few NFT art collections are as conceptually unique and visually inspiring as HandJabs, an unusually creative generative art collaboration between husband and wife; made by, and with, their own hands. Each randomly-generated NFT was created by mixing collage, photography, 3D, and digital painting techniques.
Chema Mendez, a surreal & fine digital artist and co-creator of HandJabs, and his wife, Ale Estevez, a graphic & motion designer, wanted to make an NFT collection with a different look and feel. Generative art projects are often described as “cartoonish” with a vector-like illustration style. “We saw a lot of repetition,” Mendez said.
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The couple wanted to create something lighthearted and fun, and that’s when Estevez raised her hand: “What if we do silly hand puppets?” she mused. Mendez took photos of his wife’s hand in their home garden — downloaded the images, and within hours, he had designed nearly a dozen traits. With 3D design elements by his wife Estevez and more than a decade of digital art experience behind his proof of work, they knew they had something special on their hands.
“As an artist, sometimes you have a great idea, and within a few minutes, it comes out great,” Mendez said. Known for his digital collage art that sources images in the public domain, Mendez’s familiar signature style of using 17th and 18th-century assets is featured in some of the traits in the collection — like food and animals. Other traits, like illustrations, were created with digital painting techniques. Traits like clothing were created with original photographs that have been collaged into the artwork by the random generator as each NFT is minted.
Estevez is the brainchild and creative catalyst for HandJabs, who works primarily behind the scenes. Rare traits in the collection like diamond and platinum hands are her 3D handiwork, and her motion design contributions can be seen in all of the HandJabs trailers, videos, and beyond. Estevez is also hands-on when it comes to social media. She interacts directly with the community on all social media accounts, including the HandJabs Discord. One of the intrinsic advantages of collecting art from grassroots collections is the hands-on approach to project communications. Collectors often have access to the creative team and the ability to meet and chat with the artist directly.
For the development and programming aspects of the collection, Mendez turned to his childhood friend OmbraRD, a mentor who inspired Mendez to get into digital art when he was a teenager. For web3 elements, smart contracts, and Solidity development, HandJabs is fortunate to have Bitcoinski and Calvin, the talented developer duo behind NFT projects like MarkTheHabibi and WoodiesNFT.
This generative art collection is different because Handjabs is a passion project and a labour of love between two artists who have committed to spending the rest of their lives together. Having already gifted Mendez her hand in marriage, Estevez has doubled down by literally lending Mendez her very own hand for this generative art collection. Essentially, Handjabs is a continuing romance through creative partnership. Although this project is unlikely to sell out anytime soon, Handjabs represents artistic longevity and the enduring existence of personal and meaningful artistry on the blockchain. This inspirational and motivational story should encourage others with entrepreneurial pursuits who are looking to blockchain technology as a way and means to achieve their ambitions.
A CHARITABLE HAND
Mendez and Estevez see the potential to help people who aren’t able to help themselves using blockchain technology due to lack of access or other reasons. Considering hands as a recurring theme, they’re focused on grassroots charities that develop and create prosthetics for people who have lost limbs or were born without, like organizations that manufacture 3D printed hands for children. HandJabs also plans to donate to charities that facilitate assisted sex care for disabled people, considering their theme and the vital importance of human touch. Other charities will be decided upon by their collectors.
Presale minting has already started, and the public sale for HandJabs generative art collection of NFTs launched Friday, December 3rd. You can visit HandJabs.com for more information, join the Discord, follow on Twitter and view the entire collection on OpenSea.
By: Micah Ray