Building an NFT brand as an independent artist

Trevor Schultz
February 27, 2023
5 min read

Elrond Energy:

Hi there! My name is Trevor, but I am commonly known as Trev or Elrond Energy. I am 26 years old and hail from Michigan, United States. Throughout my career, I have gained experience in a range of industries, including home renovation, residential cleaning, water main installation, city drainage and sewage installation, decorative concrete patio and furniture, and wholesale. I have also worked in restaurants, both in the front and back end, and have several years of management experience. My passion for cooking and culinary arts led me to attend two years of culinary school, where I had the opportunity to learn from and work with renowned chefs.

Technology has always been a major interest of mine, and I enjoy exploring various areas such as computers, video games, vehicles, and firearms. I have a passion for cooking and find great satisfaction in coming up with unique dishes using random ingredients. Putting a smile on someone’s face simply out of something I created. This feeling clearly transferred well over to the NFT space later on.

I have been interested in the cryptocurrency space for about three years, and have been a part of the MultiversX ecosystem for the past year. Before discovering blockchain, I was involved in stock and option trading. However, after learning about the corruption in the global financial system, I turned to researching different cryptocurrencies and their potential to benefit everyday individuals.

I started with DigiByte and later invested in several other cryptocurrencies, including Ada, XRP, CRO, and SiaCoin. Eventually, I discovered Elrond and, after downloading the Maiar App, transferred my entire portfolio to eGLD. Elrond marked the beginning of my journey in the NFT space.

Inspired by independent artists, I decided to try my hand at producing digital art. The idea that individuals could sell art and create a movement using game-changing technology was very motivating to me. I set out to create a collection that I could slowly add to over time and not be limited in terms of creativity. After careful consideration, I launched the brand Elrond Energy in December 2021. Since then, I have been working towards making my brand a memorable presence in the ecosystem.

This journey has taught me:

A few weeks after the launch of Elrond Energy (EE), the brand gained popularity faster than expected, which gave me the opportunity to network and partner with projects such as Natural Born Degens, Realm of Karitha, On Chain Smokers, and others. The goal of my project was to capture the undying energy and determination of the ecosystem through the creation of an energy drink.

My aim was to spread the brand as widely as possible and offer a variety of art that could appeal to a wide range of preferences, including everyday life archetypes, common drink flavors, and special and custom editions. To maintain rarity and give back to holders, I have been releasing drinks in small batches since the beginning, and have used a large chunk of funds raised for giveaways and causes like Super Victor. For me, the community has always been a top priority, and I have not focused solely on raising capital.

This journey has taught me the value of time management and task organization in achieving success. As an independent creator, I have had to rely on myself and a few helpful hands, and have had to be adaptable and willing to learn on the fly when plans A, B, or C do not work. The Web 3 space is a 24/7 environment, so it is important to incorporate the running of a project, no matter the size, into your daily routine. It is also important to understand yourself and your limitations, and to take breaks when necessary to reassess goals and progress. The learning and innovation never stops, and the only thing limiting you is your willingness to stick to your mission and do what it takes to make it happen.

During the bear market, I slowed down my minting and focused on creating airdrops for multiple projects and producing a free airdrop of a generative collection for holders. I did not want to continue asking for people's money while they were watching the market cap of cryptocurrency decline. At this point, I realized that I needed to build a product that could increase the value of holding my art while also benefiting the entire community if I wanted to continue. Just at the right time, an old friend and member of the eGLD community approached me about starting a service, which marked the beginning of the next phase of building.

Exhilarating and challenging:

Managing an NFT project has been both exhilarating and challenging. While there have been moments of stress and frustration, the positive experiences have far outweighed the negative, and I have learned valuable lessons from every mistake. One of the most important things I have learned is that if you have the drive and determination to achieve something, you can overcome any obstacle as long as you never give up. Eventually, the solution will present itself, and you can move forward with confidence.

Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with a wide range of individuals in the industry – from founders and educators to community members and fellow content creators. The sense of community and shared purpose in the NFT space is truly unique, and I have enjoyed countless informative and positive conversations with my peers. I have even had the opportunity to incorporate some of their art into my own collection, such as works from Combased.

While there have been difficult weeks and challenges along the way, I have learned to approach them as opportunities to learn and adapt my approach. Sometimes, the solution requires a change in perspective, and other times it takes trial and error to find the right fit. As an independent creator, I have appreciated the support of platforms like FrameIt, which have made it easier for me to grow and succeed in the industry. FrameIt has been a valuable resource for content creators like myself, and I am grateful for their dedication to supporting artists of all levels.

One of the most difficult but essential aspects of success in the Web 3 space is the willingness to constantly strive for improvement and innovation. Relevance and success in this industry require ongoing dedication and effort, as there is no plateau of stagnation where you can simply rest on your laurels. Once you embrace this mindset and commit to putting in the work, you will be able to achieve anything you set your mind to. The fast-paced world of EE, crypto, and NFTs has helped me to quickly understand and embrace this mindset, and I am ready to take my efforts to the next level.

Time to build:

To make Elrond Energy (EE) a must-have for everyone, I realized it was time to build something myself rather than relying on hype or partnerships to provide utility. For the past six months, I have been helping to develop a domain name service called XDomain Services that will revolutionize the way domains are owned and managed. We will offer tokenized domains with several hosting options, including .mvx, .egld, .erd, and .ape. Using smart contract technology, users will be able to build and share any type of content they desire at a fraction of the cost compared to Web 2.0.

Name services on other chains have been highly successful because they provide a way for communities to come together and create additional layers of creativity and interaction. At XDS, we see the opportunity to capitalize on this concept even further by offering more services at a lower cost thanks to affordable contract execution on our chain. This sustainable model allows us to consistently add more features as the community grows, resulting in a never-ending process of upgrading and scaling.

Domains will be hosted on a private platform with decentralized servers, which will be accessible via a toolbar application. This allows us to keep things non-KYC, as they should be. We will offer a range of services and tools for community members to use to maximize the potential of their domains and use them for any purpose they desire. By keeping things on a private platform, we can easily aggregate and create domains from other ecosystems and exponentially expand our community. Our ultimate goal is to be a one-stop shop for multiple crypto communities. At XDS, our mission is to set a standard of resources that anyone can use to build on the decentralized web, regardless of their status or skill level. We want to give every user the ability to utilize MVX's technology for their own purposes.Now is the perfect time:

Immersing myself in the MultiversX space has been a truly inspiring journey. Each day brings new opportunities for learning and growth, and I have been fortunate to work with some of the most intelligent and helpful individuals in the space. Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned pro, the community is filled with supportive people who are dedicated to helping you access the resources you need to achieve success. With the industry still in its infancy, now is the perfect time to take your tech-forward passion project to the next level and make a lasting impact in the space. Don't let this chance pass you by – seize the opportunity to establish your brand or product as a leader in the field before eGLD becomes mainstream.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining either the XDS or EE community, please feel free to join our Discord server and I'll be happy to speak with you about anything related to MultiversX. I look forward to meeting you!

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