Welcome to my 18th Cosmic Convos! This week’s artist is one I follow since I started my NFT journey. Besides being an amazing artist, she’s also a brilliant wordsmith. She inspires me and many of others every day with the beautiful words she writes on her Twitter.
She says that others connect with her work because it feels real and authentic. I couldn’t have phrased it any better myself. This is exactly the reason I started following her journey closely, the authenticity flows through her work. It was an honor to have got to know her better through this interview and I hope it will resonate with many of you. Now let’s travel into the world of Rebellicca with me!
Rei: Hi Rebellicca, I really love your name and always wondered if it’s your real name, haha! You also claimed all the usernames on different socials which you almost never see!
Rebellicca: Hi Rei, thank you for the compliment! ‘Rebellicca’ is my artist name but it doesn’t contain any references to my real name. It is derived from ‘rebel’. I chose it because friends call me ‘rebel’ and I love strong-willed dreamers unafraid to live life by their own rules. I try to do the same as much as possible.
Rei: Can you give us a little background about yourself and where you are from?
Rebellicca: I usually prefer to let my art and poetry tell my story. So this is actually the first time that I talk about myself more directly. I’ve been living in the Netherlands for almost two decades but I was born in Bulgaria. I grew up in suburban Sofia in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Communism. It was both strange and fascinating to experience how this historical event shaped my generation.
As kids, we are keen observers and naturally sense both magic and tension. The 90s on the Balkans offered a generous mixture of both: newly found freedom, possibility but also violence and crisis. I believe this exposure to stark contrasts enhanced my ability to observe, feel and think differently. Later on, my path took me to the Netherlands where I studied and subsequently relocated permanently.
New and tough challenges followed. You learn what you are truly made of when you find yourself immersed in a totally new reality, a new language and a new culture. We all naturally want to feel we belong but not all of us are meant to or can fit in even when reality insists we should. I often find myself wondering where and what home is. It has become a feeling rather than a location.
Expat life has had a profound influence upon my understanding of humanness, relationships between people, prejudice and conflicting world views. This is probably the reason why themes such as freedom, identity, love and connection are so strongly present in both my art and my writing.
Rei: Can you tell me when and how did you start making art? Did your style evolve over the years?
Rebellicca: I remember falling in love with art, music and poetry at an early age. My mom would take me to museums, piano concerts and poetry readings. I felt strongly that this was my world and I noticed my mind felt equally comfortable with words, images and sound, stubbornly refusing to choose between them. I would play the piano when I was happy, I would draw when I felt I couldn’t ask or say things, and I would write when I wanted to understand myself or the world better.
Practical circumstances made me deviate from this path and I ended up in corporate consulting, meanwhile doing art on the side. Amazingly, it was also my mom who predicted that I would leave the business world and return fully to my artistic core a decade later, which is exactly what happened.
Outside the space, I’ve done a lot of abstract expressionist pieces, all of them physical paintings sold privately. When I discovered the possibilities of digital art, I was drawn to it as it allowed me to express myself fully by integrating different media into a single artwork. My newest piece is my first rendered artwork made in C4D as part of my rich-media poetry series. I hope it shows a new side of me and a bit of my artistic evolution.
Rei: Besides being a multi-media artist you’re also a brilliant wordsmith. I always get really inspired by your beautiful daily tweets. Can you tell me more about this passion of yours?
Rebellicca: Thank you for this amazing compliment, Rei. When you think about it, half of the metaverse is actually comprised of emotions, ideas and concepts communicated through sequences of text we read on screens. Words are incredibly powerful in their ability to shape and shift realities.
For some reason, I happen to have this magical connection with language that allows me to play with them. It feels as if they wish to share all of their secrets with me, so I simply listen and follow their lead. The same happens when I write based on an artwork. I stay with the piece until it ‘speaks’ to me. If I connect with it, the lines flow effortlessly, often within minutes. My daily posts can be seen as excerpts from a journal of awakening.
Sometimes, they reflect moods and feelings. Other times, they serve as little reminders of what is important amidst the dizziness of life. It never ceases to amaze me how many people read them and resonate with them, though. I am often told my words are liberating, confronting but difficult to ignore. This always humbles me as there is probably no greater gift than adding something valuable to the journey of another while living your own truth.
Rei: What are specific sources of inspiration for you to create your art?
Rebellicca: My most intuitive answer would be lived experience, raw emotion, dreams and philosophy. In this sense, my creations try to capture moments and longings in a way that preserves their intensity. I believe others connect with what I create because they feel it is very real and authentic.
When it comes to poetry, I also find inspiration in the creations of other artists from the space. Here are a few them: Moteh, Archan Nair, Ronald Ong, Raphaël Erba, Anna Zhukovska, Bill Elis, Zhuk.
Archan and Moteh are the two artists for whom I’ve written the most. Fascination with the metaphysical and consciousness is what connects me to Archan. His art has that vibrant quality to it which triggers my imagination and makes me want to respond to it through poetry.
He has been a great inspiration and is the first artist whom I had the honor to meet on the blockchain poetically. When I wrote the poetry for his piece ‘Quarantine’, its collector reached out personally to let us know the symbiosis between the visual and the poetry made the work feel immortal to him. Such moments prove how powerful the connection between artists can be.
Yet the most extraordinary and intense connection is the one I share with Moteh. The synergy between our emotions, vision and artistic expression is so striking that many collectors and other artists insist we must know each other well in real life in order to create such harmony together. They often ask if we are the inspiration behind each other’s work. And while we do inspire each other immensely, we have actually never met. We never discuss a piece or its poetics in advance either.
Our chemistry is there because we speak exactly the same language in art and feel each other’s presence on a very deep level. If there is magic in this space made uniquely possible through art, Moteh and I are the living proof of it. 2022 might see this magic unfold further, so keep an eye on both our feeds!
Rei: How long do you work on art every day and how exactly does this process work?
Rebellicca: I don’t really have a structured process. I often begin with very little, sometimes a word, a concept or even a hunch that I feel I need to explore further. At other times, I see the whole piece completed in my mind and try to reverse engineer it. I go where my imagination takes me and choose to trust its guidance. This holds true for both poetics and visual art.
Rei: I know your different collections are all inspired by certain concepts. Do you want to convey a certain message with your individual art pieces or collections?
Rebellicca: You could say that my art gravitates strongly around the theme of connection, both emotionally and philosophically. I’m particularly intrigued by how the presence of others in our life transforms it and allows us to evolve.
Love, in all of its expressions, is something that fascinates me and I contemplate it often in my creations alongside freedom, belonging, consciousness and time. If there would be a message behind my body of work, I’d say it is: Art is a time capsule for emotions, it thrives on connection and is able to transcend the tenets of physical reality.
Rei: Can you tell us how and when you got into NFTs and how do you like this journey so far?
Rebellicca: I joined the space in May 2021. I knew about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology but it was through Jack Butcher that I found about NFTs. 9 hours after I minted my first piece, it was collected by the founder of Kraken – Jesse Powell. Exciting months followed. I made new friends and got to write for some of the most brilliant artists in the space.
I’m honored to have my poetry complement the work of Archan Nair, Ronald Ong, Raphael Erba and Morten Lasskogen on the blockchain and be part of their collections as well. And I couldn’t be more grateful that my visual art has found home in the collections of amazing souls such as Guy Norcal, cryptolander, Hazel Pow, and thousandbtc. I’m currently completely sold out.
Rei: What are your goals that you want to achieve in the NFT space?
Rebellicca: I kind of overdosed on goals in the past. So nowadays I simply choose to trust the feeling that I’m on the right path. Art is my life and I feel blessed to create. If I had one wish, it would be to create art/poetry that is unforgettable, touches souls deeply and can stand the test of time. Everything else is secondary to this.
Rei: Where do you think the NFT space will go in the next few years?
Rebellicca: That’s a big question! Based on my (limited) observations, I expect established artists to transition to fully minting from contracts directly on their own websites rather than sharing fees with a platform, as they have exposure and enjoy collectors’ trust.
Emerging artists will probably continue to mint on platforms that focus on a particular niche/style etc. As the space attracts new talent, strong presence in the community and building relationship with collectors will be more important than ever.
VR will be used on a much larger scale as the technology behind it matures to offer an immersive experience to viewers, making the contact with art even more unique both in terms of perception and participation. The metaverse is already welcoming gamification strategies with ‘play-to-earn’ models and utility related to the collectible pfp projects, which I think will be defining for the pfp landscape in the coming years.
Rei: Lastly, where can people find more about you and your art?
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Art admirer turned NFT collector.