Joseba Elorza, better known as MiraRuido, is a Spanish freelance illustrator and animator. His works is characterized by impossible worlds and implausible situations, leaving the observer with feeling of awe and amazement. Having previously created works for clients such as Wall Street Journal, Esquire, National Geographic, Amazon Studios and Green Day, MiraRuido minted his first NFT in March 2021 and reached an all-time high in October 2021 selling his piece ‘Inside Worlds – No.3’ for 14 ETH on SuperRare.
Could you tell us about your story and how you got introduced to the NFT space?
I was born in a small town in the north of Spain, in the Basque Country. I studied and worked as a sound technician, but my real passion was collage, which I practiced as a hobby. But then I started to get commissions for different magazines and since then I've been working as a freelance illustrator and animator for 15 years, doing works for companies like National Geographic, Amazon or music bands like Green Day.
At the beginning of 2021 I found out about the existence of NFTs and I really got into this world; it was a paradigm shift, and despite the ups and downs of the market, I'm still interested in all the technology and its fusion with the art world.
What inspired you to start creating NFTs?
Simply the idea of being able to make a living from your personal works and not from commissions to third parties is too attractive to let it go. Whether with the blockchain or with any other mechanism, artists want to live from our most personal art, that which is born from oneself and not from a client's brief, and NFTs have made this possible for those of us who work with pixels.
What was the first NFT you created?
I minted the work ‘Let There Be Light’ on Foundation at the beginning of 2021 and it sold immediately. I remember those first auctions as incredibly exciting.
Which tools do you use to create?
Basically, I use Photoshop and After Effects. The former to generate the whole idea and sketches and the latter for the animation in case the piece is a video.
What are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
The primary influence, although not direct, are the classic collagists and surrealist painters such as Magritte, but undoubtedly, I owe more to contemporary imagery.
Science fiction stories and movies have always been a trigger of new ideas for me, but it is true that in everyday life there are situations that lead one to create surrealist artworks, even if it sounds cliché.
What has been the most rewarding part of being involved in the NFT space?
Beyond the economic incentive, from the beginning there was a camaraderie among the artists that I had never experienced before. There was a new field to explore and hardly anyone knew anything about it, so the first impulse for many of us was to ask other fellow artists.
That was the beginning of a relationship that, without a doubt, has been the most gratifying of these past years.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as a creator within the NFT space?
Entering this space now is tough to be honest. There are many dynamics that are difficult to assimilate at the beginning and that are already a headache even for those who have been here for a while.
So, what I would say to someone who wants to enter this world is to be patient and not expect sales from day one; to establish relationships with other artists and collectors in a genuine way and not stop creating and showing your work.
How do you cultivate a relationship with collectors?
Over the years I have encountered collectors of all kinds; from those who just buy your work but you barely establish a relationship with them, to those who fall in love with your work and you can spend hours talking about this connection.
In either case, you always realize that their motivations are ultimately human and it's always worth exploring that connection.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities within the NFT space in the coming 5 years? Culturally, artistically and financially?
This is all going so fast that I gave up trying to predict anything a long time ago. Besides, I think that AIs are going to break into many sectors in a heartbreaking way, and I don't think that the NFT space, nor traditional art will be oblivious to this.
In any case, NFTs, as a form of validation of digital assets, are a tool that can undoubtedly play a fundamental role in the future. And hopefully also in the art world.
As a creator, is there something that you feel is missing in the current NFT space?
From the beginning I felt there was a lack of an easier way to exhibit art, a simpler and more affordable way for collectors to proudly display the art we have acquired. Many digital framing companies have emerged, but I think there is still a long way to go there or in purely digital environments.
Aside from that, the dynamics that have been generated in this space can be terribly damaging to mental health. I think there should be an emphasis on that and favor a market and context that is not so demanding for all of us who participate in it.
We can't be connected 24/7 to Twitter, it's simply not bearable.
If you had to convert an NFT skeptic into an NFT enthusiast or die, how would you go about it?
I was never an NFT evangelist because from the beginning the positions were antagonistic and the debate was terribly clouded by extremist positions. Today that hasn't changed much, and although I am in this space, I respect very much those who choose not to enter.
That said, having overcome the problems that were raised at the beginning, I would simply argue that for an artist, NFTs are just another way to make a living from his art and, in turn, a way for collectors to enjoy it.
I think that is reason enough to want to explore this space.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
The best piece of advice I have been given is to disconnect from time to time, to close Twitter and focus for a few hours on more important day-to-day things. This space can be very demanding at times, and you must not lose sight of what your real priorities are in life.
What is your favorite meme?
The man smiling with a sad face and holding a cup of coffee will always represent me.