Hey guys it’s Mike Thompson, I’m here with Epix Industries and we want to share with the Flow community some stories and cool facts about my first-ever NFT collection: Hip Hop Icons.
I’ve loved hip hop all my life. Growing up I would hear songs and I would associate them with things that would happen in my life, and that quickly evolved into enjoying putting drawings of hip hop characters on shirts. The first icon I ever painted was probably Will Smith and now my hip hop collection, spanning over two decades, has artworks from magazines, book covers, advertisements, movie posters, packaging, and all kinds of different mediums.
While I was working at Ecko I met some of the artists that I painted; they would come into the office and would blow my mind because I would listen to them all the time and then I got to paint them.
To this day I have to listen to the specific artist’s music as I’m painting them; when I was doing Kanye for XXL I would have his album on loop, the same thing with Biggie and all these other artists. Being able to actually hear them as I’m painting them is super inspiring, and I found that I do my best work when I’m listening to the people I’m painting.
I created a backdrop painting for the Kool Mixx Tour multicity contest that Kanye West attended in Chicago, where he saw it, liked it, and asked me to collaborate with him on a painting for his Jesus Walks Video. It was amazing! Being able to get direct feedback from the people that you paint, draw, or sculpt, that’s the highest compliment to me; it was a life-changing thing, I crossed that off my bucket list… the best job in the world, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
This NFT process and the idea of selling something that is truly collectible, something that can appreciate in value excites me, and I can clearly see a digital future that includes the rising of NFT artforms.
That said, in retrospect, it’s funny how the partnership with Epix came to be. It was a college buddy who introduced me to Fred, the founder of Epix Industries, who back in 2018 was developing a platform for digital art with NFT tech. Fred gave me an elevator pitch on how NFTs and NFT art generally work, at a time when it was unheard of.
And although at one point I had even dismissed it, I decided to grab this opportunity and release the “Hip Hop Icons” collection, which I’m super excited about. The collection is exclusively launched on Epix and I feel that this is a tipping point in my career; there’s going to be a change in my routine, the way I work, and the clients I take on. It’s just something that elevates not only my career but my aspirations to a level that I never really thought of before.
I want to leave a legacy that my kids and grandkids can look at and see that I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some pretty high-profile projects like the Smithsonian book, the Grammy Museum, Kanye's video, and more. The message behind all these artworks would be that not only did I appreciate the music, but I gave back a little bit, and you can see my artwork and connect it with the source that inspired me so much. You’re going to see the collection and be able to say: ‘Hey this is the culmination of this guy’s entire career and his love for hip hop and here it is on this set of NFT cards that nobody’s done before’.
To be able to launch something of this caliber and this level of quality is just a dream come true for me. The 3D assets in the collection that go with the cards are exciting because they add a new layer to the collection; 3D items like a baseball cap, a shell-toe tennis shoe, a microphone, a gold chain, and a four-finger ring. Being able to have them as a 3D item that I can spin around and look at it, and have it along with the cards and associate it with my favorite music is exciting. The level of polish of these pieces is beyond what I was expecting, these look like actual pieces of jewelry and they got me so hyped that I want to physically own them; I have to have the Icons four-finger ring, that’s got to happen.
We’re going to release the Hip Hop Icons NFT collection to you on March 25th. It’s the past 20+ years of my life encapsulated into the best collection of hip hop cards and deluxe 3D items that we could present to you tiered in different rarity packs: Common, Rare, Legendary, and the exclusive bundle “The Vault”, containing extraordinary 3D assets. All marketplaces built by Epix Industries benefit from a powerful feature set that includes easy accessibility, counterfeit protection, a secure payment system, full transparency and auditability, and gamification tools.
To learn more about Epix, you can check out their Partner Spotlight right here on Flow.
You can follow me on Twitter to stay up to date on my upcoming artworks. Thanks for reading, I’m Mike Thompson and this is Epix.
Clio Award winning Illustrator and Sculptor, Mike Thompson has built a name for himself in the world of art; best known for his portraits of entertainers and celebrities, some of the brands Mike has worked with include: Marvel, Coke, Nike, EA, Hasbro, Warner Bros, DC Comics, Dimension Films, Cartoon Network, Mattel, and Sideshow Collectibles, among others.
Register now on thisisepix.com/register and get ready for the Hip Hop Icons NFT collection public sale on March 25th, and everything else that is set to become Epix!
Learn more about Mike Thompson’s Hip Hop Icons NFT collection, exclusively for Epix Industries.
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