As the first cosplay of Sailor Mars, Leah Sams discusses the role that NFTs will play in future game design.

“rei sailor moon” is a series of 12 comics that are created by Leah Sams. The comic follows the adventures of Sailor Mars as she tries to find her way through life in New York City.

#12 Cosmic Convos with Sailor Mars feat. Leah Sams

At the start of this year, it’s fair to say that women-centered ventures were killing it. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m delighted they’re now receiving the credit they deserve. We still have a long way to go in terms of having this area represent the great variety of human existence. What I like about this movement is how all of these women-led initiatives support one another! In the Web3 environment, collaboration is more crucial than rivalry. One project’s success does not have to come at the price of another’s; in fact, the opposite is true.

The one and only Leah Sams is the only artist who is better suited to the latest advancements we’ve witnessed in the space. Her Twitter account “The Power of Women” may also be familiar to you. Her art is readily noticeable because to the (as she puts it) “bright, stunning, and vibrant colors” she uses. She honors outstanding women from all around the globe and offers a fair and inclusive image of all women via her pictures. She utilizes NFTs to generate awareness and funds for social concerns, and she wants to contribute to making this area more inclusive, varied, and child-friendly. The greatest thing, as she explains, is how NFTs are changing the world for the better!

Rei: Good morning, Leah! Please tell me a little bit about yourself. What was it like to grow up in Southeast Asia and then relocate to London?

Leah: Hello, Rei. I’m 28 years old, and I grew raised in Malaysia before moving to London. My mother is Malay and my father is British, and I am proud of both cultures (but I prefer Malaysian cuisine!). In 2011, I moved to London to study, and I’ve lived here ever since! Both KL and London are quite cosmopolitan, and I feel at ease in both cities because of their many cultures. However, there are moments when I genuinely miss the 30°C heat, especially when it’s chilly, wet, and windy in London.

Leah Sams

Rei: How did you get started doing art, and how has your style changed over time?

Leah: I’ve always loved creating art, and was fortunate to attend a wide variety of art classes as a kid – from water colours, to oil painting, to sculpture. When I left school, I trained as a Set & Costume Designer and after 3 years at university in London, embarked on a brand new career in theatre. While I was fortunate to be involved in some stunning productions around the world, I found that the industry wasn’t for me, and began suffering increasing anxiety around my work.

I began drawing ladies in 2019 for fun, but soon discovered that I could bring the things I liked most as a Costume Designer (researching clothing from various periods, sketching costume ideas, and going crazy with color!) to my paintings. As my attention changed to art, I saw a significant improvement in my mental health.

When Covid struck in March 2020, the theatrical sector crumbled, I saw this as a chance to get into a new profession head first. I currently divide my time between illustrating, graphic design, and teaching art to young children after two years.

Because illustration is still a new discovery for me, I believe my style is continuously developing. I’ve always like making art with bold, forceful compositions, however. While my aesthetic is minimalist, it is also quite purposeful. Color palettes are one of the most significant aspects of my art; bright, stunning, vibrant colors are always present in whatever piece I make.

Leah Sams

Rei: You seem to be influenced by a variety of civilizations throughout the globe. Tell me about what motivates you to create art!

Leah: As a youngster, I had the good fortune to travel much with my family. I believe that my exposure to so many various people, countries, languages, foods, and locations has affected who I am now, as well as the work I make.

The assassination of George Floyd in May 2020 sparked worldwide discussions on systemic racism, racial inequity, and unconscious prejudice. As a mixed-race woman, I am all too acquainted with prejudice, and I still struggle with my identity to this day. These discussions stimulated my creativity and established the tone of my work. It was also at this point that I determined that my drawings would not just concentrate on women, but would also depict all women fairly and equally.

I draw for the simple reason that it makes me happy. When I teach art to children, I make it a point to make it as enjoyable as possible. This feeling of pleasure and happiness motivates me, and – as corny as it may seem – if I’m not having fun, I can’t do decent work. I think I’m simply a huge child at heart!

Leah Sams

Rei: How do you go about marking your work? How long do you spend each day working on your art?

Leah: It all begins with a thought. I begin my research once I have a concept for a work I’d want to construct in my head. This entails finding reference photographs of a person’s position, face and body anatomy, fashion, identity, style, and possible color palettes. My most powerful images always come from actual people in the real world.

After I’ve found my idea, I begin with a line drawing, then add color, detail, and texture. My digital artworks are created using Adobe Photoshop on an antique WACOM tablet that was given to me more than 10 years ago!

I currently illustrate for anywhere from 5 to 10 hours each day, but I prefer to mix it up with research, teaching, fitness, and socializing with friends.

Leah Sams

Rei: Do you aim to communicate a certain feeling or message with your artwork?

Leah: My artwork has always been about honoring strong women from all across the globe. Since joining the NFT space and helping to construct the Power of Women community, I’ve felt a greater duty to make work that not only inspires, but also empowers women and girls, both in the NFT space and in real life. My new aim is to make art that empowers all women, to engage a community that values diversity and inclusion, and to organize collections that have a social effect – via powerful message and charity contributions.

‘Women of the Metaverse,’ my most recent collection, strives to achieve this goal by highlighting femininity from a variety of perspectives. For example, the next drop of ten artworks will honor motherhood and will be inspired by the great moms who have shared their experiences and tales with me in the NFT area. While the pieces in this drop will be true to my aesthetic, I hope they will also communicate the reality of femininity rather than society’s preconceived notions of what women should look like.

Leah Sams

Rei: Please tell me how you learned about NFTs. How has your experience been thus far in the NFT space?

Leah: By coincidence, I came upon NFTs in August 2021. My spouse works as a fireman, and several of his coworkers are NFT investors. They pushed me to join the room, present my work, and question the norm of what was (and still is) a “all guys club” when they saw my work.

I was hesitant at first, but the more I learnt, the more I fell in love with the community that I am glad to call home today. NFTs are a forum for me to showcase my work and find wonderfully great artists from all around the globe, but they are so much more. The number of NFT initiatives, collectors, and artists that utilize this platform to empower women, promote diversity, increase mental health awareness, and support fantastic causes inspires me.

The last six months have been a roller coaster of emotions, but the finest part of NFTs is without a doubt the community. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many like-minded individuals that not only share my ideals but also want to make a difference. It’s extremely encouraging to be surrounded by such incredible people every day, and I wish I could meet everyone I’ve connected with in person for a cup of coffee, a drink, and a hug. Furthermore, I am ecstatic that we are just at the beginning of our trip, and I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings!

Leah Sams

Rei: Do you have any particular objectives in mind for the NFT industry?

Leah: Women continue to be underrepresented in the NFT and Web3 spaces. However, as our numbers rise, we will have the chance to carve out a niche for ourselves, break down barriers, and make this place more inclusive, varied, and child-friendly. It would be amazing if I could do anything little to assist facilitate this movement via the Power of Women.

Rei: In the NFT realm and in general, which other artists do you admire the most?

Leah: If we go back to the beginning, Van Gogh and David Hockey were the painters who originally influenced me. Their ability to take something basic or commonplace and disrupt it with a flurry of vibrant colors is astounding. Despite using technology to make some of his most famous paintings, Hockney has become renowned for being strongly anti-NFTs.

I’d want to broaden this inquiry to include more than simply artists in the NFT realm. For me, and many others in the space, Geena Anderson is the most fantastic role model. Geena’s commitment to empowering women in the community, as well as her work pushing for NFTs to be more than simply art, but a catalyst for social change, is inspiring.

Sarana was introduced to me via Geena and my partnership with her on the Cova Project’s Dignity Collection. Sarana’s art is stunning, and I can’t wait for her next project, Meta Angels, to be released.

Leah Sams

Rei: What are your opinions on NFTs in the future? What do you believe the future of space will be in the next several years?

Leah: I believe that the Metaverse is going to become a significant part of our lives, and that we, in the NFT space, are the finest individuals to shape and define what it looks like, how it feels, and to function as its guardians.

Web3’s potential seems to be boundless right now, and it will undoubtedly revolutionize how we approach education, business, entertainment, and so much more in our lives. In the immediate term, though, I’m most enthused about the possibility of using NFTs to generate awareness and funds for social issues.

In response to the previous question, I mentioned The Cova Project, which has created a non-profit collection of artworks that will see a large portion of the initial sales and all ongoing royalties go directly to their work providing menstrual health solutions to girls in developing communities across Africa. In addition, 5% of all main sales from my ‘Women of the Metaverse’ collection will be donated to organizations that assist women and girls, equality, and mental health, with collaborations tailored to each of the collection’s themes.

It is critical that we utilize NFTs (and a percentage of the revenue they create) to empower, enable, and elevate underrepresented populations in real life if we are to draw more people into the space and make this a genuinely inclusive environment. It’s also vital to remember that our children will be the Web3’s future pioneers, therefore we have a responsibility to provide a place where we can securely teach young people right now.

Leah Sams

Rei: Could you provide me a sneak peek at anything fresh you’re working on right now?

Leah: I’m presently working on 10 artworks for the Motherhood drop of my current collection, ‘Women of The Metaverse’ (which will be published in numerous drops over the next few months). I’ve been blown away by SUPERmums in this space who have shared their tremendous parenting experiences with me over the last few weeks, and I’m utilizing these experiences to influence the images I produce for this drop. We have a false, preconceived vision of what parenthood looks and feels like as a culture, therefore I’m hoping that this drop may express many of the’realities’ instead. Here’s the first look at ‘Bisi,’ which is set to launch in early-mid February.

I’ll be releasing more news soon about my collaboration with Fame Ladies, my work on a brand new PFP with an amazing member of the NFT community, and some really exciting commissions for International Women’s Day…

Leah Sams

Rei: Finally, what is the best place for folks to learn more about you and your work?

Leah: My Linktree has all of my links!

 

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