Private keys are the passwords that give you access to your cryptocurrency wallets. It’s safe, but it can also be a pain in the ass to remember them – especially for people who’ve got more than one wallet on different blockchains. The solution is ClearBlock: a decentralized storage service with clear security and privacy standards that aims to become very popular in 2019!

The “rei sailor moon” is a podcast that features conversations with the voice actors from Sailor Moon. The show is hosted by Dana Ulama and has been on hiatus for a few months.

#4 Cosmic Convos with Sailor Mars feat. Dana Ulama

Welcome to the fourth installment of my Cosmic Convos! If you’ve read any of my past chats, you’ll know that I like science fiction, particularly the subgenre cyberpunk. Films like Blade Runner depict a bleak future in which large companies govern the globe and the barrier between humans and technology blurs. While this may not appeal to the majority of people, the large cities and landscapes shown in such films do appeal to many individuals, including myself. The typically neon-lit cities are as huge and lovely as you would imagine, and you may spend your time exploring them to your heart’s content.

Such universes are explored by an excellent artist I discovered on Twitter. Her art is a mix of science fiction and psychedelic imagery that depicts events in a dystopian society. When I first saw her work, I fell in love with it and am entirely engaged in the worlds she conjures when I look at it. Plus, a lot of her art is purple-hued, and if you know me, you know how much I like purple! I can’t wait for you to read my dialogue and join me in discovering Dana Ulama’s universe!

Rei: Hello, Dana! Despite the fact that I’m acquainted with your work, I don’t know anything about you. Could you perhaps tell me a little bit more about yourself?

Dana: My name is Dana and I’m 33-year-old digital artist. I am half German/ half Syrian and I’m currently living in Cologne. I originally studied fashion design but it wasn’t right for me so I dropped out – I applied to a Design Academy where I later received my diploma in Communications Design. I moved to Berlin where I worked as an illustrator and graphic designer in the smokers & 420 industry. I quit my job in 2019 and started freelancing as a digital artist.

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Rei: Let’s discuss your work! When did you first start doing art? Were you always drawn to the same kind of thing you do now?

Dana: I’ve always enjoyed drawing. I’m not sure when I began since it seems like I’ve been doing it for a long time! I remember sketching for the first time in kindergarten. Pop culture, television, and music have always had a strong effect on me.

As a youngster, I was largely interested in sketching fashion pictures and mangas (I was a huge Sailor Moon fan), but as I grew older, I got more affected by the psychedelic art and music culture, and my work became more surreal. I never set out to create a certain style; I suppose it simply happened. I had no idea I’d end up producing animations until around two years ago, when I thought I’d end up doing package design or typography. To be honest, I basically do what I want and see where it leads. That is one of my favorite aspects of my profession.

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Rei: How much time do you spend each day working on art? How long does it take you to create your art, and how does this process work? 

Dana: I spent the most of my time on Procreate drawing. If I’m in a good mood, I can sketch for hours on end without stopping – which is what caused my present arm problem, which is why I’m taking it easy. For me, drawing is a really addicting activity, but I like it and it makes me happier than anything else. My artworks usually take between 8 and 30 hours to complete.

My primary attention is on the drawing, but about a year ago I began teaching myself basic animation, and most of my work since then has been animated in Photoshop or After Effects after the artwork has been completed. I was largely using Illustrator to produce vector-based artworks until discovering Procreate early this year.

Procreate simplified the process of generating perspective drawings for me, which is why this year’s work has been more focused on skylines and urban scenes. Overall, I’d say I utilize a mishmash of applications.

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Rei: Your painting has elements of science fiction, cyberpunk, and, as previously said, even psychedelic influence. Do you have any particular sources that you used to get this idea?

Dana: I grew up watching Sailor Moon, which I believe has inspired the way I draw faces. I try not to draw in an anime style, but it was the first style I ever used and it’s difficult to get rid of.

Psychedelic music like Goa, Trance, and Psychedelic Rock, as well as movies like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or other films depicting drug usage (I’ve had a few encounters in that area myself) were undoubtedly my major influences while I was in my early 20s. I believe it was those psychedelic experiences that piqued my interest in science fiction, aliens, and space exploration.

Electronic and experimental music, notably Dreampunk, Vaporwave, and Lo-fi, as well as films like Akira, Blade Runner, and Ghost in the Shell, have been major influences in recent years.

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Rei: You often depict dystopian settings. What message or emotion do you want your painting to convey?

Dana: It’s more of a mood than a message that I’d want to communicate. For years, I’ve struggled with anxiety everytime I left the home – I can be inspired by any random street corner in whichever city I’m in, but everything is filtered through a lens that makes everything seem little unreal.

Colors have a special place in my heart. They contribute more to the mood than the drawing’s specifics. Purple in conjunction with neon tones is one of my favorite color combinations because it seems dreamy but fake, which is ideal for metropolitan settings.

I suppose some of my paintings are dystopian, as a result of the cyberpunk influence, but sometimes I simply want to transport the spectator to another planet, to escape reality. I’ve lately been playing with alien typography; each letter may be interpreted in a variety of ways, and it allows me to depart from the conventional Tokyo or Hong Kong-based cyberpunk skylines.

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Rei: Do you have any other artists that you like and are inspired by?

Dana: I can’t name them all, but Kidmograph, Xsullo, Seerlight, Maddog Jones, Deathburger, and Baka Arts are some of my main inspirations.

Rei: Your work has only been available for a few months on the NFT platforms. When did you begin your quest to develop NFTs from your work, and how has it gone so far?

Dana: In June, I minted my first NFT on Tezos, and it’s been a crazy ride ever since. I’d done weeks and months of research on crypto and NFTs, and I had a lot of respect for the entire crypto space, but I was almost afraid to join because most of what I’d read was about how difficult it is to sell a piece, or how difficult it is to get accepted to one of the major platforms, or about scammers.

But I was taken away by how successful I was quickly after being welcomed to Foundation — I anticipated to go unnoticed or sell nothing, yet as I type this, I’ve sold 19 of my 20 NFTs on Foundation. And I’ve grown to appreciate the community tremendously!

I’ve always considered of myself as timid and not the kind to do a lot of talking, but Discord and Twitter have turned out to be my favorite places on the Internet — I’ve met so many amazing individuals and artists because to NFTs.

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

Dana: My overall objective was to be able to support myself via my work. NFTs have offered me a lot of freedom – I used to be completely reliant on client work, and like many other illustrators or painters, I used to fantasize about making money by printing goods, which I never enjoyed to be honest. I’m not a fan of my art being printed on phone covers or T-shirts.

Before NFTs, every time I made an illustration, I had one thought in the back of my mind: “Is this acceptable for mass production?” For me, this is no longer relevant. I can now concentrate on quality and my own vision, and develop it in whatever manner I choose, without worrying about whether or not it appears “commercial.”

What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to work with other artists — I’ve met so many incredible folks in the space.

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Rei: Based on your artwork, I can see you’re already thinking about how the world may appear in the not-too-distant future. Tell me about your view of the world in 25 years. What do you think this would look like, and what role would NFTs play in this world?

Dana: NFTs are still in their infancy, but I am certain that they will have a huge (good) influence on the whole art and entertainment sector. Although the enthusiasm may wane, I am certain that NFTs will continue to be important for dedicated makers and collectors.

But it’s difficult to predict where the technology will lead us – I wish more people were interested in a decentralized web, but history has shown that the majority of people prefer convenience over privacy and security, and the crypto space can be intimidating to some people right now: managing your tokens and avoiding scammers takes research and work.

I’m still fresh to the world of NFTs, but I’ve found that educating myself has helped me conquer some of my worries. I’m more concerned about the amount of data that firms like Google have on me than I am about cryptocurrency fraudsters.

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

Dana: Social networking is a full-time job for me, and I’ve given up on my Facebook profile since the creation tools have become too problematic. I’m now concentrating on Twitter, Behance, and Instagram. NFTs can only be found on Foundation and HEN.

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