Nifty Newsletter #07
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April 22nd, 2022

Well, hello there! It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I’m excited to bring you the seventh edition of the Nifty Newsletter, a community-run missive that highlights Blitmap-derivative projects and happenings in the overarching Blitmap universe! This month I’ll be spotlighting a project that is near and dear to my heart, and one that I have personally supported on several occasions, Stitchmaps by Quetzalcoatlia. While this is one of the older derivative projects in our ecosystem, there have been many new holders who may be unaware of this incredible physical derivative!

But before we get to Stitchmaps, a lot of activity has been brewing in the land of the Blits since we last spoke. Namely, the incredible visualizations behind the rivals. Originally known as Log.0x, the rivals are now known as the Logos, which Dom Hofmann described in a Discord announcement as “a faction of androids who collect and wear logos and other memorabilia from the fallen brands of the era of humanity.” And keeping in line with the previous Blitmap and Naut minting experience, Hofmann promised that there would “be a unique minting mechanic attached to this collection.”

Sneak peek of the upcoming Logos collection, the rivals to the Blitnauts.
Sneak peek of the upcoming Logos collection, the rivals to the Blitnauts.

When the imagery was first released, our Blitmap Discord server saw a massive influx of people who were curious about how to snag one of the Logos. What we know now is that all Blitmap and Blitnaut holders will receive a key/pass to mint one of these NFTs. But inquiring minds want to know: will there be a public mint? According to Hofmann, that is on the table, but they haven’t determined the mechanics of it just yet. In the meantime, be sure to join the Blitmap Discord server, because Hofmann will be posting a daily sneak peek of the Logos for the next two weeks.

Preview of the Scribblits posted to Twitter by Blitmap on March 25.
Preview of the Scribblits posted to Twitter by Blitmap on March 25.

And if that wasn’t enough, another collection of Baby Blitnauts, known affectionately as Scribblits, was teased on Twitter from the official Blitmap account! If the Logos got drip, the Scribblits are bringing the cuteness to the Blitverse. Why is the team making us wait for all this goodness?! What are these special minting mechanics for the Logos?! What were Hofmann and Kevin Rose brainstorming about?!!?!????? And does Totally, the artist formerly known as Bigpapap, actually look like his namesake Blitmap composition?! Time will only tell, Dear Reader!

But since you’re here, why don’t you stick around and read all about the incredible Stitchmap project?

Stitchmap: Building a Blitmap, Stitch by Stitch

Part of the elegance of Blitmap is the simplicity of its design. Created from only four colors on a 32-by-32 grid, the compositions lend themselves to being reimagined in the physical world. Quetzalcoatlia, who entered the NFT space as a creator on the Tezos blockchain vis-à-vis Hic et Nunc, saw parallels between Blitmap and cross stitching after an online friend and Blitmap holder, Ticklish, introduced her to the project.

The Stitchmap collection page on OpenSea.
The Stitchmap collection page on OpenSea.

“When Blitmap popped up on my dash, I thought that it could work for an embroidery project—each pixel could be a stitch,” Quetzalcoatlia explains. “Whereas some of the other projects I'd considered embroidering would've taken days to complete, Blitmap seemed just the right size. A Stitchmap requires 32 stitches by 32 stitches, which is quite a manageable little snack of a project. I thought I could do a couple of these as a test—it wouldn’t take too long and I could see if anyone was interested in them.”

When she started out, Quetzalcoatlia said that she made the mistake of using very small-count fabric. This caused the stitches to be incredibly small, resulting in long hours and a laborious process.

“They were so delicate that I had to sit with like a magnifying glass and a flashlight set up like an Anglepoise lamp,” Quetzalcoatlia said with a bit of a laugh, “so that I could hear at these tiny stitches and get each one perfect. Then I realized I could make my life a lot easier with a slightly larger fabric count.”

Stitchmap 40 - Otoro #12. Quetzalcoatlia really likes how the glossy white thread made the rice pop.
Stitchmap 40 - Otoro #12. Quetzalcoatlia really likes how the glossy white thread made the rice pop.

Even now, each Stitchmap takes her between six and seven hours. Quetzalcoatlia often works on them on the train to and from work, and sometimes steals away during lunch to work on them. And while six hours may seem like a lot of time to put in on a piece, she told me that Chain Runners (another CC0 project that was started by a group of Blitmap holders and an original Blitmap artist) can take nearly 12 hours to complete due to the high number of colors used in their designs!

One of the most fun tasks for Quetzalcoatlia is picking out the different thread colors for her Stitchmaps. However, it can sometimes be challenging to match digital hues with analog colors.

“I enjoy choosing thread because it means I get to go to my local thread shop,” she says. “I take my phone with the little picture of the Blitmap that I’m stitching to find the right color. I've got a pretty huge collection of thread colors at home. But some of the Blitmaps are just so bright and vivid that it's kind of impossible to get an accurate color match, especially some of the really neon ones. These colors almost don't really exist in real life.”

Digital NFT Tied to a Physical Item

A Stitchmap is not just a physical item—Quetzalcoatlia also photographs the finished product and creates a digital NFT on the blockchain as part of her NFT collection on OpenSea. This is an example of tokenizing a physical object with a digital NFT. Not only does it provide provenance from when that item was created, but possession of the NFT also serves as an authentication mechanism for the physical piece. Tying the physical to the digital is particularly meaningful to this artist: Quetzalcoatlia feels that blending the digital and physical realms gives a little “soul” to the art.

“When I was fairly new to Twitter and the NFT scene, I just wasn't hooked up yet with that many amazing projects,” she remembers. “There were a lot of churned-out, mass-produced, slightly soulless things. I felt that something physical would somehow feel more genuine.”

Stitchmap 20 - Wave Gato #508. Quetzalcoatlia said that some of the more vibrant digital hues are tough to find a physical counterpart.
Stitchmap 20 - Wave Gato #508. Quetzalcoatlia said that some of the more vibrant digital hues are tough to find a physical counterpart.

After Ticklish introduced her to the Blitmap community, Quetzalcoatlia soon learned that Blitmap was in the public domain with a CC0 license. This meant that she could create—and sell—physical, stitched pieces that individuals could commission based on their favorite Blitmaps. All of the sudden, she found her opportunity to make something unique that could connect with a buyer. She advertised that people could hire her to create bespoke Stitchmaps, even though she was not a Blitmap holder herself. Soon people began knocking down her door.

Many of her customers hold the Blitmap they are getting stitched, and Quetzalcoatlia believes that her derivative project helps makes that relationship between the collector and the NFT stickier.

“The people that commission me to stitch their Blitmap do so because they love their Blitmap,” she offers. “They have a kind of an emotional connection to this awesome little piece of art and they love supporting derivative projects that visualize their piece in a different way.”

Stitchmap 44 - Flipmap Rose Melt Man #2255. In addition to creating stitched versions from the Blitmap collection, Quetzalcoatlia also stitches Flipmaps and Chain Runners at the request of collectors.
Stitchmap 44 - Flipmap Rose Melt Man #2255. In addition to creating stitched versions from the Blitmap collection, Quetzalcoatlia also stitches Flipmaps and Chain Runners at the request of collectors.

But she does not require that an individual own a particular Blitmap for her to stitch it. In fact, Quetzalcoatlia enjoys making Stitchmaps for a person who may not own that Blitmap—or a Blitmap at all—as a way for helping them to connect to a piece that is out of their range.

“I think there are a lot of Blitmaps that people feel a bit of a personal connection to that they don't own,” she explains. “Even though they may have missed their chance to pick that composition up, or maybe the price is just too high, they can still get it stitched. It's another way of being attached to a Blitmap.” However, Quetzalcoatlia does note that once a Stitchmap is produced, she will not issue another NFT for the same Blitmap.

All-Time Favorites and How to Commission

Quetzalcoatlia says that she has a soft spot for all the “cute compositions,” but the Stitchmap that stands out most was the one based on the original Amai by boyprison.

“The original Amai was just ridiculously pretty,” she says with a smile that emanates over the voice chat. “I used these pastoral, rose-colored threads and lavender. It came out so dainty! I've got to choose that one as my favorite!”

Stitchmap 2 - Amai #41. With the pastel colors, this Stitchmap is the artist's favorite creation to date.
Stitchmap 2 - Amai #41. With the pastel colors, this Stitchmap is the artist's favorite creation to date.

She also enjoyed stitching a run of the sushi compositions by Veenus, saying that they “look tasty when you stitch them up.” Quetzalcoatlia chose a glossy white thread that lent a 3D sheen to the pieces, which she says made them look particularly delicious!

At the time of publication, there are eight different OG Blitmaps that Quetzalcoatlia has stitched and is selling on OpenSea for 0.06 ETH: Totally, Scramble, Night Moon, The Sun, Node, Edition and Din Din. Buyers can claim the physical Stitchmap by reaching out to Quetzalcoatlia on Discord and paying her for the postage and handling to ship the piece to their location.

And if none of those originals strike your fancy, you can commission her to stitch any of your favorite Blitmaps, Flipmaps or Chain Runners for prices that start at 0.06 ETH! The beauty is that the CC0 license makes this all possible for artists like Quetzalcoatlia.

“By being in the public domain, Blitmap puts the power and agency into the hands of artists and says, ‘Take a look at this project.’ I think that's an incredibly generous thing to do, and it gets people excited,” she explains. “On a personal level, Blitmap has had a big impact on me because it helped me rediscover my love of stitching and embroidery. I've created a body of work now that I can be proud of.”

Nifty’s Nook

What a story and what an artist! Interestingly, I was the one who commissioned Quetzalcoatlia to stitch the original Amai, and she didn’t remember that it was for me! I wanted to get it stitched for exactly the reasons that she mentioned: there was no way that I’d ever own the piece otherwise and it was one of my favorite Blitmaps around.

I also feel that she hit the nail on the head by saying that when a person commissions a derivative of a piece, they are more likely to keep that piece. This is definitely true for me—by investing in a derivative of a work I own, it makes me that much fonder of the original piece. I’d be curious to know if others have had that same reaction.

Finally, Quetzalcoatlia’s story shows the power of CC0 to empower an artist to build a business around a project without even having to own an original piece. This will be a huge boon for artists and freelancers who wish to create derivatives, physical items, music, videos and lore around CC0 projects in the future.

NiftyPins is a member of the Blitmap community—you can find him frequently hanging out in the Blitmap Discord or on Twitter at @niftypins.

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