It’s important to remember why Web3 is here in the first place

Part 7 in a series about the “Origins: Genesis” art drop and what it means for the blockchain art ecosystem.

Web3 has seen lots of ups and downs over the past 16 months – mostly downs. So why are we launching a new NFT marketplace during the depths of crypto winter?

We’re moving forward because we believe in the promise of Web3 and NFTs (or digital collectibles) – and if the Web3 ecosystem is to thrive, it has to provide value to collectors and creators even during the down cycles.

We’re moving forward because we’ve seen many of the leading incumbents fall short of their pledge to support creators. Even OpenSea investor Mark Cuban says OpenSea is making a “huge mistake” with its optional royalty model. Cuban is right. Without an engaged cohort of participating creatives, Web3 cannot flourish.

And we’re moving forward because we need the revenue from the “Origins: Genesis” art drop fundraiser to finish building out Expressions. 100% of the proceeds from the drop goes to the artists, to nonprofit causes, and to the development kitty for Expressions. 

Works by Edward Bowen, Carlos Davila Rinaldi, Ronald Cyrille and Isabel Berenos in the "Origins & Ancestries" drop.
Works by Edward Bowen, Carlos Davila Rinaldi, Ronald Cyrille and Isabel Berenos in the “Origins & Ancestries” drop.

What is Expressions?

Expressions is not just another copycat NFT marketplace. We’re building a new community-driven creativity platform, social marketplace and discovery hub for digital and physical goods. We’ve had dozens of calls with hundreds of artists, photographers, writers and others to get a deep understanding of what the creative community needs. We’ve also had dozens of conversations with collectors to get a sense of what resonates with them as well. 

The Expressions creativity platform is a project of the nonprofit Artists & Creatives Foundation. Our mission is to give voice to underrepresented artists around the world, beginning in the Caribbean. If successful, we’ll host similar drops for talented creatives in Asia, South America, Africa and elsewhere. 

So you can think of the five-week mint as a monthlong telethon or fundraiser for a richer, more diverse and culturally inclusive Web3.

The Caribbean artists participating in the “Origins: Genesis” art drop.

What is ‘Origins: Genesis’?

We have agreements in place with several of the top artists in the Caribbean, hailing from Jamaica, Aruba, Curaçao, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic. Some are NFT veterans, some are newcomers, but all are well-established full-time artists who have sold stunning works to art collectors for years.

Some things to know:

      • All works in the project are digital only.

      • All will be minted on Ethereum. You can buy the NFT and accompanying digital work with ETH or a credit card (coming soon).

      • All works in the project are digital only.

      • All works come with added utility, including the Expressions All-Access Pass, entitling the holder to free entry to online and in-person events with creatives between now and Oct. 1, 2028, as well as meetups with “Origins” artists.

      • All NFTs come with a bonus gift of 100 to 1,000 $AMBR tokens upon the community token’s release. 

      • Nearly all digital artowrks in our first drop are 4,000 to 5,000 pixels wide or larger, perfect for displaying on a large digital wall canvas.

      • All proceeds go to the artists, to finalizing the Expressions creativity platform, and/or to a charitable cause such as Hope for Haiti, Sea Turtle Conservancy, Caribbean Equality Project, Hub Collective or Turks and Caicos Reef Fund. 

      • We’ve made an extra effort to create a safe space for both creators and sellers. We’ll give sellers the option to verify their identity to cut down on fraud, scams and piracy. (All artists in the “Origins” drop have been verified.) And we’re simplifying the UI to make Web3 more accessible to the masses. 

    See our FAQ for more details about how the drop will work.  

    A note in passing: When we set out, we wanted to have women artists represent at least 50% of the spots in our project. Over the weeks and months, several artists have dropped out for various personal and business reasons — all of them women. You’ll get to see some of their works in future drops (just not this one). And we’ll continue our efforts to emphasize works by talented women artists the world over as we spotlight creative talent in all regions of the world. 

    Expressions is not yet launching

    While we are using the “Origins: Genesis” mint as a testbed to see how everything is working before we open Expressions to the world, it will take us a few weeks — assuming we raise sufficient funds during the five phases — to open the doors of Expressions to artists around the world. 

    If you’re interested in helping us by volunteering to be a beta tester and have some of your works included on your profile page, drop us a line and we’ll be in touch.

    Please join us

    In a world of hundreds of copycat PFP projects, we hope you’ll agree with us that NFTs need a reboot, that a new creativity platform is welcome news, and that the Web3 art world needs to be more culturally diverse. We’ve mapped out our vision, ethos and project roadmap over at And we have a Discord we are opening to the public tomorrow evening. 

    If you agree that this is a worthy undertaking, please help us spread the word. A purchase of a single NFT in the “Origins: Genesis” drop gets us closer to our goal.

    Any questions? Please hit us up!

    – JD, Angela, Renata, Kazune, Chai and the rest of the Expressions team

    Works at top by Picardo, Isabel Berenos and Carlos Davila Rinaldi

    In our series

    • An experiment in blockchain art

    • Why digital wall art could be the next big thing

    • Why collect digital art

    • NFT licenses that give collectors expanded rights

    6 ideas on how to display digital art

    Trying out a digital canvas

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