Stellabelle is a digital artist who discovered her passion for art during college, initially through doodling in class and later during a photography course. She developed a deep love for art, heavily influenced by photographer Diane Arbus. Stellabelle admires individuals who make a positive impact on the world, such as Alexandra Elbakyan, the founder of Sci-Hub, who fights for open access to scientific knowledge.
In her artistic journey, she aspires to collaborate with artists like Salawaki and draws inspiration from Salvador Dali, Leonor Fini, Natalie Shau, and others. Stellabelle has explored the world extensively, having lived in Japan, Arizona, and California, and even embarked on solo travel to Canada at the age of 18.
NFT Granny: “Dear Stellabelle, it’s a pleasure to have you here for this discussion. Your digital creations are truly innovative, each one imbued with a unique sense of humour. I’m sure our audience would love to hear about the first digital art piece you created, or at least the first one that left a significant imprint in your memory. Could you share the story behind it?”
Stellabelle: This is an early drawing I did from my college days that I turned into an animation. Sometimes you make a mistake not because you are stupid, but because you don’t know how to read other people, and you can’t imagine a world where sociopaths exist. I learned my most important lesson in life from an experience that happened over a decade ago, and if that had not happened I would not be the person I am today.
This animation is deeply personal and it describes how I regained my self-worth, identity, and inner strength after I had suffered from extreme emotional abuse by a sociopath. In my case, I could not imagine that a human could be so cruel inside, and during the time I was involved, I lost all sense of myself and reality. It took years to de-program my mind.
The emerging figure in the animation represents the life I found and the happiness I discovered within myself. It was a very hard lesson to learn, but I came to realize that true happiness is found within my own heart and has little to do with anyone else. While it’s not healthy to keep isolated from others due to emotional scars, sometimes it’s good just to enjoy the newly found happiness inside. It might be enough. And love relationships might be overrated.
How did you first become interested in art, and how did you get started with it yourself?
Stellabelle: My fascination with art began in college, where I frequently doodled during classes. My journey into art deepened after taking a photography course—I was instantly captivated and fell in love with the world of creativity. Diane Arbus, the renowned photographer, had a significant influence on my artistic development.
Could you tell us more about the story behind your piece “Bitcoin Hard Fork of 2017: Birth of Bitcoin Cash”?
Stellabelle: I created this crypto art in 2017 during the Bitcoin war that resulted in the Bitcoin hard fork and resulting Bitcoin Cash protocol. I think it was my very first crypto art. I never minted it until now.
It was a very strange and scary time, and no one knew exactly what would happen in the future. I had already gone full-time in crypto starting in 2016, so I was very anxious about the Bitcoin situation. It was very difficult to separate facts from propaganda. To even understand why this war was happening, I had to spend a lot of time trying to understand the technical aspects of Bitcoin, which is not easy. People were being banned from Bitcointalk forums that centered around the block size of Bitcoin. The two main factions were Bitcoin Unlimited (Roger Ver on the left) vs. SegWit (Greg Maxwell on the right). To understand this war, I would have to explain the technical details, so just Google “SegWit Bitcoin” if you want to go down that rabbit hole.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of?
Stellabelle: In October 2021, during the height of the PFP frenzy, I created CryptoStella #47: Evisceration of the NFT, which illustrates how I felt at the time, namely that the entire NFT movement had been co-opted by greedy psychopaths. I am still very proud of this art because it really expresses the rage, despair, and deep feelings of disgust I was experiencing in 2021.
And now, as we learn that 95% of NFTs are basically worthless, it’s clear that I predicted this from two years ago. I made this art in October 2021, at the height of the PFP frenzy, and to show them being massacred, all together at the bottom seemed very weird at the time, to other people. I placed some notable early adopters of the technology at the top: Nilicoins, Connie Digital, Beatriz Ramos of Dada, and my own 2017 cryptoart collective Slothicorn.
Is there an artist you would like to work with? Like a collaboration?
Stellabelle: Yeah, I would like to collaborate with Salawaki.
We are curious 🙂 Would you be willing to share any plans of upcoming projects?
Stellabelle: Yes, I have been working on a new project, Gigatura, for six months. It will be launched on Tezos in 2024. We are also doing a major fundraising initiative with Artizen that would give us the chance to get funding, and our sale is live now and the price is 0.01 ETH.
To get the complete details, along with videos that explain my project in-depth, view my pinned tweet on Twitter.
Here’s the Gigatura story: In 2045, the world’s first techno monarchy, Mirage, is created by Gigacorp. Citizens of Mirage are managed by a social credit score system, the Giga Score. A woman named Tura escapes from Mirage and forms a rebellion to destroy Gigacorp.
Who or what are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Stellabelle: I’m truly inspired by people who are changing the world for the better. Alexandra Elbakyan, the founder of Sci-Hub, is one of my current inspirations. She believes that access to scientific knowledge is a human right, and she’s been taking on one of the biggest for-profit science publishers, Elsevier. What she’s doing is benefiting thousands and thousands of scientists all over the globe. I also don’t believe in putting paywalls on scientific journals. They sued her for $15 million, but she doesn’t have any money :). There are lots of artists who inspire me, such as Salvador Dali, Leonor Fini, Salawaki, Natalie Shau, and many others.
Is there something specific you are trying to express with your art?
Stellabelle: I am actually a messenger, and my primary concern is artistic freedom and independence from mega corporations.
What do you feel when you are creating new art?
Stellabelle: I feel a mix of excitement, discovery and relief.
Do you remember the first time you heard about NFT Art?
Stellabelle: In 2016, while blogging on Steemit, I first learned about crypto art. I don’t really feel that “NFT art” accurately describes me because when I initially discovered crypto art, no one was using the term “NFT art.” The person who had a significant impact on me was Coin Artist. She was the first artist I came across and the inventor of Bitcoin art puzzles. I also started creating crypto art puzzles.
How do you enjoy the NFT Art you have collected? Do you have a way to display it for example at home?
Stellabelle: I just enjoy it on my phone, and on my computer. I don’t have it displayed in my house.
What would be your biggest wish for the NFT Art scene? What is currently missing / not fully developed to reach full potential out of it?
Stellabelle: Artist independence is something that has not yet happened. I would like to see a world in which artists are empowered rather than having to rely on wealthy individuals to buy their art. I don’t have the solution, but I believe that we need to learn how to become more financially independent and establish artist groups with built-in services. One thing is clear: artists will not thrive in a system driven by speculation and controlled by wealthy individuals dictating what’s considered popular.
What is the most disturbing thing when it comes to NFTs and cryptoart in your opinion?
Stellabelle: I am deeply concerned that certain influencers, individuals motivated solely by profit, specific NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), scam artists, and criminal organizations have significantly influenced the perception of the crypto art movement in the mainstream media. It’s disheartening that many people in the mainstream still fail to recognize the genuine artists involved.
We would really like to know, where do you see the NFT Art scene in the future?
Stellabelle: I see the NFT art scene splitting into two distinct movements, and in fact, this has already happened. On one side, you have the crypto art world, and on the other, you have the NFT profile picture (PFP) gamblers. There is some crossover, but these cultures have become two distinct worlds. The people I know have been involved since the beginning, and honestly, there was no money involved in the early days. Big money always attracts the wrong people. Now that most of the big money has disappeared, I believe it’s better for the culture. We can truly see who is doing what now.
Which tools do you use to create your art?
Stellabelle: I mostly use free open-source tools like GIMP. I create my animations manually, crafting each frame separately, and then combine them to create a GIF. Additionally, I utilize other AI tools such as Stable Diffusion to generate objects that I later assemble into collages or paintings.
What does a typical day for you look like, and what do you like to do when you’re not busy with NFT
Stellabelle:I wake up and think, ‘Am I going broke today?’
I typically work on Gigatura art, and then I plan out the homeschooling activities I need to do for my daughter. I fit in art between everything else. This routine has changed significantly since my child no longer attends public school.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Stellabelle: Only push the publish button if you feel nervous about it.
Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect?
Stellabelle: I have an extensive postcard collection. I also own one physical painting from a painter who I admire greatly.
Where do you like to travel?
Stellabelle: I have traveled all over the world and lived in Japan, Arizona, and California. When I was 18 years old, I even traveled alone to Canada. In recent years, I have visited China, Spain, Mexico, and New York City. To be honest, I’m considering going back to Japan, but this time I might not travel as extensively. I feel like I’ve seen so much already.
- Full Name: Stellabelle
Languages she speaks: English and some Japanese
What did you want to be when you were a child: I loved writing to my international pen pals; I had over 20 of them, and I wanted to do something to bring people from around the world together.
Education: BA in East Asian Studies
First Job: fashion model for Elite