Budja.io, Mandala Metaverse
This month has been very special indeed! We have seen the launch of several very impressive NFT projects on Cardano (one that’s been featured below!) and the game-changing partnership between NMKR Studio and Rudolf Budja; the enigmatic artist, art collector and Miami based art gallery owner to support his launch of Budja.io.
His vision is exemplary, and his cool is otherworldly. The respect he commands in the art scene is on Godfather status, and it’s no joke. This is a man who has in his lifetime in the creative arts scene, where he graduated from music and DJing into the Art scene upon arrival in Miami in his teens and has since gone strength to strength. He has recently celebrated the 30 year anniversary of his first Gallery in Graz, Austria; and with establishments based in Salzburg, Vienna and Miami Mr Budja is definitely qualified to trailblaze in the Fine Art NFT scene.
So, a launch setting that's befitting of this project and to blaze a trail for the uninitiated in NFTs, Budja.io was unveiled at the most prestigious of events, the annual Art Basel in Miami. This would ensure the NFT ecosystem could enjoy complete exposure to the sophisticated art collectors and dealers who commonly purchase multi-million dollar paintings at events like this. What this means for the relationship between traditional art and NFTs cannot be underestimated. We are about to get a 1st Class ticket into an industry worth $50B a year where investors and collectors can begin to enjoy the many benefits of digital ownership of physical art.
What’s the vision? How will it happen? We thought it would be best for you to see up close and personal. So our CEO, Patrick Tobler, wasted no time in heading to Miami for the launch and to speak with the man himself. Watch the interview here.
Our next feature is also something quite spectacular. Enter, the Mandala Metaverse.
We had the pleasure to get further acquainted with the founders of Mandala Metaverse. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this most enlightened creation, prepare to be truly inspired. From the moment we started working on their launch, it was clear that this is a very special project that we believe could have a profound impact on humanity for the much better.
Maker Review (MR) Intro: Seasons greetings, and welcome to THE MAKER REVIEW. The purpose of this interview today is to examine your project launch so that artists, developers, and future teams can learn from your challenges and the journey so far. We are delighted to feature you this month as part of our end-of-year special. We want to highlight everything you've achieved thus far, what this means for the people and what the future holds. So let's begin...
MR Q1: Let’s start off the big question; Can you tell us why you chose Cardano? What is it about this blockchain that convinced you it was the place to launch your NFT project?
Mandala Metaverse (MM): Cardano’s ethos of sovereignty, interoperability and the potential for a decentralised Metaverse, as well as building side by side with Singularity.Net. We love the people in and around Cardano that we’ve met and partnered with.
MR Q2: That’s interesting! Can you tell us a little more about “building side by side with Singularity.Net?”
Mendala Metaverse (MM): We are working on a narrative that uses the technology the Metaverse will bring, and as we build the pieces we feel fit, that includes many pieces that Singularity.Net is also working to build. They, too, are creating interesting uses and story for within the “Metaverse,” and a Metaverse alliance that enables us all to create is what is at the core of this. Their knowledge of AI, programming, coding, blockchain, and crypto is unparalleled, and has one of the preeminent thought leaders behind it. As the “engine” gets created for the narratives we are spinning, that engine company will lay the tracks for others to hop on and contribute their own narrative to the Metaverse. Let’s build that platform in Cardano for a multi-chain, interoperable, and decentralised Metaverse!
Our use of AI in the Mandala MMO will utilize a karmic algorithm as well as wisdom from the world’s luminaries in a completely unprecedented way that marries ancient spiritual knowledge with bleeding-edge tech, including a brainwave peripheral. More about that soon…
MR Q3: How big is your team and what are the key roles? Do you have in-house artists/designers?
MM: The Mandala team is The Thirteen or so… Our clan system outlines their various approaches and roles. They are accompanied by The 144,000, a growing community from all around the world, and for this NFT drop specifically an amazing group of people within the Cardano community. We found an extraordinary artist from the Hathor chain (see The Anubians series), and he produced mind-blowing art, exceeding our expectations. We continue to find other artists to keep things dynamic and diverse. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement on that.
MR Q4: When and where did you hear about NMKR Studio for the first time, and what were the reasons that attracted you to the platform?
MM: Just about a month ago from Josh Miller at IOHK. We are super impressed with Patrick and Kristian, and the team around them.
MR Q5: So, you’ve chosen NMKR Studio, fantastic! Please explain what your NFT project is all about! What are the utility, rarities and the USPs? We know our readers would love to know from the people who created it!
MM: Mandala Sovereigns NFTs invite people to build and imagine who they want to become in the Metaverse and transpositionally in their real lives. We are building the world’s first Enlightenment Simulator engineered to shift consciousness through a critical mass of sovereigns worldwide. Enter the Mandala and help “imagineer” a new world!
In terms of rarities, the code for the Mandala Metaverse “Sovereigns” CNFTs on Cardano has hundreds of conditionals for generation with over 1k image file assets, 18 unique character templates and 12 possible face traits to form the portraits. We feature humans and the totem animals from the 12 Mandala clans, as well as epic characters from our world, Sky Dancers, Nephilim/MIBs, Light and Shadow Walkers,. This serves as a good overall introduction to the lore of Mandala.
We also include rich metadata in this collection for interactivity and FOMO. One airdrop with a comic has already gone to early NFT holders – a special edition reprint of Mandala #1 on the blockchain. Expect more to follow. The content runs deep.
MR Q6) It certainly does! I can only describe what you’ve explained as mind-blowing! I have many questions, but most importantly these two, if you don’t mind?
A) How do you imagine that the ideas and prophecies that are created in Mandala to transfer into the ‘real’ world? What would you like to see happen?
MM: If you read the graphic novel (Mandala issue #1 was dropped to early NFT holders) you would see that parts of the story have already come to pass, in the current “real” world. We wouldn't call it prophecy as much as reading the circular narrative of humanity. As the story progresses, and jumps dimensions and timelines, we will see many similarities to what is “really” happening around us. It is at the point in which the interactive component is activated and the audience begins to enter the story, changing the future through becoming the heroes of their own lives. Imagine a critical mass of sovereigns playing their part in creating a better world.
MR: I can already see an army of Mandala warriors taking effect for the greater good of mankind! So, this begs the question...
B) Could you tell our community how and where they can find the NFTs, and what they need to do to join the mission/journey?
MM: https://www.enterthemandala.io/ For now, to join, start to create your sovereign identity, individuate into whom you want to become, find like-minded people within the community, and explore the mythology and lore. See how it gets you thinking about the “reality” around you. Think about what makes you YOU, and use that to add to the community. Bring others in, who you feel can also contribute to the greater community and good of us all. And hodl! HAHA.
MR: It’s an incredible feat of creative engineering and I can really visualise this growing and coming to life. We’re definitely excited to see the progress and evolve!
MR Q7: Tell us about your experiences in using NMKR Studio. What was the platform like to work with in practice? Did you have any challenges when building the framework?
MM: NMKR partnered with us, so y’all handled that side of it. Bravo! Our complexity brought some challenges, with the different clan-based NFTs and rarities, but the team at NMKR Studiowas able to handle that with complete mastery.
MR Q8: Which front-end functions and back-end infrastructure for dealing with customer payments did you implement and why?
MM: See above.
MR: I see, so you trusted them with everything on the technical side?
MM: Yes, we did, with lots of help from the artist, Bert, and his brilliant team. This NFT creation was complex and needed a lot of moving parts that no one had really ever done before, with the uniqueness Bert added, and the 12 Clans, Humans, Sky Dancers, Light and Shadow Walkers, and attributes for each. As with everything in Mandala, it was a team collaboration, with very talented and smart folks.
MR: Indeed it was, and we at NMKR Studio thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of assisting your time in this endeavour.
MR Q9: So my next question was going to ask how you articulate how you formulated the user interface and experience of your website and why you decided on this final design and functionality? Should we assume you left this decision to the NMKR Studio team?
MM: We had an initial outline and idea about the site, and NMKR Studio got it immediately, which says so much about how creative and talented the team is, and they expounded on it and added layers of depth and artistry to it. They took it to a level that was perfect for what we were trying to convey and they kept in line with our narrative and tone. Not an easy job, but they succeeded beautifully.
MR: This is wonderful to hear from the founders, and i’m certain the NMKR Team will be delighted with your comments.
MR Q10: How do you feel about your launch? Is there anything you would do differently next time?
MM: Our project is a kraken surfacing after dwelling in the shadows, a comet shooting in from the deepest reaches of space, a double rainbow arcing across the sky of consciousness. Our approach to marketing is to surprise people and have fun, providing a discovery process for everyone to enter the story. We are not looking at our audience as consumers but compatriots on a shared path of collective discovery and awakening.
MR Q11: What’s next for your project? How do you envision the evolution of your NFTs?
MM: We have published a detailed roadmap in the Blueprint on our website.
The NFTs from this Sovereigns collection already have utility in opening people to explore their higher identity, choose a clan, and value the process of awakening. Their utility will also evolve as you evolve. We look forward to people discovering how that will happen. We’re in the business of blowing minds.
MR Q12: Any final words of advice for the readers who may be planning their own NFT launch?
MM: Dream and vision BIG with purpose. WAGMI. See you on the other side of the 🌈, 🌈.