The Me Llamo Art Podcast

Episode 4 - Brynn Alise and Uplifting Artists with Me Llamo Art

March 09, 2023 Me Llamo Art Season 1 Episode 4
The Me Llamo Art Podcast
Episode 4 - Brynn Alise and Uplifting Artists with Me Llamo Art
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Jordan is joined by Me Llamo Art Team Director and photographer, Brynn Alise, who shares about her photography and Web3  journey. Tuning in, you’ll learn how an unfortunate injury led her to discover her greatest passions and find a community in the NFT space. Brynn opens up about what she loves about the Web3 space and why she chose to take on the role of team director, as well as her short and long-term focus for Me Llamo Art. With Web3 still being quite novel, it’s easy to make slip-ups along the way, and in this conversation, Brynn also shares her greatest regrets and her resolve to mint and vault her own work from here on out for the sake of her sons and her legacy. To find out how Brynn and Me Llamo Art are uplifting other artists, why Brynn hopes editions are here to stay, and what she’s most inspired by in the Web3 space, be sure to listen in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The story of how Brynn discovered her love for photography.
  • Increased challenges that come with shooting wildlife and what Brynn is exploring as a result.
  • Her non-profit work and her involvement in the Web2 and Web3 spaces, respectively.
  • What she loves about Web3 and why she chose to take on her role at Me Llamo Art.
  • Insight into Brynn’s short and long-term focus for Me Llamo Art.
  • Why Me Llamo Art is so intentional about being inclusive.
  • A look at Brynn’s Web3/NFT journey thus far.
  • Reasons that she wants to mint and vault her own work.
  • Her mode of uplifting other artists.
  • Why she hopes editions are here to stay.
  • Brynn’s happy place (outside of work and Web3).
  • What she currently finds inspiring in the Web3 space.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Brynn Alise on Instagram

Brynn Alise on Twitter

Brynn Alise on LinkedIn

Comp Stomp Studios



The Me Llamo Art Podcast

Me Llamo Art

Me Llamo Art on Instagram

Me Llamo Art on Twitter



[0:00:03] JB: Welcome back to Me Llamo Podcast. I'm your host, Jordan Banks. Today, I'll be talking with Me Llamo Art Team Director and Photographer, Brynn Alise. Brynn is both an amazing photographer and a team leader. It's been a real pleasure to get to know her over the past few months and I'm excited to have the opportunity to talk to her today. Let's go.


[0:00:23] JB: Hey, Brynn. How are you doing? It's great for you to join us today, so I'm going to be in my best behavior as the Team Director here, like really put on my A-game. A little bit nervous. How are you doing?

[0:00:33] BA: I'm doing well. It's freezing here. We have snow, which is awesome to have some snow for the holidays. But yeah, super excited to be here. Love that we're doing this podcast and can't wait to hear everyone that will be on it.

[0:00:45] JB: Yeah, it's been good so far though and it's recording. It’s great to actually get to speak to some of the team as well. I'm really enjoying it. Obviously, we all know each other but not. There are still lots of things you find out after an hour or so of conversation with people, especially when you’re given the right to delve into their background as well, which might be a bit weird if you're just in a bar in Miami, or something like, “By the way.”

[0:01:04] BA: Yeah, it's so good.

[0:01:05] JB: I'm going to kick it off with a bit about your photography and what we're doing with Me Llamo Art, or what you're doing with Me Llamo Art as well, but the photography bug, how did it first catch you? Were you a young girl, or was it just something that you found in later life?

[0:01:18] BA: No. Well, I found it a couple of ways, through my husband who got into it before I did. I grew up with just a really deep love for nature. I grew up on the ocean. My grandma taught me the name of every seashell. My mom taught me every mammal and sea creature. We did a lot of national park trips growing up. I just fell in love with the wilderness. Then I met my husband in Yosemite Valley. We're both really just outdoorsy and spent a ton of time outdoors. It came naturally as just wanting to start capturing that, which we both got into together.

Then we had kids and he got a little more into it, starting with owls. He became really interested in photographing owls, and so he started getting equipment. Basically, he acquired all this equipment and two cameras and everything. On family trips, if I wasn't the one – if I wasn't watching the boys and keeping them occupied while he was taking photos, we were both shooting together. Then as our boys got a little older, he started climbing with them all the time. I would go sometimes, but I didn't climb a lot, so I didn't want to do that as much.

I also, on a trip to Africa about 12 years ago, I really injured my back just three weeks in Africa, hitting huge potholes and stuff. I came back with a compressed spine at two spots and I ended up having a fusion. But because I couldn't be quite as active with them for a period of time, I somehow just – he taught me how to photograph. I wasn't really into it, but I knew the basics. One day they were out all weekend and I just packed up the car with all the camera gear and went up to Rocky Mountain National Park and found big horned sheep and sat down and stayed with them for the whole evening. I was hooked. It was literally one night of taking out the gear alone. There was something about that solitude, too, and just being in nature alone and with wildlife, which is obviously my favorite, but I do all kinds of nature photography.

It just hit. I realized that everything else went away. I had no worries, no concerns. I wasn't stressed about anything. I was just in the moment with this herd of male bighorn sheep up at like, I don't know, I was about 11,000 feet probably. It was right below the top of Trail Ridge Route and I was like, “This is it. I've found what I want to do.”

[0:03:36] JB: That's amazing. You realized, when you were on location, it was like a eureka moment almost, or?

[0:03:42] BA: Yeah, it was. It was more toward the end. It was at the end of it. We've been on Safari and we've been to Alaska and I'd taken photos because we had two cameras. I had done a lot of photography, but it was always as a family and the boys are running around and I'm spending a lot of time just photographing them. To suddenly be alone and have that alone time, and it wasn't until really the end. It was like, the sun was setting I was starting to take just a few landscape shots and it hit me like, “Wait. This is incredible. This feeling, like I'm in nature which I love. I'm with wildlife which I love and I'm just capturing it and I am so in the moment.” Honestly, that night, I remember that night in late August. I think it was 2015. That was it. That was it.

[0:04:28] JB: That's such a great story. I love that. You talked about, obviously, as I know, it's all nature, but you shoot different genres, or areas in wildlife, landscape, and more recently, I've seen some abstracts come from – as well, obviously, still nature abstracts, but some really, really nice work you've probably been doing for a while, but I know the first time I came across them was fairly recently. What's your favorite? What's the first? If you just had to do one, what would it be?

[0:04:51] BA: If I could only do one, it would be wildlife. I love, love doing wildlife. I have a really hard time because it's gotten – it's like our parks and our public lands have gotten so much more crowded over the last few years and since the creation of social media and everything, I've just seen huge crowds where I used to be able to shoot elk. Elk in my local park during the rut was a few photographers and super peaceful. Now there are hundreds of people up there. It's become more difficult because I'm still trying to find those places where I can still have some solitude and peace while shooting the animals.

I don't mind being with other people, but when it's crowds of a couple hundred and people getting too close to wildlife and stuff, I won't sit in those situations at all. It's definitely gotten harder. Maybe that's led me a little more to explore this. I'm really enjoying abstract, nature photography, especially with seascapes, but also trees and aspen and everything. If there could only be one, it would be wildlife. I would love to travel more for wildlife and really get out there.

[0:05:57] JB: Yeah. I can see why you'd choose wildlife. One of my very earliest thoughts of photography was like, “God.” I was really lucky to get a job in Botswana and Namibia and go on Safari. I was like, “God, I'm going to be a wildlife photographer.” Then it was not even the busyness, it was just like, “Well, hang on a sec. How do I even do that?” Where I lived, I couldn't be out in safari parks all the time, but it's still a huge passion to me. I see why everyone loves it so much. It's just such an amazing experience to be in, to witness these animals and like you say, without the crowds ideally.

[0:06:27] BA: Yeah. It’s definitely gotten a lot harder. My background, I worked for an environmental law firm for a few years right out of college. One of my professors hired me and he had written part of the Endangered Species Act here in the United States. My work was involved in endangered species, protecting wildlife, creating habitats, mitigation plans, and everything for when development was encroaching on wildlife. I think, I just had this work background with it, this passion for animals always, and then just when I found the camera, it all came together.

[0:06:59] JB: It's a nice little excuse to go out as well, isn't it, if you got the camera? Start off with, I think, that's the thing. That's how I saw it and I thought about it, was more about nature and then photography second.

[0:07:08] BA: Exactly. Yeah. I think, if I didn't have this passion and love for nature, I don't think I would be probably as interested. I wouldn't have found it the way I did.

[0:07:18] JB: Moving on a little bit, what you're doing now is very Web3 based, what we're doing here, what we're doing with Me Llamo Art and obviously, yourself as an artist. Are you still involved much in a Web2 world, as far as business and structure, non-profit, and things like that go, or have you probably dominantly gone into Web3?

[0:07:36] BA: In terms of photography, I didn't have jobs in Web2 with photography. I had a couple of very small jobs. I sold prints off my website, but it was never a real business. It was just more of a passion and something I loved to do. I do still work part-time for a non-profit that my husband and I founded. I've been doing that for about 12 years and we serve in the countries of Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, working with social and medical programs over there. Really partnering with locals who are running their own programs and supporting them. I've been in the non-profit world for the last 12 years doing that and continue to do that part-time.

[0:08:15] JB: That's amazing. That leads to my next question, as obviously, you're our team director. That's quite a daunting task, I know. I think, you probably expected more than maybe Matt did when he took it up, just knowing artists maybe slightly more intimately. What, one, made you take the role, and what made you even think, “Yeah, I can do this and I have the skill set to do this” and I think, you maybe have just hit on that?

[0:08:39] BA: I mean, there's a couple of things. One, I got into Web3 and about, I don't know, March-April, I guess, of 21. I absolutely fell in love with this space, and with the community of creatives. Just everything about the space, I've just loved so much, that I really wanted to be involved in more of something and found Me Llamo Art was just an absolutely perfect fit. I knew I would love to have a job at some point doing something. When I talked to Matt about a non-profit and about his ideas, I remember in the beginning there were a couple of you that were already on his team and I started messaging him like, “I am in. You better call me. I want to do this with you guys.” That was just to be a part of this team and a community. I was so excited to have a part in that.

My background in the non-profit world has definitely helped. I manage volunteers. I manage a very small staff, but when you add that with our volunteers and our overseas partners and everything, I've had a lot of experience.

[0:09:37] JB: I was thinking the overseas thing was the – I mean, well, it's different overseas, and not everyone's overseas. It's the same, isn't it, for what we're running here. We've got people all over the world for all intents and purposes really, I mean.

[0:09:48] BA: Yeah. A lot of our team are traveling all the time, and so you're like going, “Okay, I got a touch base with them.” But like you said earlier when we were talking, you could be in India, or someone's in Australia, and so it's just always on the move. I'm used to that, so that works great.

[0:10:03] JB: Yeah. Totally. You hit upon that, like it just felt like the right fit at the right moment, in the right point in time. That was very much like, that's how I felt as I saw – your story rang very true with me. I wanted to do something. I knew I didn't have the skill set to do it on my own or even have the idea. Then when Matt approached me, it was just like, “Yeah, this is perfect.” Then obviously, as the team's grown, it's just like, this is absolutely fantastic. It's nice to hear as well when people see it and they're like, “Oh, I saw you guys are already on it and I want in.” It's like, it's quite good that our team sells ourselves a little bit, so that's quite good.

[0:10:34] BA: Yeah, I love that. I mean, part of it too was definitely the team he was already assembling and seeing that the three or four of you are already doing it. I was like, “Oh, I still want to be a part of that.” I was just so excited by the idea of a non-profit and helping artists and lifting up all artists and emerging artists. I just was so excited to get involved. It works out perfectly because I can do this about half-time for now and I'm still doing my other non-profit and the time that I have works really well. I'm hoping to get out in the field more to do more photography soon. But when this started to get really busy for me was also when I slow down with photography naturally. I usually have a couple of months where I'm not shooting much in October through December, and then I pick up winter, more January, and February. It's worked out really well.

[0:11:20] JB: That's nice because you definitely have taken the bull by the horns and running this, really getting things done. I could only imagine, you are enjoying it, which is obviously great. I hope you continue to with the bombardment, where you're probably getting daily from all of us of like, “What about this? What about that? I need this. I need that.”

[0:11:35] BA: Yeah. That's what's crazy. It doesn't feel like a job. I love it. I'm really enjoying it and it feels so fun to be a part of something bigger in Web3 than myself. I think with the bear market, too, knowing that I wanted to just learn more and dive deeper and take this time to be able to take this time to build something that I feel is extremely meaningful is just perfect. I don't see myself getting tired of it. I am loving every minute.

[0:11:59] JB: On Me Llamo Art, obviously, I feel and we've got a long way to go as we all know when we talk in our team meetings and we discuss what we want to achieve. But considering when it started, for June, July when we first started, I announced through the spaces, but what's your short, and long-term goal?

[0:12:14] BA: Yeah. I mean I think there will be a lot of changes, a lot that we’ll adapt and we'll be moving from thing to thing, but I think what we're really focused on right now, I know for sure the next three months are extremely focused on NFT NYC and Comp Stomp Studios there that's run by Chad, but that we're now a part of, and a couple of Me Llamo events we have in addition to Comp Stomp Studios, a program that we're going to have for emerging artists there that I'm incredibly excited about. I think we all are. I think we're going to be focused on that.

Then from there, I'm just super excited about the ideas we have for programs, and different ways to elevate artists to be able to have even mentoring programs. The biggest thing we need to focus on is fundraising and bringing in the money so that we can all do the long-term and that's a challenge, but I think that we are going to be really amazed by what we have that NYC and just some of the events we have. I think we’ll hopefully really help with that. Obviously focusing on fundraising, but just I'm extremely excited about all of the programs we are putting out. That will take time, but that will really just support the artist community. I know we focus a lot on the photography community, and just providing the support, this safe, inclusive environment for people to come in to learn, where we can educate, mentor, lift up other artists, and help people when they're having a hard time in the space. Obviously, not as counselors, but be a sounding board and then provide resources.

I've always thought, too, another great thing we could do with education is to also just help – we want to onboard more people. We want to onboard more collectors and bring more people into Web3. I also think it's really important that we make sure that Web3 is right for people as they onboard because I've watched a lot of friends from the photography community come and go because it wasn't right for them. I think we should be more open and transparent about that when people are coming in, because it is hard. You do have to commit a lot of time to the space. I think it can be difficult for some, so I think it would be awesome to do some education around that as well.

I'm just super excited for all the programs we have, the ideas we have. Some will build out and some I'm sure won't and we'll have new ones. Right now, I'm just extremely excited for New York and what we're going to have with Comp Stomp Studios and Me Llamo Art, I think is going to blow people away, so I'm really excited.

[0:14:37] JB: Yeah. Certainly, an exciting time, definitely. I think we were hitting on the education and the, I guess, inclusivity we're getting out there, weren't you with people? Because I've noticed, especially, obviously, my friendship group is all walks of life and countries and languages is where I'm getting with this. I've known people who've come in and they've just been said something that's not their first language, but they're speaking in English, or they've tweeted something that's come across the wrong way or these sorts of things and it's – I think, one of the things about Me Llamo, it's very inclusive that we want to try and build on that, don't we, for like you say, people coming in that are harder, finding it harder to deal with or understand, because of whatever it is cultural differences, language differences. We need a safe place for them to come and understand what's going on without making mistakes and finding it and then end up leaving and making costly mistakes, more importantly, I guess.

[0:15:23] BA: Right, exactly. Yeah, so I'm really excited about that and I just think our team, there's so much information from being in this space between Matt being a collector and us artists and then real-world experience that everyone has that they bring to their role, I just think we're just really primed to help people in this space and I'm super excited about that.

[0:15:43] JB: Yeah. I think it feels like the perfect time. It's almost like a bonus that it's – I think, I was talking to Matt and I was saying, when it's the bear market like this, it feels – it's nice to have something to occupy you and actually, even if it's for myself, if it lasted a little bit longer, it wouldn't bother me now. It actually allows me to build and learn. I'm not desperate for it to come out. That's a terrible thing to say I do, but you know what I mean, I think, that it's –

[0:16:06] BA: No, I definitely do. I mean, I've been saying this with people when it hit and we were all in this lower space, I was like, “Oh, this is an interesting space to be in.” Then I start, and everyone was talking about, “Well, this is when you build. This is when you build.” For a little bit, in the beginning, I was like, “Okay. Well, what does that mean?” For me, I thought, well, it means I'm going to work more on learning more about my editing and this and that. Then I realized, “Oh, my gosh. I can be in a role where I get to actually build within this space and be part of it,” and it's been incredible.

[0:16:35] JB: You suddenly understood what they meant by building. You're like, “Oh, okay. That's what they mean. They mean, do Web3, but find another way to not just sell art, I guess, for us photographers or artists.” That takes us quite nicely into – I want to find out a bit about your Web3 journey and where did that all start? When was the NFT moment? How did it happen, when you were like, “Oh, what are these?”

[0:16:56] BA: No, mine's really interesting, because I had driven to California in, I guess, March of 21. Clubhouse existed, right? This audio app that a lot of us were using. I drove out to Zion and camped out there and then went to my dad's in California and drove back. Was with my back stuff, I really messed something up and ended up having where my foot and leg went completely numb. It lasted for two months I was dealing with this. While Clubhouse started, we had all these audio rooms and I was having so much fun with that.

I also had this period of time where I had to be lying down flat on my back with my legs up to get rid of the numbness, so I had way more time to listen and learn where I would have been busy. I would have been out. I would have been hiking, doing photography, and working more. I was just laid up for a month. I learned all about NFTs during that time, which is so funny, because I feel like I could have missed it.

[0:17:56] JB: Yeah. Your numbed leg led you to this.

[0:17:59] BA: It's so random, but it truly is. It was like, I was having so much fun with this group of friends that I became really close with on Clubhouse and we all entered the space together. I just would never have had the time probably to learn all that and figure it out without space. I remember for a period of time, we had this group called Just Chilling, and we just went in there. We actually started it, because we were tired of all the NFT rooms. We just wanted to hang out and talk photography. The next thing you know, we're all teaching each other about NFTs.

I remember for a period of time on Clubhouse, I'd be in this room and Ben Strauss was often in this group together. Then I'd see him jump to an NFT small space and I'd follow him and then I'd text him and be like, “Okay, wait. I don't understand this.” He'd help explain it to me. I feel like, he totally helped me get going in it, too. I had a couple of friends, Ian, Chris, and Kelly that just became my tech people at the time.

[0:18:54] JB: Nice. Did you just straight away pretty much just realized the value in and you saw the potential straight away, or was it still – was there a period where you were like, “I don't really understand this or know this, or it feels like a Ponzi scheme?”

[0:19:09] BA: No, I never felt that at all. I got really excited to get into it. I probably didn't enter in the best way. I definitely entered by experimenting and trying to figure out how to mint a piece and list a piece and did it really low, and maybe sold one of my good pieces for – I think my first piece was for 0.1 on OpenSea because I was just trying to see if I could do it. It was the learning process. Then one of my friends bought it right away.

From there, I got really excited and people were starting to do collections and I thought, oh, it would be so fun to do a wildlife collection. I did just dive right into that. I was doing a push on conservation, so I was giving 50% to a couple of conservation organizations that work in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where I spend a lot of time. I got all excited about that and I was talking to Dee and he wanted to host a space for me about this. I was just diving in and really enjoying it.

Then we did this space and it wasn't really a lot of people, because it was at the beginning of Twitter Spaces and there were a lot of photographers in the room. I got a lot of hate after that from some photographers outside of the space that was all about how bad NFTs are and everything. It definitely paused me for a couple of weeks. I definitely had to take a step back and go, “Wait.”

[0:20:26] JB: Did you question yourself? You were like, “Are they right?” Because I remember that happening. I think we first connected in Clubhouse. I mean, nothing really. But I think that was how we first came across each other. Then obviously, reconnected through NFTs. I remember that I wasn't going to bring it up, but I'm glad you did because I think that it's a conversational point.

[0:20:46] BA: I learned so much through it. I had one friend say, “Well, you've made it now because now you have half the photography community mad at you. That's clearly something.” I was like, “But I really enjoy people. I don't like people hating on me.” Definitely, I had to pull back a little more in the sense that I'm a conservation photographer, and was what I was doing okay? I had to really look at that. I think that was a really healthy point is I looked at it, I saw some issues with it that yes, we can argue away, or some people agree, or some people don't. I knew from my standpoint and how I was viewed in the photography community, I had to really look at it and make sure it was the right fit for me.

I think, what I ended up with was I was already giving 50% of my sales to organizations that I know it's made a difference in. The feedback I got from them, they were extremely happy with it. Then I also realized, by this point, we're talking, this is August. What I've been doing this March to August, all I have done is learn and learn and learn and dive in and grow. I really realized, too, I couldn't step back and lose all this information that I'd learned in this place that I loved. I wasn't willing to give that up, knowing that this would resolve itself and we thought sooner than it did with ETH changing and everything.

I think it was really good for me because I don't think I had paused to figure out, why am I doing this? Is this the right thing for me? I was just diving in and moving with it. It was a good time to pause and look at everything I was doing. I pretty much came out with, I'm right where I'm supposed to be. I was already absolutely in love with this space and the friendships I had made, I was already meeting people in real life to shoot and to photograph with that I'd met here. I just knew, for me, it was the absolute right decision. Yeah, I never looked back after that, but it definitely – I had about a week or two of pausing after I'd released this wildlife collection and it did really well the first couple of days and then I definitely pulled back for a week or two like, “Oh, wow. Am I supposed to be doing this?” Then, I came up with yes.

[0:22:55] JB: I'm glad you did. I'm glad you stuck around. I think it's important that you did take the time and appreciate why people were saying it, and not that they were – and just actually didn't just go, “No, you're wrong. I'm right.” You did actually reflect on something and think, “Hang on a sec.” We all do think. Obviously, if you do something wrong, it's nice and you turn – I think, that leads me on to not that you did do anything wrong there, I should say. I mean, it’s nice that people just know, there may be two sides to other stories and it is worth thinking about.

Something that hit me with that story was you were saying you came into the space and nothing with the wildlife conservation, didn't really – you just came in and maybe minted a piece too soon and undervalued your work and so on. Obviously, now, it seems like you probably plan a lot more maybe and you put a lot more thought into things and drops and when you're doing things, or is it still – Do you think that's important, or is it still just the motion?

[0:23:43] BA: I do and I don't. This is actually one of my goals for 2023 is to be more of a planner. It's funny and the real world, I feel like I am more of a planner. I definitely have this spontaneous side. If I feel like minting something, I mint it. If I get excited about it, I mint it. I feel like, looking back that's probably not always the best idea. I tend to not have too much work out there at one time. I've been much more careful with that.

My wildlife collection definitely made me pause and rethink how I drop things because it took a long time to finish selling that out. I did 50 pieces, which was a lot. I wouldn't do that many again in a collection. I have a little trauma over how long it took me to sell that out, which I did, but I think Matt actually helped me with that, where I was like, “I can't do this anymore. This collection, I cannot keep promoting this thing.” Matt was like, “Just really go for it. You've got 10 pieces left. Just start talking about it again.” I was like, “Oh, okay.” I did it and it sold out and it felt so great to have that sell out.

Then I've been careful about dropping editions. My editions have sold out really quickly. I'm trying not to do too many of those and being careful with my one-on-one drops. I've definitely learned. I think there's a lot to learn in this space and we all make mistakes as we go. I would not do a collection that size again. This is one of the things I've been talking about a lot lately. I don't remember if you've heard me talk about it, but an ex-lawyer did this whole tweet on really valuing ourselves and our work and even vaulting our own work. It completely changed my thought process and made me realize that I really want to mint and vault a lot of my own work for my own boys.

I really regret that a couple of photos I've sold are the best shots and my boys’ favorite photos. I wish I didn't mint and sell those, because in the long run, I would rather have them each have their favorite shot. They don't seem to care at all about NFTs right now and they are old enough that I think they should, but they know, they’re college-age. It made me realize that I actually have one or two shots that I'm hoping someday to go buy back from the people I sold them to so that I have them. I'm realizing, and I didn't do this, but with my editions, to always save two for them, that I want them to have these images, that they own them. Not that I've sold all my favorite images.

[0:26:06] JB: You've got to think of them as they are valuable, aren't they? That's the thing that you – When you put it out and mint it an ETH, 5 ETH, whatever you put it at, that's the value you still hold it as if like, I can't remember who I was talking. It might have been Matt, actually, but it's like, he was saying the same thing. He’s like, you've got the gold bar there. You can't walk into a shop and buy anything with a gold bar. You have to still sell it and it maybe might be a little bit easier than the NFT to move a gold bar. But your NFT, you’re still holding on to that dollar value, or that fiat value, or whatever you – ETH value.

I definitely see the value. I hadn't seen it as vaulting it, but I'd seen the value in just putting pieces on the chain, without any chance of even if you're not going to list them. Because I was like, if nothing else, you get gas fees cheap enough, you're actually getting a lifetime storage of this stuff, which is far cheaper than going to PhotoShelter, or Dropbox, or potentially.

[0:26:57] BA: Absolutely. I think that's why we just – a few of my friends, we just started calling it vaulting them. You mint them and you send them to your ledger and you own them. You may end up deciding to list one later. But for now, it's your work, it's your collection and people can go view it, but you own it. Gas is so low. I mean, when you think about what we are spending on gas when we came into this space, there's no way we could have afforded to do that. But we can now. When my life finally slows down, I think next week I'm actually hoping to go through and mint and vault a bunch, to just have them on the blockchain.

Then I have been thinking more about legacy. Obviously, I have kids in college. I'm a little older for the space. I do want them to have these pieces, just as I have my grandfather's bird wood carvings and my grandma's paintings, and the seashell collection from my grandma when I was little. Those are the things that mattered to me now. I know that my photos matter to them.

[0:27:57] JB: Well, also, they have the value. It's like you've sold it to your son, but realistically, they can say, put it, they bought it, instead of paying 0.1, 1 even, whatever.

[0:28:05] BA: Yeah. If they want to sell it later in life, great. I don't care. But I want them to have that opportunity.

[0:28:11] JB: Yeah. I see the value in that definitely. I think, it's something, I've been the same as you. Since I hit on the idea, I didn't think of it as vaulting. I just thought of actually – and again, it wasn't just going to be every photo, but it was stuff that I really valued, put it up there as a long-term storage that just has that uniqueness, it was there in 2020, 2021, 2022, in 2023, 2024. That's not going to seem a very long time. But in 2030, 2040, suddenly, it's like, wow. Who knows where you're going to go in our careers? That obviously adds value as well.

[0:28:42] BA: Right. I still list my best work. I'm not going to not list my best work. But if it has some incredible sentimental meaning, then I'm not going to. Where I sold the only close-up wolf shot that I have, which was actually a really special family moment and meant a lot to my son. That's one of the ones that I'm like, I got to track that down. I don't know who owns it. I am going to try to buy that back. That's just interesting too, to be at a point in the space already to be like, “Okay, wow. I made a mistake with that one. I want that one back.” I have another one like that too that I'm not going to share which one.

[0:29:20] JB: You’re worried someone's going to go buy it and then try to hype the price up.

[0:29:24] BA: My collector actually knows that it's one that I was like, “Oh, I shouldn't have done that so quickly.” Yeah, it's funny. I think it's really important to talk about our mistakes to learn from them. They're not even all mistakes, because they're things I didn't even know. I'd never even thought about saving that work for myself, or my boys, or my legacy.

[0:29:45] JB: Yeah, you weren't being stupid. It was just, no one knew this information. It wasn't just a reckless decision. It was just, “Oh, hang on a sec.” You're dealing with something so new that I think it's really worth pointing out that though as well, that people talking about their mistakes and things like that, because especially from people, as people get elevated to these levels and people look up on them, especially people who've been around longer and so on and they think everything's just perfect for them all. It looks perfect, because they've only seen it the last month, or two and they don't hear what happened for the two years before when it was a complete mess.

[0:30:14] BA: No. I keep joking with Matt that I definitely want to write the blog, '10 mistakes I've made in the NFT space’. A couple of them are definitely probably dumb mistakes, but some of them are just things you've learned along the way. We can teach everyone else from what we've done. I'm an open book, so I'm pretty authentic, I'm very open and I'm happy to share where I've not done things correctly and where I want to grow and change and see things go with my work. I hope to write that someday.

[0:30:44] JB: I think if I read those 10 and there was even one that I hadn't done, I'd consider that a win. I'd be like, “Yes, I didn't do all of them.”

[0:30:53] BA: Yeah. We were in this space early and we've grown and we've tried a lot of things and you have to keep trying new things and doing different things, and I think that's excellent. Some of the things I’ve done, I just laugh at. I'm like, “Oh, well. I have a little bit of a spacey side to me, too.” That comes out occasionally.

[0:31:12] JB: I want to know. I mean, I know you do so much within our community and Me Llamo Art. I know you're always uplifting people. Is there anything specific that you can think of that you've done to uplift an artist, or a group of artists, or a project, or anything you've really just –

[0:31:25] BA: I don't think I've done anything specific. One of the things I try to do and then when life gets busy and the algorithm hits the way it does, I have to be intentional about it. But I do really try to – I can't afford more than editions. I try to find artists who have editions, or who have really low one of ones because they haven't sold yet and I've tried to collect from them. Every time I do that, I always tweet about it and try to bring attention to that artist. Not that I have a huge following, but I do what I can. I don't know what my total is now, but I've definitely collected somewhere between probably 130 and 160, if not more, I don't know, editions from artists.

I have really enjoyed doing that. As fun to just, I buy it, then I have it in my collection, but then I really love tweeting about it and sharing that piece with other people. Hopefully, then they see it and will go support an artist that hasn't had the attention that I believe they should face.

[0:32:24] JB: Well, when someone like yourself tweets like you say, I haven't got a massive amount of followers, but I think certain people hold a certain amount of respect for certain people when they tweet about something. You're not maybe not going to get 100 people go and buy the piece. Then there are a few people who really are like, “Okay, I really respect what Brynn thinks.” It may not be every time. Maybe not every time – 130 times, or 160 as you've collected. But as long as you do it, that's the main thing.

I think editions are a great way for that. I think it was one of the things I loved about. It allowed us to collect more from artists that we could maybe never have afforded. I just picked up a piece from Julio yesterday. I mean, I don't know what his art on SuperRare, but they're well out of my budget. The best I can hope for is to get an edition now realistically.

[0:33:03] BA: Exactly. I saw a thread the other day, or editions. Is this a trend right now? Are they here to stay? Just remembered, I responded like, “I really hope they're here to stay because a lot of us really love to collect and support other artists.” But we're never going to be able to buy the one of ones on SuperRare and we just don't have that money as artists. The fact that I hope editions don't go away for that reason. I think, we all need to be careful with them. We shouldn't be releasing editions every two weeks and doing everything that way. I think it's incredibly important to put our work out there as editions because it does give an opportunity to bring all kinds of new people into your collector base and your friends. I love the art I've collected. I can't wait till I actually have one of these digital frames on my wall and I'm like, “Wow, I already have 150 pieces of art to show.” That's going to be incredible.

[0:33:56] JB: We're moving house at the end of January, middle of February sometime and I'll finally have some actual bigger wall space and place to put these. Then it did cross my mind, I don't know, about the energy levels of doing these things. I assume they're very, very low energy, but I mean, not maybe I think we want to delve into here, because neither of us probably know. I was like, “Hang on a sec.”

[0:34:17] BA: I mean, definitely a good thing to check out. I don't imagine. I mean, look at our TVs and they just have these screen savers that rotate photos all the time. I feel like, it's going to be that. We're just rotating.

[0:34:30] JB: It's got to be, hasn't it? If it's just pumping up power, people are like, “Hang on a sec. This is great, but it's costing me quite a lot to just keep this long.”

[0:34:36] BA: No. Yeah, that wouldn't be sustainable. I don't think it's that way, but you're right. I haven't looked into that. Because I haven't gotten to a point where I can afford at least that one, so I'm not looking at it.

[0:34:46] JB: Yeah. I was just about to get to the point where I was like, “Maybe I could treat myself to one,” and you put it up in the new house. Because I think I'd really value it every time I just stop and look at it and be like, “Yeah, that's cool.”

[0:34:58] BA: Yeah. I guess, my opinion at least as of this point in time is I hope we continue to see editions. I hope that's not a trend and that every new artist and as people come up in the space that they consider doing that.

[0:35:12] JB: I think a well-thought-out edition is here, just it was always a good tool. I don't see them going anywhere now. I think the only way they go somewhere is if we just can maybe completely abuse them as artists so much that they're no longer to stay. Everyone starts to put one out once a week. It's like, well, there's just not a market for this.

[0:35:27] BA: Right. If we do that, we're just going to screw ourselves. I hope people are a little bit more intentional about how often they release them. It's good to know that there's going to be a demand there for the supply, rather than the other way around. I'm not so sure about the open editions. I think we'll see an end to those maybe. From what I've heard, I'm not sure collectors like those as much. I try to do the 729, where they're all numbered editions and I've found that people really love those. I think we might see an end to open editions to some extent.

[0:35:57] JB: I think you might be right. I have planned different drops and where things might go. I mean, not at certain times, but like, okay, this would be a good edition piece and these might be one-of-ones. Here are some collections and I'll maybe think about when I might potentially drop them and if that time comes and goes and it wasn't the right time. But I never even considered an open edition. It's one of those things I've seen coming, I could have easily tried to adapt it into one of my editions and maybe made it an open edition. I was just like, it felt very much like, I’d just be doing it to try and bag a few ETH, you know what I mean? It didn't really feel like I knew what I was doing. I hadn't thought about doing it. If I did it, I wouldn't know why I was doing it, other than for ETH really.

[0:36:33] BA: The only reason I did one is I wanted to do a photo that I could drop to all my collectors of my one of ones. I did it and I just made them 0.01 and I only kept it open for a couple of days. I was able to just drop it to my collectors as an extra little thank you, and then was thinking, well, friends can pick them up for really cheap if they want. Honestly, I don't know if I would do that again. I think I might just do an edition drop just for my collectors.

Again, I maybe didn't put enough thought into that one. That's where I am sometimes a little spontaneous and I do – I think that's okay to be like that, but I do want to have for 2023, I want to have more of a plan. I've said in a couple of threads, too, I want to get back to focusing more on conservation in my tweets and my writing, because I feel like I slipped away from that, just in posting photos, and not that I've lost that passion, but I just wasn't sharing about it as much. I want to get back to the heart of what I'm about in this space, whether whatever nature photography I'm doing, that conservation is at the heart of it. I'm trying to look at 2023 to be more intentional in a lot of ways.

[0:37:42] JB: In this space, that definitely strikes me as a sensible thing. Well, in any business, or whatever you're doing, or any project, or just having a direction is really important. I mean, it's something I definitely didn't have for years and years for way to – I look back and go, “I remember my dad telling me, just do business plans. Just put things on paper.” I'm like, “Yeah, but if I put it on paper, I'm just going to make millions a month.” He's like, “Well, try and do it sensibly. Don't be ridiculous.” Now I look back and I go, “Yeah, he’s so right.” It's still like a running joke in our family, I'm talking about a business plan, my dad’s like, “Yeah, your mom says you don't need a business plan.” Because she was always backing me up as a mother like, “Why does he need to do that? Let him just go and take photos.” He definitely knew what he was talking about in the end. I want to find out a little bit more about you as the person outside of Web3, outside of work, and outside of photography. What's your happy place?

[0:38:30] BA: It's really the ocean and the mountains. I grew up, we had a little beach cottage that was literally a little shack near Newport Beach, California, at this place called Crystal Cove that became a state park. My family goes back five generations there, so my great-grandparents’ house is now a restaurant there. I grew up at this little tiny cottage and spent every summer day there. The ocean, the tide pools, just all of that is such a part of me.

Then I've lived here in Colorado for years and I moved here for the mountains. I moved here as a skier originally, so that I could ski all the time and then for the climbing with my husband and absolutely fell in love with the mountains and could never give them up now. We've been doing family trips to Maui every summer with my whole side of the family. Napili Bay is definitely one of my happy places on Maui, where we've spent a lot of time with my family. Then all my family still lives in Orange County and my dad lives on right on the water, basically. I still get all that, but I live near my mountains. Oh, yeah. Napili and honestly, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are my two happiest places.

[0:39:37] JB: I think, I like a bit of both, but I definitely prefer to live in the mountains like you do and then go to the beach every now and again. Rather than beach and then come to the mountains. It definitely used to be the other way around for me. When I was younger, I was all about the beach. Then as I got a bit older, I was like, “No. Take me to the mountains, please.”

[0:39:52] BA: Yeah. You don't get that solitude and that just peace where you can go snowshoeing in the winter, hiking and you're just alone. I mean, that quiet that you get out of nature alone, you can't find that on the ocean.

[0:40:06] JB: What about your favorite food? What's your favorite food? What do you go for?

[0:40:09] BA: Mexican food, probably. I grew up on a lot of really good Mexican food. Tacos have always been my favorite.

[0:40:15] JB: Nice. What about your dream destination, whether you just want to go there and see it and be there, or you just want to go and shoot it, whatever it might be?

[0:40:23] BA: I have always wanted to go to Patagonia and I haven't been. I've wanted to go there for decades. That is still my bucket list dream spot.

[0:40:31] JB: That's a good bucket list. You'll get there. Can you tell us anything about yourself that we maybe don't know?

[0:40:36] BA: I have a huge fear of flying. I'm much better now, but I always joke and even I show up in Miami the first night in an event like, “Oh, I'm totally on Xanax.” I have to take drugs to fly. I've gotten much better. I almost stopped flying completely and I always think about what that would have done to my photography, my life, everything if I hadn't pushed through. Yeah, flying is super hard for me, but I've been to Africa a couple of times now and that has helped me.

[0:41:05] JB: I can appreciate it. I'm not scared of flying. The more I fly, the more I saw of just my brain toys with me and is like, well, every time you go on a flight, and sometimes I'll be on 60 planes a year, you're like, “Oh, God. This is a lot of planes.” I'm not sure about this. But then, I get in a car every day or almost every day.

I want to talk before we wrap things up a little bit about the tech and market and if you're seeing anything in the space recently, or the last few months that you're just like, “Wow, that's really, really clever the way they've done that, or the way they've put that drop together,” or just a completely separate bit of tech, or some real innovation that somebody's done and you’re like, “Wow, that's cool.”

[0:41:43] BA: I'm probably not as big on the tech side, just in the sense that that's the harder part for my brain. Just I'm not a high-tech person. But it's amazing watching everything in the space grow and move. I think I'm blown away by what I'm seeing photographers do in this space. The way that and not just one style, but there's so much creativity in taking photography and whether it's doing a drop differently, or a really unique way, or being the first one to do – I guess, just the first one and then there's so many people that follow, and I think that's one thing I'm trying, that I don't want to do, I don't want to be just this follower who jumps into anything anyone else figures out. That I think we all need to find our own creative path.

For some of us that may just be sticking with the photography we love and focusing on a part of that, like for me, conservation being my passion. I love seeing people that are doing photography and then putting it in Photoshop and layering it and making it look more like a painting, or people that are coming up with the first idea to sell a piece, but everyone who bids gets the bidder’s edition thing when that was started. I think I'm just really impressed and inspired by the people who were the first in the space to do it. I guess I focus mostly on the photography world with that and this is where, I'm a creative, but I'm also not a full creative if that makes sense. I feel like I balanced between the two worlds. There are times that I'm like, “Gosh, I'm just not creative enough to come up with one of these ideas.” But I know I am if I put my mind to it.

[0:43:16] JB: If it makes you feel any better, I'm exactly the same. I think the time will come when the tech idea hits me. But right now, I just concentrate on my love of photography, what I'm doing, what I'm creating. I know, it'd be quite cool to do some with tech. I've got absolutely no ideas of what to do, or what I want to do and it's not come to me. I'm not going to try and sit here and force it either. I don't think that's the way to do it. I'm just like, I'm a photographer. If that's not enough right now, that's not enough. That's fine by me.

[0:43:40] BA: Exactly where you are. I think that's absolutely fine for us. That's where we are and my passion is photography and I'm not going to force it to be anything else. But I think it would be really cool to have one of these really unique ideas that I've seen people do. I think, I'm just really impressed by the different things I've seen within the space of different styles, or different ways to do a drop. Just, I guess, being early enough in a space where you still can be the first at something, and even if you are the one that creates that new trend, or whatever. I've really admired that in a lot of photographers that I've seen.

[0:44:15] JB: Did I see that you picked up a few pieces of Michael's edition?

[0:44:19] BA: Mind's eye?

[0:44:20] JB: Yeah.

[0:44:20] BA: Oh, yeah. I could only afford three. I really couldn't even afford three, but I was getting three, because I missed his early ones. We've been friends since coming into the space together. I have just watched him just take off in this space and his work is insane. He is so talented and he's one of the most humble people I've ever met, who's so gifted at something. I bought three. I'm going to burn two, because I definitely want that night one. That is gorgeous.

[0:44:50] JB: I did exactly the same thing. I bought three and I was like, I love the first one, so I was like, that could be enough. That'd be cool. Then I was like, “Oh, but I'm just not going to get this chance again, sod it.” Also, I don't know if Michael's the first to do this exact way of doing it. I don't think he is, so I've heard of other burns, but don't quote me on that. For me it was like, this is also, this is the best of both worlds. It's the first experience I'm going to have with burning a piece to get that playing a game as it were and obviously, I get two pieces of art then, which I'm quite happy. I'm like, yeah.

I looked at the figures as well. He's obviously done incredibly well, but I think we're going to do incredibly well out of this, well I think. I didn't even pay attention to when I was buying. Later on, I was just like, “That's a lot.” But when you take it to count two-thirds of those might be about to get burned, I was like, “This all looks like, we might have actually made a very, very good investment as well.”

[0:45:41] BA: Oh, I think when you look at – what was it? I mean, because they were $99. But I think it was only 0.07 ETH. I was like, “Oh, my gosh. This is not ever happening again with Mike.”

[0:45:52] JB: He might listen to this. We don't want to be saying that too much as our people who want to collect it, or caught in this between we want it to go up, we also want to stay low so we can get some of it really.

[0:46:02] BA: I know. I just think that thing, I actually obviously have no idea, but I think we're going to see the end to some of that, those open editions. To be able to have Mike doing with a burning mechanism like that and do it the way he did it, which I think was genius, I feel super fortunate to have gotten in on that, to own – I don't think I will ever be able to own a piece from him again, would be my thought, but maybe.

[0:46:27] JB: I can't wait to have that night one on my digital screen in my new house. I'm like, “This is going to be good.”

[0:46:33] BA: I know. I really enjoyed that.

[0:46:35] JB: We’ve pretty much come to the end of what we wanted to talk about, but are there any last thoughts, or something you'd like to share with us that may be about yourself, about my Me Llamo Art, or anything, just last, final thoughts that we haven't discussed?

[0:46:47] BA: I think, the only thing I would want to say is just about Me Llamo Art is that I just feel so honored to be a part of this team. I know I didn't get to meet you in Miami. Hopefully, we're meeting in New York. But be together, other than the two or three of you that couldn't be there, to be actually together in Miami and just see how well we work together. It is a team of really authentic people, incredible creators, but just authentic, really amazing people who care about the community and about other artists. I'm just so excited to see what we can do as a community, for the community, and with the community as we move forward.

I think we got our first step into that in Miami with the happy hour we did and just getting the word out there about what we're doing and what we're here for. I think, heading into 2023, I'm just so excited for the potential that the community has, that we get to be a part of, and for what we can do for artists. I'm just super thankful to have a part of this team.

[0:47:46] JB: Yeah. I feel exactly the same. It's like, this is – I spoke to Matt. I was just like, “Yeah, thank you so much. This is really just what I needed. It's made my life in the bear market. I've still got a meaning and something to do in this space,” rather than just like you say, just tweeting and just not really knowing and getting a bit lost. It's like, being part of something bigger than myself is huge, and to work alongside all of you as well, it's just been so good. We need to meet definitely.

Before we close out, have you got any shoutouts to anyone that you think deserves, or has played a big part in it, or are there too many that you can't even start?

[0:48:17] BA: Yeah, I can't even start. There are too many. I don't want to leave anyone out because I feel like we all have this on this journey. None of us have done this alone. There are so many people. I mean there are collectors I'd shout out, and there are good friends that have helped me through this. Yeah. I shouted out a couple of people in the middle, but I have so much respect for so many people in this space. I cannot believe the real friendships I've developed in this space. Yeah, so I'm not going to shout out anyone. Other than Matt who started this and who has given me more meaning in this space by creating Me Llamo Art. He definitely gets a shout-out, because I could not be happier with where we're at and the future of Me Llamo Art. I'm thankful that he let me be a part of it.

[0:49:02] JB: Yeah, we wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him. That's, yeah, a good shout-out and to everyone as well, I think. Brynn, it's been absolutely fantastic to talk to you. I've really enjoyed just letting you pick your brains for a bit and find out a little bit more about you and just have a conversation. I say to these conversations, if you just gave me an hour of your time. I mean, we've had conversations before. I said, can we jump on a phone call? It's priceless to me as just to get to meet all these people and sit with you. I really appreciate and I'm sure all the listeners really appreciate you coming on and taking the time to talk with us and of course, everything you're doing with Me Llamo Art, I mean, is absolutely fantastic. Yeah, keep up the good work.

[0:49:42] BA: Thank you so much, Jordan. I so appreciate you having me. I always love talking to you and I know that we could sit and chat all day. It's been really great. I really appreciate it. Appreciate all you're doing. I know this takes a lot of time and your role in doing this for Me Llamo Art is so appreciated.

[0:49:59] JB: Thank you very much. Well, I appreciate it. Anyway, yeah. Thanks again so much. Until next time, take care.