As technology continues to evolve, so does the culture of sneakers as we know them. No longer are eager collectors waiting in line for new releases, instead, they can be accessed by the click of a button. Now, with the metaverse playing a huge role in the day-to-day life of consumers, one popular self-taught artist is turning top-selling sneakers into digital characters.
“Technology has definitely changed my life,” said Anderson Bluu, the visionary behind The Sneaker Transformation Series, a limited edition line of NFTs. “I don’t even know if I could do what I’m doing now without the way the world is built with social media technology and how everybody has a phone in their hand.”
Bluu is a self-taught artist from Long Island, NY. He is also a sneaker designer who uses his creative powers to produce his own artwork, which is inspired by his love of sneakers, basketball, and pop culture. He further explained how technology has transformed his life, specifically as an artist.
“I use it as a tool to show my artwork to share who I am and just to touch all of those people that are into the same things that I’m into,” Bluu told AfroTech.
More recently, he has taken his sneaker collection and turned some of his favorite shoes into digital characters that are now floating across the metaverse. What’s more, what started as a t-shirt business for Bluu has now become a popular NFT collection that everyone can partake in.
The Sneaker Transformation Series
During visits to various sneaker shows in 2016, Bluu noticed the public’s frustration with the lack of artwork for people in the sneaker space. He went to the drawing board and began to play around with various concepts based on his favorite movies, including popular sneakers.
“One of the ideas that I came up with was the Sneaker Transformation Series [and] honestly when I first did it, I just did it to create a more affordable art print because at the time my artwork was between $60 and $100,” Bluu explained. “When I went to shows for new people that saw me for the first time, they might not be willing to spend that much. So, I wanted to give them the option to get a smaller print that didn’t take up as much room and that wouldn’t give them the pressure of having to spend a lot of money with me.”
He would take characters and tie them into the sneaker in order to create a story about the shoe.
“For example, I’ll take a Jordan sneaker and turn it into a bull because we all know that Jordan played for the Bulls,” Bluu recalled. “So, I’ll just take these concepts and make it into the artwork that I grew up on like Looney Tunes and graffiti, because I’m from New York.”
A Peek Into The Future
Beyond just the sneaker series that he’s built, Bluu hopes to encourage others to tap into the digital art space … especially since there aren’t always people there who look like him.
“One of the things you hear a lot about is that there’s a lack of women or a lack of people of color, especially in the NFT space,” he said. “If i can be the person to kind of plant the seed, I think that’s a great thing. I like to educate my audience and since I’ve been doing this, I’m very happy to say I’ve built a very diverse audience.”
Click here for more on Anderson Bluu.