clay mates x spacebudz nft cover
[AltPress x Clay Mates x SpaceBudz]

AltPress is announcing its first cover on the Cardano blockchain featuring two leading NFT projects, SpaceBudz and Clay Nation. There are 13 different covers, and a limited amount are being minted on Cardano. It all drops Nov. 22 at 10:30 a.m. PST and can be purchased here.

By now, you’ve probably heard of NFTs and seen things popping up on your Twitter timeline about “non-fungible tokens.” Maybe you’ve even clicked through a bit to find out more about the term you’ve been hearing again and again.

Read more: What exactly are NFTs? Understanding the world of non-fungible tokens

As NFTs continue to make their mark in popular culture, more and more communities are emerging on blockchains such as Ethereum, Solana, Tezos and, of course, Cardano.

Two projects leading the way for Cardano — and ones becoming forces in their own right — are Clay Nation by The Claymates and SpaceBudz. Both projects were founded by members of the Cardano community, who have been on the blockchain since its early rise to popularity among crypto enthusiasts. Both projects have been integral parts of building the fast-growing CNFT (cardano NFT) community.

SpaceBudz sit at the top No. 1 in all time CNFT projects, with 14M ada (26.40 million USD) in aftermarket sales, and is given credit for being one of the first NFT projects on Cardano, has a very loyal and active community.

Clay Nation have also made an almost identical impact, currently sitting No. 2 at 13M ada all-time sales (24.57 million USD). Both platforms have been notable founding members of the CNFT community in its short but fast lifespan. They both share community members and also have a similar ethos in their commitment to community building and community-first mentality. Not only that, but they are both well-loved by CNFT collectors. The Clays just released their white paper (Link here) and have laid out ambitious plans for the future.

Read more: AltPress and Wicked Craniums team up for first-ever NFT covers

Earlier this year, Clay Nation announced a collaboration with Good Charlotte, launching the GC X Clay Nation — another Clay project that sits in the top 10 all-time list on Cardano.

SpaceBudz has also been making their own ambitious moves. While not only building their own marketplace, with smart contracts, they announced a community-funded billboard in Times Square last week. To date, they boast sale prices of 500,000 and 1 million USD for individual NFTs. These successes are a first for the Cardano community, and they mirror the large NFT sales seen on the Ethereum blockchain.

All signs point to Cardano growing as a blockchain and a community as many projects on the blockchain take off. One of the key reasons for their impressive development is seen in strong projects like these two. Many CNFT founders, collectors and Cardano holders have big expectations for the continued success of the blockchain.

Read more: Angel Baby Hit Squad launches new NFTs on Ethereum blockchain

Alessandro Berry, one of the founders of SpaceBudz and a figure in the CNFT community, spoke to AP about the project.

“When I discovered Cardano, I was directly hooked on this crazy idea and mission,” Berry says. “It gave me all the freedom I needed, and I could let my creativity run free. SpaceBudz made it possible to let me think outside the box and innovate cool things. It is a very rewarding journey, and I’m truly grateful to pave the way for NFTs on Cardano together with the community.” 

Berry also spoke to the value of NFTs for the overall culture of the Cardano blockchain. Of Clay Nation, he says, “Clays are not just a project in Cardano; they are a Cardano community project. Because of that, they do it right every time!”

Read more: These 12 platforms are the best places to buy and sell NFT art pieces

Berry shows the real positive nature of the community and the bond many of the founders of the projects share. Berry, a computer science student in Germany, is also the creator of the Nami Wallet, a popular wallet used in Cardano. Along the way, he has become the stuff of Cardano legends, interacting with the community and dreaming up a vision for the blockchain.

For Clay Nation, things are just getting started. This special cover of AP marks a moment where the project is picking up momentum and establishing itself in the wider NFT space. They have also earned recognition from people in the music and NFT community such as Snoop Dogg and major collector M. Shadows.

Ahead of the launch, we connected with Lenna of Clay Mates to discuss their work, the significance of Cardano and their vision for the world of NFTs. To purchase your own NFT, visit here.

Can you tell us who all the founders are, ages and locations, as well as their favorite bands? 

The project was founded by Lenna (28) and Issy (27), originally from Brighton and London, U.K. but based in Brussels, Belgium for the last five years.

Favorite bands? That’s a tough one. We always stream Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 6 in the morning and enjoy the good vibes from Arlo Parks, the Growlers, Mac DeMarco and Kurt Vile. 

Their animator, Joe, is 21 and lives in the heart of Devon, U.K. He’s a reggae fan — if he had to choose, his favorite artist is 74-year-old Cedric Myton. 

Script wizard and lead developer Vladimir is based in Canada. His favorite band is the instrumental group Polyphia.  

Can you tell us when and where Clay Mates and Clay Nation was born and how you got started? 

Clay Mates started out in April 2021. Lenna was involved in the Cardano community for some time prior to putting together the first concepts for the project.

The project started out with limited stop-motion animation releases — made in homage to icons in the Cardano community. After a series of successful Clay Mates drops, we molded the initial concept to the popularity of algorithmically generated “profile picture” NFTs to create the 10,000 characters of Clay Nation. This was our attempt to create something completely unique and original: the first “handmade” generative NFTs series on Cardano.

What have been the biggest challenges creating and starting your own NFT project, and do you have any advice for anyone out there who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Time! When we started out, we were balancing full-time work with the many hours needed to develop Clay Mates. It wasn’t easy to focus on our usual tasks as our brains were completely on the Clay — it’s all we talked about and all we thought about. We struggled along with a lot of late nights and early mornings until we adopted a more live and let live attitude. Sounds cheesy, but if you have the opportunity to do the thing you love, definitely do it. 

Creating your own project alongside such an active community base is a lot of fun, but it can also be a real challenge. The speed in which Clay Mates and Clay Nation has gained popularity has also meant that we face high expectations, and I would be lying if I said we didn’t feel the heat at times. My advice is to stay true to your ideas, surround yourself with positive energy and try not to let external pressures doubt your choices.

What do you like the most about the Cardano community?

Shared values amongst friends old and new. It feels as if we understand that something important is happening, and we are able to be part of the change together.

You are female founders in a male-dominated space. Having one of the top projects on Cardano, is there anything you hope to influence or change?

Absolutely. We want the space to become more aware and have a better understanding that gender imbalance in crypto and in NFTs is prominent. It can be unwelcoming to enter servers full of bros, dudes, Chads and lads making tasteless jokes about women. That sounds extreme, but it’s a reality we experience often.

We hope to offer an example of a women-led project that is doing things the way we want — with respect, kindness and openness. That said, we don’t have enough dialogue with women in the space, and we rarely get approached by other women. We all have a role to play in encouraging women to get into space, whether NFT or crypto. Firstly, because it’s fun, but also because it can open up a lot of doors to new opportunities. 

Where do you see Clay Nation a year from now? 

We see it as a virtual space with endless possibilities. We have plans for long-term development, which include both virtual and physical events, and we are excited about the potential use of our Clay Nation NFTs as more than collectibles.

What’s your favorite part of running your own NFT project? 

It is amazing to be a part of a team that is creating something that people enjoy and respond positively to. It is also incredible to watch the growth of the Clay community. People share with us stories of how the project has changed their lives, financially and emotionally. We also love to see people from across the world and of all ages connecting through their love of Clay. 

We understand you recently did a collaboration with Joel Madden (Good Charlotte) with the GC X Clay Nation Halloween drop. How was that, and do you think more musicians and artists will be doing things like this?

We did, and the experience was incredible. The idea to incorporate the “Good Charlotte” style into a new Halloween drop exclusive to Clay Nation holders just seemed so perfect. Working with Joel, the ease of the whole process from start to finish and the engagement from the community on release I think is a good indicator of its success. It is also amazing to have Joel active in the community in general. It creates a real buzz anytime he enters Discord or retweets a project.

Read more: Exclusive interview: Avenged Sevenfold’s game-changing Deathbats Club

It is important to try and expose new people to the CNFT space. I think we definitely achieved that with the Good Charlotte collaboration and the Twitter Spaces we hosted with Joel prior to the release. We hope that established artists from other mediums will embrace the NFT space more and that will encourage wider adoption in general. 

Many of our readers are new to crypto and NFTs. Is there anything you feel they should know?

It’s not as scary as it seems. The language can seem peculiar at times, but if you throw yourself into networks on Twitter or Discord, you will find many people willing to answer your questions. There are many talented people creating NFTs on Cardano, and not all of them are super expensive or niche. Find a project you like, connect with their community and most of all enjoy the ride.

Besides SpaceBudz and Clay Nation, could you tell us three other projects you like the most and believe will be around for years to come?

SushiBytes. They have been active for about the same amount of time as us. The team is wonderful and are contributing to the CNFT community as a whole with some upcoming virtual and physical events. 

Sweet Fellas and NFT-Link. The artwork from these guys is, in my opinion, some of the best in the space, and it differs from the popular avatar and game-style collections. The team is dedicated and extremely down-to-earth. The concept of connecting digital NFTs with physical items was totally original, and they sure are gaining recognition for their innovativeness. 

EquineNFT. Although not yet released, they are pulling out all the stops to bring a next-level concept to Cardano. They’re not horsing around. ALT

 

This AP partnership was made possible by the SpaceBudz and Clay Nation communities, as well as a partnership with NFT-Maker.io. Stayed tuned for more special covers in the future on the Cardano blockchain. 

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE. Please do your own research and consult with professionals when making any investments.