This article was published on February 2 and updated on February 22
Familiar with Darcel Disappoints? No? You will be soon.
Created by New York-based artist Craig Redman, founder of the renowned design collective Rinzen, Darcel is a cute cyclopean character with enough personality to draw attention from the world's top brands.
Louis Vuitton. Coca Cola. IKEA. adidas. Those are the kind of blue-chip names that any creative director would be gassed to work with.
Darcel has been there and done it. Now, his 10,000 digitally-created clones are off to the metaverse to be minted, with pre-sale beginning March 4 for .1ETH, with public sale beginning the day after.
As the Dour Darcels NFT site makes clear, the project is community-first and creative-conscious.
As he explained to Highsnobiety, Redman has big plans for his little friend.
How long have you been observing NFTs and crypto? As an artist, how do you feel about the relationship between art and NFTs as a medium?
Like a lot of people, I started getting into NFTs during the dark days of the pandemic, there wasn't much else to do so I dug deep into them and web3. web3 really appeals to me: the idea of the internet being community-driven rather than governed by centralized entities is pretty compelling.
As an artist who operates mostly in the digital realm, I also like the mental shift that NFTs create, that just because the work is made with pixels and lives on the internet doesn't mean it should be valued any differently from other forms of art.
I also like the directness of assigning an ETH value to an NFT, unlike the smoke and mirrors approach in the art world, for example. Everything in web3 is right there, out in the open for the community to see.
What got you to put Darcel on the blockchain?
I've inadvertently been creating PFPs for years — people already use Darcel as their avatars — so it was a natural shift. There is a simplicity to the character but also a lot of personality, so it seemed like a logical progression for Darcel.
These previous PFPs were made individually; with Dour Darcels, I love the idea of building a whole new world that uses coding to create a DD family.
There are 220+ traits and the combinations that have come out of the coding have been incredible to see, so many different personalities and looks have emerged that I would never have thought of myself.
You mention that Dour Darcels is poised to be an enduring brand. Is the project going to remain in the metaverse, so to speak? What's the long-term vision?
I have been working on Darcel projects for 14 years, so he's endured for a while already! It's given me the experience to push Dour Darcels even further. I think coming into the space with an established character gives me a unique point of view.
Darcel’s background, with all the projects and collaborations he’s worked on over the years, has prepared me for what comes after minting. I think a healthy mix of metaverse and IRL utilities is important and there are literally endless possibilities for what we can do — from clothing collections to brand collaborations all the way up to an animated series, let's see what happens as it unfolds.
All good NFT projects have a strong community base, which you mention on the site. What does the Dour Darcels community look like and how're you looking to cultivate it?
It starts with the community we're building through Discord and Twitter and expands from there. I want the community to build Dour Darcels into whatever everyone wants it to be.
I’m here to put out high-quality art and guide the direction and utilities as a starting point, then we can build and decide as a community from there.
To be honest, after working on Darcel by myself for so many years it feels great being part of an enthusiastic group of people. Together we can build much bigger and better than I ever could alone.