Who says crypto space and the common work environment have nothing in common? Beside the traditional artists who made a career out of painting, designing, sculpting and so on, we had the chance to know many more people who saw an opportunity of giving up their specialization in order to begin creating digital art. With all my articles, I had the chance to meet beautiful people and extraordinary minds and even if I’m not a creator myself, I’m so glad I decided to do this and to promote our Romanian artists in a way I could.
When the NFT craze started back in 2021, there were not so many digital artists ready to embrace it. In my #11 article I talked about Eurosadboy, one of the first ones to join the new trend. If you didn’t have the chance to read about him yet, now it’s your chance! But, one other artist who started making magic on the Metaverse was Mental.os. And he is the one we will present in the following. As a definer of the Romanian cyberpunk wave, he basically migrated from marketing to digital interactive illustration which gave him the chance to express his thoughts in a unique manner.
Who is Mental.os?
His pseudonym made him famous, but his real name doesn’t sound so familiar. Robert Drăgoiu, for family and friends, made the first steps into introducing Romania to crypto space. He has over ten years of experience creating marketing campaigns, as a multidisciplinary designer specialized in 3D art. In 2018 he tried to implement the CTF concept in our country and the things worked out pretty well. If you are not familiar with this type of idea, CTF means ‘capture the flag’ which is a common technique used in hacking or cyber competitions.
Anyway, the characters from his illustrations came to life and they were actually the ones to present the rules and prizes to the competitors. This way, his followers started to interact with the virtual reality type of art and maybe even pay interest in it. But the most interesting fact about this competition was in fact, the educational part of it. Participating, the competitors needed to have a basic set of skills so it wasn’t necessary an advanced one required, but going through a number of four tests they would eventually develop the needed skills for the digital transformation the art came to know.
What about art?
Mental.os is step by step creating, small pieces of art in order to try and accustom his followers with the way virtual reality is actually built and how it can be integrated in our everyday life. or, as he describes his work, he build “a world to show you how we are destroying ours”. Let’s see what this is all about!
“What’s left of us without a bank account?”
as part of “Break the Loop” Art Exhibition
30 days October 2020 challenge
That is a very good question indeed. In a world where money comes first and people come second, what would we be without our precious bank account? The chain in the illustration could be actually the result of this concept, symbolizing the unbreakable bond between humans and their financial status. We focused our attention so much on being wealthy, on having more and more money that we basically forgot that there are things to do or have without being paid for.
Creating an image for ourselves to show to the world, we tend to avoid looking in the mirror and remember who we really are. It is easier to live as others expect us to than to admit and accept our true self. So, who are we without all the fancy things we tend to rely so much on?
as part of Didi Dailies Collection of 30
Diana Ioana Daicu, or the first virtual influencer Romania has come to know, modelling for Mental.os in a complete collection of different poses. Even if this illustration would give you a sense of femininity and innocence, if you get to see the bigger picture, you’ll notice various transitions from this to powerful and controlling type of woman and back.
Stylish, fancy, boss girl, Lolita look and so much more, all in thirty limited edition pieces that you are free to enjoy. The ‘not safe for work’ illustrations are all that you can imagine, but not really in a sexual kind of way. This is also the main reason why it is so special and interesting in its own way.
Another interesting parallel between the real human figure and the virtual one. The transition seems to be a smooth one, the female embracing her transition into her digital form.
As originally described, ‘Between the old and new us we often have to ask “what I’m ready to sacrifice?”‘. And are we really ready to give up at least a part of ourselves in order to change? Because it can’t be otherwise. To adapt to a new digital order, we must first acknowledge the things that need to be reshaped. The liquidity of the form can suggest its volatility. But more than that, it has the capacity of rebuilding itself and evolve using new elements surrounding it. And it is really all about evolution, right? With Didi modelling, I guess the same thing happened. She transposed herself from a humanly form into the virtual influencer she is today. But what did she actually gave up on? Maybe exposing yourself on the digital space is really minimizing a decent level of privacy and intimacy, all of us need to have. But what better way to learn this from if not from the artists themselves?
If you wanna find out all the answers, you can follow Mental.os on his official channels: