Erick Calderon

Erick Calderon (a.k.a Snowfro) is a digital NFT artist, founder, and CEO at Art Blocks who is based in Houston, Texas, United States. Art Blocks is one of the most successful NFT platforms to emerge since the NFT boom that began in January 2021 .[2][3][4][5][23]

Calderon's generative art platform- Art Blocks has generated $403 million in trade volume so far in August 2021, contributing to more than 80% of the total trade volume since its launch in November 2020.[25]

According to Artnews, On 23rd August the transactions carried out by NFT traders on the platform racked up to $69 million, which was recorded as the peak selling day for Art Blocks  .

Early Life

Calderon's journey into Blockchain began as yet another rabbit hole. He grew up surrounded by computers and was constantly engrossed in a new hobby—video games, trading cards, learning to DJ, and making race cars out of secondhand BMWs, to name a few. Later as he grew, he put efforts into 3D printing and learned how to create art using Projection mapping, which is a type of Augmented reality.

One of his first-ever Smart contract experiments was a gift for a friend's newborn. He purchased 10 ETH, which was worth just $100 at the time, and hooked them to a contract that would unlock the earnings on the child's eighteenth (18) birthday. The exact amount of Ethereum is worth nearly $55,000 as of now but can't be unlocked until the end of the contract. [6]

Speaking on this, Calderon had this to say:

"That's the bad part." “Now I wish there was a way to get it back, to put it into a college fund or something.” Of course, it's possible that ethereum will be worthless by the time the contract expires.


Calderon was one of the few many to purchase the first NFTs available. He bought a series called Cryptopunks, in 2017 which was the same year he bought Bitcoin.

The Cryptopunks series featured 10,000 computer-generated bits of 24-by-24-pixel “Punk” characters that were given away for free online to those with the know-how. Individually, the most looked-for CryptoPunks have sold for as much as $11.8 million .[7]

Punk #7804, which recently sold for 4,200 ETH(about $7.5M at the time of sale)
As of 2020, Calderon who had planned to sell five zombie Cryptopunks for around $15,000 worth of ETH each ended up selling them for far more astonishingly high amounts at auction. With the recent NFT craze, sales of over $2.5 billion worth of NFTs have been recorded for the first half of 2021, with big names such as Porsche, American Express, and Jay-Z already in the NFT market. But this was not so in the beginning.

Calderon watched as NFTs tried and failed to get into the mainstream with initiatives he thought were innovative but didn't fully utilize the Blockchain. He stated that:

“From 2017 to 2020, ninety percent of the projects announced were square peg, round hole. Projects that potentially benefit from blockchain but would be better served by traditional systems using legacy systems.”

Art Blocks (Company)

In 2018, Calderon began selling off his Cryptopunks zombies for $200 each to pay developers to help him flesh out his idea. He had a vision for an NFT minting platform for Generative art. He called it Art Blocks.

Art Blocks
A generative artist may upload an algorithm to the site and then sell unique products as NFTs. Buyers would go to the site, pick an algorithm they liked from a gallery of examples, then mint. Upon minting, the Blockchain would preserve a record of the algorithm and the specific way it ran to create a one-of-a-kind piece.[13] This represented an innovative way to create provenance for Generative artwork, while also recording the specific artistic process of the code itself .[8][9]

Calderon was very much excited about his concept though it didn't work the first time. The project stalled because the first prototypes were unsatisfactory. Then came the Epidemic. Calderon discovered that he now had four more hours each day, which he never had since the birth of his children were. He utilized that time to learn JavaScript so he could create Art Blocks exactly how he wanted them.

In November 2020, Calderon launched the first version of Art Blocks. The platform was rapidly developed by hired developers and Consultants. By February 2021, Art Blocks became a fully developed cooperation with a massive flow of traffic. This has so far attracted many artists who believe that they can get greater control over the sale of their works and more money with Art Blocks than they might earn in the analog Artworld.

Calderon's goal for the future is to create a long-term business. In his interview with Artnews, He had this to say  :

“We are trying to build something that transcends the localized ups and downs of the market”. “We have something special here – a concoction of incredible art, collectability, community, permanence, and technology – that is focused on a very long-term horizon.”

NFTs Sales

Art Blocks have realized nearly $600 million (184m Eth) from sales of NTF Artworks. On the 23rd of August, Calderon's platform had a peak selling day where $69 million in transactions took place. Trading activity on Art Blocks then dropped from August 23rd’s $70-million peak to $2 million on September 9th. Although the dramatic drop in trade volume was also experienced on other platforms, like OpenSea, which saw a 70% drop in transactions. This outcome was largely attributed to the incredible rise in transaction fees (gas fees), due to the high demand on the Ethereum Blockchain.

In August 2021, Art Blocks' total sales record was over 12,000 buyers across 51,000 transactions which were worth nearly $600 million (184m Eth). On August 23, the transactions carried out by NFT traders on the platform racked up to $69 million, which was recorded as the peak selling day for Art Blocks

Also in recent times, Unction house Sotheby also sold 19 of the platform’s pieces in a summed-up deal of $81,000.[11]

Despite the downturn in trading activities, Art Blocks is in a better position now. Sales have stabilized and the community is actively strong. Calderon is in constant touch with participants on Discord and other social media platforms. He and his team respond to Art Blocks fans and collectors at all hours of the day, troubleshooting and discussing new projects and artists.

Collections by Snowfro

Chromie Squiggles

Chromie squiggles are unique, randomly generated squiggles of colours in 9 different schemes. The art collection was created by Snowfro and is the first collection of the curated projects from Art blocks. The project which began minting in November 2020 has generated over 9,200 items since then and is currently owned by 2100 wallets. [26][27] The current floor price of one squiggle on OpenSea is 8 ETH.[28]

Snowfro stated that:

'each Chromie Squiggle represents the soul of the Art Blocks platform, but also the creator’s personal signature as an artist, developer, and tinkerer'.

Chromie Squiggle #4697 is the most expensive NFT of the collection sold on 26th September 2021 at 485 ETH or about ($2.8 million) to a whale NFT collector. The sale was made by the original collector who minted at 0.035ETH ($22) in December 2020.[29][30]

On 21st September 2021, another notable sale was for Chromie Squiggle #7583 sold at 992.5 ETH or about ($2.5 million).[31][32]

The NFT holder becomes a member of the Squiggle DAO community by owning a Chromie Squiggle.

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Erick Calderon


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