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Snowfro

Snowfro (aka Erick Calderon), is the founder and CEO of Art Blocks, a generative art platform. He is also the creator of the genesis project of Art Blocks, . [1][2]

Early Life/Career

Erick Calderon, known by his artist handle Snowfro, had an early passion for coding, starting at the age of seven. Throughout college, he nurtured entrepreneurial aspirations and even started a Snow Cone business called SnowFro Refreshments at the University of Texas. [3]

In November 2003, Calderon became the President of a tile business called La Nova Tile Importers. While Calderon initially pursued a career in the tile business, he maintained an interest in coding, and learned how to write on the . [3][4]

Career

Entry into NFTs

In 2017, Calderon's journey into the space took a significant turn when he discovered the project on Reddit. Recognizing the potential of combining generative art with mass public distribution and ownership, he began and collecting CryptoPunks. Inspired by this experience, Calderon envisioned a new way to create and sell generative art, leading to the birth of his idea for Art Blocks. [5]

Calderon's tile business provided a platform for his creative expression, but he felt the desire to explore art beyond physical mediums. With his coding skills and fascination with generative art, he dived into projection mapping, and 3D printing, and eventually discovered generative art, where code generates unique images with each iteration. This realization opened his eyes to the potential of this newfound technology, allowing him to create art without traditional drawing skills. [6]

“I’ve always wanted to be an artist but I could never draw anything with my hands.”

“I started programming visual outputs and found them to be pretty pleasing. I realized that I didn’t have to know how to use a paintbrush to create something that I, at least, thought was cool.”

Art Blocks and Chromie Squiggles

Driven by his vision and his newly found passion, Calderon founded Art Blocks in February 2021 to provide a new way of creating and distributing generative art. In order to kickstart his project, he sold 34 that he acquired as an early adopter. [4][7]

However, Snowfro faced another challenge after launching Art Blocks: he needed a project to showcase the platform's unique user experience. Unlike traditional marketplaces, Art Blocks pieces do not exist until they are purchased and minted. Collectors receive the unfiltered output generated by the artist's script, and the rarity of each "piece" can only be determined once minting is completed. [7]

This led to the creation of the NFT collection, one of the two generative art collections crafted by Snowfro himself. With Chromie Squiggles, Snowfro aimed to demonstrate the distinctive approach of Art Blocks to generative art. Initially conceived as a proof of concept, the collection expanded in scope over time, offering collectors 9,000 opportunities to claim an output from Snowfro's script at launch. [7]
wiki
Art Blocks has since generated more than $1.4 billion in sales which even Snowfro did not expect, and he continues to work behind the scenes to grow the generative art project. [3][4]

“I didn’t expect it to be so native, it was such a niche thing. It was hard to envision this product market fit or this distribution mechanism that we’re seeing where an artist can sell something to 1,000 people in five minutes and they are all unique. I didn’t expect that level of demand.”

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Snowfro

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