The 13-year-old artist has created over 3,000 images of “Dude Alien,” which are being sold as NFTs.
July 3, 2022 at 1:00 p.m
At the age of 13, Zion Guevara often uses the word “charming” when describing the world of tech entrepreneurship, NFTs and digital arts.
As is so often the case with children their age, their passion for their job is evident in their bright eyes, their irrepressible enthusiasm and the sheer joy of doing something they love.
Guevara said he tries to make good use of what he knows. In mid-June, they launched an NFT collection — a non-fungible token, or digital asset, that represents real-world objects such as unique collectibles — called “Dude Alien.” The collection contains 3,364 hand-drawn, computer code-generated images of a variety of extraterrestrial creatures. Some wear sweatshirts with the word “bullying” on them, while others include the words “racist sacks.”
“I’ve always wanted to be in tech, make a big impression, and be an entrepreneur,” Guevara said. “But for good reason.”
The collection cost $200,000 when the prices for each painting are added together and is now being sold. Guevara plans to add face-to-face artworks that will be auctioned on its website in July.
For example, digital art and the coding behind it is a common practice in video games. But NFTs are different, Guevara explained — something that “has no equivalent matches” and cannot be traded.
“It’s on a blockchain,” Guevara said, “which is a decentralized network where the code resides [lives] The back of the art. It is collectible with code.”
The fact that the NFT is unique is fitting given Guevara’s overall idea and motivation as a “dude alien.”
“I took my life experience and I was like, ‘Okay, what brand name can I do? Said. “I always refer to my friends as ‘friends’ and have always felt isolated. It just started.”
Guevara started the project in part because he heard stories of youth in Utah who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying. He often spoke to his mother about the bullying after she heard her dentist’s son killed himself as a result of the bullying. Other stories — like Drake Hardman and Izzy Tichenor, Utah children who died by suicide after being bullied — also struck her.
Guevara said he had his own experiences with bullying as he was different and a new baby. “As a 13-year-old in Utah, moving away from Los Angeles, California can be very difficult. It was a way for me to express my feelings in art,” he said. The Guevara family moved to Utah three and a half years ago.
With a passion for technology, Guevara found it easy to start a business to raise awareness of bullying in the NFT space. She’s in the process of partnering with an anti-bullying organization called No Bully to “train teachers and administrators on how to find and recognize bullying and eliminate it in their schools.” “
His mother Ellen said it was “worrying” to hear her son was being bullied. “As a parent, you never want to hear that your child is hurt,” she said.
It’s a “double whammy,” she said, to see that the adult community she trusts to take care of her child lacks the training and tools to deal with bullying.
For six months, Ellen said, Zion would wake up and draw on her tablet. He told his mother that he would live through his bullying experiences, and he did. Now, he said, he helps other children.
“I always tell my kids that everything has a purpose, not just money,” she said. ,[Money alone] That will not give you any satisfaction in life.”
Zion said he remains committed to the development of Dude Alien for now, but dreams of one day getting into the real estate side of the metaverse.
“I’ve really learned a lot of valuable lessons and experiences, like coding and learning how to make art,” Zion said.
If there’s a message people can take away from her work — one that celebrates diversity, weirdness and “exoticism” — Zion said publicizing bullying is about it, and it needs to stop. .
“Everyone needs love, everyone has been loved,” he said, “and I want everyone to feel that way at least once in their life.”