Growing Together: Success and Struggle in the Tezos Ecosystem with George Goodwin, aka OMGiDRAWEDit

Famed Tezos based artist OMGiDRAWEDit (aka George Goodwin) reflects on his journey into the Tezos ecosystem and the emerging world of NFT art.

By Stu Elmes


1,600 words, 8 minute read

Tezos Jy Ys6f E1 Hj Y Unsplash 2

The Tezos art ecosystem has seen more than its fair share of blockchain-based artists who’ve broken new ground and found success in this dynamic emerging space. Few have seen their work reach the heights that George Goodwin has — better known as [OMGiDRAWEDit)([)].

George is the creator of the notorious Tezzards PFP series and the renowned ‘Bedroom Nostalgia’ NFT series, both of which generated enormous buzz within the Tezos ecosystem and beyond it. OMGiDRAWEDit has played an important role in bringing the Tezos art ecosystem and the lively community behind it into the wider public consciousness, where it belongs.

While some measure of exceptional timing may have played a big part in OMGiDRAWEDit’s success, so too did synchronicity. As a digital artist trying to find his way in the world of traditional art, the emergence of the NFT as a tool for not only finding an audience and gaining global exposure, but also as a tool for marketing and selling art, was an opportunity that was simply too good for OMGiDRAWEDit to pass up. OMGiDRAWEDit understood the power of this tool and its potential to solve some very real and very pressing issues in the crucial quest to bring his work to market…

“It takes a long time to draw my pieces, so it can be difficult to price that for your traditional commission or for brands and people that want to use your artwork. Trying to find that middle ground where I was able to get paid reasonably and still make art that I thought was really good and really showed off what I was capable of was quite difficult. Then I saw Beeple. I think everybody saw Beeple. That was the thing that kind of made me go ‘Oh! This is something cool! I really like technology. I’m a digitally-native artist.’ Suddenly, NFTs have kind of come into my peripherals, and I was like ‘this is something I want to try.’”

Once he began to explore the world of NFTs and blockchain technology, OMGiDRAWEDit quickly found his way into the Tezos ecosystem — a place where digital art and NFTs were, at the time, just beginning to find their footing as well…

“Once you started following a few things to do with crypto and NFTs at that time, it was quite rapid that you started seeing a lot of stuff about the environmental concerns of Ethereum. From that, I started speaking to a few people who were involved in Tezos, specifically Sutu. I joined this group that he’d made and it was like ‘OK, there’s this chain and this platform called 'Hic Et Nunc’. That was kind of it. I found that and I was like ‘Right, I’m gonna start minting here where it’s not bad for the environment’. That was how I came and onboarded myself onto Tezos.”

With his claim staked in the Tezos art ecosystem, OMGiDRAWEDit soon found an audience of like-minded art appreciators, and his work began to garner attention. However, it wasn’t until the release of his PFP series “Tezzards”, that OMGiDRAWEDit truly found the spotlight…

“I was trying to kind of prove a point I think, and I do feel like I succeeded in a lot of ways with making that point. I was trying to show that it’s all kind of stupid and that Tezos could do the stuff that the other chains were doing, and we could do it better and it could be more about the art. The original Tezzards were created on a hangover and with some banter between me and a couple of collectors. They were like ‘This is really cool! We like these.’, and I minted a few of them on Hic Et Nunc. That was kind of the original thing and it was sort of a joke. Then objkt reached out to me and they were like ‘We want to do this generative art drop with you. We call it a PFP.’ I was like ‘Cool, let’s do it. Let’s show the world what Tezos can do.’ It was supposed to be a bit of a fingers up to the PFP culture and other projects that were really crappy art. I was trying to make something that was actually punk — on the punk chain. That was the original concept.”

For all of its success, OMGiDRAWEDit had some trepidation about how Tezzards was received and the hype the series generated. Doubts that the true intentions that drove him to create Tezzards in the first place might have gotten lost on collectors followed him throughout the Tezzards journey. In the end, however, OMGiDRAWEDit was forced to come to terms with this possibility and accept it.

As a thoughtful artist with something to say, all that was left for OMGiDRAWEDit to do was to continue to share his message with the world through his pieces, something he has done throughout his ongoing creative process…

“I hope that if I continue to make these pieces that tell the stories in the way that I want, people will start to realize there is this slightly more conceptual depth to what I do. It’s a hard thing to be this kind of colorful illustrator but still get people to look past that initial aesthetic and try and get them to find the depth and the context that I’m trying to put into the pieces. For me, that is the battle.

I think that once people start to see that there’s more depth there and understand the story and gel with the story, that’s when they realize that they like my work for more than just the face value. I’d rather have 10 collectors like that than a million that just wanted it because it was easy to flip. If it sounds like I’m saying that I don’t want those people, I do, but as an artist, you want to be understood. I just want to have these conversations with people and get understood so that we can all kind of grow together.”

Despite some creative frustrations, there are valid reasons — beyond the tremendous commercial successes that he has experienced — that have kept OMGiDRAWEDit in the NFT art space broadly and the Tezos art ecosystem more specifically, something he spoke about during his recent appearance on TezTalks Radio

“I think it’s feeling a sense of belonging. I feel like I’ve made friends and been part of communities that I really enjoy. That’s the reason why I still mint mostly on Tezos. I’ve always wanted my pieces to be as accessible as possible for people. I’m in no way a chain maxi or anything, but I just feel like Tezos is always going to be home for me.”

Even through the depths of what many have called “the NFT winter”, OMGiDRAWEDit has continued to produce stunning works here in the Tezos ecosystem. To hear OMGiDRAWEDit tell it, in fact, the end of the NFT hype-cycle that helped catapult him to fame may actually represent a net positive for the space…

“I feel like we’re in a better place now, where the people who are still here have stayed because they believe in something. It feels like a lot of the grifters and scammers and assholes have gone. It feels like a much better space in a lot of ways. You’re still seeing bits of it, and obviously as soon as there’s a bit of hype again you do see that stuff surface again, but it just feels like a calmer place to be part of now.”

Now a grizzled NFT art veteran, OMGiDRAWEDit has become quite philosophical about the nature of his personal journey into this dynamic space and the work it has produced. Having experienced both the most amazing highs that commercial success has to offer and the pangs of self-doubt that inevitably materialize when the hype dies down, the theme of his retrospective musings is one, largely, of gratitude — mixed with no small measure of hope for the future, both for blockchain technology at large and the Tezos ecosystem itself…

“I have an unbelievable amount of thanks to give to the Tezos community — to the people that have supported me since I first started minting, and to the OGs that have been there and supported me and collected Tezzards. To them I would say: remember why you came to crypto — what you believed in about Tezos from the start. Don’t forget those things. Some values and morals are more important than just the money.

As somebody who changed their career path and did this thing and took a huge risk, I’m so grateful for the people who have found my art and enjoy it. I hope that I can continue to make people happy with my art going forward.

As the Tezos art ecosystem continues its relentless march into the Web 3.0-driven future ahead, voices like OMGiDRAWEDits will become increasingly valuable. With new and emerging artists finding their way into the thriving Tezos art ecosystem in droves, the support of individuals who have pushed the NFT envelope and come out smiling on the other side will be a crucially important resource.

As OMGiDRAWEDit continues to evolve and share his talent with the world right here in the Tezos ecosystem, we can all look forward to many more thought-provoking and eye-pleasing Tezos-powered NFTs from OMGiDRAWEDit to come as well. I tip my hat to this Tezos NFT pioneer and I look forward to the many other creations he has in store for the Tezos ecosystem.