September 27, 2023

Big Hugs Studio: Minting Their First NFT Project With Bueno

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“Can you think of a synonym for that?"

Creative entrepreneur Jeff Excell and Artist Christopher David Ryan (CDR) have been friends for some time. Before the formation of Big Hugs Studio, they had already worked on some creative projects together. Jeff reached out to CDR in January, inquiring about his knowledge of NFTs and how there could be some potential for their work in the space. CDR did try to make an entrance in NFTs, but he had been unsure as to how. That night, Jeff and CDR began their adventure. Eight months later, they're minting their first NFT project: Synonyms.

Discover more about this PFP project and how the Bueno Generator helped Jeff and CDR make their ideas a reality —without writing a single line of code.

Welcome to the playground

CDR and Jeff left a bunch of toys in the sandbox for all of you. Synonyms is a colorful, design-influenced cc0 5k PFP collection. Using a set of minimalist shapes reminiscent of the colorful building blocks from childhood, paired with a spectrum of unique character traits and personalities, the Synonyms create a playful world with endless possibilities.

Synonyms is minimal, bold, colorful, playful, and, as the team likes to say, it's deep. On the surface, Synonyms is a character-based PFP project until you discover the breadth of the collection and the more profound meaning each image can convey based on the viewers' experience.

The team came up with the name for their project after going back and forth with "clever" names via text message for about a week. Then, CDR threw out a name, and Jeff replied something as, "That's not quite it. Can you think of a synonym for that?" And the rest is history. "Synonym" had the meaning, the compactness and symmetry they had been seeking.

Synonyms NFT Project

Finding inspiration

For CDR, there's nothing he does, that's not influenced by fatherhood. For him, it is a great place to be, and have an opportunity to get close to seeing things through a child eyes. "This world, with all its chaos, is an amazing place to be. Adults have the habit of losing site of this" - he says.

A child finds joy in simple things, like stacking colored blocks...and drawing faces on things. I try hard to meed them there. This feeling is at the very heart of Synonyms.
From his small farmhouse studio in Maine Christopher David Ryan (aka CDR) flows freely between fine art, graphic design, illustration, and beyond.
Based in Ohio, Jeff started Big Hugs Studio as a way to bring art to the forefront and encourage creatives in digital spaces.

Generating 5k PFPs with Bueno

The process of generating their 5k PFP collection was delightful. CDR's career has been building up for this. He used digital tools creatively to manage the production processes, plus the addition of the Bueno Generator made the experience feel natural.

I couldn't have done this without Bueno. I came into the space trying to formulate a process and production flow, and having access to the generator allowed me to try things and see what worked and what did not. The generator was not the last step in the process but rather a tool that I leveraged. At every step.

Besides the NFT Generator itself, one of the most valuable features for the team was the tool for adjusting rarity levels. "Bueno, in three words, is useful, efficient, and powerful," -said CDR.

bueno generator ui for the project synonyms

No "R#%dmap"

There's no roadmap as of now. However, this could change in the future and will. Big Hugs Studio is moving forward. They're making art. They're allowing the work to become. Plus, CDR and Jeff are enjoying the journey. So what they're on right now is not a road. They're taking a walk through the woods. They've more of a trail map.

Essentially, Big Hugs Studio is not a brand. It is the creative hub for all of its projects. They're moving towards creating a community of builders with whom they will work collaboratively, using blocks for their creation.

What's coming next?

The team recently launched The Utility Podcast, one of Jeff's incredible ideas, as CDR recalls. Their goal is for it to be an open, relaxed place to discuss the art of photography NFTs. Jeff and co-host Bernardo Caria have done a fantastic job of this. "In the coming year, we are hoping to continue to attract great guests and to expand awareness of other artistic categories." -he says.

CDR saw sheer potential in the NFT industry. As an artist, he knew this was the next scene to be in. He wants to build and play in this space. "I want to learn; I want to make art. I want to experience making NFTs with as much energy as I put into making drawings on paper."

Artist recommendation: There are so many great artists, but currently, I'm enjoying the work of Anna Condo, Amber Vittoria, and generative art in general.

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