September 27, 2023

The Lobstars: Turning an Icon into an NFT Collection

User Stories
min read

There is something very mysterious and intriguing about lobsters.

They’re a unusual crustacean that’s been around for millennia, and while throughout history they’ve been mainly known as a high-brow delicacy, this strange underwater creature also crawled its way into the world of art.

Salvador Dalí saw lobsters as something more than a mindless, sea-dwelling bottom feeder. Dalí was so inspired by them that he incorporated lobsters into numerous projects like the lobster telephone. Dalí was said to have associated them with erotic sexual topics and pain and suffering.

One of Philip's signature pieces featuring The Lobster

Lobsters are also inspiring contemporary artists, mainly Philip Colbert, the pop artist also known as “the godson of Andy Warhol.” But to call Philip a lobster enthusiast is an egregious and insanely reductive understatement.

That’s because Philip is The Lobster.

The artist behind The Lobster

Some artists throw around the label of “world-famous” when they are hardly known outside of their neighborhood. While Philip would likely and humbly brush that description aside, he is an artist who can genuinely claim to have a global audience that is still growing.

Philip’s exhibitions sell out in seconds from Tokyo to London, while his pieces fetch millions annually. His creations are loud, beautifully chaotic, and pay homage to famous artists who form the basis of art history.

Photo of Philip Colbert's signature lobster art in a gallery

In his own words, Philip did not take the typical path that most artists take when making it in the art world. While he was obsessed with art throughout his youth and into his university days, he chose to major in and get a degree in philosophy.

To get to where he is today, Philip largely credits traveling for unlocking possibilities and reinforcing his belief in his artistic vision. To an even greater extent, traveling allowed Philip to see the potential he had to change the art world:

Traveling allowed me to see the possibilities and gave me more confidence. It also taught me how to communicate with more people and gain more support and energy. For me, art is almost like a powerful tornado of energy. It can be very empowering, and traveling helped me realize that.

While traveling helped Philip manifest part of his artistic journey, it also spread awareness of his distinct and symbolic style. Perhaps most notably, it introduced the global community to a unique and powerful persona: The Lobster.

Becoming The Lobster

The centerpiece of nearly all his creations is the iconic boiled lobster persona. Sometimes it’ll be posing elegantly in its fried egg suit, while other renditions depict the lobster as Napoleon riding a horse into a medieval battle.

But the boiled crustacean is so much more than the main character of his artistic works. The Lobster, as mentioned, is Philip Colbert, the human, but even that description doesn’t fully describe the relationship between Philip Colbert and The Lobster.

The lobsters chose me as a human representative. When I grew up in Scotland, I would visit the harbor and always have these experiences of meeting lobsters. I have always had this connection with lobsters, and I believe lobsters have telepathic powers, and I must have the imaginary antennae to communicate with them.
Portrait of Philip Colbert aka The Lobster

As the human representative of this alien-like sea creature, Philip and The Lobster are known for paying tribute to famous artists in the past. He often is seen visiting iconic scenes, a way of paying homage to the visionaries that paved the history of art before his arrival.

While Philip Colbert and The Lobster are often referencing the former great artists and their masterpieces, Philip’s unique style and the thought-provoking messages baked into his creations are redefining art theory as we know it.

His style’s intrigue and beautiful chaos have a gravitational pull that leaves viewers wanting even more lobster madness, which is partially why Philip’s eventual transition into NFTs would be resoundingly successful.

NFTs, digital ownership, and a new wave of art

Philip made a name for himself and The Lobster with his canvases, instillations, and other creations that live in the physical world. However, the digital art movement is not something that Philip overlooked.

Philip’s outlook on NFTs and digital ownership highlight his belief and the potential he sees in this brave new world of art, “I describe NFTs as the heroine of capitalism. They are pure ownership and pure ideas.”

Of course, it’s not all about capitalistic gains and financial opportunities (far from it, actually); Philip sees NFTs as a new wave that’s creating a global community behind art and creativity. And like many other contemporary creatives, he also noticed the powerful and disruptive possibilities that surround the world of non-fungible tokens.

It’s not a stretch to say that Philip and The Lobster were primed for NFTs before the concept existed. Philip knew that this new wave was the perfect moment to take his art to the next level.

The making of The Lobstars

Lobsters can come in various sizes and a shocking array of colors in the real world. In the NFT space, Philip unleashed The Lobstars: an even more diverse collection of 7,777 unique crustaceans.

While each Lobstar displays Philip’s signature style, collectors can find a gamut of traits in The Lobstar collection. Everything from paint-splattered shells to Lobstars with Robot heads and even an Andy Warhol Soup Can Lobster exists in this corner of the metaverse.

One of the 7,777 Lobstars

Overall, The Lobstars have over 50 shells, 80+ artistic pieces of headwear, more than 100 unique wearables, and even more accessories to make The Lobstars shine.

Philip used the Bueno Generator to create the entire collection and turn The Lobstars into reality. The Bueno Generator helped Philip consolidate his expansive library of artistic details, which is partially how each NFT came out so distinct. In Philip’s words, “I find the Bueno Generator really inspiring creatively. You put all your traits into the tool and it creates a really interesting juxtaposition of ideas which result in surprising NFTs.”

But using the Bueno Generator was just one of the objectives on the collaborative roadmap with The Lobstars.

Larvae and minting The Lobstars

Following what many would call a flawless mint with the WonderPals launch (shameless pat on our back), there was plenty of motivation to build another memorable mint for The Lobstars.

Like any NFT project, creating an enjoyable mint experience requires more than a valuable NFT after purchase. In a way, a minting is like a right of passage for digital ownership, and a memorable experience is a key to creating a collection that thrives.

When it came time for soon-to-be holders minting their  Lobstar, the enthusiasm morphed into delighted surprise as gas prices were almost comically low.

Low gas prices is generally a rock solid part of an enjoyable minting process, but the right type of contract is necessary to get such low fees. Once again, both The Lobstars and Bueno team worked out an optimized contract, which in turn brought the gas prices down substantially, even for holders who minted multiple pieces.

This positive response to The Lobstar contract and minting process played a huge part in the collection selling out. It highlights that art is a major factor in creating a desirable collection, but the journey to becoming a holder is equally important.

Unveiling The Lobsters to collectors

As time ticked closer to reveal day, the excitement over meeting The Lobstars started to bubble.  The “LFG!!!” and “🚀🚀 🌓 “tweets began piling up while The Lobstars hatched, and it was immediately apparent that this new collection had blue-chip potential.

All Lobstars sold out, and Twitter exploded with holders showing their colorful and stylish NFTs. The Lobstars landed on the OpenSea’s Notable Drops section and crossed 1,000 ETH in volume traded in just a matter of days, which added even more heat to the frothy excitement.

We always have to stress that it’s not just about the financial side of things or rankings on OpenSea, but also what owners get out of aping into a project like The Lobstars.

Utility for The Lobstars holders

The Lobstars are just a part of Philip’s plan for the digital art world. In June 2021, Philip launched what currently stands as the largest art world in Decentraland: Lobsteropolis.

This massive virtual lobster world is a masterpiece three years in the making, but this digital world still needed a population. It’s here that a big part of The Lobstars’ utility comes into play: all holders get an identity card that proves citizenship to Lobsteropolis.

A Lobstar identity card for citizens of Lobsteropolis

Citizens get exclusive access to IRL events, merch, inside access to production, and more revealed on the roadmap. On top of this, citizens become members of the Lobsteropolis Foundation, a committed part of the Lobstar world pioneering lobster research, conservation, and developing inter-species dialogue (it’s time to find out who really communicates with these mysterious creatures).

In short, it’s an NFT collection that gives back in various ways, and holders join in on a project with massive potential.

The artist, The Lobster, and the tools to build something special

Philip is a once in a generational talent that created an iconic persona that transcends both the physical and digital canvas. As a creator, he finds himself at an inflection point of digital and physical art history, and he has the talent and vision to be an influential force in both the real world and the metaverse.

Philip has unmatched talent, visionary drive, and an extremely skillful team to support him, but to bring a project like The Lobstars fully to life, he turned to the Bueno tools. With the no-code tools and extra support, the one-of-a-kind citizens of Lobsteropolis can only wait and see what exciting visions this team brings to fruition.

There’s no doubting that The Lobstars are a special collection that is largely the product of a creative genius and A-list team. But with the toolkit from Bueno and the right team to back up the vision, anyone with NFT ambitions can turn their ideas into reality.

Want to learn about other project built with Bueno Read our case studiesc

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