Artist Spotlight: Olga Fradina


Olga Fradina is a Kiev-based artist and designer whose work I discovered on the Tezos-based marketplace in mid-2022. Since then, I’ve managed to collect quite a few unique pieces, on both Tezos and Ethereum, and as a collector I’m always eager to see what comes next.

Olga’s work is abstract and layered, but carries a unique precision, with muted colors dominating much of the work. The artist was kind enough to answer a few questions for via email exchange in February of 2023, as the war in Ukraine passed a grim, first anniversary.

This interview took place prior to her first long-form generative release on fxhash. A new work, Momentum, is to be released this weekend on the platform.

First, I know you are in Ukraine — how is the situation where you live, day to day? To what degree has the impact of war had an effect on you, and your work?  And is there anything, beside collecting your art, that readers can do to assist or help in any way?

The war completely changed my life. And, paradoxically, not everything is for the worse. I have been involved in art since childhood, I went to different studios. But my main job for the last 20 years has been interior design. This was always not enough for me and at the same time I drew something for myself and was engaged in ceramics. I didn’t make money from it, my customers were my architect friends. The work routine did not allow me to do this anymore. When the war began, almost all projects stopped and I was able to devote myself completely to art. During the first months of the war, this was not possible. But when the troops retreated from Kyiv and it became calmer, I devoted myself completely to my work. A year of war has now passed. And I don’t know if I could have endured it if there was no NFT artistic community. Communication allows me to forget a little about what is happening outside the window. So everyone who likes, supports, buys (my work) helps me in the most complete way.

Odd as that sounds, that is somewhat refreshing to hear, that some semblance of normalcy still occurs. I’d love to know more about your creative routine, if possible. Is there anything special you do to get into a creative mindset?

I work at night — during the day there are many things to do, communication, the dog is very active and wants to play all the time! I like to stay alone and immerse myself in the meditation of work. I can’t have anything to distract me.


Can I get some insight as to how you compose these images?  For example, a recent piece, Dig.N.26 is one of my favorites.  I love the layers and details. Do you use traditional, commercial tools, or do you have any custom tools that you use to create this imagery? 

I work with standard commercial tools. 3D work is done in Cinema 4D. When I started doing digital art and NFT, I planned to continue the theme of interiors by transferring it to the digital space. But I was so fascinated by procedural processes and generative art that I completely changed my approach.

I prefer to always be in the role of a student. This gives me a reason not to stop.

I’m currently learning TouchDesigner on my own. And with my old friend we are jointly doing projects in p5.js. He has been my assistant for interior visualizations for many years. He knows programming languages better than me. I study in the process of creating a project and study with a teacher. We jointly look for ideas for the base code, then I deal with variations and the search for artistic solutions. I have always loved research and experimentation. And with generative art, I felt myself in the right place. The same with the Digital Nature collection. I immerse myself completely in the search for aesthetic finds using different tools.

I know you’ve been in the design world for some time.  What influences have had an impact on your design work, as well as your art?  Can you separate design work from art work, easily?

My design practice is probably still different from my art. In interior design, I use a lot of natural materials – stone, wood, cement, textiles. My interiors are very sensual and tactile. I love handcrafted things, Wabi-Sabi philosophy. In the beginning, I was also fond of many interiors in search of my own style. Now I know exactly what I’m doing.

Likewise with art. I think I’m still in the experimental stage. I sometimes want to do very calm things, sometimes I want an emotional outburst. But I would like my art to feel closer to my interiors. In the latest collections, I explore a lot of textures.

I love a lot of art and the list can be very long. And at different times it changes a little. But if I am asked to quickly name my favorite, I know what to say quickly: Cy Twombly and Pierre Soulages. And everything Axel Vervoordt does — from interiors to his gallery and curation.

Lithograph 2023 #15/50

Congratulations on the success of your two drops on Verse.  Both collections were incredible, and sold out quickly. I had to opt to purchase my Lithograph (above) on secondary, but I’m almost glad I missed out on the initial mint, as it shows there is a great market for your art outside of the Tezos ecosystem.  I also know you have collections on Foundation and Opensea. Will you be continuing to do multi-chain releases in the future?

I am honored to collaborate with Verse. I think their curation is very high quality. For me, this is the first collaboration with the gallery and I am happy that it went well. I plan to mint more on Ethereum. Now I am preparing a separate collection for this. I like Tezos. When I was choosing which platform to start with, I liked the idea of CleanNFT — but I think we need to develop further.

Texture Pt. 2 #89/100

All of your series have unique names.  At what point do you know that you’ve created something new, as opposed to something that may fit into an already existing series? 

Everything happens intuitively. I see that another topic has begun. I may have a different mood, experience new emotions. Sometimes after a while I want to go back and add a few works to the collection. I feel that the topic is not yet closed for me. But it always turns out differently after a while. I work with emotions and they are never the same.

SP–04 by 27.000.27

I know you have an AI-based project called 27.000.27.  What do you think AI’s role will play going forward in the art world? What tools do you use, and look forward to using for these images?  Are they all created from text (prompts), or do you use images to begin them?

I started experimenting with AI in the summer of 2022. But later in Kyiv there were big problems with electricity and for several months I had the Internet for only a few hours per day. I’m using  Midjourney, and it’s not realistic without internet. When I had a permanent internet again, I could not tear myself away from AI research for a week.

My interest wanes and rekindles. I see artists who work very individually with AI and make quality art. I do not think that I am now a great specialist in this area — I would like to develop this topic. I want to explore other applications, as well.

I use mostly text inputs without an image. I like to mix my different arts with each other. Sometimes amazing results are obtained. I don’t show much of what I do. I made a second twitter account for this. But in my opinion, I overestimated my capabilities — a lot of social networking is difficult.

When I work with AI, I feel like a bit of an art director. It is difficult for me to predict the role of AI now, but I think it will be significant. I think about it a lot. Everything is moving so fast right now. Looking back just a few years, things were different. I remember when the first social networks started and it was a little entertainment. Now, for many, work is unthinkable without it. Sometimes it seems strange.

F.09 from the Forest collection, in collaboration with Igor Sedov.

What do you think of generative art?  I know you’ve released a 1/1 series on called FOREST — are there any plans in the works to do a long-form generative project a la fxhash, and if so, can you give us any further information?

When I started to get interested in NFT, I first saw works of generative art. I immediately felt an interest in it. But I haven’t been programming since the time I studied at the institute and I didn’t remember anything. Before, I didn’t have much passion for programming. But my interest was so great that I started learning programming from the beginning.

Between #66/100

Now I try to study the history of generative art, I read interviews of great masters. I am very interested in developing in this direction and I still have a lot to learn. In fact, I study there a lot now that sometimes it seems to me that my head will burst! At the moment, we have already released the first project (the long form Between on fxhash) and are preparing several more.

One final question: what piece of advice would you give to girls who wish to pursue a life of art and design?

I would advise all people in art to know history well and to be inquisitive and open to new things. I have many friends of creative professions and some of them are stuck in their development and cannot achieve what they want. I analyzed what unites them, and I think that they are not very interested in what is happening around them. And it is very important to believe in yourself and what you are doing. And if you do it with passion, then it will surely bear fruit.

But it is also important not to think that you have already achieved something. I prefer to always be in the role of a student. This gives me a reason not to stop.

My immense thanks to Olga for taking the time to answer these questions. If you’d like to follow the artist on Twitter or other places, here is a Linktree which also contains links to marketplaces currently selling works.

Biking Cat

Artist: Jonathan Wolfe

zoom zoom

NFTs are a serious business. Often, way too serious. Most NFTs lack any sense of humor at all, which is a shame, because I consider humor to be one of the greatest of all human art forms. Why is it so hard to find any humor in the NFT space? Perhaps it is due to the fact that NFTs are inherently just basically code and, well, you know how unfunny code can be.

Jonathan Wolfe is a Canadian-based artist who has been issuing NFTs for a few years now, on assorted platforms and marketplaces. He’s a good friend of Fewocious, with whom Mr. Wolfe has co-hosted a podcast/YouTube channel called Art Art Art, and released a collaborative collection with on Nifty Gateway. I was introduced to Mr. Wolfe’s work via the dontbuymeme site in 2020, and found much of his low-minted work was still available on the Rarible marketplace, for relatively cheap. I purchased this piece for the equivalent of around $70 two years ago. He continues to sell his works through SuperRare, and other places. Below is another favorite piece of his that I own, Bad Day Getting Worse (31/50). I forget where I got it from, but it’s perfect. See here:

How bad can one day get?

But back to Biking Cat — it’s an image of a cat, riding a bike, at night. It’s comedic, amazing and so oddball, off-the-wall, crazy-funny that I couldn’t help but smile and immediately check my ETH balance once I saw it. The anthropomorphized creature looks every bit as surprised to be riding a bike as the viewer would be at seeing a cat riding a bike. How could you not love this? I’m very grateful to have this in my collection, and I hope that it will bring much as much joy to my daughter in a few years.

Follow the artist on Twitter

Fog Over Gowanus

Artist: Kate Shifman

With the recent crash of all things crypto-related, I thought I’d revisit one of my first purchased NFTs. By May of 2018, the price of most crypto was falling from recent highs, into a lull that would continue for the next full year and a half.

Around then, I discovered Fog Over Gowanus on one of the first NFT marketplaces, the now-defunct RARE Art Labs, an early home to such OG crypto artists as XCOPY, Hackatao and others. I have a background in photography, and really loved the image of the morning fog over the Brooklyn skyline here, highlighting the since-removed Kentile Floors sign in it’s original, industrial splendor.

Although RARE Art Labs is gone, I still own the token to the artwork in my Ethereum wallet. While this token proves provenance, date of purchase and price, it does not link to any known image of the artwork. In 2018, there was no easy way to store items on-chain, and the cloud-based IPFS wasn’t heavily used.

Luckily, I saw the above photograph while scanning a 2018 blog entry in Artnome, Jason Bailey’s fantastic, long-running art blog. I have two other pieces of art from RARE that aren’t so lucky — I haven’t been able to track down any high-res images of them.

But perhaps a solution will be found. Jason has gathered with some friends and started ClubNFT, a service that will eventually allow users to download copies of their NFT collections to their own devices. I greatly look forward to its release! At long last, I will finally be able to store all of the images onto a few tried and true SyQuest drives for all eternity.

Return (#21)

Artist: Aaron Penne

Keep watching that little dot…

Note: here is the link to the actual dynamically changing work, above. Go ahead and click on it to open it in a tab, stare at the center for a few moments, then come back here!

Return is a series of generative art pieces that Aaron Penne did for Art Blocks in June of 2021. When purchased using Ethereum, buyers could mint a unique, one-of-a-kind artwork from this series of 300. All were minted dynamically, upon purchase. Other pieces in the series have less rings, others are monochrome, and some are even square.

Aaron defined this piece this way:

“Return” is a meditation on returning inward, cyclical change, and the beauty of iteration. The composition of each piece slowly loops, providing a new experience for the viewer over time.

What I love about this piece is how subtle it is. It forces the audience to become still for a while, and think quietly as they watch the work transform, gradually. It demands patience, something many of us in today’s modern world will greatly resent. You cannot simply open this in a tab in a browser and expect to see it change if you leave and go back to it — you will only see the change occur if you keep that tab open. Brilliant. If that doesn’t give you a slight smile as you watch that dot in the center get bigger — slowly, so slowly — over time … then just take a breath. Every time I view it, even for a few minutes, I can’t help but leave it smiling.

Eventually (note: potentially hours) the entire cycle begins to repeat itself again. Amazing.

Note to Margaret: hopefully by the time you can read this, we’ll have adequate (and affordable) 1:1 displays (40″ x 40″ or larger) that we can run these pieces on permanently. Maybe we already have one? Go ask you mother.