Hyype & Mystic Wizards: Write Way Artist Spotlight
March 23rd, 2022

The following is an amended conversation from the spaces on February 11th of 2022 with Mystic Wizards & Possum. Thank you for coming by and giving insight to a passion that unites the two of you, and sharing it with the rest of us.

Anaroth: Please tell us a little bit about who you are, and what each of you do for the project?

Possum: I am possum, and I am based in Toronto, Canada. I have been an artist forever, I have been making art since I was a kid. I moved out here to go to school for illustration, and now have been illustrating professionally for a bit over 10 years now. I work freelance, so I get to do a lot of different projects with a lot of clients. Lately, a lot of my work has been in children's publishing, kids magazines, books and puzzles.

**Mystic Wizards: **I’m Marlin, I am Possum’s partner in Mystic Wizards, but also in real life, we are married. I got into NFT’s around the end of 2020. I found out about SuperRare and was really attracted the artistic community there. I sold my work there as an illustrator, but was looking for something that Possum and I could do together. We both worked on Loot Codex, that was inspired by Loot. It opened our eyes to world building and lore based around NFT projects. After working on that for a couple months the desire to create a whole world around Possum’s art was something we needed to take action on, which has led us to Mystic Wizards.

**Anaroth: **How amazing to find partners in real life, partners in creating a project, being able to share something you are passionate about with someone else, how wonderful! You both were able to articulate how important illustration is to you, but when creating an NFT project a big piece is about creating community. Can you share some of the thoughts and mindset you had going into Mystic Wizards on what type of community you wanted to build?

**Possum: **From the very beginning observing other projects and seeing what we liked and what we didn’t we decided quickly that it was important for us to grow the project organically. For us that meant finding ways to get eyes on the project, being active on Twitter, connecting and collaborating with other projects we align with and letting the art speak for itself. We avoided doing the paid promotion route heavy shilling discord grind thing, nothing against projects that go that way, it works for a lot of people, but just didn’t feel like a natural fit for us and who we are. For me I know it isn’t healthy to spend all my time grinding discord, so I didn’t want to make other people do it either. Our focus was to make it easy for people to be involved, if you wanted to be part of the project, then you were in.

As a result of that we have a community that is small, but incredibly awesome as we have attracted more of the collector and art focused community. I have found it to be a very creative community as well. We have gotten to know a lot of people in our server who are Actors, Musicians, and Artist themselves. Some who even have their own generative projects, poetry collections, and 1/1’s. I feel like our discord is quiet at times, but I am ok with that. I want it to be somewhere where people can pop in and say hi and ask questions. Easily be able to get updates on what we are doing, what our focus is, and really get to know the people in our community.

**Anaroth: **I always like to give our listeners some insight into the creative process. What advice do you have for people who are looking to get started in creating something?

**Possum: **I think to a large extent it’s just getting over that hesitation you have, just dive in and immerse yourself in something. I think thats the only way to learn and find your footing. The art aspect is obviously something I am familiar with, but everything else has been a learning process for me. For things like this I personally tend to immerse myself in it, research it, get into all the nitty gritty technical stuff. We weren't doing the dev work for Mystic Wizards, but even that I wanted to have a solid understanding of how those aspects worked.

**Mystic Wizards: **Also as we mentioned earlier the work that we did in Loot Code X was really helpful in allowing us to dip our toes in the water on a smaller scale. Seeing how that would work, and immersing ourselves in the Loot community and learning from that experience was invaluable. I feel like it’s also important to look for other projects with like minded goals. Finding people that you really respond to has been an important aspect for us. One person who we were inspired by was Yon Frula of Peaceful Groupies that project was really moving for us. He was someone I was familiar a little with from SuperRare, and to see him create this really energetic community from his art was really instructive. It really helped us build our own path forward.

Anaroth: When you think about the process of creating and launching your NFT, what has been one of your favorites moments, and what has been a valuable lesson you have learned?

Possum: As far as favorite moments, I think from the start the idea of creating this whole world with my art and bringing other people into it really appealed to me. I think that has been the most fun, I get a lot of joy from seeing the art, the lore, the creative ways people use the wizards. I also had so much fun with the art itself, it is my first time doing a generative project. It has been really interesting working with the RNG element and the unexpected ways that things I have created combine. It’s almost that there is this third entity thats collaborating with me that I have limited control over. It’s still really exciting seeing every new wizard that gets minted.

As far as lessons that I have learned, something that stands out is how much it helps to just be genuine in this space. Being kind, and connecting with other projects, I don’t think anything has been more helpful to us than creating those relationships. Whether it was other artists, devs, project creators or just other people in the space that have so much to bring to the table. It is still such a new environment for everyone, and I feel like its a great resource to hear what everyone else is learning and building. If you take the time to create a network with people, it really opens up a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t have even considered in the first place.

Anaroth: You have both mentioned a few times the excitement that you have for the space, do you find yourselves still being collectors? Aside from Loot are there others that have been a source of inspiration?

**Mystic Wizards: **I feel like Peaceful Groupies has been a big inspiration as we mentioned a little earlier. Aside from that I find myself inspired a lot by my friends and their work as well. For example our friend launched Companion in a Box that started minting recently. Then bigger ones like Toy Boogers, Lucky Duckies, Hunnys and Handmates have all been really inspiring to us. Then possum can speak to the inspiration for the art itself.

**Possum: **Well for both art and community there are a couple of Polygon projects that I like a lot. The Visitors are really awesome, and Shroomfolk who you spoke with the creator, LurkLovesYou recently. We have been in touch with him as we have been building our project and it has been great to get to know him. It’s great to see women led projects and projects led by smaller teams that are just doing some really impressive things as well.

Anaroth: You touched a little bit on this earlier, lore seems to be a theme to your project. This idea of backstory behind the wizards, has lore always been important to the both of you?

**Possum: **I think for me I have always been into fantasy and sci-fi since I was a teen. Both Marlin and I both played Dungeons & Dragons for a couple years and that all feeds into the inspiration for sure. As far as designing the collection we wanted to work lore in, I am not much of a writer but I liked to think about that type of history as I was designing attributes. The idea that people could take something and run with it because they had a connection to it was really interesting. I also liked the idea of world building being a collaborative effort with the community. A world is complex and the ability to have everyone bring in their own talents and ideas has been really incredible.

Mystic Wizards: I think what was so appealing about Loot was that anyone could take the words on the page and go off in all these different directions. I think we still have a ways to go before we get to that point, but I would love to see everyones different takes on the lore of the Mystic Wizards Universe and see all the ways that could go. We have held a couple lore contests already and asked people to tell the tale of where the Wizards were going on their way to the Mystic Circle. We have had all these poems, songs, stories, and ballads that people wrote and recorded videos for, it has just been so fun seeing people take the ball and go execute their vision.

**Anaroth: **I really hope that the two of you feel super proud about creating that environment. The level of participation and quality of work that comes out of your community is astounding. You are part of that inspiration to encourage your community to do more. Possum I do have a specific question for you based on you mentioning that you have done work in Children’s Books. For some that might feel like a more approachable outlet. What advice or tips would you give to people to break into a younger audience?

**Possum: **Most of the illustration I do these days are for slightly older kids, like 7–10 range. I mostly work on nonfiction things like the Animals, Natural World, History & Mythology. It is a lot of fun for me because kids at that age are at a stage where they are discovering all these exciting and wonderful things about the world. It is all so fresh and cool learning about nature, far away places, and history, and those are also things that I still get excited for as an adult. For me and what I would recommend to others, is to nurture and channel that excitement and curiosity in yourself about the world. Then combine that with a little fun and imagination and that is the best way to connect with kids and also a lot of grownups. A general tip would also be not dumb it down too much, I think kids are really smart and complicated and very interesting little people.

**Anaroth: **I wanted to say thank you for sharing your ideas and perspectives on Mystic Wizards and the inspiration that led to its creation. I always enjoy getting to know the people behind the work they are passionate about. I’d like to conclude our conversation today with giving you the opportunity to share some specifics about Mystic Wizards so people can take a deeper look.

**Possum: **The Mystic Wizards is a collection of 7,777 Wizards, that includes the generative art, but also Ten 1 of 1 Archmages, which only 1 has been minted so far. The collection features over 300 attributes, and in addition to the visible attributes each wizard has One of Eight possible magical affinities: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Nature, Ice, Light & Shadow. Our next big move for the project will be to launch our familiar collection, which will be a free mint for holders that will be coming in the coming months with more specifics to be announced. These will essentially be wizard pets, and the familiar will be based off of the wizards magical affinity. The artwork is underway and I can’t wait to share some of those creations with our community. Beyond that we will continue to plan provide value with airdrops and art for the community.

A special thank you to Possum & Marlin for joining us live for this conversation. If you are a project, or artist that is looking to share your insights and perspectives feel free to reach out to @AnarothsNFT Head of Community for @HyypeHQ on Twitter.

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