A conversation with Noiamgodzilla (or Godzi/ Godzilla as she likes to be called) is relaxed and warm. Godzilla is softly spoken, yet at the same time clear in her vision and goals. She speaks and writes with an air of professionalism and carries herself in a manner that commands respect. You know you’re speaking to someone who is clear in her beliefs and has a firm grasp of who she is, as you would expect from someone who would need to be in their role as a Design Program Director. In her 9 to 5 job, Godzilla leads a team of UX Professionals spanning across visual/ UI design, research, content and design strategy. But Godzilla is more than that. There is a character there that you only just barely get a hint of initially, but with time and hearing stories behind who she is and what her goals are, it all makes sense.
Godzilla grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, as one of three children. As a child, Godzilla showed a considerable interest and knack for art. When presented with a marker at just 10 months old, instead of putting it in her mouth, throwing it away or drawing on walls, she took to the accompanying piece of paper and began doodling; something that she has not stopped doing since that day. Growing up, her mother would recount the days when Godzilla, as a toddler, would draw pictures that bore an uncanny resemblance to their family doctor. As a toddler!!! Her interest in drawing likely came from her father. As Godzilla puts it, she was always a daddy’s girl, her father an architect who would have his supplies of markers, pens, rulers, and reams of paper around the family home. Everything he did, she would look to follow and emulate.
There were of course other influences that would shape her love for artistic expression over the years. Some whom she admired from afar, and others such as one of her older cousins whom she was able to learn from. As Godzilla recalls, at age nine, her cousin would teach her how to draw cartoons and cutesy art pieces but also impart lessons on plagiarism and the importance of creating works that were unique, even if drawing inspiration from elsewhere.
In grade school, her love for art stepped up a few levels. On careers day, when children attended class dressed as what they wanted to be when they grew up, Godzilla settled not on attending as an artist, but as an art teacher, so much was her love for it. Though art was her passion, Godzilla begrudgingly agreed with her parents when they suggested that she study something at school that would earn her a respectable job and a steady income.
Soon enough, Godzilla found herself studying Engineering. At first, it was fine and not something that bothered her too much. However, over time, she found herself missing the creative part of her being. The passion for engineering was waning and combined with a darker, more challenging period for her personally, she found herself losing interest and focus on herself. While she tried keeping up with her creative side, her love of art was not able to be given the priority that it once had been, and it left a feeling of not quite being whole, spurring a shift in her career path. After discussing her feelings with family, and getting her mother’s blessings (whom she credits significantly for pulling her out of her spiral), Godzilla completed her engineering degree, and ended up taking numerous design courses, building a portfolio and getting accepted into grad school, graduating with a Masters degree in Industrial Design.
Fast forward to today, Godzilla leads a team of UX Professionals during her work days and is less hands-on than she used to be from a design point of view. She loves the work nonetheless, and makes time for art when she’s home, and even when on vacation or holidays with her boyfriend’s family, of whom many are talented artists themselves.
“I always have my iPad and pencil in my hands when I’m sitting on the couch, watching TV. It is just something I’ve always done.”
When asked about how she got into cryptocurrencies, Godzilla recounts that a co-worker of hers started mining Bitcoin in 2013 and tried to get her to buy into it at the time. Like many others at the time, she politely declined, thinking it was a scam and sat it out, watching the cryptocurrency space from afar. In that time, Godzilla became a minor Traditional Finance (TradFi) degen, so much so that her boyfriend (who had been in cryptocurrencies since 2017) would bring up crypto in conversation, and specifically the fact that the markets were open 24/7 as a carrot to try and lead her towards crypto throughout 2019 and into early 2020. Godzilla finally caved in February 2020 and dipped her toe in, purchasing a small amount of ETH, before taking a deeper dive in by listening to Bankless podcasts.
“One of my boyfriend’s closest friends introduced me to Bankless after I told him I watched on the sidelines for 7 years. We talked about how my fear was rooted in a lack of knowledge in the space. So I started tuning into Bankless and eventually stumbled into Crypto Twitter after that.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
“Would you consider yourself a crypto degen now?” I ask, wanting to know more about this degenerate behavior that existed in the TradFi world. “No comment…,” she starts, “…but Degenscore doesn’t rate me.” For comparison, I quickly check my score. Asking me how I scored, I respond “no comment,” quickly changing topics while I have the chance to maintain good standing.
As I ask her about the future, I hear the positivity, desire to contribute, a passion for what Decentralized Finance (DeFi) offers not just her, but society. It was for that reason that supporting the Pooly movement and contributing her skills were non-negotiables. When asked about how she heard about Pool Together and the Poolys, Godzilla surmises “I heard about it through Bankless. I also saw a tweet from David Hoffman that asked if people were here to protect DeFi or here to grift. It was a no brainer to put money toward the cause because we’re all in on this together if we want DeFi to succeed. It’s not just about Pool Together.”
The tone of her voice tells me that Godzilla has total confidence in the movement and a will to ensure that she is not left behind in an industry dominated by men. In fact, representation is one of the facets of DeFi that she hopes changes in the future. I ask the obvious question about where she sees herself within the Web 3 space as her Web 3 career progresses. “I don’t know. I’m just happy to help however I can to progress the space as a whole. I love doing art, so if I can contribute more art, that would be amazing. But honestly, I’m happy to contribute however I can to keep things moving forward.” Godzilla’s response does not surprise. For someone who has been through as much education and has as many skills as she does (both scholarly and vocational), her willingness to pivot and dive into new challenges makes perfect sense. Add to that a passion for DeFi and the broader Web 3 space that is immediately apparent when speaking with her, it feels as if this is where she is meant to be.
Remembering that this is an artist spotlight on Godzilla, I ask about what she has recently been working on for Pooly DAO. “Concept art of PoolyPals, building on Chibi Pooly. It’s pretty different to my typical style where I love to add lots of linework and detail. However, the Chibis have a special place in my heart because of how cute they are,” she says. But just as quickly as she has said this, she affirms her belief that more people should get involved in DAOs such as Pooly DAO, especially where they have time and are able to volunteer. “We need more hands involved.”
Realizing that time is almost up, I ask Godzilla what advice she would give someone who is just starting out in the Web 3 space as an artist.
“This one’s tough. I’ve gotten so much good advice over the years from others that has gotten me to where I am as a person today. I would say, to pass onto the next aspiring Web 3 artist — don’t limit your periphery to art and NFTs. Learn about different networks, dive into DeFi, try out dApps, get involved in public goods. Immerse yourself in the greater context of where you’re creating your art.”
Speaking to Godzilla, you have a sense immediately that you might learn something new, or be re-energized if you have been away from DeFi and Web 3 for a while. You also know that the words you hear pack substance, that she backs up what she says with action, as members of Pooly DAO have seen first-hand.
I hang up the call once we are done, and wonder how I can do the interview justice. How to squeeze in the five minute conversation we had about photography and traditional vs. digital art, the story about how her relationship with her boyfriend can include listening to 8 hours straight of Bankless podcasts during a road trip, and the zeal with which she speaks about the need for women to be more involved in the DeFi space. There is no way of doing any of these stories justice, so I have decided not to delve into them. Suffice to say, they all shed light on the person Godzilla is.
The next day, I receive a message from Godzilla saying that she’s been offered a position working full time in a well-known and innovative Web 3 company, and that she is accepting the offer. “Of course you are, Godzilla”, I think to myself. For someone who has chased the things that matter to her for her whole life, this seems like the natural progression. Maybe she is fulfilling that grade school careers day outfit after all. Maybe not as an art teacher, but a teacher nonetheless… an example of someone who follows through on their convictions.
Where you might find Godzilla…
Friend of Pooly Discord: https://discord.gg/rbuyR5zpsq
Trust you enjoyed the spotlight on Godzilla. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. Please go and check out some of Godzilla’s works and get involved in whatever you feel passionate about. I can be reached on Twitter @cryptobear55 or via the comments below. Thank you.