Jessica Salinas is a first-generation Mexican-American multimedia artist with over 20 years of experience in content, learning, and collaboration design.
She first entered the NFT space in April 2021 after rediscovering her own artistic self following years of trauma-related suppression. She now uses her art as a vehicle for reconnecting with herself, shining a light on her own wounds as a means of working through them, and connecting with others based on an artistic practice that leads with vulnerability.
CREO: Can you tell us about your artistic career and how you came to create NFT art?
wondermundo: I spent 20 years in corporate content and learning design creating for other people. My personal art was something I’d never share with anyone but myself.
I thought I had achieved my “dream,” but I still hated myself. I still suffered from what I thought was just high functioning depression and anxiety. I felt awful for feeling awful and constantly fighting against negative self talk.
In 2021, I started seeing a trauma informed therapist in early March and learned about structural disassociation. Dissociation is a spectrum that can go all the way from daydreaming to dissociative identity disorder.
I doubted the severity of what happened to me and saw myself as resilient for not letting it get me down.
My stubborn self still couldn’t/wouldn’t believe it. I was convinced my new therapist was wrong, I wasn’t traumatized, I just had depression, and was lazy.
I told myself that if I really did have other parts to prove it, show itself. I told it to do something only I/we would know. None of this “move my left arm” stuff. I felt like I needed proof.
A few days later, I was coloring with my son and I turned the page over when I finished the sheet. I just started drawing lines.
Drawing lines quickly turned into me drawing a face, which suddenly led to me quickly remembering how I used to draw this face ALL THE TIME when I was a teenager.
I sat there in awe, trying to keep my composure as I was filled with tears of joy and sadness. I told it I missed it, but that wasn’t all I remembered. I remembered I was an artist.
Yes, I had turned my passion into a career, but I lost my passion somewhere in there and forgot why I created in the first place.
1️⃣ I remembered how I used to make a ton of cool analog collages.
2️⃣ I started drawing and getting better at it, quickly.
3️⃣I realized how I had grown my design skills since I first started teaching myself html and graphic design in the late ’90s. But I never applied my skills to personal work since they’d grown.
4️⃣ I decided to apply what I learned + my ❤️ of collages and digital art into making again, starting with digital collages.
5️⃣ A few people saw my art and said I should make NFTs if I wasn’t already. I asked an NFT was and found an amazing community.
CREO: When did you decide to establish yourself as an artist/NFT artist and what type of artwork do you most enjoy creating?
wondermundo: In February 2022, I decided to quit my corporate job and officially establish myself as an artist in web3. I most enjoy creating my daily wondermundos, abstract work, glitch & trash art, and most recently incorporating AI into my workflow.
CREO: Can you walk us through the process of creating one of your artworks from start to finish?
wondermundo: I always start with trying to describe what feelings and my inner world are like.
I start with a sketch and bring it to life either using Procreate and adding various abstract textures or I use AI. When I use AI, I generate up to 2k outputs and spend most of my time curating down to a select few. Then, I polish in Procrrate or go on to animate using an app like Glitch Studio or Photomosh.
CREO: Can you share with us a special project or piece of art that inspired you or that you recently created?
wondermundo: My most recent collection, lucha santa was inspired by my love of lucha libre and marian art. Then, I named each piece in the series after a Mexican woman I admire in my life.
CREO: How has technology influenced or changed the way you create art?
wondermundo: I’d say technology has completely changed the way I create art. I’ve always been a digital painter but illustration isn’t my strength. I’d have to partner with illustrators or spend a lot of time illustrating basic designs. Now, I use AI to create a rough sketch and then I paint it.
CREO: Can you describe a particularly challenging or rewarding moment in your artistic career?
wondermundo: One of the most rewarding moments in my art collection was my first IRL exhibition at a WOW Foundation sponsored event during Art Basel in Miami. I felt like it was just the start of more and so far it has been.
CREO: How does your personal background influence your art?
wondermundo: You can see my personal background reflected in most of my art. I’m first generation Mexican American and I often use that as an influence, from lucha libre to the desert, to la virgen de Guadalupe.
I also use my art share my experience with having dissociative identity disorder and what that feels like.
CREO: Can you talk about a time when you had to take a risk or make a bold move in your art career?
wondermundo: I made a bold move in 2022 to resign from my corporate job and focus on my art 100%.
CREO: What challenges have you experienced so far as an nft artist and how have you overcome them?
wondermundo: Networking in the art world was a challenge for me as it’s complicated different than the corporate world. Going to art festivals and events to meet other artists and collectors was a new world for me and I felt lost.
I overcame that by observing what artists who came from the trad art world did. I felt like an understudy as I watched one of my friends connect and meet with people (and introduce me along the way). Now I’m proud to say that I feel comfortable at art festivals and events and am able to talk about myself and my art in those environments.
CREO: How did you sell your first NFT artwork and how did you establish yourself in the NFT market?
wondermundo: I sold my first NFT by sharing my art on Twitter. My first collector shared he bought my art and a few other collectors quickly followed. Then, I started meeting other nft artists and enthusiasts and built a large twitter community. I also helped build up a few other communities and grew my following on Twitter.
CREO: Can you tell us about your marketing strategy and interact with your community?
wondermundo: My marketing strategy is simple, be authentic. I build trust and am vulnerable with my community. I interact with them by sharing my story and also fun things like giveaways and group chats.
CREO: What role do collaborations and partnerships play in your NFT art career?
wondermundo: Collaborations play a big role in my NFT art career, especially early on. I’m super grateful for artists who collaborated with me as I was getting started and helped get my name out there. Partnerships or collabs with different marketplaces have also played a key role in my NFT art career.
CREO: How do you see the future of NFT art and what do you think will change in the future?
wondermundo: I think we will see NFTs in the trad art world to establish provenance and in the future we will see NFTs used for art or items you find in game experiences.
CREO: Do you collect art/NFT art as well?
wondermundo: Before NFTs I collected Alice in Wonderland themed art and Marian art. I do the same with NFT art but have expanded to collect a lot of glitch art.
CREO: How do you maintain a sense of authenticity and originality in a world where digital art is so easy to copy and distribute?
wondermundo: I really avoid fomo and stay true to myself by continuing to do the art I want, despite the trends, current meta, or what’s selling. After years designing and creating content for someone else, it’s important for me to remain authentic and create the type of art that comes from within, popular or not.
CREO: What is your goal or vision as an artist?
wondermundo: My goal as an artist is to unapologetically share my story in the hopes that it inspires others and makes them feel less alone.
CREO: What advice would you give to those new to the space or new NFT artists?
wondermundo: If you’re new to the nft space, just be yourself. You will be inundated with information and people telling you to do this or do that, but those that shine on their own will be noticed. Those that follow the current meta will be forgotten.