Adriana Mora — Inventing a Profession

Adriana Mora is a Mexican designer, digital illustrator and 3D artist. She is the head of ByElectra, an ongoing collaboration of designers which she leads as a 3D Generalist and Art Director. But: “Do not call it a studio,” Mora says, “Electra wants to be the opposite of everything that the traditional model of a creative studio stands for.” Working with experts in modeling and rendering software as well as 2D illustration, Mora is challenging the norm of working for clients, asserting, “We are in a position to create our own professions and even invent them.” We talked to Mora last week about her venture into NFTs and what she envisions for the future in the metaverse.

Photography courtesy of Adriana Mora.

What was the first piece you minted and what drove you to do it?

Adriana Mora (AM): At the beginning of this year, I discovered Clubhouse, a social audio app where users can communicate in audio chat rooms of groups of thousands of people, where I had my first exposure to the concept of NFTs. For weeks, I listened to incredible speakers discuss about it, like Virgil Abloh, Grimes, Pablo Rochat, Ruba Abu-Nimah, among many others. After understanding both the cultural relevance and environmental impact that NFTs have today, I decided to finally create a small series of pieces.

Yuppie Dystopia was my first project of three pieces. I used 3D design tools to project the idea of monumental pieces framed by a gallery space, like the art exhibitions we all know. I took the inspiration from elements that had been very determinant in my childhood and placed them in this space that generates a contrast between space and objects, which in the end are these very colorful and childish objects placed in a very serious and mature space.

How can creatives take advantage of, and be uplifted by, Web3?

AM: Web3 is in progress and we will be the ones who will tell this story. The atomic era in which we live begins to change our ideas about reality. The redundant and chaotic world in which we live forces us to seek a new reality that is now much more feasible than before because now each of us can invent a profession.

When I was in college studying design in 2015, I knew that there was no way for me to compete with the quality level of so many amazing designers that were already an important part of the design industry, so I just knew that I had to find my place in an industry that would be relevant in the future. That’s how I decided that I had to find out and learn on my own how to make a hologram, because in my imagination there are certainly holograms in the future... That’s how I ended up today becoming a “3D Generalist,” a profession that I invented myself, which would not have been possible without the internet.


How do you see the metaverse growing in the near future? What are the potential advantages and downsides for independent designers?

AM: The metaverse for me is like a second reality — there are many ideas and intentions around it. However, designers will be the ones who will give it shape and form. People will be needed to fill the role equivalents of architects, urban planners, industrial designers, landscape designers, artists, graphic designers, curators, etc. I mean all the professions that have a purpose related to design, but now in the metaverse. Not to mention the fundamental role of all programmers, both experienced and those who are just starting.

“The metaverse for me is like a second reality — there are many ideas and intentions around it. However, designers will be the ones who will give it shape and form.”


What has been your experience with Foundation and the collaborative nature of the NFT community?

AM: Foundation is only one platform of many that exist for buying and selling NFTs, however, in my experience Foundation is the one that currently has the best UI. While NFTs are not limited only to 3D art, I can say that the community of 3D artists is wonderfully collaborative in all aspects, another wonderful aspect of NFTs and the main reason to be there. The new connections that I get to generate with other artists are simply enriching.

“However, I don’t agree that this is the normality of the NFT community, and that’s why I’m very excited to find every day more and more work from very talented women. I celebrate it whenever I can.”

Livia Corona Benjamin, “Silvana’s Sandbox I” (2021); Sea urchin shells and cement mortar on wood panel. Photo by Luis Corzo.

You started using #NFTwomen with your project Anarchitecture. Can you tell me what it has been like for you to be involved in a space that still feels largely dominated by wealthy white men?

AM: The NFT world to this day is definitely dominated by the white man stereotype, and it may be because this is exactly the type of niche that dominates the gaming industry. And since there is a very similar nature between the two industries, it is inevitable to have a higher presence of men in the NFT world. I am not a gamer and never was but my brothers are — that’s why diving into the 3D and NFT world was never crazy for me.

However, I don’t agree that this is the normality of the NFT community, and that’s why I’m very excited to find every day more and more work from very talented women. I celebrate it whenever I can. I hope and wish that this community reaches gender parity soon, because only in this way will we be able to live in a healthy ecosystem where we can all grow. If everyone grows, we all grow.

Tell us a bit about ByElectra.

AM: For me, ByElectra is a platform that allows me to collaborate with other artists for commercial projects but mainly for personal projects. All the people I collaborate with have a desire to design according to their personal taste from time to time, which is complicated if you are always working for a client.

I could always create a website, a poster or a branding myself, because I know how to do it without a doubt. However, it is much more fun if I manage to collaborate at least with some other designer who can make the process richer and the result more unexpected.

This is an excerpt from primary research conducted by Dims. on the fast-changing landscape of blockchain and NFTs. Sign up for more timely updates.