Gamified Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are among some of the hottest digital assets to own within the cryptocurrency space at the moment.
So when a former lead designer for Nickelodeon and artist who has worked on creative projects for Marvel, Sesame Street, Disney, MTV, Lego, and more create gamified NFTs one is bound to take notice.
Michael Lennicx recently did that and more.
We reached out to him to find out more about his recent Piñazza project and more.
Here is what he had to say.
Michael Lennicx Leading Art Director
Who is Michael Lennicx? Please, can you tell us in your own words?
I’m a multidisciplinary artist and creator based in Brooklyn, NY.
I’ve done art direction and illustration for Nickelodeon, Lego, Disney/Marvel, etc, shown in group and solo art exhibitions around the US, have a large-scale/public arts business, with a recent foray into NFTs.
What is Piñazza?
Pinazza (peen – YACHT – Zaaaa!) is a 2-part NFT drop celebrating two controversial bedfellows, Pineapple and Pizzeria.
The Pinas have launched, at pinazza.fun, and the Pizza’s are currently baking in the production phase.
What is the inspiration behind the name?
Ha, I thought it would be hilarious and celebratory the yell “PINAZZA!” when a collector reveals a highly collectable rare artwork.
It’s also a catchy combo of our characters and an umbrella under which we can develop a larger brand.
Please, can you tell us more about your vision to build a Metaverse-based DAO?
This is one of WIley’s conceptual contributions, it’s a sort of digital wishing well in the metaverse.
We plan to complete this at the 40% sales milestone.
Donations would go to Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies ( MAPS ) a 501(c)(3) research and educational organization.
Congratulations on the launch of your gamified NFT platform! What’s next for Piñazza and how does the growth of Piñazza factor into the development of a Metaverse-based DAO designed to raise funds for MAPS?
The production for a metaverse Pina would begin at 40% sales, and this appears within reach over the coming weeks/months.
We’re also developing and in production on the Pizza NFT partners for our Pinas. We’re hoping to reveal the look soon and begin a rollout before the winter.
Please, can you tell us the reasons for your focus on mental health? Why was MAPS the organization you chose to support via Piñazza / the metaverse-based DAO?
There is a glaring need to acknowledge and aid mental health internationally. It’s never been more apparent than during a global pandemic.
We’d like to play a part in helping this process, and by donating to MAPS, we feel we’re helping address the problem and find solutions.
Mathews: We wanted play to off of the theme of the pineapple fund and the bitcoin pizza day as a motif for the project, and with helping to produce events such as the 20 Million dollar pizza party and the Crypto Psychedelic Cruise, the theme was based off a personal experience.
Is there a process in place for other mental health charities that want to get involved in the aid process?
Certainly, and as our community builds, we plan to have them help us decide objectives and charities with which we can partner.
What is the rationale behind gamified NFTs? Why did you choose gamified NFTs as your entrée into the NFT space?
Piñazza! Is a two part series of Pineapple and Pizza NFTs.
The gameplay at first is to collect a matching pair which will lead to rewards and adventures in our discord.
We started the project as a profile picture concept, but quickly realized that all of our characters were different than other projects in that they all have full body poses and completely unique characteristics that would be excellent characters to use in future ideas sich as role playing or within a metaverse based open world.
The NFT can provide your character into the world, and allow for access and Utility within the game play. Rarity value of your character will certainly come into play.
You have had quite a career. Please, can you tell us about some of the best moments in your professional history?
Ha! I’ve been lucky to meet amazing creators, artists, friends, jokers, thinkers, musicians, and hopefully the best of them has rubbed off on me.
I try to challenge myself with a big project every year, whether it be a solo art show, a 30’ mural, or an NFT property startup.
It keeps me learning and discovering, that’s the best!
How do you think the emergence of gamified NFTs will aid the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and their allied technologies?
It appears it’s already happened and happening. Its several ideologies at once in collision.
The power of decentralized currency, the contract capabilities, and now the emergence of NFT art and digital assets creates a creator culture that eliminates middlemen and gateways from the equation.
It’s an interesting moment, and a topic too large to discuss here, but deserves a podcast!
What are the benefits for those aficionados who get into the platform early? Why do you see Piñazza becoming a long-term collectible NFT/item, and does the creation of the metaverse-based DAO play into this value increase?
The initial benefit was to buy a Pina NFT, get a Pizza NFT.
Once the community grows, benefits and perks will also arise with merch, events, and limited access NFT art offerings.
How is Piñazza’s approach different from other community-driven organizations launching NFTs?
The art is a bit different than a standard pfp; as we have full body characters, posing and premium backgrounds. The approach is similar with a roadmap and milestones, but the charitable focus is a nice new twist.
How did you get involved with cryptocurrencies and their allied technologies?
I originally got introduced in 2014, but have maintained interest and minimal investment over these years.
The NFT gave me a platform that I found relevant and intriguing.
What plans do you have for Generation Z? How do you feel that Piñazza and its charity-focused approach stands to affect Gen Z’s outlook on NFTs and the cryptoverse in general?
Let’s hope they are inspired to see how their virtual actions, support, and financial help can make “IRL” better.
Which of the spaces within the cryptocurrency industry will rule the world? (I mean I know you have a preference for NFTs but try to be fair!)
Perhaps disaster relief and troubled fiat economies can become more stable with this technology.
What other use cases of NFTs are we going to see from Piñazza? You have mentioned a community ‘trading’ element as well as the “Piñazza-Perfects” – how do these elements play into the future of the Piñazza brand/suite of NFTs?
The “perfects” are our rarest, most collectible within the set. We also envision collectors creating partners/duos of Pina and Pizza characters, and perhaps farther iterations of these partnerships!
Where do you see Piñazza in the next decade? What about the MAPS-focused DAO? Will other NFT projects be brought in to fund the DAO?
The longer term, 3D metaverse character development and story, and in the shorter term, vinyl toys and merch.
Do you have any secrets you want to tell us? Care to spill the beans?
Stay tuned as we are about to launch the Piñazza! pizza character soon!
If you had three wishes and a Genie that could make them come true, what would they be? How would Piñazza, the NFT space, the metaverse-based digital wishing well concept, or MAPS factor into these wishes?
Wow- to see the market flourish and stabilize.
Certainly for our project to see phase 2 and 3 come to fruition, and to enjoy developing this idea with our audience!