Blockchain. I never dealt with blockchain technology before. Months after I created my art Instagram account, my husband introduced me to Creary, a blockchain-based portfolio platform. It was still on its first version, Creative Chain, at that time.
Since I’m a non-techie, I really wondered how it works. Do I really need it? How can I manage it then?
My husband then explained me concisely, “On Creative Chain, you can register and choose the license for your artworks. Once it’s been there, no one can change or erase it even yourself because data on a blockchain is immutable.” Okay, this was my very first lesson about blockchain.
Then he added, “Moreover, they have their own crypto-currency, CREA. So if you want, you can sell your art digitally using CREA. Basically, it works as social network like Instagram but it rewards you with CREA according to the likes/votes you get for your content.”
Okay. It really excited my curiosity. So let’s give a try.
As I remember, I joined Creative Chain in March 2018, not quite long after their first launching. At first, I was a worried about my art after realizing the fact that most artists in Creative Chain are digital artists. With many high quality graphic arts there, I could not imagine my amateur analog collage art adjoining them. I thought that my collages were not really “qualified” to put on Creative Chain. By all means, I was not confident enough to show my collage art. I am an analog self-taught artist who have no idea about digital technology. I was a kind of new kid on the block both in the art and blockchain world.
Since I work with analog collage, I have to assure myself that I digitize well my collages. Having good quality scanned collages is really important. Not only to “compete” with other digital artists, but also to build and prepare a good portfolio of my own.
CREA’s Weekly Challenge
One day, I stumbled upon their creative challenge called CREA’s Weeklys Challenges, a week-long art challenge crafted to get the creative juices flowing inside the Creativechain’s community. Then I submitted a collage titled: Humans Today for the Evolution challenge. Surprisingly, Humans Today was picked as the public’s choice winner and awarded 250 CREA. I thought I was just lucky. But then for the second time, my collage – A Whole New World – picked as the winner for Staff’s Pick category in the third Weekly Creative Challenge, the Trip challenge. I was awarded by 500 CREA for this time.
By the way, I never really thought about winning the prize. Moreover, the vote reward system still did not work in Creative Chain. But I was so happy, I won’t lie about this. Because it was the first creative challenges that I participated and finally I could prove to myself that I can do it. Do you remember how pessimist I was? Unwittingly, joining those challenges really helped me to explore my skill and build my confidence. And for the emerging creative community like Creative Chain, I think it is really important to create good environment and encourage the users to participate actively in order to grow the community itself. I am glad to join Creative Chain in their early stage and grow together with them.
The Birth of CREARY
In August 2018, they started to transform Creative Chain project into CREA 2.0, with a new brand web app, called CREARY. Creary itself was released in February 2019. The name of CREARY is built by merging the words Creative + Diary and inspired by the concept of personal creative portfolio (visit my account here).
Comparing to its first version, Creary is much easier to manage and has better interface. Seems like the team have done an excellent job. It has many improvements, new implementations, and many more on the way (see roadmap).
In addition to CREA, they also have 2 other tokens, CGY and CBD. Here is a brief explanation about those three as explained on the website:
- CREA is the main currency of the blockchain of Crea. CREA is a liquid currency, so you can trade with it in exchanges, send it to other users or directly use it as a payment method. They can also be transferred to other users and can be converted into CREA ENERGY in a process known as “Energize”.
- CGY or CREA ENERGY is a token that give you influence in the community. The level of influence of your votes will depend on the accumulated CGY.
- CBD or CREA Based Dollar is intended to have a price correlation with the US Dollar. CBD is also tradeable and can be transferred anytime.
So, in every artwork we upload, we can sell it digitally by providing it in the download section and setting the price either in CREA or CBD. If we see the value of CREA will be high in the future, we can set it in CREA. But if we want to have the “stable” price in correlation with USD, we can set the price in CBD. At least this is what I understand and how I sell my art in my account. And if we don’t want to sell our art, it’s okay. We can just upload our art and register the license without selling it. The selling part is not obligatory.
For every registered artwork, it will have a Blockchain Certificate that indicates the timestamp and the license.
|Creary Blockchain Certificate|
The Reward System in Creary
Before, my husband said that Creative Chain works like Instagram but it rewards you according to the likes/votes you get for your content. With many improvements in Creary, maybe I can add some to what he said, “… it rewards you not only from the votes and downloads you receive from other users, but also from interactions you make within the community.”
In Creary, you can get rewards as author or curator.
As author, we can get rewards from the votes and sale. Whereas as Curator, we will get rewards by curating other artists’ works. The rewards obtained by the artist as author will be shared to the curators who voted. Sometimes, there are many cases that people in Creary vote a content just because they see it as a popular post and it has many votes. They just want to invest and reserve the curator rewards, they not really like or see the quality of the artwork.
To avoid case like this, Creary applied BUZZ score. It works as a verification badge and indicator of the reputation of a user within the community. As they said, “The Buzz is a gamification mechanism that measures the quality of a user account while motivating the community to continue improving. It is also a mechanism that is designed to help reduce abuse within the social network while encouraging people to do things correctly.” I totally agree and really like this score system because fraud happens everywhere. People can post and register an artwork which is not theirs. Like what happened in Verisart’s Blockhain when an artist registered Monalisa to their platform.
And one important thing is we (and anyone) cannot buy reputation. The reputation is achieved with effort, creativity and perseverance. Maybe we can buy CREA and energize it as CGY. The more CGY we have, the more powerful our influence will be. But this value has no effect to the Buzz. So maybe our account value thousands of dollars but at the same time we have a very low Buzz.
How Creary Affects Me as an Artist
I learn a lot in Creary. Mainly about blockchain technology and how it works in social networks. I also learn more about copyright/copyleft license. Maybe I ever heard about it before, but I implemented it for the first time in Creary.
Creary is the second social network I use the most after Instagram. So far, I notice different character and behavior between them. Small example, sometimes I get many likes in Instagram but only a few in Creary or vice versa, for the same piece of work. I don’t compare it due to the different users number. But what I see here is, there is a different taste of art between these two communities. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just the matter of technical algorithm or something. I’m not sure yet.
However, it makes me more curious and encourages me to explore my skill by experimenting different styles and learning more about creative/art marketing as well. It’s always good to know how public see your art. And as a biologist, I found it really interesting to learn how technology can affect the art world. Two different world which I never thought I would deal with at the same line of time. And this is what I have learned and experienced in Creary so far, as a non-techie and a self-taught artist.
The Creary community is growing, so am I.