One year ago today, a little known pixel artist named Zen0m (aka Zen0) exploded onto Solana with his unique (and precise) pixel art through a collaboration with Skeleton Crew. Over the past 12 months he’s built an impressive body of work and a loyal fan base eager to get their hands on anything that hits the market.
We first met when he was hired to update the art for a small, boutique project on NEAR called BOO Monsters. It was a perfect match—BOO’s were based off the early 1980’s Pac Man ghosts and Zen0’s art style is rooted in video game design. He is a professional video game designer by trade.
I had the chance to meet Zen0 on a recent trip to the city where he lives. The TL;DR version of the meeting is he’s as awesome in real life as you’d think. I came away from the meeting an even bigger fan boy than before.
The longer version of the story is more eye opening and impressive. Zen0 is one interesting dude.
Monster Friend Woz owned by House of De.lux3 gallery.
While we sat outside a corner café in his home city sipping coffee, Zen0 shared the story about how he lved on an old rickety boat (with no running water or internet) while working for his first employer out of college. This was clearly during the ‘paying dues’ part of his career.
The boat leaked, it was cold during the winter and rocked during bad weather. But Zen0 indicated is was one of the best experiences in his life. He lived off noodles for six months until his girlfriend finished university and they moved into a flat.
The secret to Zen0’s phenomenal growth as a pixel artist is his project management background combined with his precise application of a pixel grid that helps put each pixel in the perfect location. As Mercury put it, “he’s a Swiss watchmaker, but English and with pixels.”
Zen0 recently launched a merch store and has partnered with Embroidery boy to deliver goodies to Monster Friend holders. As demand for his work has grown, Zen0 has maintained a close relationship with his community in his Discord server and thanks to a project management background, can juggle all the projects wanting to work with him while he releases his own work.
Check Rarity: ⍜ Moonrank
Supply: 777 – Sold out
Zen0verse is a generative art collection of 777 procedural places. Each one is built from a pool of different biomes, palettes, and characters – and each one tells a story.
Supply: 16 – Ongoing
A series of 16x “Read-Only Memories” – tributes to iconic video games. Each one is reimagined in lo-res pixel art style and accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack.
The soundtrack for each piece was created in collaboration with other artists on Solana, elevating and celebrating the medium of Audio Visual artwork.
Supply: 64 – Ongoing
This limited collection consists of unique 1/1 Monster Friends based on biomes from the Zen0verse series, as well as some completely new designs.
The original winners of each auction also receive matching, custom-made hoodies featuring their Monster Friend.
One of the things that stood out to me when we met is how clear his vision is for what he wants to accomplish. He knows his craft extremely well and understands the history of pixel art as well as the nuances of pixel size, pixel placement, animation and additional touches.
About six months after busting on the scene is when he was hired to upgrade the art for the BOO’s with an totally different pixel style is when it became apparenty how Zen0 has mastered his craft.
Pixel Art is one of the most exciting subcategories of the digital art movement. Zen0 has quickly established himself as a leader in the space.