Meta Talkz with The Chameleon Collective Founder, Zach Bush
Zach Bush is the founder and lead artist of The Chameleon Collective, a sold-out NFT collection of 10,000 profile pictures. I have 2 fine arts degrees, one of which is a Masters in 3D environmental design from Virginia Tech. I specialize in VR world-building and my work has been featured on the cover of Advanced Photoshop Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Discover Magazine.
What was your journey like to get where you are?
The illustration career path is not an easy one, and even less lucrative. And then throw in a much more narrow field of studies like 3D environmental design and your career opportunities become few and far between.
I spent a few years working a boring, albeit stable, government job designing powerpoints, and much longer chasing the next client as a freelance illustrator. I spent some time in the Hollywood movie poster scene, and tried breaking into the grueling video game industry — only to find a high turnover rate due to hours far too long, and pay much too small. I finally settled on a flexible, family-run theatre company designing elaborate set pieces. It gave me a good balance of creativity and time for my family, at the expense of the paycheck, but such is the life of an artist.
Or so I thought until being introduced to NFTs. I could finally combine all my expertise, specialties, passions, and degrees. I could be in control of my art, schedule, and paychecks. For the first time in 15 years I could work countless hours on meticulous digital illustrations, and actually be compensated for that time, instead of being featured on the internet for free consumption only to be asked, ‘what’s next?’ 24 hours later.
In a simpler phrase, what is your company exactly doing?
This project begins as a 2D project and is the foundation for future phases including immediate entry into the metaverse. This project was looking immediately at iteratively updating the NFTs with 3D upgrades before the 2D art had even been revealed. We already own land in the Sandbox and actively seek out other artists to empower and collaborate with. As a company, we’re focused on the future of the metaverse, 3D/VR experiences, DAO, fractionalization, and NFT education.
What about Metaverse are you most excited for in the future?
We’re most excited for the Metaverse to grow and develop to a point where we can show off the talents of our artists in a more 3D realistic space. This will then allow us to use this space on a daily basis for our community to hang out and to hold events in our virtual world. We’re also excited to see the integration of VR, gaming, play-to-earn, and fractionalization within the space. To collaborate with companies large and small, and people from all over the world.
Why should we be paying attention to the Metaverse?
For creators: Web-3, blockchain, and decentralization are all revolutionary technologies, especially for the creator. With the advent of the 401k, the 2008 real estate crash, and other financial issues over their lifetimes, this younger generation is far more averse to working for a large corporation than any of their predecessors since the 1950s.
The idea that everything lives on the blockchain transparently verifies ownership & origination — meaning every creator in the cog of the big machine will be recognized and compensated. This will help eliminate theft and exploitation. Artists can be in control of their work, instead of signing it away to their one company of employment. They get the privilege of collaborating on multiple projects and receive recognized and fractionalized pay from each project they work on, and all secondary sales. It levels the playing field and closes the wealth gap.
For small businesses: There are AR platforms that small businesses can utilize with just an AR headset and a smartphone that can give a customer a visual 3D representation of a product or service offering without even needing a storefront. Small businesses can become lockdown impervious by allocating relatively small fiscal resources to web and mobile platforms that enable customers to make decisions from afar.