Andrew Hamm is on a mission.
“The nft space is the world I live in now and I want to build a thriving community that helps its members and encourages people. I will be here every day, that is what sets this community apart.”
Hamm is an artist and illustrator from Halifax, Nova Scotia but now lives in New York. Originally he went there to be a stand up comic but quickly realized that art was where his heart had always wanted to be. He drew a cartoon and posted it on his Instagram feed every day for a year before he began submitting his work to The New Yorker magazine. After another year, they finally published one of his submissions. Hamm has several superpowers – two of them are consistency and perseverance.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) October 17, 2015
Hamm’s first cartoon was published on his birthday. From that day forward he found commercial success with publications such as Wired.com, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. His work has also been seen in High Times Magazine and widely on the web … but commercial success as a cartoonist means needing a second or third job. Selling cartoons has rarely made anyone wealthy. The ones you know about are among the few. Life as a working artist was a struggle – especially with a family to support.
Like many, it was during the pandemic that he became aware of blockchain, then crypto, then NFTs. His first awareness of the power to control his own financial destiny was through watching the GameStop saga unfold. This led to stocks, then crypto, and finally NFTs, a journey Hamm describes as going from terrible to less terrible to pretty good.
His start was rough – he helped develop a collection for FM Gallery, a Chinese NFT platform that fizzled with the advent of the Nifty Gateway/Beeple craze. Old school cartoonist and artist friends ridiculed his choice to enter the NFT space, but Hamm didn’t let that stop him. Realizing that working for other people was the opposite of how to make it as an artist, he developed his own project, taught himself to code so that he could create a layering program, and recruited a team to build the next big thing. A big thing that was the antithesis of the big pump and dumps and celebrity cash grabs that have been happening in the NFT space. Thus was born the Blazed Cats which raised over $300,000 for mental health on the launch and continues to raise money for mental health causes. Blazed Cats was the first NFT project featured in High Times. Blazed Cat holders were given 0xHeads as companions a month later.
A cartoon by Andrew Hamm. pic.twitter.com/6Hk1syjp5g
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) November 21, 2019
Shortly after this, Hamm inadvertently downloaded a malicious virus that asked him to enter his seedphrase into a fake metamask page. The result was that his prized Cool Cat, his favorite NFT, was stolen from the wallet. Not having enough spare ETH to buy back into the project, Hamm channeled his anger into creating his own version of Cool Cats – the Bear Market Bears. The Blazed Cat team was having some internal strife and Hamm used the opportunity to start putting together his dream team of people he wanted to work with for the Bear Market Bears.
Blockchain and NFTs have changed Hamm’s life. As a result, a part of the motivation for creating them was to teach kids about this emergent technology and to help people avoid making mistakes like the one that cost him his Cool Cat. Bear Market Bears will be a fun avatar project, an educational platform, and a community for building the future together.
What’s next? In addition to remaining fully committed and present with Bear Market Bears, Hamm is hard at work on a project he calls ‘The 100k Free NFT Project’. It involves layering male and female punk traits to make new jpegs and will be launching sometime in the coming months.