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Flux Research on Spirituality, Writing About NFTS, and the NFT Shopping Network
BY ERIC P. RHODES - Eric is an award-winning Crypto Art artist, renowned Trash Art artist, and creator of the iconic NFT collection, Unofficial Punks. Working exclusively in the Web3 space since 2019. 💬 Follow Eric on Twitter
When an adult asked ten-year old Clyde F. Smith, aka Flux Research, what he wanted to be when he grew up, his answer was: “I want to be famous.”
Today, he is an NFT artist, a freelance writer, and the founder of CryptoArtNet and NFT Entrepreneur.
He’s not as famous as he thought he’d be as a third grader, but he is doing what he loves.
We had a truly great time talking about his interest in meditation and Eastern practices, what he worked on during his doctorate, and his dance background.
We also discussed his writing career, the world of music NFTs, the NFT Shopping Network, and his latest project.
Want to learn more about his work?
Who was 10-year old Flux Research?
Well, you know, it's funny, 10-year old, that’s more or less around third grade.
I think this is one of the few stories I really remember from my childhood: Somebody asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said I wanted to be famous. And you know, I have not really succeeded in the way I think I envisioned.
How did you envision being famous?
I don’t really know, you know? Even back then, my heroes were big sports names. And some famous inventors: George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison. Carver more actually, because he didn’t get the adulation Edison did. Plus, he did some amazing things with just a peanut.
Were you inspired by Carver’s ability to take something so simple and expand on it?
That’s a funny way to put it, because lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the ideas that influence me as an adult. And it’s always the same thing: I take really simple things, simple ideas, and stick with them.
Think of breathing, it’s so easy. When I was studying dance, I was having all these weird issues, and the people I was working with helped me get beyond my limitations of traditional dance training. I went from that to a deeper awareness of movement, and breath is really at the core of it. And so, simply paying attention to your breathing throughout the day becomes this very powerful thing.
Speaking of breathing, do you meditate?
Oh yes, definitely. I like to think of myself as a poor practitioner of Taoism.
Would you explain what Taoism is?
It’s a slightly renegade tradition that draws on Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Chi Gong, which is any exercise using Chi. I studied the Universal Healing Tao by master Mantak Chia. I started studying with teachers in this tradition years ago and I did a couple of workshops. And you know, it’s very different from my upbringing; I come from a Southern Baptist family.
So tell me a little bit about your dance background, how does it fit in all of this?
Well, I did a little bit of dancing in high school. I was really into musical theater, so I did some singing and some dancing. And then in college, as an English major, I started thinking that maybe I wanted to actually major in musical theater.
So I took some dance classes with a grad student, a modern dance teacher. And he was great! He helped me learn more about my body structure, and that allowed me to understand what was going on underneath. Truth be told, I got hooked!
The next year I became a dance major and I ended up getting a BFA from UNC Greensboro. All of that was really good, I ended up spending the next ten years in North Carolina and in San Francisco doing work, community art, dancing with small companies, and doing a lot of performance art and spoken word.
So, how did you go from dancing to writing about NFTs?
So I had just gotten a doctorate, and at that point a majority of the people with doctorates were looking to get a job in the field, to do research. We were all trying to make research groups and maybe do a little teaching.
So, it’s 2000 and I don’t have a job, and I’m looking but still trying to figure out what to do in the interim. Back then I was still living in Greensboro, North Carolina and there used to be local freestyles happening everywhere around me. I was really into hip hop, so I decided to start writing about it.
And you know, the people doing these freestyles were young black men in their twenties, very aware of their position in the world, naive about the music industry, but doing this incredible work on the spot, and I was fascinated.
I was the first reporter to ever talk to them and they were excited. I was an introduction to the media world for them, you know? I wrote about them and put it online, and that’s when the whole web publishing thing started for me.
Later on, I created a website to be a sort of portfolio for me, and it has original stuff on it, from all the different things I was writing about at the time. And then I just naturally moved on to writing about NFTs.
So, what are the challenges that come with writing about NFTs?
Honestly? I think the biggest challenge is the speed in which the industry changes. But you know, that’s also a good thing!
Listen to the full interview here to learn more about Flux Research’s path and his latest project.
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