Since the age of 10, J.J Weinberg knew what he wanted to do. Exactly what he wanted to do. He told his mom that he was going to go to the American Academy of Art. Soon after, he won his first art competition, painting a “Just Say No” poster.
That’s how his journey began.
J.J. always had entrepreneurial aspirations. When he was 13, he bought 20 copies of “Spawn #1” dreaming that someday, he’d open a comic book shop.
He’s still working on it. But he enrolled in the Academy of Art thinking he’d become a comic book artist, studying under the iconic Alex Ross. There, the tutelage of Dr. Trapp helped J.J. develop his own unique style.
J.J. has accomplished a lot since college.
His painting “Midas’ Love - The Gold Kisser” won the Grand Prize award at the 2015 Pop-Up Art Festival, he was nominated for the Kennedy Artist Fellows Award in 2016, and his startup Artunity won the People’s Choice Award for the Startup of the Year in 2019.
Listen as we discuss his story in our 2-hour-long conversation.
Key points discussed
What would 9-year-old J.J. think of himself today (01:40)
American Academy of Arts, Alex Ross, and learning how to trace (02:55)
Authenticity, originality in the NFT space, and working with LAmour Supreme (11:22)
Clubhouse, fake experts in the space, and importance of having a story (18:21)
J.J. doing a Cubs painting for his father that went viral (21:40)
Bike ride e from Chicago to Washington, charisma , choosing to be an extrovert (27:17)
J.J.’s relationship with his father, Cubs World Series, Anthony Rizzo painting (35:28)
Jupiter Effect, meeting Gary Vee, the early NFT space (45:24)
What is Artunity, raising $100,000, digital meets magical (01:00:00)
Onboarding people into NFT space and Nonphysical Wrestling Federation (01:13:11)
Dave Weinberg, CM Crypto Punk, Million Dollar Dogecoin Man (01:20:34)
Making fun of NFTs, conscious evolution, Startup of the Year 2019 (01:26:38)
How to pitch your idea, Tom Ricketts, listening to Ron Santos (01:35:05)
Bootstrapping and reinvesting the money you made from your art (01:46:13)
Closing thoughts (01:52:13)
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