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The Evolution of Rich Peon Poor Peon
A New Artistic Epoch
It’s rare for anything to enter into the world in a perfect state. Ideas, art, brands, and even human beings start their lives as one thing before evolving into something else. It’s a process of trail and error. A process of learning who you really are and shedding the excess. A process of growth. All of these are good signs. Evolution is a sign of progress.
Rich Peon Poor Peon understands this more than your average NFT project. Born into the world as a hodgepodge of random peon characters, this collection was by no means a masterclass in cohesiveness and strategy in its origins. The traits didn’t differentiate rich peons from poor, and the theme of the art and the brand didn’t have clean alignment.
Despite the lack of depth and consistency, the Peons were still able to resonate with people. In true underdog fashion, the Peons community rallied and propelled the collection to heights never before imagined. However, with this impressive growth, it became apparent that the brand and art would need to be improved to match the caliber of project Peons aimed to be.
With this in mind, the evolution began.
The initial version of the artwork, while unique and captivating in its own right, didn’t reflect the social nuances of the rich, poor, and middle-class peons. However, it did have charm — something about these cute-ugly Peons kept people coming back.
So our team embarked on a long journey to find how we could simultaneously give the art a major facelift while keeping this charm alive. And let me tell you — this was no easy task.
So, how did we manage to get from this Peon to THAT Peon?
Let’s find out!
Peons V2: A Long Process
Commencing our search in October 2022, we cast a wide net when looking for artists. We reached out to over 50 before shortlisting ten potential candidates. Each artist possessed their own distinctive style which we felt could bring new life to Peons. These selected artists were then invited to demonstrate their artistic prowess, reimagining the Peons in their own unique styles.
Their varied depictions of peons showed us a handful of the artistic paths we could take with this upgrade. Despite offering some truly intriguing set artistic variations, we soon realized it could be detrimental to lose the peon charm that made the first version so lovable.
So we went back to the drawing board.
Our next move was to track back to the source — our legendary artist Random. As the creator of the original peons, his finesse in adding expressiveness to peons was simply unmatched. He initially worked on 120 different Peon character outlines, ranging from truck driver to rich nerds.
Even without adding clothing traits, he was able to build out an impressive base of characters from which another artist could build on. We began asking artists to create their rendition of peons based on these outlines created by Random. And just like that…
Bingo! We were able to find our artist. With a unique brush-stroke coloring technique, our new artist was able to elevate the quality of the peon without losing its core identity. We’d proved to ourselves that it was possible to create a true upgrade that still felt like Peons.
With an artist secured, we embarked on the tedious, yet exciting, process of creating our new collection. We spent over three months on just the base peon before even considering class-based traits. The facial traits for the base peons — mouth, eyes, noses, and ears were vetted with the utmost attention to detail.
We had to ensure every peon evoked true emotion. If the mood of a Peon couldn’t be described from a short glance at their eyes, it wasn’t detailed enough — send it back for revisions.
This back and forth took months, but the effort paid off. The new interpretation radiates a vibrancy and depth that was previously missing. The rich textures, expressive color palettes, and intricate detailing brings the Peons to life. In the blink of an eye, you can see a peon and feel the hardships and successes they’ve experienced in their life.
These new Peons command attention and intrigue, inviting viewers into their world to explore their narratives. However, an expressive face wasn’t enough for creating our distinct Peon classes. We needed more traits.
So now for the real fun — class-specific traits.
Thoughtful Trait Planning
When it came time to create the traits for the various Peon classes, we left no rock unturned. We wanted to imbue each category with distinctive traits that immediately signify the social status of the Peon. It should feel immersive and engaging to flick through this collection. Anyone should easily be able to discern how the varying societal layers within the Peon community were structured.
For the Rich Peons, we sought inspiration from elements traditionally associated with wealth and opulence. Traits that signify this status could range from elaborate attire and accessories to lavish environments. The rich peons are crafted to exude an aura of luxury, exclusivity, and power, aligning with the societal perception of wealth.
The Middling Peons, on the other hand, represent the working class, the individuals who form the backbone of society. The traits selected for these peons resonate with hard work, ambition, and perseverance. Simple yet neat attire, humble environments, and occupation related traits were some of the primary ideas considered for the middling peons.
The Poor Peons depict the struggles and resilience of those who’ve been hard done by society. Traits were carefully selected to represent this group accurately and empathetically, highlighting their reality while avoiding any form of caricature. Simple clothing, rugged environments, and signs of hardship are prevalent themes for the traits in this category.
The process of developing these new traits required extensive research and an eye for cultural sensitivity. We looked into countless cultural inspirations to make the representation authentic and relatable. The result is a diverse and inclusive collection of NFTs that resonates with a broad spectrum of people. It’s also important to remember that these classes have a deeper meaning in the lore and world of Peons. Although each class has a different relationship with wealth, we all share the same goal and mindset. We’re all Peons.
When discovering a new NFT project, the first thing that grabs your attention is the artwork. It needs to be impactful, visually appealing, and captivating enough to draw people in and entice them to learn more. The original Peon artwork simply wasn’t able to do this. That is why we embarked on this transformation.
It was no easy journey, but it has proven to be well worth the effort. Our new upgrade opens up the possibility for us to truly strive for greatness as a project and a community.
Through this evolution, Rich Peon Poor Peon has demonstrated its dedication to not only artistic excellence but also to creating a dynamic, diverse, and relatable collection for all crypto enthusiasts. We’ve elevated the narrative on all fronts. Now all that’s left is to bring Rich Peon Poor Peon to the world.
Now we smash rocks into a new era of greatness.