Yin Mandala Series

Years ago, I was playing around in Photoshop while meditating on “Yin” energy. Yin Yang is a Taoist symbol, and a good portion of my spirituality is based on Taoism (in addition to Zen/Chan Buddhism). Ultimately, I made about two-dozen variations of a single photo composite, and I selected my favorite. The filename was just some notation telling me pixel-shift, rotation, and hue. The name wasn’t the important aspect of any of them; the energy and symbolism the pieces contained, was.

My main external energy is Yang, and the image I made was a round-ish symbol of…


I recently rewatched the Disney movie, The Sword in the Stone, with my two partners. It’s old and a classic, I guess, but I had a big problem with it… The ending was dumb. The rest of the movie was silly, but the ending really misses the mark for modern audiences. The movie, in brief, is a series of adventures in transfiguration; Merlin changes young Arthur into various animals, and while in that animal form, Arthur must overcome…challenges or dangers. Fine. At the end though, Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and is crowned king.

The issue is literally…


I launched a Zen-inspired generative cryptoart project called Ensō last month (ensō is a Zen symbol), and I need to spread the word about the project! The generative script lives on Ethereum and is ‘powered by a smart contract’. Whenever someone purchases one from the platform (Artblocks.io), the smart contract does some magic and the generative script I wrote uses JavaScript to create a unique image of an ensō in sumi-e style! The smart contract will only ever create 1,000 tokens, and they’re each 0.108 Eth (plus transaction fees). …


Quick background:

As ‘Azurine,’ I make art that’s hard to classify, but I say that it varies from erotic to contemplative, absurd to scientific, spiritual to unsettling. I’ve been making this kind of art for decades, but it wasn’t until discovering NFTs in Oct. 2020 that I found a market and community that I actually wanted to be a part of. In the last three months of 2020, I minted approximately 100 pieces of work from my previously-private collection.

But towards the end of 2020, Bitcoin took off, bringing Ethereum gas costs with it. And with that rise, came minting’s fall. Economics…


The story of Fan-Frickin-Tastic

I started this story in the spring of 2020, when I and my family were under lockdowns. I wrote a few chapters, then I set it aside. It wasn’t until I got into cryptoart and NFTs did it occur to me to publish the stories as an interactive NFT serial project.

The story begins with a trio of college kids, who have been trapped in a bunker, escape back to the surface. The world changed right above their heads, haha, and they’re faced with a mystery and adventure. So am I, and so are my readers, because I’m leaving aspects…


Lots of times, I feel like I can’t keep up with my thoughts. I forget the metaphor Buddhists use for a wild mind, but it’s something involving a large and dangerous mammal. They might refer to it as a raging, wild elephant or something, and I totally connect with that.

The point is though, it takes me a really long time to actually deliver the things I make. I’m no expert at what I do-that’s part of the fun for me. But it means that I’m constantly learning, and that’s never fast. …


I was recently invited to a naked yoga class by a friend. I’ll be honest, I don’t love my body, so the prospect of doing naked yoga was daunting.

So of course, I said yes. How could I not when at the simple thought of it, my pulse quickened? It made me feel uncomfortable, and thanks to my philosophy of ‘no fear,’ I had no choice.

I’m not going to lie. It was weird at first being naked in front of my computer (Did I mention it was a video-virtual class? Yes, it was!). I only knew one the other…


I recently started making non-fungible tokens, (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. There’s a whole ecosystem for them, and most of the tools / sites that let you interact with them are visual-heavy. That makes sense; Cryptokitties and Punks were some of the first examples of NFTs, and the image is a key aspect to both.

The artist in me loves it! But the author in me has issues. There’s a description field to tokens, and most sites dedicate only a small percentage of the screen to them.

I want to publish NFTs of words, but not images of words (there’s…


I’m trying something new by publishing serial short stories as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. At the most basic level, this means that these stories will be public and free, forever.

In publishingland, there’s a practice of going ‘permafree,’ which means that the published work is free on retailers, usually Amazon.com. Once it’s free, it’s ‘perma’ free. Well, I just started two projects that will basically always be perma-free. I’m publishing them on my website too, but the point is that I cannot remove these stories from the blockchain. I can destroy the ownership of them, but they’ll still be…


I was born in 1981, and recently, I started to carry around a coin: a Morgan Silver Dollar, from 1881.

It was made 100 years before I was born. It’s been held by people I’ve never met, who are long dead. It’s been passed from father to son (possibly), it’s been treasured and protected, and eventually it found its way onto ebay and into my mailbox.

I do have another Morgan Silver Dollar from 1881. I used to collect coins, when I was a kid, and when I sold the collection when I was in my twenties, it was worth…

Matto

Author / Publisher / Artist / Educator / Poet / Programmer / Builder. Links at https://MonkMatto.com

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