Meet the MIRL Crew Pt. 1

Okay. MIRL is cool, we get it.

But who exactly are you people?!

Don’t worry, we hear you; so come onboard star-ship MIRL and meet the crew!

The Captain, JLSM

Tell us about yourself

Figure 2. JLSM — MIRL’s lead designer & founder

“Interpretation. Innovation. Identity.”

Having my collection shown on fashion runways was always a dream come true to me. Since graduating from Lasalle College of Arts in 2017, I’ve taken part in various fashion competitions / runways such as iD Dunedin Fashion Week, Harper’s Bazaar New Gen, Donghua Shanghai Fashion Week, Hongkik Fashion Biennale, etc.

Figure 3. Joannalsm collection featured at Yuan Exhibition (2017) sponsored by Swarovski (cr. Joannalsm.com)

“Body is the canvas; Life is the artist.”

That being said, my all-time favourite fashion designer is Alexander McQueen. I really like his powerful, impactful (and sometimes disturbing) runway shows. He (Alexander McQueen) is someone who isn’t afraid of criticism, and all his collections have a story behind them based on his own experiences.

Even though I’m currently in the Arts and Design industry, when I was in school, I loved Mathematics and Science (specifically Biology & Chemistry). Hence, some of my collections take inspirations from human anatomy, micro-organisms, chemical elements, etc.

“People often say I am a 24/7 Hustler, but in fact I really like to nap. If I could, I would love to be able to just take naps all day, every day.”

How did you get into NFTs?

Initially, I was introduced to NFTs by a friend (now fellow MIRL team member and designer — Leslie aka Misled Lotus) who reached out to me. Back then, we had many discussions about the possibilities of NFTs for creatives, but it was not until later in 2021 that I started the MIRL Project with a group of like-minded individuals and in a turn of events, ended up recruiting Misled Lotus to join MIRL.

What is your vision for MIRL?

I’ve often heard people ask what’s the use of NFTs if they don’t have a tangible, physical aspect to them. As a fashion designer, I thought it would be cool to have apparels for NFTs in the real world.

Hence, the MIRL Project was created. I see MIRL as more than just an NFT project. I want to create a space for people to come together and share ideas, formulate plans and embark on collaborations. It’s not just about artist and creatives, I would like to collaborate with people from all different backgrounds and industries, like music, science, and have all different styles and collections

What is your most memorable moment in building MIRL so far?

Looking back and seeing where we began, our first initial drafts. As we grow, all of MIRL grows as well, together with the community.

Tell us about your favourite NFT artist/project

I really like the Sacred Skulls NFT project because they have a real Alexander McQueen vibe to them. I also really like that they are all hand drawn — but I don’t own one as of now because the ones I want are all way above my price point ;)

The first-mate, Misled Lotus

Figure 4. Misled Lotus — MIRL’s graphic designer / digital illustrator/ co-founder

Tell us about yourself

“ A lot of my art is influenced by two of my favourite childhood movies: Treasure Planet & Samurai Jack. Hence, the galaxy and dystopian themes featured in many of the MIRL backgrounds.”

First-mate, Misled Lotus (AKA Leslie) reporting for duty! I am currently based in Melbourne, Australia. On one hand, I am a graphic designer, digital illustrator, and co-founder of The MIRL Project. And on the other hand, I am an academic scholar currently working on my PhD research project on the topic of human behavioral psychology in medical treatment to improve patient health outcomes.

While most of my educational background is in science, I’ve always had a passion in art albeit not taking steps to pursue a career in it. Nonetheless, I’ve usually ended up landing in some sort of graphic design / illustration role when it came to group projects or university student clubs.

With regards to my role in MIRL design, I mainly focus on building the planets, galaxies, and star systems of Metanoia (The fictional MIRL universe).

Figure 5. Some of Misled Lotus’ Artwork

Aside from art, I have an interest in Philosophy, Cryptocurrencies, and Psychology. I try to always make time to do some exercise everyday, this usually comes in the form of Taekwondo, hiking, bouldering, jogging, or just straight hitting up the gym. My leisure time is spent drawing, cooking, and playing video games / table-top RPG games (Favourites being Skyrim, Terraria, Smash Bros Ultimate, Stardew Valley, and Gloomhaven).

“My aspiration is to one day have enough time to finally finish Skyrim.”

How did you get into NFTs?

Like for many others, 2021 wasn’t a great year for me. Essentially, I was out of a job, education, and a home. Nonetheless, I took the opportunity to, as cliche as this sounds, to rediscover myself. After all, I do believe that we need some level of discomfort in life to spur us into action.

I started selling some early paintings and drawings on Opensea I made in Feb 2021. Although these were being bought up, I quickly realised that I was no Beeple and couldn’t sell a single piece for thousands and make a living out of it. I did try making a collection of simple pieces, but I was getting feedback from buyers that despite liking my art, the Ethereum gas fees were quite a significant barrier for them. Hence, I started selling art pieces to NFT brokers instead, where they would then go on to mint and sell them on Opensea.

Figure 6. A Misled Lotus NFT being sold by an NFT broker on Opensea

What got you excited about MIRL?

I had actually reached out to JLSM prior to starting the MIRL project, back in early 2021 to talk about NFTs and the possibilities of what we could do together. While we did have some talk about starting a project together, later in the year I was offered a PhD scholarship and so I decided to put my NFT pursuits on hold. Hence, I was quite surprised when JLSM contacted me out of the blue to join her on the soon-to-be-formed MIRL Project team. Moreover, this time JLSM had recruited a well-rounded, talented team to assist in the creation of MIRL. Impressed and quite excited by the prospects of what MIRL could bring to the Metaverse, I decided to embark on the MIRL Project alongside my PhD.

What is your most memorable moment in building MIRL so far?

You often hear about the importance of teamwork, and often what we experience is when we get forcefully paired up with a bunch of classmates in school — which is but a pale comparison to when you actually have a group of like-minded, autonomous individuals with the same goal. Seeing what we can achieve when we play our unique strengths, covering others weaknesses, and supporting each other really just makes all the difference between “group work” and “team work”.

Tell us about your favourite NFT artist

Quite basic, but my favourite NFT artist is Beeple. As mentioned earlier, I do like galaxy and dystopian themes. His creativity is also just absolutely brilliant. Not to mention the effort he put in to get to where he is, that’s truly inspiring. He also has quite a hilarious character and I love how he incorporates his quirkiness into his art.

The Second mate, James

Figure 7. James — Marketing / designer all-in-one extraordinaire!

Tell us about yourself

“Drawing is my hobby — I love to draw and have been doing so since I was 4 years old.”

My name is James Thangi. I’m from Indonesia and I turn 25 this year. I graduated from University of New Castle with a degree in International Business and I used to work in a marketing agency as a business developer and designer. I also did lots of freelancing (clothing designs, account executive). Drawing is my hobby — I love to draw and have been doing so since I was 4 years old. I also like art and sports in general and my life aspiration is to create a successful art collection and showcase it in real life.

Role Model: Takashi Murakami, Wede (Karafurus art designers)

How did you get into NFTs?

“I see NFTs as a platform that finally allows me to sell my art without the need of creating a physical product.”

I heard about NFT for the first time from the news of Beeple’s 69mil artwork sale. I have always wanted to find a way to sell my art so I got into NFTs officially in 2021 and launched my first collection in Jan 2022.

Figure8. Lucky Kat 37 from James’ first NFT collection

I see NFTs as a platform that finally allows me to sell my art without the need of creating a physical product. Previously, I have sold some of my arts but its in the form of stickers and velcro patches — it is very troublesome as you need to think of supply chain, production and much more (instead of focusing mainly on the arts)

What got you excited about MIRL?

I’m excited by many different possibilities of MIRL but one of the biggest one would be that one day we will have our own fashion show in real life.

Tell us about your favourite NFT project

I really like Karafuru, especially because of the unique art and vibrant colours used. Wede, who is the designer, is one of my inspirations.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3, where you’ll get to meet the rest of the team!

Check out our social communities below!

Website | Twitter | Instagram| Linkedln | Discord

About MIRL

MIRL is a dao and incubator enabling creatives and designers all over the world. Since its inception, over 300 aspiring designers have joined the DAO. MIRL will be launching its genesis NFT series on 10 March and its native token subsequently. All NFT holders will enjoy a fashion wearable designed in-house. MIRL is founded by designers and strategists who have worked with H&M, SHEIN, Yahoo, Google and Nike.

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MIRL is the first decentralised fashion brand born in the metaverse. https://mirl.club/