VC #3: Jake x Jenkins
An analysis of the Jake drop, speculation on future utility, and thoughts from Jake himself!
This is Valet Confidential (VC), the best way to keep up to date on Jenkins the Valet, Azurbala, the Jenkins Audio Experience, Book 1 with Neil Strauss, mutant hijinks, and everything else in the Writer’s Room ecosystem.
As a reminder, our journey at VC began with a two-part interview featuring the co-founding legends themselves, Jenkins The Valet and SAFA. Take a moment to go back and read their thoughts on Web3 publishing, worldbuilding, community-generated content, and community-led DAOs in Part 1 and Part 2.
On September 26th, 2021, the Jenkins (JTV) team announced a major milestone for the project: 1,000 ETH in secondary sales on OpenSea across all of the Writer’s Room genesis NFTs! A truly momentous accomplishment for any project, and something for both the Tally Labs team and the community to be proud of. Current secondary sales are over 4,500+ ETH and growing.
In celebration of the 1,000 ETH sales milestone, a surprise for all holders was signaled — but no clues were given.
Over the next few months, the community let their imaginations run wild. Flash to December 10th, when the JTV team shared that the surprise was indeed an exclusive Jenkins-themed art piece NFT. The mystery artist was also revealed: jakethedegen. Personally, this was my introduction to Jake and his work, and I was blown away. Not only is his art unique, jarring, and raw, but he clearly embraces Web3 technology, along with a community-centric ethos.
On New Year’s Day 2022, we were served a teaser of the upcoming Jake drop: a glitch art piece featuring a depiction of JTV in one of Jake’s signature styles. A vibrant, video piece that sent the community into a fervor. What did the rest of it look like? Would we ALL be getting it?
On March 5th we received all the details on the art. There was a snapshot taken on March 7th. On the 10th claims started with a one-week claim window, which closes today! Let’s take a look at the options the claiming gods could potentially bestow upon us on reveal day.
Three Art Pieces with Three Rarity Levels
A very unexpected and excellent surprise was that there are actually three different pieces from Jake that are available as free claims. They all have different rarity and are completely unknown to the holder until reveal.
The most likely scenario is holders will get this first piece, which it appears the Mutant had a hand in creating. Each holder has roughly a 75% chance of this being their art piece upon reveal. I love this piece, and both fans and enemies of the Mutant seem to agree. I’ll definitely own one of these and have it proudly displayed on my wall, regardless if this is what I reveal or not.
Only roughly 20% of holders will receive the 3D model piece. I absolutely love the colors here. Another fantastic piece, and quite a departure from the style of the first. That’s one of the most underrated aspects of this collection, and Jake in general. It’s the diversity of styles that keep you guessing. Also, I don’t think we’ve seen a JTV key fob in blue before, at least in this shade? Are we being setup for future key fob rarity once JTV inevitably starts selling these IRL?
The 3rd and most rare option is a moving glitch art piece that appears to switch back and forth from pieces both inspired by Jenkins and the Mutant. This teaser was originally used by Jenkins and it’s pretty unreal in it’s full glory. Roughly 5% of lucky holders will own this beauty after reveal on Thursday.
How the Jake Collaboration Came Together
Who is jakethedegen? An incredibly successful artist, for one. From Jake’s website:
jake is an american artist, photographer, and director (among other things). his unorthodox, erratic, bright visuals have defined his music video work + been applied to brands like Alienware, Yeezy, Nike, Roc Nation, RSVP Gallery + more. In early 2021, jake started releasing his work on blockchain in various mediums.
That’s quite the resume. What about his Web3 bonafides? A review of Jake’s art on his site and various OpenSea collections (including Jake’s World Editions) reveals a wide range of amazing digital art, including the Degen Token. By holding one of these 100 tokens, it’s owner have been able to claim free Jake art, and receive all kinds of other perks and access. Owners are also whitelisted on Jake’s larger cap projects as well as token gated access to limited edition merch.
Jake also recently has gained some tremendous momentum and notoriety around his debut SuperRare piece “21st Century Rage” selling for almost 42 ETH! Congrats to Jake on that massive sale and I’m sure a sign of things to come.
We had the chance to speak with Jake himself, and asked him about how he, Jenkins, and SAFA first connected, and why he wanted to work with them :
I think SAFA reached out before NFT NYC and so I linked up with them there. I thought it was pretty cool that they did a deal with CAA as an ape. I think Jenkins is probably the best use of the BAYC ecosystem IP rights we've seen yet. The idea of building this thing yourself (building a character), and taking it in your hands and creating value from that and an image from that, it’s really impressive. You could do that with any ape that has a costume or a vibe right? There's a lot of different ones, but I think it's the first significant use of the apes and rights in my opinion. So that was really cool.
We also asked him about edition size, and what led him to create three separate pieces:
I just thought this was a cool thing to do, because typically, I like to keep everything 1/1s. But there has to be some avenues for people to collect my work that aren’t 1/1s or super small editions. So I thought that this was a good opportunity to do that. We were just going to do one piece initially… but I got carried away. I said, “it would be so cool if when you mint it, there were different pieces and you weren’t sure what you were going to get.” So I had been sketching some different drafts and playing with different ideas. And I had three that I really honed in on and then another month or so finishing all of them.
It was really great to speak with Jake, and we will have the rest of our discussion coming up soon in a bonus interview post. Stay tuned for thoughts on his process of creating the Jenkins pieces, his inspiration for some of the more unique traits, the mediums he likes to work in, and his thoughts on the Web3 space and where it’s headed.
I also asked Jenkins about the decision to collab with Jake:
Our community is so authentic to the Web3 space and really embodies WAGMI. The same thing is true about Jake, so we have always admired him.
Being part of decentralized, community-generative content is not only about what we make, but it’s also about what we collect and value. So when we had the opportunity to commission Jake pieces for the Writer’s Room, it was a no brainer.
This is some important context. As I mentioned earlier, Jake is not only an incredible artist, but he fully embraces Web3 technology and mechanisms. Jenkins, SAFA, and Jake were also very aligned on the drop and edition sizes as well, prioritizing a manageable edition size, while also including both the Jake and the Writer’s Room communities.
The Future for Jake x Jenkins?
These NFTs are incredible art from a well-known artist with significant upward momentum in the space. A free gift for all the Writer’s Room holders and Jake collectors that is recognition of what we have all built together, and a bridge between two highly engaged, sophisticated, and bullish communities. That in and of itself is plenty to be excited about. But of course, the question in this space always comes back to “wen utility?” Let’s see what SAFA had to say in Discord on the topic:
Hmm…that’s pretty interesting. A reply directly to Jake suggesting something fun in the future. Very glad to see that, even if just an offhand suggestion. Ok, let’s scroll a bit further down the page..
It’s getting even more interesting now. Also he’s right, this is amazing art.
Mickey x Basquiat? Killer phrase. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is the most well known NFT pfp project in the world. Of those 10,000 apes (and 20,000 mutants), who’s the most well know ape? You could certainly argue it’s Jenkins. Why can’t he be the next Mickey Mouse-level character? And the sky certainly seems to be the limit for Jake as well.
So to the question of additional utility? Unknown right now, but you better believe we will speculate plenty here. There now will be 4 official Jenkins NFTs outside of the Writer’s Room genesis tokens. Remember, there was the 12 “Jenkins in Stone” pieces that were given away to WR holders a few months back and reside in the Jenkins Drops collection on OpenSea.
Additionally, WR holders that also purchased merch during a 48 hour window will also be getting a free #wearebookpeople (WABP) NFT in the coming months. It looks like the number of people who bought merch, and thus the potential number of NFTs will be right around 300. That’s a very nice number. Does placing a WABP NFT as one of the prizes for the Writer’s Room NCAA Bracket Challenge signal some future utility?? I’ll be keeping my eye on it.
So which piece will I be lucky enough to get? Which are you hoping for? One that appeals to your personal tastes? Or are you only focused on rarity? Will there be a strong secondary market for these pieces? Will there be some future utility in either the Writer’s Room universe or in jakethedegen’s universe? Maybe Jake ends up creating a character and brings that to Media DAO to further incubate and build out?
Personally, I’m still kind of blown away that 1) after only 1,000 ETH in OpenSea secondary sales (a very impressive, but relative to the NFT market a pretty modest accomplishment) the Tally Labs team decided to commission a free gift NFT for their holders as a celebratory thank you and 2) they not only decided it should be a fine art piece, but that they had the foresight to identify Jake as the artist who should do it. As SAFA said, both Jake’s own personal brand and notoriety continue to grow right along side the ever-expanding Writer’s Room, and all three of these pieces could be very collectible going forward. I can’t wait to get some prints up on my walls as to me, they’re more than just fine art. These are fantastic reminders of where we all were almost 6 months ago and the progress we’ve made as a community
Jenkins and SAFA have teased that they are talking to other artists “we would know” for the cover art for Book 1. If these three Jake collabs are any indication of what we can expect, probably time to clear some space on your walls for the cover art as well. I know I am. Good luck to you all on reveal day. And stay tuned for our bonus Jake interview post, coming soon.
Some Disclaimers: None of this is financial advice. DYOR. And yes, FilmBook and SpaceWalk are WR collectors and long-term hodlrs.