Popular Israeli Webcomic Artists Launch NFT ‘XOXO’ Collection

Maya and Yehuda Devir, the popular artists who have gone viral with their humorous and poignant webcomics about relationships, announced in December that they were taking a break from posting on social media, with the promise to return shortly with “something big”. Their eagerly awaited millions of followers (5.7 million on Instagram, 1.3 million on Facebook) their return and were not disappointed.

In February, the married couple and parents of two revealed to their community that they were launching an NFT collection. NoCamels has learned that the collection will launch in two exclusive drops – one in mid-June and the other in mid-July.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique units of data stored on blockchains. They have their own encryption codes, which act as certificates of authenticity for something that might otherwise be reproduced or duplicated over and over again. NFTs are said to have revolutionized the art world and artists, as well as celebrities, have flooded the market, embracing NFT drops to offer exclusive and irreplaceable assets.

“We realized that the NFT space – and technology for that – gives us the ability to tell what our original piece is and give an opportunity for ownership of a work of art as a digital art asset,” said Maya Devir told NoCamels in a video call that also includes husband Yehuda, “In the past, if you wanted to own a high-quality piece of art or Van Gogh or Roy Lichtenstein, you had to go to an auction. or to a museum to make an offer or with a lot of money to buy the original.For digital artists that doesn’t exist.So it’s been 10 times harder for digital artists to make a living from what they make.

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Image from the XOXO NFT collection. Courtesy.

“We said, ‘Okay, this can be an amazing opportunity for our community because we have millions of dedicated followers who have made us who we are today. And it’s also an opportunity to give them something valuable and give them something back,” she adds.

The XOXO collection includes 101 pairs covering 10,101 pairs of NFTs. Each image features Yehuda and Maya Devir holding and kissing, but dressed as different characters – king and queen, fire and ice, policeman and prisoner, and more.

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Image from the XOXO NFT collection by Maya and Yehuda Devir.

The pair have partnered with PickCherry, an Israeli technology and marketing company founded this year that works on applications in the blockchain world as well as the NFT and metaverse space. The company was founded by Israeli TV personalities Assi Azar and Rotem Sela and Ido Regev and his wife Smadar. The Devirs had received a number of offers to create NFTs, and when they finally decided to pursue them, they had to choose the right team to guide them. They instantly clicked with PickCherry, Yehuda Devir tells NoCamels, calling the immediate connection like a journey through the jungle with a master guide. “You need a guide to guide you and help you survive – and along the way see the most beautiful signs you’ll ever see,” he says, “It’s the same thing we do with PickCherry .”

“It is very early now for NFTs. We talk about it a lot but it is still very, very early. I think Maya and Yehuda jumped on it as very early adapters. It may sound corny, but you know the phrase that goes, “The higher the risk, the greater the reward”. I really believe in it,” Ido Regev told NoCamels, “I live by it.”

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Image from the XOXO NFT collection by Maya and Yehuda Devir. Courtesy.

Maya Devir says what’s most unique about this collection is that so many of the images have a story behind them. Many of them “contain a philosophy about relationships” and that “everyone can relate to each piece” that “reflects our whole perception of relationships in the world”.

At the same time, “there are a lot of stories because it’s very subjective,” adds Regev, “You can see one story and then have your own interpretation in a different story, with the same couple. Like with fire and ice, one person would say, “Hey, she melts it.” Another person would say, “No, she keeps it warm because that’s what it needs.”

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From the XOXO NFT collection by Yehuda and Maya Devir. Courtesy

Regev tells NoCamels that the first NFT drop in mid-June, which he dubs the “Genesis drop,” will include specific benefits for holders. The collection as a whole offers unique benefits in the form of utility NFTs or assessments based on benefits and opportunities for token holders. These perks come in the form of trips to Israel to dine with the couple, books and merchandise from their hit comics, exclusive fan art, workshops and private lessons with the artists, and more. Regev highlights the collection’s partnership with Israel-based hospitality company Selina, a service that provides affordable accommodation, coworking space, entertainment and wellness to travelers in 25 countries across North America, America from the South, Europe and the Middle East. Selina will offer token holders free nights at their properties around the world.

Dynamic Duo

For at least five years, Tel Aviv residents Maya and Yehuda Devir have chronicled the ups and downs of life and love, marriage and the transition to parenthood with comics as meaningful and revealing as talented and daring.

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Yehuda and Maya Devir. Courtesy.

The couple, who have known each other from their Israeli art service and started dating as students at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem, have built a community based on their hilarious and relatable artwork that featured everything from finding an apartment in Tel Aviv to postpartum Yehuda. depression after the birth of their first child. It is this honest yet colorful depiction that has captured the hearts of their loyal followers.

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Artwork from postpartum depression by Yehuda Devir. Courtesy.

The couple’s popular webcomic “One of These Days” has spawned five books, countless comic and design convention appearances, a YouTube award, and Most Creative Content Creator at the 2019 Inflow Global Summit Awards. The couple also made a successful documentary series, called “The Heartists”, where they present a week of their creative life. Their documentary has had over 20 million views.

Risks and Rewards

The success of NFTs made it a feasible monetization tool for celebrities and creatives, including artists who also wanted to find new ways to showcase their works and give audiences a reason to consume their content. But it is not without risk.

“The decision to go into the NFT space was because the world is changing. And we can ignore that or decide to join it, but do it right. That’s why we wanted to join the NFT space and make it from the right way. When we explored the NFT space, what we missed the most from an artist’s point of view was the art. And we felt that the creators of NFT projects are disrespectful to their community, to their audience and their holders. We said, if we do it, we’re going to do it right,” Maya Devir says.

“Everything big you do — every big, exciting move — is risky,” says Regev, “It’s risky as an entrepreneur to open a whole new business. But technology changes. Either you follow the pace and understand where the attention is going or you’re going to be left behind,” he continues, “I understand what it means to take a calculated risk. Exactly as they said – they wouldn’t jump on it or wouldn’t do it themselves because they think they know it all. No, they decided to have a team, and we’re going to do it with the right support. So it’s an informed risk. And I think that Is it worth it. “

“I think every step we take along the way – not just in the NFT space – there is risk because you are changing. In our experience, change is important,” adds Devir.

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