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Artist Ilse Valfré shares her brand evolution from Tumblr to Valfrélandia

We turn to some popular YouTubers to try their best Tips and Tricks to be successful and as a pioneer on the Internet to better understand the ups and downs of life.


This week we caught up with creator Ilse Valfré, the lead artist behind the Valfré brand. The Valfré brand has long had an iconic status with its one-of-a-kind collectibles, accessories, clothing, art prints, tobacconists, home goods and stationery. The brand has attracted an audience of over 909,000 followers on Instagram, many of whom have stayed on Tumblr since Valfré’s early days.

Raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Valfré’s work is rooted in the “strong female energy” she encountered during her childhood. Since then, she has developed a distinctive art style that showcases unique female characters. Her art, which often features vintage iconography and drawing style, draws on the “retro-futurism” movement, which depicts visions of the future combined with vintage aesthetics. Valfré first gained popularity on Tumblr for her drawings before turning her art into a full-fledged collectibles business.

Now, Valfré is venturing into Web3 with her NFT project titled Valfrélandia: a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs featuring Valfré’s hand-drawn characters, each currently priced at around $315 in Ethereum digital currency. NFT purchases include avatars of these characters, which double as profile picture and community membership.

NFT membership with Valfrélandia may include access to exclusive merchandise, giveaways, limited edition collectibles, store discounts, exclusive art shows, avatar animations, voting rights for future community initiatives and more. The project, which launched its public coin last week, has attracted over 11,000 members to its Discord channel.

Although many fans love the project and see it as a fun way to support their favorite artist, others took to Instagram to express their concerns about the environmental impact of NFTs and Web3’s reputation for exploitation and fraud.

In an interview with Passionfruit, Valfré responded to her fans’ skepticism about her new project. She also spoke about the basics of her art style, the evolution of her online career, why she decided to explore Web3 as an artist, why she enjoys Discord as a way to connect with fans, and if she really believes that Web3 the future of the internet is , and more.

How has your art style evolved in recent years?

Of course my style changes all the time, but I try to stay true to the initial vibe that appealed to my fans early on! I continue to draw influences from my childhood in Mexico and the strong female energy that sparked it all in the first place, but my influences have definitely expanded. With the ever-growing online community, I’m able to reach more and more of my fans and I try to include them in my work, really thinking about the audience and creating art that resonates with everyone.

What inspired you to depict mostly female characters in your artwork?

I started drawing what I knew. Back in the early days of Tumblr and Web2, there weren’t many female representations and I really wanted my work to resonate with women on the internet. In creating these free and complex female characters, I was able to explore parts of myself and parts of my fans that weren’t necessarily at the forefront of pop culture at the time, and it became my creative outlet!

What did your online shop look like when it started? How did it evolve?

It started on a platform called Bigcartel, it’s like an Etsy shop. I started with very simple/homemade products. Sticker packs (I used to cut myself lol), limited edition prints, tote bags. This period of my life has a very special place in my heart because I had no idea how to start let alone run a small business, I had to learn along the way, YouTube and Google were my teachers, I crossed the border on foot to San Diego to ship my orders twice a week (at the time I was living in my childhood home in Tijuana, Mexico where I grew up) and little by little the list of customers started to grow.

What was the reaction to the Valfrélandia announcement?

I’m really impressed with the positive response to this transition. When we announced the project, I was very aware that there was some resistance to NFTs and it might not be a smooth jump, but the Valfré community is so positive and so progressive. I am honored that you have chosen to make the leap from Web2 to Web3 with me.

How did you decide on the number of Valfrélandia NFT memberships (10,000) to sell and how did you decide on their prices?

We wanted to make sure everyone in the community had a chance to get one. With the growing community on Discord and Instagram, we weren’t sure how many people would jump to Valfrélandia with us, so we wanted to produce a top-end number for PFP projects to give every collector a chance. In terms of price, we wanted to keep it accessible while considering the added value of the community and the value of the art itself, with a portion of the proceeds going directly back to the Valfré community

Do you think your virtual products – NFTs, avatars, animations – will be as successful as your physical goods?

I hope so! The physical merchandise has grown and become more diverse over the years and has only gained momentum and I would love for the virtual products to be the same. We’re rolling out gradually to give the community time to adapt and rejoice, and to give me time to continue developing new and exciting options!

What do you like about Discord as a place to connect with community members?

Discord reminds me of the early days of Web2 and Tumblr, when I could interact directly with my fans and collectors. This open and active channel is everything, and I’m happy that we can bring that to the world of Valfrélandia with added value.

What would you say to fans who are skeptical about NFT projects?

I know some of you are more excited about NFTs than others and to be honest I get it!

During COVID, my family and I decided to relocate to a small jungle town in Mexico, which is the furthest place imaginable from the “metaverse conversation.” I was skeptical, but the more NFTs were discussed, the more I learned and became excited about this new technology. I soon realized that artists and musicians would be able to use the blockchain to offer their original works directly to their fans in a way that allows them to build community and value together.

Then I realized how uniquely positioned Valfré was to enter this space, which is currently lacking in female artists. I worked on it with my community in mind and created Valfrélandia, which represents 15 types of characters that you have come to know over the years. I’m really proud of how it turned out and have done everything to ensure that this change really adds value. I hope you will join me on this journey!

Do you think that “Web3” is really the future of the Internet?

Web3 is certainly the immediate future of the Internet! The beauty of technology is that it’s always changing and evolving, and when opportunities like these come along, you need to grab them and run with them! Who says what’s next?!

Can you give us a little insight into the next steps of the Valfrélandia project?

Oh man, there’s so much more to come!! 3D art, animations, avatars, brand collaborations, metaverse fashion, virtual tattoos, free NFT airdrops, IRL art show, immersive experiences… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I firmly believe that getting into Valfrélandia means more than just owning a cool NFT. We add value in almost every area we can think of. I can’t wait for you all to see it.

Thank you Valfré for talking to us!


Are you an artist starting a new project? E-mail [email protected] for the chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter.


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https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/ilse-valfre-valfrelandia-nft-project-interview/ Artist Ilse Valfré shares her brand evolution from Tumblr to Valfrélandia

Jaclyn Diaz

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