Written by @crashblossom
I was lucky enough to hear about smol art on the day of its inception. If you haven’t heard of smol, the easiest definition is art 10×10 pixels or less. Since early June, smol has been gaining a lot of traction on Hicetnunc.
“Big videos and busy GIFs take a long time to render, bump against file size limitations, and are subject to vicious compression that hurts my heart” explains smol originator AVeryFamousArtist. “I got frustrated with this process, opened a 10×10 pixel canvas and started doodling”. The rest was a smol part of NFT history.
AVeryFamousArtist and Empress Trash were the first to make smol art, but other smol artists quickly followed. Over 2,000 miniature masterpieces were minted between June 3rd and 6th and the momentum continues.
“It started out as Avery and I having fun together but as we kept going it became about highlighting less visible artists in the NFT space”
“10×10 pixels is a focal point that has brought many people together from all parts of the metaverse. It’s become a truly decentralized art movement about the artist and art.” says Empress Trash.
Hicetnunc is a sandbox for artists who want to experiment outside cryptoart norms. Crypto-artists of all sizes are trying out new styles and concepts, with the ability to mint cheaply on an eco-friendly blockchain. It’s not surprising Hic Et Nunc was the birthplace of smol.
AVeryFamousArtist says: “Smols are true pixel art at true resolution, miniature masterpieces that you may need to press up against your screen to see. It doesn’t hurt that the average cost of a smol on hic et nunc is around 1 tez, the barrier of entry to start collecting is very low.”
“There’s so much love and support among the smol artists and collectors” says Empress Trash. “There’s minimal gatekeeping. Make a smol – collect a smol – even just smol curious – you’re part of it!”
Here’s an overview of smol in a handful of pieces:
The first minted piece of smol art was ‘Little Cool Blue Guy’ by AVeryFamousArtist. When viewed in an average hicetnunc collection the little guy is easy to overlook.
Pieces like ‘smol magic bean’ by Empress Trash show the potential that this tiny medium has, especially for gifs. Viewed at normal scale, the art invites further inspection. Zoom in and the bean is cute and magically colourful.
With ‘Smolice’ by KC Picac you can pretty much tell what the art is without having to zoom in. Who thought those flashing lights could look so sweet.
The title of ‘smol brain’ by cryptophobia tells you what the picture is. But only when you zoom in do you see the subtle cerebral detail.
‘smol tequila with lime and salt’ by Cat Brown/Treasvre Trove proves that the limitations of the smol medium can encourage creative thinking.
And ‘smollest jail break’ by TAS proves an entire dramatic story can be told at small scale, requiring great attention to detail.
There have already been formalistic offshoots from the smol movement, such as the meta-smol piece ‘slong’ by Dorkholm. slong art shows promise as a future trajectory.
With smol innovations being minted every day, artworks now selling for 50 tezos on primary and a booming secondary market, one thing is certain – the future looks bright for smol.
(Disclaimer: the writer of this article has a smol collection)