Sibel and Her 100% Free NFT Project, For the Culture

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Sibel discusses selling her first NFT, turning jokes into realities and sticking with projects until they succeed

In this edition of our ongoing interview series, we caught up with For the Culture founder Sibel. We spoke about relationship-building in Web3 communities, achieving early success and creating real-life utility for NFT holders.

Launching a new NFT project is difficult and time-consuming. It can take all of a founder’s energy and, sometimes, their money. It also takes a huge amount of faith, because not all of them achieve fame or success.

Our latest guest, Sibel, has been part of two projects that have found a level of engagement that most never get to enjoy. But she’s still working hard to find improvements and ensure she delivers true utility for her community.

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How and when did you learn about the NFT space? And what inspired you to get involved?

I heard the term NFT in January of 2021. Before that, I was investing in crypto. At first I didn’t quite understand what was going on, but with the $69m sale of Beeple at the end of March, everyone was talking about NFTs. That’s why I took extra interest. Then, someone from this space texted me on Twitter and we became friends. He encouraged me to buy an NFT. This is how I bought my first NFT, cryptobabypunk. 

Then I started working on concepts I didn’t know about NFTs to better understand market dynamics. After a few days, I started to join the communities and buy and sell NFTs. When I sold one of the first NFTs I bought, alien baby punk, to an investor named 888 for 5,888 ETH, I was able to allocate a budget for myself and this is when my adventure started exactly. 

Over time, chatting with people in the communities I was involved in, writing GM to Discord channels every morning, spending the whole night in the same discord channels started to feel very fun. Seven months after all of these, I graduated from university and quit my job and started to deal with NFTs full time.

There are two collections that you’ve been a big part of (Fluffy Polar Bears and For The Culture). What can you tell us about these two projects?

Fluffy Polar Bears is my first NFT project in which I was involved as a co-founder. It’s been almost a year since the project came out. Selçuk Erdem, one of Turkey’s most famous cartoonists, is the artist of our project.

I undertake tasks such as marketing, influencer, social media and community management. Our project sold out in about three seconds (10,000 NFTs) and made a big splash. 

Although we couldn’t make a start as we wanted due to some technical problems we experienced, we now have a great community. We held a big irl event in Istanbul with the participation of 300 people.

At the same time, we sent six of our holders to Arctic travel. Moreover, our artist Selçuk joined them. We are having a very good experience together. I am very happy to be a part of this team. 

For the Culture, on the other hand, is a project that I founded entirely. Actually, I didn’t have a project in mind. I tweeted purely as a joke and said that I will make a project that pays 0.01 ETH to anyone who mints. 

The tweet suddenly went viral and I became accountable to these people. So, I sold out a project from scratch within one week by acquiring two partners. We paid 0.01 ETH to everyone who minted in the same transaction. I have released the first NFT project that is completely free (including gas fee). Floor price came up to 0.5 ETH. 

It was a project without a roadmap, word or team. We even designed the website with help from our community. It was a nice experience and it was quite fun. Especially on our Discord channel, contrary to the custom, there was a place where everyone could come and swear. 

We were saying “fuck you” to everything in the world and it was pretty fun.

How often are you working on NFT projects?

I am currently working with these two projects I mentioned. In addition to these, I give consultancy to some projects / support in the field of marketing. I have absolutely no desire to launch a new project. I will not be in a different project until the two projects I am involved in are at their best.

How would you best describe your style?

Actually, as can be understood from the For the Culture project, I am a person who loves to try new things and have fun. Contrary to what is known, I love doing experimental things or taking part in such things.

For the Culture was actually a project that criticizes many of the topics I don’t like in the NFT field, using jokes. I love giving these kinds of secret messages.

Aside from being a creator in the space, do you also collect NFTs? If you do, what’s in your collection and is there a pattern to what you buy/own?

Yes, I currently own a lot of NFTs. I actually have two wallets that no one knows about/tracks as I don’t like to publicly display my NFTs. I keep products from many different projects in these.

Buying and selling collectible NFTs really appeals to me. NFTs with a strong community are particularly engaging. Other than that, I usually buy things that are popular. If there’s hype, I’m in too!

Are you a fan of any crypto artists/creators in particular and what is about them that you’re drawn towards?

I am a fan of everyone who produces works in line with their dreams and is a part of art. There are many names I can give, but instead of specifying specific individuals, I would like to answer as all artists involved in this industry.

What do you consider as the most influential NFT collections, both for you and the industry?

It will be a very classic answer, but BAYC is definitely one of the most influential collections. It plays a huge role in getting NFTs to reach the mainstream. In addition, collections such as Doodles, Cool Cats, Pudgy Penguins have very strong communities and are generally pioneers of innovation. 

Finally, I think DeGods and new project y00ts on the Solana network are great. They created a very successful system and did great marketing. Each of these projects and the creators of these projects is very influential for me.

Do you have anything that you’re working on at the moment?

We are currently organizing a very big event where all NFT communities in Turkey will come together. I can say that the organization of this event is taking up all my time right now. We expect about a thousand people to attend, maybe even more. We are also developing a game for the For the Culture project.

Where can collectors find your work?

They can access their Fluffy Polar Bears and For the Culture collections on a marketplace like OpenSea or LooksRare.

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