I started CHILLFILTR® in March of 2018. A lot has changed in these 4 years—as a result of both the Covid epidemic and the increasing risk of wildfires on the West Coast, the Axel family relocated from Oregon to upstate New York. Today I would like to announce that I am re-entering the full-time workforce as a support analyst.
My goal with this web site has not changed; which is, as always, to shine a light on indie art in the best way I know how. As some of you may know, it has long been a struggle to monetize this passion I have for writing into something sustainable, and I tried many different ways to supplement the negligible income that my page at SubmitHub has generated. In the best of times, working as hard as I possibly could, I was never able to generate more than $10 or $15 per hour and that is just not enough to raise a family on. I built CHILLFILTR® as a way of decompressing after 10 really intense years in web development, and through this medium I was able to reconnect with my own love of music in a way that has been absolutely life-changing. So nothing is different now, except that the timelines are getting pushed back a little bit. I am proud and happy to announce that I have been hired as a long-term, full-time contractor at the Corning manufacturing plant in nearby Canton, which will both reduce the number of hours I am able to dedicate to CHILLFILTR® and related projects at the same time that it completely removes any obstacles that I have in terms of funding.
So the good news is that I can afford to sustain this project into the future, and will soon bring back the paid placements that I was offering for The CHILLFILTR Review. The bad news is that everything will be moving quite a bit more slowly because I really only have time now on the weekends to work on these things, and I have other priorities as well that will also keep me busy. For example now that we are approaching Spring, I have a lot of planting to do here on the farm. That being said, I will definitely be making time at least once a week to finish the GetSeen project, and over the next few months I will finally be rolling out Dalmatian Nation 2.0. I know there are at least a few Twitter acquaintances of mine that have been frustrated at the slow progress of my NFT project, but I'm sure everyone would agree that family has to come first. The early months of this year were spent in the difficult and time-consuming process of résumé writing and interviewing, so finally now that I have settled on a new position, the path forward is clear and unobstructed.
The seed money that I was working with to develop projects for CHILLFILTR® came largely out of a small inheritance that I got after the death of my father in 2019. In the last few months of last year, I unfortunately and unwisely invested all of it into the crypto bubble that crashed just a few weeks later. I was going to write something about those fateful months of November and December, but honestly it is still too painful to really explore in depth. Out of a handful of DAO projects that I painstakingly researched, right now every one of them has either disappeared entirely, or devalued to the point of irrelevance. I salvaged perhaps 10% of that seed money, but it was a very difficult blow to the finances of our small business, and it prompted me to immediately realize I needed to go back to work. Fortunately, I have found a position that I am intimately qualified for that offers a very solid income at just over a 20 minute commute in each direction.
I am absolutely trading my personal time for financial stability, and I have no regrets. The 4 years I spent attempting to configure my small business in a way that would yield a reasonable income will always be dear to my heart, and I have since learned a lot about art and business and the murky intersection between them. Now I am leveraging my background as a database developer and process analyst in a way that resonates as a form of validation: both in terms of my career decisions over the course of my lifetime, and our timing as a family moving to the east coast. Corning needs me and I need them, and I look forward to a bright future together. The process of manufacturing specialty glass is both complex and highly technical, and Corning has a truly stunning number of independent applications running to support these endeavors. I am working on the front lines of tech support as an analyst to resolve day-to-day application snafus, but also in a larger sense to become intimate with all of the data-related details of the entire factory scope. It is both my hope and my intention that over time, I can demonstrate increased utility in helping this unique and innovative company to reach its long-term goals.
You could say that the crypto crash of late 2021 turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. I was contacted by a recruiter earlier this year, and without that new sense of financial insecurity brought on by those foolish investments, I might not have jumped at the chance to work for Corning in the way that I did. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity, and I am still bullish on the concepts of web 3.0 and crypto in general—although I am deeply skeptical of DAOs and their collective ability to usher in a new 'era' of decentralization. My personal experience now will attest to the fact that only a very small percentage of them will stand the test of time, and it is just too easy to mistake a prevalence of marketing hype and foolish excitement for the presence of financial stability. Without some way to reliably weed out the bad actors, I fear that this growing market segment of starry-eyed crypto bros—of which I once proudly proclaimed my membership—will continue to fall prey to the Gresham's dynamic of what is now commonly known as a 'rug pull.' Add this point it feels like skepticism is the only logical choice. That being said, to my mind the growing market for NFTs—at least on Singular—is a unique case. I remain cautiously optimistic about the future of rmrk.art.
I would like to thank all of the artists and writers that have chosen CHILLFILTR as a showcase for their hard work and artistic passion, as well as the investors that made Dalmatian Nation an early success. No one is being forgotten, and no one will be left in the cold. It's just the timelines that have shifted a little bit so that I can keep putting food on the table for my beloved family.