Barnyard Fashionistas, by artists Bree Allen and Josh Reiss, is comprised of over 10,000 individual NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The collection is a playful, tech-forward NFT set featuring fun, vibrantly rendered, hand-drawn chickens dressed in various sartorial looks and styles in fashion and music… It’s almost impossible to pick your favorite chicken with the humourous birds inspired by the likes of Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Marlyn Monroe, and David Bowie to name a few.
Bree has spent over 10 years creating inspirational and expressive wearable art pieces for performers and festival participants. With her goal of helping performers express their inner selves, her pieces are designed to visually represent the unique individuality of each of her clients. She cites Alexander McQueen as an inspiration for his darker take on fashion that tells a story and creates art with each piece. His growth as an industry outsider to fashion icon inspires her to keep creating in unconventional ways. Bree resides in Los Angeles, California with her partner Josh, where she continues to develop her craft and celebrate radical individuality.
Bree collaborated with her partner Josh Reiss on the Barnyard Fashionistas. He is a multidisciplinary digital creative who has spent the last three decades crafting at the intersection of art and technology, as well as helping to form communities around these intersections. His background in computer programming, art, community, and technology have converged in his current work in the NFT space and they are both very involved in the Burning Man community.
Untitled recently got to know this dynamic duo and get a deeper look into the world of NFTs with artist and feminist NFT trailblazer Bree Allen.
Tell us about your background growing up?
My parents always encouraged creativity. Growing up my mother taught me how to sew and was always fostering an environment where she encouraged me and my sisters to create art.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve been creating art ever since I can remember. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and I was making my own toy sculptures at a young age. As I’ve gotten older I’ve been exploring different art forms like fashion designing, illustration, and photography
What was your first piece of art?
I’ve been drawing since such a young age it’s hard for me to say what my first piece of art was. It was probably a sketch of a cartoon character I loved like Tweedy Bird.
What is your artistic process?
My artistic process usually starts with my desire to express myself or my desire to help others express themselves and feel seen. I love creating art that people can see themselves in.
When did you become interested in NFT?
I became interested in NFTS when my partner Josh started getting into them. I started looking at these generative sets like Bored Apes and Pudgy Penguins and I started to realize how people felt like their NFTS represented them. I got into NFTs because I love art, but also because I love the community that forms around the art. I saw an opportunity to create more diversity in the space by creating more different traits that represented groups of people I didn’t see represented in the NFT space yet. By creating so many different traits I can hopefully create art that more people can see themselves in and relate to.
Have you always been interested in fashion?
Yes, I’ve always been interested in fashion. I’ve always loved how fashion can tell the world a little bit about who you are without even talking to each other. It’s one of the ways I’ve loved expressing myself, but also creating fashion that helps others express themselves as well.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I love Burning Man and festival culture, it’s what has inspired so much of my art. Those cultures are where I get to play and be inspired to create new art.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by self-expression, I feel it’s so important to create art that lots of different people can see themselves in and feel represented and seen.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of my inspiration from Burning Man and Festival culture. I’ve always loved the self-expression through fashion that is inspired there. I love that people express themselves in such a pure way out there. The energy of the festival inspires me to create art that helps me and another express ourselves
Do you feel any gender limitations being a woman artist?
It’s been hard in the NFT space to be seen and heard as a woman. I don’t feel any limitations being a woman artist though, I feel in a lot of ways it helps me stand out. I love that I’m able to bring a new perspective to the space. I feel the NFT space is becoming more diverse and I’m excited to be creating art that brings more diverse people into the space.
I love Alexander McQueen for his darker take on fashion that tells a story and creates art with each piece. His growth as an industry outsider to fashion icon inspires me to keep me creating in unconventional ways.
I don’t think I can call anyone artist my favorite. If anything I’ve always seen Alexander McQueen as more of an artist than a fashion designer and he’s been one of my biggest inspirations. I’ve always been into many different art forms and so I’m always discovering different arts to be inspired by.
I don’t feel I have one muse. I feel like the world is my muse and I’m always looking to different people that inspire me to create.
What advice would you give an artist trying to get into the NFT space?
Be yourself and do something different that inspires you. It can be scary wondering if anyone will relate to what you are doing. I feel if something speaks to you and if you work hard you can create a community that loves and relates to what you are creating. Why try to recreate what others have already done when you can create something new that inspires more people to come into the space. Create your community around art that inspires you.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Hehe, Hopefully with a backyard that has room for a chicken coop. It’s hard to say where exactly I’ll see myself in 20 years, I do know I’m always excited to create and explore new ways of doing that. I know I see myself staying in the NFT community for years to come. One of the reasons I called my collection Barnyard Fashionistas is because there are other animals in the barnyard. I’m excited to see how this collection grows and develops as the NFT space grows.
How is the NFT space different from the Crypto community?
Crypto is about finance, NFT is about art and community, we are seeing all these amazing communities being formed from NFT
What do you hope to accomplish with your first NFT?
We are already creating such a wonderful community around this art. I hope everyone is able to find a chicken they feel represents themselves. I want people to feel seen in my collection. I want to continue to grow our community in discord, but also translate that to IRL events where we can encourage self-expression through fashion. People see a lot of NFT collections as representations of themselves.
What advice would you give your inner child?
Don’t be afraid to express yourself because it will only attract people with similar world views as you.