A Canvas of Infinite Chance.

Published by Straith Schreder
January 27, 2023
A Canvas of Infinite Chance.
A Canvas of Infinite Chance.

We’re used to thinking about technology as a mirror: a reflection of our own ambitions, anxieties, and flaws. More accurately though, what it can create is a record. On-chain, we can own our identity. This moves digital art beyond performance and perception. It becomes history. 

And that can be freeing. JaneDAO’s work contends with the experience of growing up a first-generation American, of growing up online; the urgency of authoring your own story.  For Jane, NFTs offered up a playground, and critical space for self-expression. 

We caught up with Jane to explore her process, her work in the community as Palm NFT Studio’s Dev Rel Lead, and what it means to realize interior worlds on-chain. 

You describe your work as a playground. Why is creating this space important to you?

I’m an artist, engineer, and community builder. I believe that by focusing on people first, and creating authentic, transparent communities, we can bridge the gap and restore some of the human connection that can be lost in our digital worlds. By creating online spaces where individuals can come together and share their stories, we can build stronger, more empathetic, and understanding relationships.

My work focuses on transforming decades of worry, confusion, and dark anxious thoughts into playful and whimsical art pieces. I use my art as a form of self-expression, and a way to help others who may be grappling with their own neuro-divergent qualities. It’s a way for me to connect with others and connect back to myself.

What themes do you explore and return to in your practice? 

In my work, I explore themes that revolve around the human condition and our relationship with the world around us. Growing up in a broken, divorced parents, first-generation household, I was isolated and left alone a lot. I turned to art as a means of processing my emotions and making sense of my experiences. The act of creating art allowed me to take control of my emotions and turn them into something tangible and meaningful.

As I grew older, I started to understand my feelings better and use words to describe them. This was great…except that it led to overwhelming thoughts and emotions which caused me to develop anxiety. I still remember my first panic attack where my racing thoughts turned into hyperventilation and complete terror. I felt overwhelmed and had no way to cope with it. That moment was when anxiety became a daily part of my life, and I spent a decade trying to "cure" it.

It took me over 10 years to realize that it wasn't about curing anxiety but about learning how to live with it. And with that, I found a sense of peace that was missing when I resisted the anxiety which was ultimately just a core part of who I was.

I found that creating art helped me process and express my feelings. I could capture and preserve moments. It’s about memory. It’s also about connecting with others who have gone through similar experiences. My goal is to help people who may be struggling by providing a visual representation of the complexities of the human mind and emotions.

Can you go into your process as a one-of-one artist? 

The process is deeply personal. It reflects my own experiences and emotions. Sometimes it's cathartic, and sometimes it's painful. My approach is deliberately grounded in color, vibrancy, and intricacy. I’ve changed the narrative that my mind has been feeding me for years. Now, I get to write the story. I’m the main character. I have a choice. 

Being deeply immersed in community-building has greatly shaped my perspective as an artist and web developer. Throughout my career, I have come to understand the importance of connection and collaboration, and why we need to bring the humanity back into humanity. The pandemic helped highlight for me the things that I knew in my soul I should be doing. I think it’s made us all more alert to the fragility and finiteness of life. Neurodivergence has become a super trait rather than a weakness.

What do you see as the power of exploring identity through digital art? 

This journey requires commitment and courage. The process of self-exploration and expression that can be therapeutic. It can also be challenging. But through the act of creating, we can rewrite the story of our own lives and find significance and direction in our experiences. As an artist, my goal is to continue delving into the intricacies of the human experience; to use digital mediums to bring people together.