The NFT community has remained divided for months on the utility of art. But when a project truly centered on quality and community comes around, why force the issue? That’s exactly what the Invisible Friends NFT project is — a collection of art that could stand on its own merit. But what is it exactly?
As its name implies, Invisible Friends is an animated PFP collection of invisible people. So does that mean the collection is a coy way of packaging a collection of backdrops as a PFP NFT project? Or a nightmare-fuel attempt at realistically depicting a transparent character model of a human? Far from it.
The invisible characters in this collection aren’t wearing fancy skintight suits that go invisible as they do. They’re wearing… clothes. Normal clothes. Stylish, even. To that end, Invisible Friends NFT is collaborating with the apparel brand Kith. And that’s what sets each NFT apart in the collection — each trait corresponds to an article of clothing.
Man, that sounds pretty cool. So how do I buy an Invisible Friends NFT?
If you’re completely new to NFTs, the first thing you’ll need to do to purchase an Invisible Friends NFT is to set up a crypto wallet. This is where you’ll end up storing your NFT digitally. Thankfully, they’re pretty convenient to use and often come with their own browser extensions. Next, you’ll need to top it up with some Ethereum — this is the blockchain currently hosting these NFTs, so you’ll need to use its cryptocurrency to make your purchase. Once you have all that set up, you can pick up one of your very own Invisible Friends NFTs in a couple of clicks.
How much do Invisible Friends NFTs cost?
If you want to know how to mint Invisible Friends NFTs, we have some bad news: it’s too late. The initial mint’s been long sold out. However, even if all pieces from Imaginary Friends’ February 2022 mint are completely sold out, you can still get your hands on one of these unique NFTs. They’re also up on secondary markets like OpenSea, but not for cheap, sadly. As of writing, floor prices sit at nearly 2.5 ETH — that’s more than $4,000. So if you’re looking to become the rightful owner of what could essentially be just an Invisible Friends Discord PFP or Twitter avatar, you might have to save for a little while.
A brief history of Invisible Friends
So who’s behind Invisible Friends? This 5,000-piece collection is the work of digital artist and animator Markus Magnusson. For animation fans, you might know him better by his Instagram handle motionmarkus. His slick, clean animation style has garnered hundreds of thousands of fans on the image-sharing social platform. With Invisible Friends, the Swedish animator hoped to ply his craft with a thoughtful — and well-executed — NFT project that demonstrates his distinctive style.
“Invisible Friends has and will always be about digital collectability of high-quality digital animated art,” said Invisible Friends’ Head of Stuff coinbilly in an interview with nft now. Fans of Magnusson specifically also have another compelling reason to support the project. “Markus has been creating his whole life and this collection is a culmination of his skills and experiences. It also acts as a pass to all of his future work,” coinbilly said.
However, Magnussen’s journey into the NFT landscape didn’t take place overnight. As such, the true genesis of the Invisible Friends NFT project can be traced back to when James Curran founded the Random Character Collective (RCC) in November 2021. To kickstart the launch of this new animator-led collective, Curran tapped his network to find like-minded artists interested in “creating generative collections with the help of the team he put together,” coinbilly said. Among the new collective’s very first members were Magnussen, with work underway to get the artist started on his then-undeveloped NFT collection.
Within a month of Invisible Friends’ first teaser release, coinbilly said it “immediately became viral within the NFT community, gaining over 500k followers in just a few months.” Mixed amongst Invisible Friends’ rapidly growing audience were even “celebrities & people who have never heard of NFTs before.” So what’s in the works for a project with so much attention awaiting its next move?
What’s next for Invisible Friends?
Not content to rest on their laurels, Magnussen and the rest of the Invisible Friends team have remained committed to the project long after its initial mint. This is evidenced by the project’s roadmap, headlined by the previously mentioned collaboration with apparel brand Kith, as well as 3D animator Nguyen Nhut. So what makes these collaborations so noteworthy?
For example, the upcoming collaboration with Kith will do more than simply offer holders brand-new NFTs. Winning bids to this upcoming set of one-of-one NFTs will also receive physical versions of the clothes their newly acquired Invisible Friend is wearing, which will be entirely exclusive to owners of the NFTs. This is just one prong of Invisible Friends’ overall strategy to “[explore] the link between physical and digital collectibility,” added coinbilly.
Following suit is a series of Invisible Friends toys based on Nhut’s upcoming collaboration with the RCC OG. The upcoming NFTs are 3D interpretations of the original run, so it makes sense that they’ll be paired with physical, “3D” Invisible Friends toys. A winning strategy, as demonstrated by other projects in the NFT space, like Pudgy Penguins.
Forwarding positive values in the space
By design, Invisible Friends NFTs don’t just look cool. They’re also incredibly inclusive, even somewhat functioning as a beacon of diversity in the space. But how is that, when each Invisible Friends NFT gives no visual indication of the race, gender, and overall appearance of each invisible character?
Turns out, that exclusion of information is a great way to foster inclusion. Without this information on each Invisible Friend, anyone, regardless of background, should be able to project themselves onto their NFTs. And this was done on purpose.
“[We’re] a brand that welcomes everyone of all backgrounds. We have all known what it is like at one point or another to feel invisible, and we feel that our art, which is the top priority for us, connects with holders in many different ways,” said coinbilly. “[Moving forward,] Invisible Friends is and will continue to create a brand that spreads inclusivity, empathy, and creativity.”