Eat, Sleep, Dream Nouns - a Grant program for artists

Many creatives never have the financial freedom to pursue art full time, no distractions.

Given the time and space + freedom to freely create works for 1 year, how many amazing, unexpected works will surface?

Long Term Vision:
100+ Artists/Programs/Production Houses at 100K/year = $10M. This should include multiple artistic disciplines.

Prop House and other Web3 tools to identify artists the community wants to fund.

Could we have daily sablier streams so that artists can choose to leave at any time and another artist can take their place?

How do we create a program that inspires creatives to focus their talents and imaginations on Nouns and give them the freedom and support to make it happen?

What does the onboarding process look like?

What are creation requirements? How do we value ideation?

Can we integrate with other programs? Noun O’Clock, Anniversary, Nounish Holidays, etc?

What are sharing requirements? Will they share rough drafts?

Do we encourage them to buy Nouns with a portion of the profits from their primary and secondary sales? Do we require it?


Love this proposal!

My initial thought is there still needs to be a human managing this program. Someone that can make sure the artists are doing the work that they need the way they need it, to make sure any “clients” are getting what THEY need as well, and also to make sure everything is being done in a timely manner and to a quality level that is required.

The benefits are overwhelming for this project, though. Artists to assist with prop creation (how many proposals would benefit from some pieces of artwork to properly convey the image of the project in the originators head?)

Would love to see streams where artists are generating art, and there’s a Q&A period as well.

There can be a discretionary amount, so that there’s automatic approval on a couple pieces of art, as well as artists. That gives everyone a chance to test out different creators, and have some attention brought to the projects they are working on.

Anything above that can be separately requisitioned (imagine creating a few pieces of artwork for a potential book…it goes well, but then the project goes through proposals to have the rest of the funds allocated to the artist to create it).

As part of the discretionary amounts random artists can submit for “grants” for pieces of Nouns artwork they create. It goes into the portfolio, and any time there’s a need for that type of work they can be reached out to, to assist in whatever manner is needed (for compensation, of course!)

Artwork would absolutely enhance Noun O’Clock, Holidays, etc. It’s difficult to ask people to do things for free because they are passionate about Nouns. Eventually everyone needs to pay some bills, and when you are an artist, that is exactly how you pay them.

So, the person (or ultimately people) managing can reach out to Nouns communities, work with those that are creating proposals, talk to those that are creating projects around Nouns that could and would use artwork. They can help seek out other artists that might like to get paid to create some fun artwork for Nouns, and in that manner onboard them as well!

Initially I’d suggest giving them the money from the sales, wouldn’t worry about Nouns purchases. Mostly it’s a job for them (and that’s totally ok!), but we don’t want to essentially ask for some money back by saying with the profits buy a Noun. Just my two cents! If they want to, they absolutely can. Shouldn’t be a requirement though.

A Nouns art book, with high quality art from different artists, taking story ideas that have been created in existing proposals and helping to flesh them out visually, creating original works to be shared online and help expand the Nouns movement, so many opportunities to use artists!

This was a long one. Hopefully there was something useful in here! lol

Many thoughts here but one thing im missing is how it effectively proliferates nouns?

Even though I’m in favor of “the messhup experiment”, I’m not (yet) convinced that putting artists on payroll is the correct move.

I would like to see some signal that ETH spent on artists generates at least as much ETH back to the treasury.

Before thinking in these lines, id like to verify:

  • The validity of the employment model
  • The ultimate effectiveness in proliferation

(To argue against myself for a bit, the bull case for a program like this might look similar to Valve — a bunch of top-tier engineers/artists given the freedom to whatever they want. Valve is a fascinating company and almost impossible to copy. Or so I thought until Nouns. Maybe there is something here to explore after all.)

I think the most basic example that I’d give is generating proposals. We are now in a space where a number of them have creative elements to them, which means they need some artwork. Whether it’s clothing, books, Memes, etc. they all need some form of art.

While the artwork itself might not proliferate Nouns, the proposals combined with the artwork most certainly does! Having some artists that are comfortable with the Nouns, and whose main area of expertise is the Nouns, can help with that.

I’m sure some people have ideas, but don’t really know where to start looking for artists.

i love the intent but i think this is not the right model

we generate an insane amount of content via twitter contests for relatively small amounts of ETH. in my experience a grant of 1 ETH or 0.1 ETH can incentivize a lot of creativity and content. i think we have gotten more value from 1 ETH than a 100 ETH proposal many times over. i think we can unlock a creative rennaisance by allowing creatives to work on a project of their choosing and pay them generously, but not pay them $100k a year just to hope they figure it out. that’s not an effective ROI and while we are considerably well financed we don’t have infinite money…


I’m a creative and recently did a two grants project for SquiggleDAO, and I have to say the opening sentences by Joshua are heartwarming and was very happy to read them. But while I agree with the intent, my thinking is more along the lines of noun22 who said ‘…we can unlock a creative renaissance by allowing creatives to work on a project of their choosing and pay them generously, but not pay them $100k a year just to hope they figure it out.’ Though my grant-work thus far has been for moderate pay (< 1k), I am looking forward to more relationship, more mutual trust and awareness, and more pay. More everything, but gradually. I would rather work my way up to a 100k project where the stress is low(er) and trust and expectations are high, than accept that project without having a significant DAO track record and DAO or Web 3 referrals. That’s high stress for both parties. The DAOs I work in and for now are making my track record. If I were the ‘payer’ I’d want the same. Regardless of what side of the money I’m on - Granter or Grantee - I believe a system in place where artists earn higher paying work would be best. 1E could be the lowest tier, for example. A successful 1E project could get the Grantee access to 2E projects, let’s say. A successful project is obviously one that brings more value to Nouns than is expended by the treasury. And obviously various metrics can and should be used to determine and measure a project’s success. Once that is in place, I believe, the sky is the limit as far as potential value, and payment can be as much as or even more than $100k (full movie production by a stellar startup which saves Nouns millions, for example).


Is Stage 1 of this thesis playing out through the multiple contests were running through various grants? If we increase this and every Nouner had access to run contests would we see even more creative unlock?

What happens if an artist creates amazing work and wins contests for a few days or weeks in a row. What a the next step in the funnel?

Can Nouns offer more opportunity to create? Can you earn creative free time by winning contests?

Thinking, contemplating and ideating is work and we benefit from funding artists to do this work for Nouns.

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To be clear I don’t think we should “pay” artists 100k but rather think it should be possible to earn a living wage creating full time for Nouns.

It’s unclear exactly how that happens but I’m inspired by the idea.

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@krel @noun22 maybe above speaks to some of your concerns as well. I’m not sold on any model at the moment but feel it’s inevitable that this happens in some for or another, either directly or through funded props. I would consider the work being done on behalf of other Props (ComicsDAO, Nouns!, etc) and DAO funded contests all a part of this matrix.

this has to start with the artists coming on board, engaging the community, building with others and execute so that the results are easy to digest and understand before going to a large ask. There still has to be some sort of a prop house type process before the funds are allocated. @joshuafisher we had spoken about this before and I am glad that these conversations are being put up for discussion.
I think that @noun22 has some valid points to his argument but at the same time contests will not always get us the level of pedegree and quality that the project needs> Glad to see this taking place and happy to contribute since I am trying to figure out sustainable ways to keep building here

Sry for late response! And much Nounishness has happened since the beginning of August. I believe your idea has prevailed in the form of Prop House, Small Grants, and more.