BASED VITALIK Creator ART101 puts community over profits, gives full refund and moves NFT to free-to-mint

Art101 · Patrn
6 min readMar 12, 2022


Since its release, BASΞD VITALIK has proven to be one of the most exciting collections that NFT creator ART101 has dropped. After a rough start that led to only 12% of the supply minting on the first day, the team made some rather radical changes that resulted in the remaining supply minting out in just over 3 minutes. By deciding to refund their minters and change the collection to Free-to-Mint, ART101 sacrificed profits in order to put their community and collection in the best position possible. This decision is proving to be a wise one, as the collection has seen solid post-mint traction.

BASΞD VITALIK is the latest NFT collection from verified NFT creator ART101, and the 6th in total. A generative NFT collection based on the creator of Ethereum, BASΞD VITALIK is as unapologetically unabashed as the man himself. Announced on Vitalik Buterins birthday on January 31st, the collection dropped on February 22nd with a total supply of 4962 and a public mint price of .06 ETH. With more than 100 unique traits, including eyewear, hairstyles, jewelry, hats, callbacks, and skin tone variations, BASΞD VITALIK is a hyper-fauvist take on generative PFP NFTs. An authentic homage to crypto-royalty.

Art101’s History and Future

Since August 2021, ART101 has minted over 20,000 NFTs across five generative collections, generating more than $2 million in sales volume in the secondhand market. With a fully doxxed team and contract source code publicly available, the ART101 team has positioned itself as one of the more reputable NFT creators.

ART101’s prominent collections include familiar names from their Roadmap v1, including Non-Fungible Soup, MondrianNFT, and Bauhaus Blocks, with art inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol, Piet Mondrian, and the Bauhaus Art Movement. These collections have sold hundreds of ETH in volume while obtaining Collection Verifications across all premier NFT Marketplaces. In addition, ART101 has released multiple unannounced smaller collections with exclusive access and allowlists for existing collectors, such as SoupXMondrian and NFTZine.

Each Art101 NFT collection is set up to be future-proofed. All collections have provenance data contents maintained on decentralized IPFS nodes and image formats of both raster and infinitely-scalable vector. Art101 creates every collection to be the highest quality artworks possible, able to be used in various formats and stand the tests of time.

By providing a combination of quality artwork and reliable coding, Art101 has obtained various account and collection Verifications with the most reputable marketplaces in the NFT world. These Verifications help reassure prospective collectors that ART101 NFTs are authentic and well supported, representing genuine ART101 quality.

Art101 Marketplace Creator Verifications:

Bad Timing

BASΞD VITALIK’s release was one of unfortunate timing. Shortly after announcing their release date, some of the most anticipated NFT drops in months began announcing their own releases on the same week. The drop date quickly became crowded with massive projects utilizing much larger promotional campaigns. Starcatchers and Invisible Friends minted on the same days as the BASΞD VITALIK allowlist and public mints, with Wonderpals shortly after. Howlerz and 3Landers also minted on that same week, as well as a major Pixelmon reveal.

Being lost among the massive amount of NFT news, attention for BASΞD VITALIK was at a minimum by the time it was released. The unfortunate result was the collection minting only 12% of its supply on the first day, putting it well below projections for minting the full supply.

So ART101 decided to do something unheard of in NFTs. They refunded all of their minters in full and then changed the collection to Free-to-Mint.

Full refund, move to Free-to-Mint.

With ART101 unwilling to leave their supporters in a bad situation, artist Carty Sewill announced the shocking but exciting move. “Art101 would rather have 0 ETH and a minted-out contract than 25 ETH with 15% of the supply minted. So here’s the rub, we’ve refunded all BASΞD VITALIK minters, more than 60,000 USD in total.”

He continued, “Art101 doesn’t wanna leave anyone holding bags, especially those of you who came out to support us. We aren’t hype-lords; that’s fine with us. We’re more interested in making NFTs than stacking ETH. And we just returned 65,000 USD to prove it.”

Instead of letting the project sputter out at .06 ETH, the team decided to change the collection Free-to-Mint and refund all collectors who already paid to mint. As a result, the project quickly regained its momentum and enthusiasm throughout the NFT community.

Mission Accomplished — BASΞD VITALIK mints out.

With the early BASΞD VITALIK minters waking up to a full refund, the community quickly filled with excitement. The additional news that the collection was Free-to-Mint was the icing on the cake for the rest of the ART101 collectors. It was evident from the response that this was the correct decision.

Once the contract re-opened, over 4,000 NFTs were minted in 3 minutes and 13 seconds, quickly exhausting the remaining supply. Thanks to a new ERC-721A standard, gas fees were extraordinarily low for all transactions.

Since quickly minting out, BASΞD VITALIK and ART101 have hit the ground running. The collection has already obtained rarity rankings with various providers, been listed on multiple NFT data analytics platforms, and received multiple creator and collection verifications, all within its first week.

Rarity Rankings:

Data Analytics:


So what is next? When asked, Art101’s Carty Sewill responds, “More free drops. Roadmap v2 is next, and then… more free drops. As we said, we just wanna make NFTs. We’ll let the market decide the rest. While everyone else is grabbing cash and rugpulling, we’ll continue dropping free-to-mint NFTs. Just keep an eye out.”

Artist Carty Sewill

The artist behind the Art101 NFT collections is Carty Sewill, with over a decade of consistent creation. He is studied at San Jose State University, where he graduated with a degree in Philosophy. When starting his art career, Carty worked as a freelance graphic designer as he worked in several exhibitions and art installations. As Carty’s career as an artist developed, he presented his works in various California and New York galleries before switching to digital mediums and eventually moving into NFTs with Art101.

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About Art101

Art101 explores iconic 20th-century artists and art movements with generative NFT collections. By investigating artists like Warhol, Mondrian, and the Bauhaus movement, Art101 hopes to raise the collective ‘brow’ of the NFT-scene. Art101’s NFT collections stand in strong contrast to expensive and haphazard NFT drops, encouraging a more discerning NFT collector.

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Art101 · Patrn explores iconic 20th-century artists and movements with generative NFT collections.