Shams Meccea, also known as Smeccea, is one of the big names in the NFT world. As a motion designer, she has worked on projects with Apple, Adobe, Puma and huge musicians, like Big Shawn, SZA, Majid Jordan, Metro Boomin, GoldLink and many more.


Could you start by introducing yourself? Where are you from and what mediums do you use?

My name is Shams Meccea and I’m from Vancouver, Canada. My art has a lot of different tones, but if you look at all of my work, in a way, it’s very unified in terms of colour palette; I like to call them filters. At the end of my process, I make sure that they all go together, even though they discuss very different subject matters. I do a lot of character-based work, that is extremely fantasy – like, gods and deities. I also love nature, obviously from being from Vancouver and even back home where I’m from. Even my family, that’s how it’s passed down; we are extreme nature junkies. That’s one thing that shows a lot in my work. So, I mix all of that and sometimes put these elements together, or keep them separate. Sometimes, my work is either extremely dark or it’s extremely light and colourful.

Do you also use more traditional mediums or do you mainly stick with digital art? 

I grew up with a love for art. I carried pens and pencils and kept coloured carry-ons all around with me, but I honestly was so bad at it. I’ve tried everything. Even in colouring books, I would not be able to colour in the lines. When I discovered digital art, it became like a saviour to me. I was so happy because I went through all the stages of trying out Photoshop at the beginning, then moving into AfterEffects and finally, discovering Blender. I was very excited because you can make art without needing to know how to draw. It took off the barrier. So I was so happy that I could do that. So, I don’t really use other mediums.

Was creativity encouraged in your early life? 

I would say 100% it was encouraged, but I still came from a traditional family of all engineers and doctors; I don’t have any uncles or aunts that are not engineers or doctors. As well as my cousins, most of them have turned out to be engineers or doctors. It’s really hard to break from that mold, because my parents have also been extremely creative and they were forced by their parents to become engineers and doctors. They’ve also been conditioned. My family would tell me that I’m a smart kid and that it would be a waste of time and potential to go into art. So they have that kind of mentality but they’ve given me a lot of freedom. Although, at the back of their mind, they’re still unsure if I’m going to make it. I tried doing interior design at school but I wasn’t doing well in it so I had to be straightforward about it to them. So, I ended up going into digital design and development and they were fine with my decision.

What is your process when you want to start an artwork? Do you know exactly what you want to do or do you improvise?  

For my personal art, I just go outside or on Pinterest to get inspiration. My art is so different and it differs from day to day. It depends on what I’m doing and what I’m into that day. From example, I read a lot of manga, so I get a lot of inspiration from that or I get inspired from video games like Call of Duty. I also get inspired a lot by anime. It depends on which show I’m watching that day but sometimes, I would get inspired from the characters in the show. Then I go on Pinterest and see all the fan art that others made and it inspires me to create my own spin of that character. If you see a character on my Instagram and you’re not sure what it is, it’s probably from an anime or a game, that I’m super into and hyper fixated on at that time. That’s why my art changes so much.

How did you become aware of the NFTs and were you already into crypto to begin with?  

I was really into cryptocurrency in general in early 2017 and 2018. But I never transferred the currency into my bank account; it was just sitting in my wallet and I didn’t pay any mind to it after. It wasn’t up until late last year that I started hearing about NFTs. The first person that brought it up to me was my friend, Nikki Chulo. He’s a really cool artist for Atlantic records and he was doing small sketches and such for wearable devices. He kept telling me about NFTs but I would ignore him for months. I wasn’t sure if I would put any effort into it until I saw Gavin Shapiro and Alexis, my really good friend, succeed with a couple of pieces. It encouraged me to give it a try. So I just reached out to SuperRare and, at that time, there wasn’t that much pressure to get in. I was very lucky to be able to join SuperRare. Shortly after, I did a Nifty Gateway drop, which was my first drop. The rest is history.