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Exclusive: BitTrunks Co-Head Dwain Schenck on World’s First Elephant Art NFTs to Support the Herd

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BitTrunks Co-Head Dwain Schenck on World’s First Elephant Art NFTs to Support the Herd
BitTrunks Co-Head Dwain Schenck on World’s First Elephant Art NFTs to Support the Herd

Suda with her sunset art | Photo credit: Dwain Schenck

It, presumably, won’t be wrong to summon that the world that predominately runs on representative money is currently shifting towards digital currency. In that race, NFTs seem to be one of the most preferred choices.

Also termed non-fungible token, NFT is a means of uniquely representing an object or an idea — whether physical or virtual — which prevents replication or alteration and provides proof of ownership, like it is the ultimate authenticity card.

In recent times, we saw singers buying NFTs from the likes of Eminem, and also producers selling film NFTs.

Interestingly, Dwain Schenck, the co-head of BitTrunks, tells GLAMOUR BUFF that he and his team at BitTrunks launched the world’s first NFT art made by an elephant earlier in October this year. Surreal, isn’t it?

“The idea that an elephant could paint was utter amazement,” Schenck says, sharing his first impression of the elephant art. “When I saw with my own eyes Tunwa and Suda making this incredible art it was still too incredible to comprehend.”

But the proceed from the sale of Elephant Art NFTs are going nowhere but to support the herd of elephants at the Maetaeng Elephant Park & Clinic.

In the exclusive interview, Schenck, who is also the founder of strategic communications and consulting firm Schenck Strategies, talks about the world’s first NFT art made by elephant and everything around it.

GB: A NFT art, that, too, made by a seven-year-old elephant is something exclusive. Tell us more about your first impression of Elephant Art NFTs?

DS: Suda, already famous in her own right for her artistic abilities, was not just painting landscapes. She can paint self-portraits. And these aren’t just splashes of color splattered on canvass – but art with trees, animals, and blue skies blended together to make something truly beautiful. This was hands down the coolest thing I had ever seen.

Let’s face it, there are many things to love about elephants. People are naturally drawn to them because they are caring, intelligent, and are able to form bonds and show empathy. But who knew some have the ability to make art with their trunks? It’s natural to be skeptical, especially when it looks as if the painting could have been made by a human artist.

What seals the deal is we provide each collector of every BitTrunks NFT purchased a video documenting the entire artistic process, start to finish, along with photos and a certificate of authenticity. That’s when it sinks in that not only are you watching something truly magical take place, you have also purchased something incredibly unique, verging on priceless. What’s more, the buyer also receives the actual painting on canvass that can be hung on the wall. This is also historically special because a portion of the proceeds of the sale of every NFT goes to help support the elephant park and lifesaving medical clinic where Tunwa and Suda live along with more than 80 other elephants. You can purchase Elephant Art by visiting the official Elephant Art Online website.

GB: So, when did this thing initially start? Tell us about the process and people involved in this fascinating work.

DS: BitTrunks is the NFT-branch of Elephant Art Online (EAO). EAO announced the debut of its NFT (non-fungible token) initial release featuring the world’s first NFT created by an elephant on October 18, 2021. The first 1 of 1 NFT artwork to be made available to the world was called the Tree of Life and was created by Tunwa, a 7-year-old male elephant who was born and raised at the Maetaeng Elephant Park & Clinic in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The NFT is available on our OpenSea page, the first and largest peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs. Additional value-added content that comes with this particular NFT includes outtakes of Tunwa painting, a day-in-the-life of him interacting with other elephants in his habitat, and a digitally verifiable certificate of authenticity of the painting (QR Code).

Tunwa with Tree of Life elephant art.

Tunwa with Tree of Life art

Maetaeng Elephant Park was formed in 1996 to aid elephants now free but with nowhere to go after the 1989 ban on logging in Thailand. Seeing increased numbers of elephants forced to roam city streets and take up work in the illegal logging trade, the park decided to create a safe and friendly work environment where visitors to the Kingdom of Thailand would be able to see these majestic animals up close and help support the park’s efforts.

In 2000, elephant handlers started to humanely teach a few select elephants how to paint. The idea was to raise enough money so that the park could build an elephant hospital. This dream came true in 2006 when the park became the first government-licensed facility to operate an elephant hospital in Northern Thailand.

GB: Since you are the co-head of BitTrunks, can you tell us if the main idea behind creating the platform was to promote elephant-made arts?

DS: Elephant Art Online, which is the original seller of authentic elephant paintings, decided to start BitTrunks as a way to continue to surprise the NFT community with regular exclusive releases that are aimed towards investor collectors who are looking for long and short-term gains in the lucrative NFT market. Our goal is to create a unique offering that will act as a profitable investment vehicle while at the same time generating needed funds for our elephant park and elephant medical clinic to survive and thrive.

Prior to the pandemic, Suda and Tunwa were the star attraction at the Maetaeng Elephant Park & Clinic in Chiang Mai, Thailand, painting for scores of visiting tourists as a way to raise money to care for and feed more than 80 elephants living at the park. Times were good. Then COVID-19 hit, grinding tourism to a halt – the very lifeblood and funding source to care for the elephants. Our goal is to be able to use NFTs as a funding source instead of relying on tourism. If we can make this a working model, we plan to expand this concept and help other struggling animal parks in Thailand and elsewhere.

GB: That is awesome!

DS: Yes! We also have several new mind-blowing NFTs in the works. We will soon launch a lower-priced collection starting at 0.3 ETH that will be based on Suda’s paintings. This will allow the general NFT community the ability to collect and trade our NFTs. We also plan to release a new collection that is an art collaboration between our elephant Tunwa and his mahout (caretaker). This means that the paintings will be made both by Tunwa and his mahout.

GB: You previously mentioned something very touching – about the proceeds from the sales of the Elephant Art NFTs being used to support the Maetaeng Elephant Park & Clinic. Can you elaborate more about this noble cause?

DS: In 2000, we started to teach our elephants how to paint. Suda is known for her unique artistic talents. Suda is a 15-year-old girl who has been painting for 10 years. She is responsible for raising thousands of dollars for our elephant hospital. She has been featured on CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and Joe Rogan’s podcast for her lasting ability to create beautiful mountainscapes, flowering trees, and waterfalls.

The idea was to sell the paintings to raise enough money so that we could build an elephant clinic at the park. In 2006, we became the first elephant park with a government-licensed hospital on its premises in Northern Thailand that now treats an estimated 800 elephants in the area, free of charge.

Fruit feast for elephants

To keep this kind of service going we depend on the generosity of those who visit the park, general donations, and the purchase of elephant paintings on our website. Due to COVID-19, and the fact that tourism and the funds that come with it have dried up, it seemed natural to turn one of our most beautiful paintings into a 1 of 1 NFT. There’s nothing like it in the world. It’s called the Tree of Life and can be purchased by visiting our OpenSea page.

It’s a one-of-kind investment opportunity that we feel will create inexplicable value for anyone who is lucky enough to purchase it. The owner of this NFT will also know they are giving back in ways few can imagine by supporting 100’s of elephants for years to come.

GB: Do you also believe that such an exemplary campaign will bring awareness about the conservation of elephants, as well as animal conversation as a whole?

DS: We believe BitTrunks NFTs will be a great investment and bring more awareness to the importance of animal welfare and the preservation and protection of elephants. Sadly, elephant populations have experienced significant declines over the last century. While some populations of African elephants are expanding, primarily in southern Africa, numbers are continuing to fall in other areas, particularly in central Africa and parts of East Africa. Asian elephant numbers have dropped by at least 50% over the last three generations, and they are still in decline today. With only 40,000 – 50,000 left in the wild, the species is classified as endangered.

We opened the Maetaeng Elephant Park & Clinic in 1996 to provide a safe environment for the many elephants and their mahouts, the elephant’s caretaker, who lost their job because of the Thai Government ban on all logging practices in protected forests.

With the modernization and commercialization of Thailand in the 20th century, the elephant habitat was destroyed at an unprecedented rate as domesticated elephants were used by non-Thai owners in the teak logging industry until the ban in 1989. As a result, Thai elephants were forced to survive either in the illegal logging industry, walking the city streets begging, or from tourism. An argument can be made that a well-run elephant camp like ours provides a nurturing environment for the elephants and supports the mahout and their families.

GB: Any special mentions who you feel are doing their best to promote animal conservation.

DS: We are not affiliated in any way with Joe Rogan, but he visited our park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a few years ago, and he has raised awareness about our elephant paintings on several occasions. There are also numerous celebrities that are raising awareness about elephant protection and conservation, for which we are grateful.

GB: Now, the initiative has been taken and we expect the Elephant Art NFTs led by BitTrunks to go miles. But where do you personally see this idea in the coming few years?

DS: The idea to create the world’s first-ever NFT art made by an elephant became a natural extension for us to leverage what has been taking place for more than a decade at our elephant park. Up to now, almost all investors in NFTs are in it for profit. We do see an opportunity here to offer more. Our business model accommodates philanthropic-minded investors the ability to enter the scene and do good for themselves and in our case, the elephants. Money will always be the driver of any new technology. How we all use this tool remains to be seen. We believe it will evolve in the same direction as a traditional art gallery, but with much more potential and opportunity.

Elephant Art NFT by Suda

Painting made by Suda

Some experts claim it is the next new fundraising frontier. NFTs have allowed charities, celebrities, and individuals to auction off their digital creations, with all or most of the proceeds going to a charity of their choice. In the coming months and years, we will roll out varied natural and vectorized collections of elephant art NFTs. We will also vary the themes of the paintings. Suda and Tunwa don’t just paint mountains and fields. They are equally talented at painting space and futuristic vistas and pop art images. More to come on that exciting front.

GB: Let us focus slightly more on NFTs and the digital market. How can a common man benefit from such NFTs?

DS: It is not easy to explain NFTs in a few sentences. One thing is sure, it will go mainstream in the very near future. A common term for NFT, Cryptocurrency, and Metaverse is Internet 3.0. This is the future, and what it means is that trade and possessions will be virtual in the future, and NFTs will undoubtedly play a big role in this. Instead of trading with fiat money or even cryptocurrency, NFTs will be used as a token of trade. Especially in the gaming space where players will be able to purchase game characters, skills, and items. I think it is too early to say exactly how NFTs will be beneficial for the common man, outside of the above-mentioned applications. It is a fairly new technology and is still evolving.

GB: Also, where should we head to purchase these special Elephant Art NFTs?

DS: You can purchase a BitTrunks NFT by visiting our OpenSea page. Buying an Elephant Art NFT is an investment into what is easily some of the most unique paintings on the planet. There is so much more behind the art as well. The lucky collector will usher in a brighter future for the herd – for the older elephants and the ones yet to be born. It’s a win-win for all.

Tree of Life by Tunwa

GB: Do you have a message for Tunwa? Jokes apart, what would you tell those who want to buy the Elephant Art NFTs?

DS: It’s important for people to know that all of our elephants are treated humanely and ethically. Every morning the elephants at the park are led down to the MaeTaeng river to take a morning bath followed by a short 30-minute walk with their mahouts followed by breakfast that consists of fresh grass, melons, bananas, mangos, coconuts, corn stalks, and other seasonal non-citrus fruits.

Each elephant consumes up to 650 pounds of food per day or around 10 percent of its body weight. This routine takes place throughout the day. A team of veterinarians also attends to every elephant and checks the skin, legs, feet, and eyes, and looks for any signs of stress or fatigue. 

Another interesting fact is each painting created by Tunwa takes a little over four hours to produce, including snack breaks and time off to walk around the park and eat bananas, one of his favorite treats. Tunwa and the other painting elephants are never forced to make art and when they lose interest they come back later to begin again or just take the day off.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. If you have any inquiries, email us at glamourbuff@gmail.com.

Currently serving as Managing Editor at Glamour Buff and GB ISSUE, Arun specializes in covering stories happening on and off the camera. He began as an entertainment writer in June 2019, and since then, he has gradually established himself in the entertainment industry. Connect with me: katwalarun54@gmail.com

Business

Nine Amazing Tips to Become a Famous Author in Australia

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Nine Amazing Tips to Become a Famous Author in Australia

Long before the British colonization, the brilliancy of Australia’s oral storytelling traditions shined bright. This tradition has faced a lot of change over the decades after waves of immigration and colonization. Now, authors in Australia have a lot more room to experiment.

The people who were already here when the colonizers arrived, and those who came to this land later have formed many perspectives and voices, creating fine examples of Australian writing and great authors.

If you are here, you may be wondering how to join the list of great Australian authors. Read this guide to learn the best tips for achieving your dream.

  1. Define Your Niche

The first and most important thing you must determine as an aspiring writer is your niche. Finding your niche is as simple as figuring out what you love, identifying your strengths, and practicing as much as you can. Every writer has a unique voice and inclination toward one or more genres. 

The best way to define your niche is to read different genres and types of books. In addition, try writing short stories to establish a distinct authorial identity.

When you practice every day and brainstorm regularly, you will find an identity that resonates with your target audience and leads you to become a successful writer in Australia.

  1. Create a Writing Routine

To become a great writer in any part of the world, one thing that you cannot overlook is the importance of practice. No skill can be excelled without creating a writing routine and following it regularly. You must develop a consistent routine that ensures your regular progress.

Remember not to push your limits when creating a writing routine. Do not set unrealistic goals that may burn you out. Consistency must be the most important goal, even if you write just a few paragraphs every day.

  1. Read More 

One thing every great writer can agree to do consistently is to read widely. You may think that reading and writing are different paths but it is just a misconception. In reality, reading and writing are more strongly interlinked than you may think.

Reading regularly can help you significantly improve your writing skills. You must read diverse literature to get inspired and expand your perspectives. Most importantly, reading widely can also help you enrich your writing style to grow as a writer.

When you read work by the best authors in a genre or type of literature, you indirectly learn from the best in the industry. No guide or educational video can match the knowledge that you gain this way.

  1. Seek Feedback

Any author who wants to grow in their niche understands the importance of seeking feedback. Criticism is a part of your professional growth, and you must be open-minded towards accepting it. It can help you refine your writing skills and strive for continuous improvement.  

You must embrace positive and negative criticism with an open mind. Feel free to ask your writing colleagues and mentors for their opinions on your content. 

Every bit of criticism and appreciation can help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses to grow as a famous author in Australia.

  1. Attend Events and Conferences

Several writing events and conferences are held in Australia every year. Each event is an opportunity for aspiring writers to meet established ghostwriters, editors, literary agents, publishers, and other professionals in the field.

You can participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences to meet the best people in the writing industry. In addition, it is also a great opportunity to network with peers and open yourself up to collaboration opportunities in the future.

  1. Establish a Blog

Every beginner author must explore the several benefits of blogging. It is an ideal opportunity for authors to establish their authority, connect with potential readers, and broaden their horizons.

Even if you are not sure how to begin your journey, you can hire a ghostwriter in Australia. They can promote you and your work while staying focused on your niche with expertise. You can also learn the best writing skills and tricks from them to thrive in your own career.

As an author of a novel, it may take you months or even years to know what your audience thinks about your work. However, a blog can instantly connect you with your audience and promote your work effectively.

  1. Stay Up to Date

The Australian economy and the writing industry are ever-evolving. Trends, reader preferences, and book marketing strategies change every day. If you want to succeed as a writer in Australia, you must stay up-to-date with industry trends.

The publishing market can be very competitive. Staying on top of news, trends, and preferences of the readers can play an essential role in helping you succeed as a striving author in the Australian content market.

You can also subscribe to newsletters, attend webinars, and engage in online writing communities to stay updated and become more recognized in your industry.

  1. Build Your Online Presence

In this technology-driven world, a strong online presence is as important as being a brilliant writer. Without one, you cannot expect your talents to be recognized.

Platforms such as author websites, blogging sites, and social media can help you connect with readers, showcase your work, and build a community.

If you are not sure where to begin, you can start by building your author’s website. Since most book lovers buy books online, this platform can facilitate the buying process for them. An author website is essential for connecting readers to booksellers or even your own book-selling section. 

  1. Enter Writing Competitions

As an author trying to find recognition in the competitive Australian market, you cannot let any opportunity of gaining recognition slide by. One of the best ways to become a credible author is by participating in writing competitions held all around Australia.

When you participate in and win these events, you can gain recognition and secure literary awards. In addition to your rewards, you can receive feedback from expert writers and enhance your credibility as an author in the writing industry.

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Business

Four Solutions to Raise Money Without Hassle

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Four Solutions to Raise Money Without Hassle

Financial emergencies occur, and we have nothing to do with this fact. Wages can be delayed, people get sick, or we suddenly encounter the breakage of vital appliances. Eventually, we just want to afford more beyond our ordinary financial capabilities.

What should you do if your credit card limit is exhausted and you do not want to disturb close people with money requests? Let’s discuss 4 legal ways to find cash quickly and solve material issues or just pamper yourself.

Get a Payday Loan

Even if your credit score is poor (580 or less), you can apply for a payday depot bad credit loan. Such services allow you to receive online credit without collateral and co-signers. To qualify for such a loan, you must provide the following:

  • Your identity document (driver’s license, ID card, or Social Security number);
  • Proof of employment (optional, depends on a particular lender);
  • Confirmation of Solvency (bank statements that show regular refills or income).

The main advantage of personal loans is that you can compare lenders by qualification requirements, annual percentage rate, and repayment terms. Usually, customers with a low credit score can borrow up to $3,000. 

Sell Something

We are usually surrounded by unneeded stuff that could come in handy for someone else. However, you can make easy and decent money from selling such items:

  • Nearly new, branded clothes that are not in your size and style;
  • Wedding accessories — from basic decor to a bridal gown that can be worth up to $1,000;
  • Books and educational materials that are stored “just in case;”
  • Old PlayStation or Xbox — real treasures for gatherers or avid gamers;
  • Specific apparel (for hiking, ski racing, or climbing equipment).

Sell unused physical items on Craigslist/Poshmark or visit local thrift stores. Alternatively, you can earn by providing your services. Sell your expertise, from tutoring and artistic talent to culinary skills and household proficiency. 

Lease out a Room

If you’re lucky enough to have unused space in your house or apartment, don’t miss a chance to make an extra profit. Advertise on SpareRoom, Airbnb, Roomster, or Kangaroom and get money quickly. There are also several alternatives to choose from:

  • Renting out a parking spot or garage;
  • Leasing non-residential premises (like space for a warehouse);
  • Organizing a special zone for pet care.

For the big house owners, it’s reasonable to consider renting space for special events: weddings, corporate parties, proms, and anniversaries. To succeed in this business, provide additional services like creative decoration or catering. 

Become a Delivery Driver

Do you work a part-time job or have a lot of spare time after studying? You can sign up with delivery apps and earn money without being tied to a strict schedule! Open the application when you have a free hour or two, pick up an order in a restaurant or supermarket, and bring it to a customer’s office/home. One of the most popular services you can join is Uber Eats

Keep in mind that there are many accessible ways to receive money at lightning speed. Don’t panic in uncertainty — make your first step to problem-solving as quickly as possible.

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How to Develop a Good HR Department for Remote Work

Know the ways!

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How to Develop a Good HR Department for Remote Work

The shift to remote work has affected many businesses, from small start-ups to big enterprises. That’s why it’s more important than ever for Human Resources (HR) departments to be prepared with the right structure and processes in place. With the global pandemic still ongoing, having a well-rounded HR department is essential for providing effective support and guidance for teams working remotely. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to develop an optimal HR department that can create a smooth transition into successful remote work operations. We’ll look at topics such as setting up standard procedures, ensuring adequate employee engagement levels, establishing open communication policies, and more.

Understand the Need for an HR Department in Remote Work Environments

The past year has brought about a major shift in the way we work, with a huge increase in remote work arrangements. And while there are definitely some upsides to working from home, it also presents a few unique challenges. One of these is the need for HR departments to adapt to these new remote work environments. 

With employees working from different locations and time zones, it’s more important than ever for companies to have solid HR policies and procedures in place to ensure their workforce is happy, productive, and engaged. This means focusing on things like remote performance evaluations, establishing communication channels, and providing resources to support employee well-being. 

Establish Rules and Policies to Ensure Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

The traditional workplace is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and working remotely has become a new norm. It has undoubtedly brought several benefits for both employers and employees, including flexibility and increased productivity.

However, with this shift, it is important to establish policies and guidelines to ensure that employees remain satisfied and motivated while working remotely. Such policies should focus on work hours, communication channels, and defining clear expectations to promote productivity. 

Also, consider rewarding your employees to make sure they are even more satisfied. Moreover, when it comes to the benefits of an employee reward program, it can not only boost employee satisfaction but also foster a positive company culture, which is essential for remote teams. A positive company culture leads to better employee retention and increased productivity, even in remote work environments.

Develop Communication Strategies That Support Remote Workers

In an increasingly digital world, remote work is becoming more and more common. And while technology has made it easier than ever to communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time, working remotely presents unique communication challenges. How do you maintain the sense of connection and collaboration that arises from working together in the same physical space? 

How do you ensure everyone is on the same page and has the information they need in order to do their job effectively? Developing communication strategies that support remote workers is a must for any organization that wants to succeed in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing business landscape. 

Overall, developing an HR department for remote work requires forethought and careful execution. It’s important to understand the need for an HR department, budget for the necessary resources, and establish rules and policies aimed at employee satisfaction and productivity. 

Additionally, a solid communication plan will help ensure that all stakeholders are contributing to the success of the team. By taking these steps when establishing an HR department for remote teams, companies can reduce operational costs and lay the foundation for a successful remote workforce.

Thanks to learning how to develop a good HR department specifically tailored to remote work environments, employers have more options when it comes to their ability to make working remotely easier and more comfortable even in challenging times.

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