Ask anyone in the community about cool Elastos art and graphics and they’ll point to one person: Vegas Mike.
He has created dozens of neat images that are appreciated by most of the Elastos and CR community members. His art is an amazing marketing tool for the Elastos brand, and he has already developed an Elastos inventory made up of t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and more!
But there’s a lot more to Vegas Mike than his incredible photoshop skills as he has quite the history in the design and extreme sports space.
Here are some words from the man himself about his past and his exciting career:
“I’m originally from Huntington Beach, California, known as Surf City, USA. This is where I grew up and lived most of my life. I guess you could say I’m a beach boy. This area of the globe was a great place to grow up; it was the hub for all things surf, skate, and snowboard where global brands like Volcom, Quiksilver, Hurley, DC, Vans and many more were born.
This was the epicenter of a wild counterculture of action sports, fashion, and of course, music. I was geographically grown into this lifestyle. I’ve always liked the more non-traditional sports like surfing and skateboarding, and it was at about age eight when I built my first skateboard with scrap wood and the wheels and trucks off of my sisters skates.
A few years later, I could be found draining the pools from abandoned homes to skate in them with friends. At age eleven, I had my sights set on the ocean and the sport of surfing. I remember giving my parents several hints for a surfboard, and a few months later, that surfboard magically appeared under the Christmas tree. I became addicted to the ocean and would try to surf every day, all year long. I eventually entered surf competitions, and at age sixteen, I got my first job in the surf industry from my clothing sponsor Quiksilver surfwear.
I worked in production and design, making cool clothes. Approximately six years later, I left my position with a plethora of design and manufacturing knowledge to start the very first snowboard apparel company in the world. This was the turning point in excelling my passion for creativity and design. It didn’t take long for my brand to be sold in all major retail locations throughout the U.S. and distributors around the world.
It is an awesome feeling to see total strangers wearing the gear you designed, especially when you know they paid full retail. I remember this one day, pulling up behind a red Ferrari on my way to the office, when I saw one of my stickers on its back window. I couldn’t believe it, I mean who puts a sticker on a Ferrari.
My snowboard company, Burning Snow, became a global brand recognized in some media outlets, including the L.A. Times, as being the pioneer in the sport of snowboarding. After having a successful ten-year run and with the market becoming oversaturated, I eventually dissolved my partnership to partner up with FOX Racing and the boys from Fleshwound Films known for their popular “Crusty Demons of Dirt” movies to start FLESHGEAR–one of the first freestyle motocross apparel brands in the world–with sponsorships given to well known riders like Cary Hart, the first motorcyclist to perform a back flip on a 250cc motorcycle during an X-Games competition.”
Vegas Mike’s impact in the surfing, snowboarding, and motocross industries is profound. He goes against the grain, listens to his intuition and believes there is no such thing as impossible.
So how did Vegas Mike get into Elastos?
“I grew up during the birth of Internet 1.0, and I remember those obnoxious dial-up modems, emailing for the first time, the Netscape & Microsoft browser wars, creating a MySpace account, the creation of an online marketplace called Ebay where you could buy and sell junk and treasures as well as a tidal wave of other revolutionary online .com-s and apps coming out of Silicon Valley.
“Back then, the Internet was less harmful compared to what it has become today, and I never imagined I would become a product. Over the decades, the Internet has been hijacked by data cartels (Google, Facebook) harvesting and selling individuals’ data.
“I feel lucky to have witnessed the beginning of the first Internet, but even luckier to witness it being fixed by the revolution that is Elastos and Cyber Republic. As you can see from my history, I’m attracted to ideas that are revolutionary, things that have never been done before. This is why I became fascinated with Rong Chen’s vision for Elastos and how he aims to bring the Internet to modern times, giving the user a safe environment and a tool to control their data and return power to the people. I’ve seen the world change before, and I believe Elastos has the potential to change the world again.”
He joined the Elastos community Telegram for the first time back in 2018, but didn’t post any messages. He would read everyone’s comments and learn more about Elastos every day. When he started posting cool graphics of Elastos, he immediately got a positive and exciting response from the community.
Vegas Mike is an expert in brand building, as he has done in surfing, snowboarding, and motocross, and he will look to make available his skill sets in street marketing, design, and product and apparel in order to allow the Elastos ecosystem to flourish.
Many in the community may be curious about how Vegas Mike got his name.
Well, this isn’t his first alias. He started using the name “Misfit Mike” on Instagram. A name Mike used because he considers himself a misfit and thinks outside of the box. Another alias is “Monster Mike”. He’s always been a fan of monsters. In fact, Vegas Mike has a large collection of monster memorabilia.
When he first joined the Elastos community Telegram, he used his real name. Following that, he changed his name to Michael S. He soon realized there was another Michael S (an Elastos Telegram moderator) and he changed it to his brand new alias, Vegas Mike.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of how the name “Vegas Mike” was born.
Vegas Mike is a part of most Elastos ecosystem Telegram groups and has recently joined Twitter where he has posted some of his amazing Elastos artwork. On top of that, he is also a member of the Wild Strawberries supernode team, which operates three of the 24 active nodes in DPoS.
Recently, the team added a merchandise section that includes some of Vegas Mike’s Elastos t-shirts, hats, and hoodies. The majority of the proceeds will go towards Red Packet funding for the Wild Strawberry voters.
Vegas Mike is looking into DMA’s “Choosit” dApp and hoping to incorporate his Elastos merchandising onto the Elastos platform in the future. Very exciting!
So, what else is in the works for Vegas Mike? What else does he want to contribute to the Elastos community?
He wants to put as big of a footprint into the ecosystem as possible. His skills include brochures, full blown magazines, and billboards–-a more corporate and structured style. Vegas Mike understands that in order to contribute at a high level he would need to work in an organized group without “too many chefs in the kitchen” to accomplish goals in a timely fashion.
Besides professional contributions, he’s educating some of his friends about Elastos. He got one pal to invest 7,000 ELA; which started by him asking about Vegas Mike’s t-shirt. His mantra regarding grassroots marketing is all “t-shirts and hats”. If people are wearing Elastos merchandise around the world, people will notice and start asking questions about the ecosystem.
Any contacts in the surfing, snowboarding and motocross industry that Vegas Mike can share Elastos with?
Vegas Mike does have a contact who, coincidentally, lives in Las Vegas, like himself. His friend is looking to build a “smart community” in Las Vegas that creates the experience of a beach. It brings all the fun parts of a beach: boardwalks, dog beach, man made waves, condos, and so on to the desert of Las Vegas.
Perhaps this future smart city can utilize some Elastos features such as the Carrier? Maybe the condos could be equipped with Jimmy Lipham’s smart doorbells and garage door openers.
Vegas Mike wants to start thinking of dApp ideas in order to fill a void in people’s lives using the Elastos platform; having learnt the man’s history, we can’t wait to see the results.
Let’s end this with some shoutouts Vegas Mike would like to give the community
Vegas Mike is very thankful to getting introduced to Elastos by Tyler from Chico Crypto.
Gandhi has been a steady and calming voice in the community who’s stuck with Elastos through thick and thin. He appreciates his temperament and commitment to the ecosystem.
BuBa, a community member that is hidden in all of Vegas Mike’s artwork, is someone that makes Vegas Mike laugh a lot. He describes him as a funny character.
Drexel has been a great friend in the community for Mike.
He loves the professionalism and passion from Brian Xin with DMA.
He’s a big fan of Peter Strauss and the Hyper project.
And is very impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of Elastos TG moderator Michael S.
Mike hopes he can one day meet everyone face to face!
Thanks to Vegas Mike for taking time out of his schedule to talk with CR Press about his life and exciting experiences.
We very much appreciate all the time and commitment you dedicate to Elastos and Cyber Republic and look forward to seeing more of your artwork and contributions!