“All that matters is that you are making something you love.”

— Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being

October 4th 2022. I found myself wide awake at 3am in a Bangkok hotel. I’d just arrived in Thailand at the start of a sabbatical from ‘real life’. Jet lag had consumed my body.

I sat in the dark and under the light of my computer screen. I wrote a children’s book about a Turtle Wizard and a Spirit Guide Bear.

This wasn’t some spontaneous act, but something that had been swirling around in my brain for 6 months. However, with real-life work and packing my worldly possessions into a storage unit, I had little time to put fingers to keys until then.

The next morning as I walked through our hotel lobby, my eyes were drawn to this human-sized teddy bear sitting there with a wizard’s hat on. I took this photo and knew I was on the right path.

“I am a very emotional guy. What I love, I do with all I have.” – Jurgen Klopp

I’ve always been someone who is led by my heart. I wear my heart on my sleeve and value authenticity, however it comes. Being real in a world full of fakeism is everything to me.

In March 2020 the world went into lockdown and I started to spiral into a place I didn’t see coming.

I started drinking way too much—every single day. I was living in a weed-filled haze, and honestly, I was having a blast. I had time off from work and  quality time with my wife. We were watching loads of movies, laughing and cutting loose. But the good times never last.

In late Summer we decided to move to the British seaside. My business involved being in other peoples’ homes, designing and remodeling. The future was uncertain, so a chance to renovate our seaside home seemed a smart choice.

I was busy working on the house, continuing my journey in the mad world of crypto and killing time in a world where everything was closed. I was achieving many things, but I was also losing inspiration. Slowly sinking.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”    —Khalil Gibran

As a New Zealand native I always felt calm knowing that if I needed to get there, home was only a day away. Twenty-four hours on a plane and I am ‘home’. Not anymore. Thanks to covid, the borders were shut!

I lost someone close to me to cancer and wept as I watched the funeral on a screen, unable to be there and connect with loved ones. Again, the weight of the world felt heavy. Through designing, writing, and making music I’m used to being creative every day, but at that time inspiration had left me. I wasn’t in a deep depression, but I had no inspiration to call on for anything. Just existing as the days went by, one after another, merging into a world of nothingness.

Then came a project called Wilder World with its dream of a multiplayer metaverse/simulation, decentralized economy, and network state. I was intrigued.

Yes, I bought tokens,  minted Wheels and Wolves etc., but what struck me was the community that I was a part of in the early days. I spent hours in Telegram (under a different name than Pimms) before moving into the newly formed Discord in October 2021 where every day hundreds more flocked in.

Naturally I connected with some more than others and I found myself in a private group chat under the name of UK Wilders. We arranged to meet up at a pub and got on like a house on fire. Within a month we had formed Polaris DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).

Thanks to these wonderful people, my inspiration had been sucked back into my soul. I spent several weeks writing a proposal for a pub within Wiami, including lore and pub designs.

Sometimes we find our own way back into the light. Sometimes others light the spark in us. We can’t always explain it, but just by being themselves the other founders led me back to the light within me. My inspiration was back and I was completely overwhelmed by creative ideas.

During the Pub design phase we were discussing the beautiful garden we could have in the Polaris headquarters. I made a joke about Pok3y the Turtle Wizard and Pimmsy the Teddy Bear getting up to adventures within the garden. Like most things, just a throw away comment.

But it stuck with me and kept forcing it’s way to the front of my thoughts. I spoke with the real Pok3y, explained my idea and asked permission to include his character in my story.

Back to Thailand in late 2022.

I had a children’s book in front of me, inspired by the events of meeting my Polaris/UK Wilder friends.

I knew what I wanted to do with my book so I set about refining the story and dreaming up book artwork.

Illustrations seemed a little underwhelming for a story set in the metaverse. It seemed only right to create Unreal-Engine-ready characters. So in finding Kalex, a character creator, I had the support to bring the vision to life. I have spent the last 15 months working with him to bring Pimmsy and Pok3y to life on South Beach, Wiami—the setting of my first book—The Light That was Lost.

I wanted Pok3y to feel connected to his character so I based his speech mostly off of my friend Pok3y. I also gave him creative control over his character’s look. My gift to Pok3y was to build his own Avatar. I only added his pipe, which he doesn’t use anymore. But old habits die hard so just holding it helps the Turtle Wizard relax. It’s 2024! We’ll leave the love of pipe-weed to other Wizards.

The other character is Pimmsy. He’s part teddy bear and part real bear. He’s named after me because his experience in this book is partly based on mine.

An empathetic soul.

A Spirit guide who lost his way as any of us can.

I thought I had walked away from symbolism in life, but the process of creating this book reminded me that I am still very much full of shit. Haha.

Pimmsy has a patch on his head in honor of my wife, the one who keeps patching me up in life.

When my father was born, his right hand was scrunched up and he couldn’t use it for much. Pimmsy’s strong mechanical arm is an homage to my father who died suddenly when I was young.

‘The Light That was lost’ centres around Pok3y the Turtle Wizard, finding a being in stone on South Beach Wiami. Lost to time. And through his Wizardry, brings the being back into the light. It’s now easy to see where the inspiration came from.

The Light That was Lost was the natural and clear name for
this book.

This first work is under the banner of Find The Light, my project that long-term I hope can help other creatives express their creativity through different mediums. As well as continuing the adventures of Pimmsy and Pok3y.

This project started out as a creative explosion, something inside me that had to come out.

Now after almost 18 months of hard work it is about to launch with 99 First Edition NFT passes. Every NFT Pass will receive 1 of 99 First Edition physical copies. Sent anywhere in the world in Summer 2024.

All artwork is complete, the book layout is finished, and we are now testing print quality.

My hope is that everyone and their children can connect with this timeless story of being lost… and being found, this time set in a web3 world.

For children, an exciting adventure. And for many Wilders I know who have been through their own struggles. Divorce, Death etc, a reminder that the light is always within you, just waiting for the right time to be found.

The future is exciting. I have 2 more books already written. An idea for a game and some other exciting plans I can’t share at this time.

I’ve never been interested in what I can achieve on my own. What we can do together is much more interesting to me. The power of the collective is where true power lies. With that, I am so grateful to Kalex, Ghostkamera, TomDickHarry and Freestyle Design Works, for their contributions. As well as everyone else who critiqued drafts and images for The Light That was Lost.

You can secure your First Edition here and all information is available at www.findthelight.io