Sociology Adjunct Professor, Giana Cicchelli, creates NFTs with written talismans

Giana Cicchelli’s self-portrait.

Giana Cicchelli is an adjunct sociology professor at Fullerton College as well as other community colleges. She is also a magick practitioner, trained in both Peruvian shamanic practices and eclectic wiccan practices.

Her journey as an artist started at age of 19 when she went to the crafts store, Michael’s, and saw paint and canvases on sale. “In my brain, I associated a true artist with painting on canvas,” said Cicchelli, who grew up with her dad being an artist. “Nine months later I had my first art show.” 

Around the pandemic, Cicchelli had the idea to use her old paintings to design a tarot deck, as well as create new art so that each drawing fits the meaning of a tarot card. Using an iPad helped her bring her vision to life. “Creating a tarot deck was really fun, but it is also really cool to have a deck of cards that have a wide sort of referential history of my artwork,” added Cicchelli.

With the help of her iPad and other digital sources, Cicchelli created her most recent collection called L3ss0ns, which is digitally hand-drawn art, reflecting lessons learned through her life journey. Thus creating her own unique NFTs, Non-Fungible Tokens, on OpenSea.

NFTs are now being used by artists to protect against duplicated or destroyed files, sell, trade, and reduce fraud when selling art pieces. NFTs are not only used for art but also for music, articles, tickets, coupons, in-game items, and any other non-free digital data.

Cicchelli’s NFT collection, L3ss0ns, was created in July 2021. The collection is made up of unique pieces in which each painting has a different meaning of life. Each painting has very colorful and vibrant colors, each with a portrait of a person along with a spirit animal that, on a deeper level, represents the meaning of the journey of the lesson learned.

Using her spiritual skills, Cicchelli created a special technique for the background of each of her pieces. Cicchelli wrote 8-10 layers of handwritten talismans, a talisman is any object ascribed with religious or magical powers, these sentences had different colors and each layer had different things written in it. “You’re not supposed to be able to read it because if you’re able to read it, then your conscious mindset gets in the way,” explained Cicchelli.

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This collection is focused on spirituality, awakening, and the challenges of life. The people and animals from each painting, all with their third eye open, a meaning of enlightenment and knowledge that every human being gets after the accomplishment of a hard and long life lesson. 

Cicchelli’s inspiration comes not only from her personal experiences but also from the people close to her. “Some are my friends, some are emotions being captured. I wanted to try and get different styles of faces so that it’s inclusive so that a lot of people can look at the art and be able to relate,” stated Cicchelli. 

From this collection, her favorite piece is “Trust,” which is one of the first pieces she drew. This piece has a man with a cobra wrapped around his neck. According to Cichelli, the cobra is inspired by Shiva, one of the man deities of Hinduism, and signifies detachment from the ego. When trusting someone, “You must trust from the heart. You can trust people, but only as far as they know themselves,” said Cicchelli.

Cicchelli’s new idea comes from creating more NFTs and more talismans, Cicchelli explained how her new collection idea comes from wanting people to create their talismans. This idea consists of burning NFTs to create more NFTs so that each individual has their own, unique and personalized talisman to add and create more aspects of spirituality into life. 

Danha Sanchez
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