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#40 – Elise Swopes

Discover how an iPhone 4 led her to artistry and Instagram, setting her on a unique path to becoming a global influencer. Hear how Swopes returned to college in 2013 to study graphic design but ultimately made the bold decision to drop out. Post-graduation, she partnered with industry giants like Apple and Adidas, even delivering a TEDx talk titled "Child of the Internet."
Swopes also delves into the world of NFTs, sharing her experiences with platforms like Nifty Gateway and SuperRare. Beyond her art, she discusses her philanthropic work, raising funds for non-profits that support individuals in the criminal justice system.
Today, Swopes continues to make an impact as an artist and as part of Adobe's community engagement efforts. Listen as she discusses emerging technologies like AI and her eBook on AI and tech literacy. Join us for this captivating episode as Elise Swopes takes you on a journey that transcends convention and sparks change.

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Tips in this episode

How to leverage social media as an emerging artist

by Clean Break Staff

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Finding your style and passion

by Always Art Staff

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Value of a Group

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Wanna learn more?

Matt Gondek


Matt Gondek is a Deconstructive Pop Artist, whose work is possessed with a punk rock spirit, celebrating rebellion and destruction. With a visceral pop color palette and a disarmingly playful tone, he tears down cartoon idols, akin to slaughtering our modern day gods. Born in 1982, his creative voice is rooted in the 90s; as a true conduit of his generation and their potentially pointless search for meaning and purpose amidst a cruel life in a flawed world. He boasts sold out exhibitions in his home of Los Angeles as well as New York, Paris, Bangkok, and Hong Kong.


  • Missing Person - November 2022 - Tokyo
  • Discipline - February 2022 - Mexico City
  • RATS - August 2021 - Los Angeles
  • Original Character - April 2021 - New York
  • Mood Swings - October 2020 - Paris
  • CONTROL - November 2019 - Los Angeles
  • Clean Break - April 2019 - Bangkok
  • Growing Pains - November 2018 - Hong Kong
  • Clean Break - May 2018 - New York
  • American Gods - November 2017 - Hong Kong
  • Glow in the Dark - September 2017 - Los Angeles
  • Unholy Hand - November 2015 - Detroit
  • Struggles - April 2015 - Pittsburgh
  • Kill 'Em All - September 2014 - Pittsburgh


In 2011, Elise Swopes (eh - L EE S Sw - O - pes ‚Äč) joined Instagram, never imagining her power to inspire and generate a global brand. Since then, the self-taught artist transformed into a full-fledged career professional. She created NFTs with RollingStone and partnered with technology companies like Apple. In New York, she developed her artistry, taking drone photos of the city and turning them into something from another world. Her signature giraffe brings whimsy to unexpected settings. She puts her entrepreneurial skills to use, co-founding Night On The Yard, a marketplace dedicated to ending the hidden impact of incarceration, and her web3 impact agency, Sunrise Art Club. Through free tutorials and one-on-one mentoring, she supports and inspires young artists and entrepreneurs. As an advocate for mental health, she's shared her story through various platforms.

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