To say that the idea for In A Maze has been something in the making for over 30 years, is as mind boggling and brain breaking as the mazes themselves. But the idea of them becoming NFT’s only came to fruition at the tail end of 2021.
My affinity for puzzles and brain teasers goes back as far as I can remember. Every holiday, whether it is was in my basket on Easter, or in my stocking Christmas morning, I would get these puzzles and riddles books, and sometimes I’d get a deck of brain teaser cards that I’d spend the next several months solving.
Back in the late 80’s, I remember staring at my black and white composition notebook in class and thinking, “This should be a maze”. They sort of looked like mazes, but they weren’t solvable (obviously). I would find myself coloring in the white parts, trying to force it to be a maze, but that never worked. I ended up with some really cool designs, but no mazes. Enter the idea of making one myself.
I started small, using my composition notebook and a blue Bic pen, and I’d just start drawing. Eventually, they went from a small square, to half a page, to filling an entire spread. I was only making them for myself, but after awhile, my friends saw what I was doing, and wanted in on the fun. So, I started creating mazes for them to solve, then going to the town library and making copies of them. I started selling them for .25¢ and worked my way up to making more complex designs. Before long, it was full packets of mazes, with 5-10 designs in a packet, that I sold for $1. That would be my snack money at the school snack shack, and afforded me a luxury lunch come pizza day or McDonalds hamburger day.
One day, I learned that a substitute teacher had taken a maze I had drawn of Bart Simpson, and she mailed it to the magazine, Highlightsfor Children. She loved the image, saw my friends having a blast with it, and thought that it should be shared with as many kids as possible so they could join in on the fun as well.
I received a letter back from the magazine’s editor, at the time, who said that while he loved the maze and loved the spirit of sharing the creativity, the magazine discouraged people from writing on its pages, therefore he didn’t want to publish it.
Not having my maze published didn’t discourage me at all. The fact that my friends loved it, my substitute teacher loved it, and the editor of the magazine loved it, told me I was on to something special.
I kept drawing more complex, larger mazes all throughout high school, and then life does what it always does as we get older; it got busier. Too busy for me to spend hours and hours drawing a maze.
Fast forward to last winter. I was going through a box of old drawings, and I found the letter from Highlights that I held on to for the last 30 years. Almost immediately, I thought, “I know what I need to do”. From that day on, In A Maze, at least in its current form, was reborn as an NFT passion project.
My only hope is to bring back all the fun and excitement my friends experienced when they got their mazes, and to reach a much larger audience, as my teacher attempted, all those years ago.
For more info on how you can get your own In A Maze NFT, please follow @inamazenft on Twitter.
About the In A Maze NFT project:
In A Maze is a collection of hand drawn mazes that combines both the childhood fun of solving a puzzle with an artistic appeal that each design brings. Every maze is drawn with pen and paper, scanned and digitally redrawn for maximum scalability, and minted exclusively on Hedera Hashgraph. Each maze is unique, solvable and scalable. They look great in wallets and even more amazing as an installation both virtually and in your own IRL spaces. How you choose to display them is up to you!
Submitted by In A Maze.
This article is part of our NFT Spotlight Series.
Corrections: Typo fixed 02/24/22 – Peter Uliano