Sam Island, a Guelph-based Illustrator is among the most recent Canadian artists to have work featured with New York Fries for a new loyalty program initiative in engaging its members through art.

In a members only contest, New York Fries (NYF) does a monthly contest where members of the Fry Society can win an exclusive NFT. The NFT is designed in collaboration with an artist that is given the freedom to play, express and take ownership of the brand.  In an interview with New York Fries Representative, Alyssa Berenstein explained that NYF was interested in modernizing and deepening their relationship with the members of their loyalty program, Fry Society. NYF’s goal is to collaborate and engage with their community in a way they haven’t before. Instead of just coupons and points towards food, they now are offering Art.  Berenstein expressed that the response was overwhelmingly positive and went beyond what anyone expected. “With every new NFT released, our membership grows,” says Berenstein.

Riding the Dog, Sam Island

NYF collaboration Artist for February was Guelph-based Illustrator Sam Island (a.k.a Ryan Snook). Snook’s work as a freelance Illustrator is no stranger to the public eye. His work has been featured in notable outlets like the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist, and has been proudly included in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. When discussing his collaboration with NYF, he admitted that this was his first NFT and when the idea was pitched to him he thought it could be a fun and interesting project.  

Unlike his other work, where feedback isn’t regular, this collaboration with NYF allowed for significant partnership and feedback during the artistic process that Snook otherwise does not usually receive. This bridge that NYF created between the company and the chosen artist resulted in the final piece, “Riding the Dog.” “Riding the Dog” stays true to Snook’s fresh and bright style while encompassing NYF brand identity. 

With a lot of industry experience, Snook offers incredible insight for emerging artists trying to take advantage of opportunities such as this. The most simple but effective piece of advice he gave was to make sure people know you exist, get on social media, market yourself, make a brand out of yourself and show people who you are and what your art is about. Most importantly, keep making new art!

You can check out “Riding the Dog” and past months’ NYF NFT collabs, and apply for your chance to be the next collaborative Artist here. Be sure to check out Sam Island’s work on his website and Instagram.

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