View the hectic, modern world through a retro lens with the animated wonders of artist Tony Babel and his newest creation titled ‘HELLFLUENCER’. Upon first glance Babel’s signature style acts as a cheery homage to the iconic illustration and animations of the early 1900’s but peering behind the curtain reveals a commentary on something more current and foreboding. Three cheers for the “Verified Assholes” that web3 has had their fair share of, the greedy, the power hungry. The ones who prey upon their audiences. The Hellfluencers.

Explore these social commentaries and more with ‘HELLFLUENCER’ by Tony Babel.


Tony Babel is a self-taught designer and animator with nearly 20 years of experience and experimentation under his belt. Growing up in a harsh environment, Babel used art as his escape from the trauma of his young life. “I don’t have the ability to create mental images. It’s called aphantasia.” Babel explains, “Over the years I came to realize that it’s probably a self-defense mechanism induced by my brain to overcome childhood trauma. No matter how hard I try to visualize, I see nothing. Just a black void. Art is the only outlet I have for whatever’s going on in my mind.” Using his outlets to his advantage, Babel has created a world renowned style of his own, garnering accolades and fandom for his unique but nostalgic perspectives. 

“Growing up I was obsessed with animation. Especially the old 30s Rubber hose cartoons.” Babel mentions, “I was fascinated by how playful and creepy it all was. Imaginative, outright weird and all out of whack. It spoke to my soul.” It was there in front of the television, pausing and rewinding the tapes to draw the characters that he fell in love with the art of animation. “I never in a million years thought I’d be an animator. I didn’t believe I had what it takes.” It wasn't until nearly a decade of professional motion design,  that Babel got the courage to play around with this style again. As a self proclaimed vintage art addict he admits that this path was all but inevitable.

Babel fondly mentions how fortunate he feels to pursue his craft and work with some of the very organizations and companies that helped to inspire him. “I had the privilege to work with some big brands in my career. One of the biggest tipping points was working with Disney around 4 years ago. A childhood dream came true. An experience that made me dream bigger and push my craft further.” Just a few short years later, armed with that rejuvenated enthusiasm and a dedicated fanbase built from the love of his signature vintage loops on instagram, he would come to find the web3 art community. “I dusted off an old twitter account that I never used with less than 200 followers and went all in,” Babel mentions. Betting on himself and the burgeoning movement he was a part of, Babel made the early decision to put all of his energy into his own art. A decision which he is “forever grateful for”.


Starting first with pen and paper to get a rough sketch down, Babel builds up the foundation for his animations. “Once I have a rough visual to work with, all hell breaks loose and the mess begins.” He elaborates,  "I start drawing my designs in illustrator (with a mouse) and sometimes mid-way through I’d start animating.” Babel embraces his chaotic workflow and only after being his own harshest critic the original idea comes to life looking nothing like the original sketch. “It’s a messy process, not very productive. But in the end. That’s me. A crazy person drawing with a gaming mouse with a whole lot of love for vintage animation.”

In the time of celebrity and influencer pump & dumps schemes, amidst the memecoin hysteria, Tony Babel’s “call out the bullshit” attitude is a needed reprise. Slide into Babels latest work titled HELLFLUENCER, a playful retro loop based commentary to the darker side of social media influencers, especially here in the crypto ecosystem. At first glance, the viewer is brought into the devilish and nostalgic world of Rubber hose animations but like much of the artist's work just beyond the surface lives the darker and more contentious elements of society.

HELLFLUENCER is Babels first work released on Solana.

View the artwork here! 

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