Digital art & the reason I've started creating NFT's - from the perspective of a traditional artist
First up, I'd like to clarify that the term "traditional artist" is just a loose term I'm using for this blog piece- referring to artists who draw and paint. For those who don't know much about me, I first began practicing art beyond the age I can remember and began studying it at the age of 8 with the help from several artists based in Australia of different backgrounds and disciplines (French, Russian, German, American and Japanese, specialising in abstract, expressionism, impressionism, cubism, surrealism and others). At the age of 12 I gained a scholarship into the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney and by the age of 14 I had several successful exhibitions throughout Sydney. At 18 I began studying at Sydney University College of the Arts gaining my BVA (bachelor in visual arts) at the age of 21.
People say that art is subjective and in school we were taught to find our mediums, but there is definitely a love affair with a paint brush and a canvas. This is something I've been up against since working in the digital art space. It's seen by many as "fake art" and a "cop out".
The crypto and NFT art world was recently introduced to me by a close friend of mine. I had heard of it before and did some initial research but never took the time to full invest in it until now. I've now come to realise there is a huge market for digital art and this is the next evolution of the art world. Art has always been a reflection of our times, and it feels only right for it to transition into such a space. The potential for this market is enormous, there's so much variety I can only see it evolving and developing into something bigger and better with time. It gives artists young and old an easy means to exhibit and sell their works, without all the confusing bureaucracy. I also feel that it's like a fuck-you to the traditional art world and all those who dismiss digital art.
In mid 2019 - I bought my first canvas and paints in nearly a decade. I tried my best to paint like I used to, but at times I would make mistakes on the canvas, and instinctively my hands would search for the keyboard to initiate an "undo". This coupled with the decade long process of working with layers and nodes, seems to have cemented itself into my natural art making workflow and I found myself struggling at times. So I decided to take my art skills elsewhere and have a go at making digital art.
I do have a love affair with things I can touch with my fingers. The physical aspect of artworks is one of the things that appeals to me. So when I began working on my first digital art series, I had the notion that every work I created was to be printed. However, I underestimated the process of getting the artwork from the computer to the canvas. To do it correctly is a tiresome process that takes months of planning, testing and ultimately a tone of money in order to get right (this came in the form of creating prototypes on different printers, monitor calibration equipment, colour grading with ICC profiles, buying mounting gear etc - and seeing as every artwork is different - meant having to constantly relive the same process over and over again). I enjoyed every moment of it, but it is very time consuming.
My friend and I both felt that the crypto world was a better alternative. As it was only online, it eliminated the screen to canvas process, so I could spend less time on that and more time working on my art.
My experience developing the Art x Cars series gave me further insight on how to approach creating works for the NFT world. I knew the processes, I knew what I ideas I liked, but I ultimately wanted to begin with a series that paid homage to my recent year working in digital art, so I decided to begin with a theme relating to custom designed cars.
It's been an exciting month, I have huge hopes for the NFT market, and through this experience I was able to develop new skills and understanding and I can't wait to see what the future brings.
And for those worried that I will be abandoning my physical art series, don't worry. I love printing works too much to go all digital!
Click the link below to view my first NFT drop