WKND Spotlight: Meet UAE’s First Digital Artist to Sell Work as NFT – News
In an ordinary world, if a piece of art auctioned off at the prestigious Christie’s for $ 69 million hit the headlines, one would assume it was for a large canvas, making its debut in the world of elite art dealers. Except that’s not the case. This title is attributed to an Everydays: The First 5000 Days digital image created by Beeple, also known as Beeple Crap – a renowned digital artist. So what’s so unique about this digital collage, that you could easily take a screenshot on a webpage or by scrolling the ‘gram’? Yes, this is a collage of graphic design pieces by a highly established digital artist collected over the years, but the fact remains that this is a single digital file. Here is the trap. This is not just any digital file. It is an exclusive digital work of art, which is verified as an original piece, in the same way that fine art paintings have traditionally been validated. It is a digital work with a unique NFT – a non-fungible token, which serves as a marker for the authenticity of the digital file.
In a modern, highly digitalized society, where the World Wide Web has been seamlessly integrated with the realities on the ground, and the lines between virtual and in-person are blurring by the day, it may shock some people that digital works of art and modern graphics have not been recognized as “original” creations, until recently. While others, who fall into the category of tech cynics, may argue that this is yet another way of ‘web sabotage’, where the virtual world attempts to replace the hard-won place of immortalized artists who have spent a considerable amount. lifespan by creating original handcrafted works of art.
But whether you’re a friend or an enemy of tech, either way it’s worth focusing on the concept of NFTs for one simple reason: it’s possible to revolutionize the content you consume on a daily basis, almost in a way. taken for – in a conceded manner, dismantling intellectual property measured by facets of time, effort, originality and creativity, attributed to digital artists creating for the web. So how do these digital tokens, similar to verified ownership certificates for digital files, actually work and how do they change the realities on the ground for artists? We talk to Dubai-based digital artist and graphic designer Gigi Gorlova, who recently sold her 3D works as NFT, becoming one of the first UAE digital designers to become a crypto-verified artist.
A graphic designer by profession, Gigi has over 12 years of experience creating digital graphics for a multitude of organizations in the corporate sector. “Digital graphics have been my bread and butter since I graduated from college. But it has always been for corporate clients. As a creative person, you kind of feel trapped in the corporate space. So crypto art has been my savior. I can express myself through the works of art that I feel inspired to create, while making money, ”explains Gigi, who dove into the field of 3D art and, subsequently, to crypto art during the lockdown last year. “Last year, with so much free time in my hand, I finally got the chance to ask myself what I really want to do in the future. I had always been interested in learning 3D design and sculpting, so last year I decided to teach it on my own, using YouTube videos and online classes. There is a plethora of resources available online, such as Ducky 3D on YouTube, that facilitate this learning, ”adds the British artist, who stumbled upon the concept of NFT while learning 3D art. “It felt like a natural progression for my area of work. So I decided to take the plunge and see if my art could really make money, thanks to NFT.
The 3D artist defines NFTs as the main differentiators of digital files, including digital illustrations. “The main attribute of an NFT is its ability to verify original work, through blockchain encoding and encryption. Similar to how you know the difference between a real Monet painting and the copy. “
As the industry continues to get used to the latest buzzwords in the art world, the crypto artist highlights the important difference between crypto art and NFTs. “Cryptographic art comes in the form of an image file, which can be a painting, 3D art, illustration, architectural plan, or photograph. While NFTs can be any digital file, like music, a video game, or even a photograph of an original work of art, resold as a digital copy, with a unique property, ”adds Gigi, identifying NFTs as an excellent opportunity for photographers to monetize their work as well as open up a multitude of avenues for other disciplines. “Some of my friends in this industry are fine artists, so they create the painting, scan it and make it into NFT, then destroy the original physical artwork, passing on the attribution of” the original artwork “To digital copy.”
According to the digital artist, NFTs can offer revolutionary advantages when it comes to defending the rights of artists, not only by bringing appropriate legislation into the digital landscape, but also by bridging the gap between art forms. traditional and modern. “Having been to art school, I felt that digital art was often classified as technical, rather than creative, limited to 3D printing or architectural and interior design. It has always been separated from traditional fine arts. NFTs then become a fundamental means of breaking through these demarcations, putting digital art at the forefront of the creative industry.
“For the first time in history, I am able to sell my digital artwork as an original artwork. Digital art is now part of the art world. In the past, it would have been nearly impossible for a digital or 3D artist to be able to showcase their work in a gallery, but now NFTs have created value for digital artists, giving them the opportunity to exhibit in galleries ” Gigi exclaims.
In an otherwise web-savvy world, digital artists have often been marginalized when it comes to monetizing and making their work their own. “In the world of social media it’s so easy to reuse a piece of art or capture an image and copy and paste it somewhere without giving the designer credit and that’s what NFTs can do. switch. People will now be able to verify the original file and find out who owns it thanks to the digital certificate, ”adds the 3D artist.
“In the past, when an artist sold his work, he could not benefit from the profits made by the resale chain. But with NFTs, every time a work of art is resold, the original creator of that NFT receives a royalty, which is usually 10%, but you can change that value while minting your NFT, ”says Gigi, underlining the barrage of advantages, this new sales method is offered to graphic designers and budding artists.
NFTs, rooted in the blockchain system, ironically face the same skepticism once encountered by cryptocurrencies, for the revolutionary decentralization of global currency. When asked if NFTs could be a potential way to decentralize art networks in a similar fashion, Gigi pointed out, “Previously, it would take established, often separate platforms like the Christie’s auction. , to give value to a work of art. But now it really depends on the audience and how much they are willing to pay for a work of art based on how unique or rare it is. The way Beeple and CryptoPunks can now mint their artwork is unprecedented compared to how conventional auctions have sold coins. “
As in the case of historic revolutions, there is also a fair amount of apprehension and reluctance associated with the NFTs, regarding the general feeling within the art world. There is a predominant fear that NFTs may create a kind of “art bubble”, leading to creative destruction. The artist, whose 3D art is inspired by the works of Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and contemporary artists like Damien Hirst, also recognizes the potential repercussions that NFTs could have, while shaping the future of art. “Like all trends, it could also be boiled down to a method of making a quick buck, rather than a way of giving outstanding digital art their due. And since this is such a new area, there isn’t a lot of data and regulation around the use of NFTs, to monitor any loopholes or exploitation that might arise as a result of the sale. and reselling works of art online, ”explains Gigi.
Reflecting on the impact the rise of NFTs could have on the local art market in Dubai, the British graphic designer also adds, “I think there are so many phenomenal digital artists in this region, who are making a difference. truly inspiring work. And Dubai has always welcomed new technologies. So I think the next step should be to bring digital artists together, under one roof, to work with art galleries here and organize interactive exhibits that facilitate and celebrate digital art, ”concludes the crypto artist. .