This year can easily be described as a disruptive period in time for art. Digital artists from all over the world have come to the limelight as their work is auctioned for thousands and millions of dollars.
Blockchain technology enabled the authentication of art through NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). Basically, when a piece of art is tokenized in the blockchain, it becomes an NFT. The blockchain authenticates the ownership of the NFT and also contains a smart contract that enables transactions for the NFT in a tamper-proof way. Most marketplaces for NFTs make it simple to tokenize or “mint” a digital creation.
Artists from all backgrounds have risen to fame with the disruption that NFTs have created in the art world. In this article, we cover inspiring stories of some of the top crypto artists in 2021.
Art knows no barriers. 18-year-old Victor Langois sold his NFT artwork for more than 2 million dollars in a recent auction at Christie’s auction house, becoming one of the top NFT artists of 2021.
The story of Victor is special as he endured difficult situations growing up as a transgender teenager in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was able to afford his move to Seattle thanks to NFTs. Victor’s artistic name is FEWOCiOUS. In interviews, he described his challenging years growing up, but he channeled these sad experiences into his digital art that became a sensation and his source of income.
Colorful forms that convey an emotion
This teenage top NFT artist defines himself as a pop surrealist, and his work is full of color and fluid-like shapes.
His most prominent creations are titled: “The Everlasting Beautiful” and “Moment I Fell in Love”. The first sold for 271 ETH (around $550,000) and the latter sold for 12.3 ETH ($25,000).
Several of his NFT creations represent moments of his life such as when he decided to reveal his true gender identity. Crypto art and therefore, NFTs, enabled Victor to change his life and find confidence from his work.
2. Trevor Jones
Trevor Jones, 51, is one of the most renowned names in the crypto art—NFTs space. Before becoming a successful digital crypto artist, he struggled to earn an income from his art. At 30 years old, he decided to study art and enrolled at the University of Edinburgh.
Soon after he graduated and gained more experience in the art industry, he realized that he needed a niche to differentiate himself from other artists and looked at technology as a great opportunity.
This top NFT artist began playing with art and tech, including QR codes and Augmented Reality (AR) in his creations. Soon enough, he gained some recognition within the tech-savvy art connoisseurs; however, he was catapulted to fame when he released his first NFT pieces.
The best of both worlds
His digital NFTs: EthGirl and Bitcoin Angel are some of the staples of beloved NFT creations. He sold the EthGirl piece for 72 ETH ($10,000) and more than 4,000 editions of Bitcoin Angel for $777 each.
By looking at his work, it’s easy to recognize the influence of more traditional art techniques, and it’s fascinating to see how traditional painting skills and NFTs can integrate resulting in wondrous pieces of modern art.
3. Giant Swan
At 33 years olds, Giant Swan became a top crypto artist. The Australian creator encountered difficulties displaying his digital, sculpture-like artwork before the rise of NFTs.
His real name is Travis Van Zanen and he creates extraordinary Virtual Reality (VR) worlds and 3D images that sell for thousands of dollars. The value of his creations ranges from $1,443 to more than $60,000.
A pioneer in his realm
As he gained recognition for his mesmerizing NFTs, he managed to convince an art gallery in Rome to collaborate with him – setting a precedent for VR art in the NFT world.
He has sold more than 851 NFTs and has been known to offer 100% returns to collectors as he emphasizes the relationship between artists and collectors.
4. Top NFT artists: Jose Delbo
Jose Delbo, 87, is a comic book artist who worked with big firms such as DC Entertainment, being the artist behind the drawings of Wonder Woman in the 70s and 80s.
His story is noteworthy because oftentimes big firms earn massive profits from artists’ creations, utilizing their art in merchandising and for diverse marketing ventures. Releasing his NFT drawings of Wonder Woman, Jose Delbo became a millionaire at 87 years old.
Jose Delbo was introduced to NFTs through his grandson and partnered with Italian artists Hackatao to create Wonder Woman NFTs. He sold 914 NFTs for almost 2 million dollars, becoming a millionaire, top NFT artist.
Beeple is definitely one of the stars in the list of the top NFT artists in 2021. His real name is Mike Winkelmann and he previously worked as the designer of content visuals for concerts of artists such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until the recent surge of NFTs that his hard work in digital art would surpass his craziest expectations.
A masterpiece of 5000 images
On March 11th, 2021, Beeple’s collage of 5000 images titled “Everdays: the First 5000 Days” was auctioned for more than 69 million dollars. His master creation depicts modern life mixed with visuals that can only be brought to existence by the imagination. His work has been described as thought-provoking and it’s considered the third most expensive piece of art by a living artist.
Previously, Beeple had also sold an NFT clip of a defeated Donald Trump for $6.6 million.
As new ways of using the blockchain surge, and this technology gains wider acceptance the NFT industry could prove to continue its lucrative path.
Of course, NFTs and the blockchain are still new technologies that don’t have a set of “laws” or norms that govern them yet. As lawmakers grasp more intrinsically NFTs, there is hope that a fair set of guidelines will emerge.
Paintings can be placed as collaterals for financial transactions such as borrowing funds, similarly, NFTs have the potential to enter the crypto world of financial transactions.
Promising prospects for NFT artists
The tokenization of art has enabled authenticity verification of digital creations; therefore, being the genesis of NFTs marketplaces.
Any aspiring artist who wants to become a top NFT artist has technology on their side. The above-mentioned inspiring stories are a reminder that the art industry is full of opportunities that continue to emerge with the power of technology and creativity.