NFT Proof-of-Work Art Edition - May 2020
This newsletter is all about NFT art. We look at recent notable NFT art sales and include a mini Q&A with a featured artist.
Many of these pieces are animated so if a particular piece tickles your fancy, I highly suggest you click on it for the best viewing experience.
Featured Artist Q&A - Sparrow (BlackBoxDotArt)
What is your background?
I've been doing art all of my life, off and on, but always as a 'background' task. I've worked for over 20 years as a software engineer, currently working on transaction processing software on the mainframe. Having a full time job and family meant that art was 'squeezed in' around the other commitments in my life.
Then, in 2016 there were a number of amazing exhibitions that I went to see. One was the Abstract Expressionism exhibition at the RA. And the power of those painting, standing in a room encircled by Rothko's that I hadn't seen before in real life, standing in front of a wall sized Clyfford Still that had never left America before, the Hans Hoffmans, the Franz Klines. And really just realising that art was more important than something to do in between all of the other things in life. So it was really that moment when I made the decision to take my art more seriously and focus on making art.
I started with what I already knew: oil painting and acrylics, then stumbled upon encaustic wax painting. Finding that, with all of the things you can do with it, really caught my attention. So I got some supplies and tried it out. Immediately, I was hooked. The whole process of painting with hot wax is like a meditation. The wax begins to cool and harden as soon as you lift the brush out of the pot, so you only have mere seconds to place the colour where you want it. You have to be extremely present. You have to be extremely sure. There is no time for dithering. I loved every minute of it!
So, I booked a one-on-ne workshop with one of the best encaustic wax painters I could fine, Alicia Tormey (link), and flew to Seattle to learn her signature 'shellac burn' technique (as well as many other things). And I haven't looked back since.
What inspires your artwork?
Anything and everything, really! I believe that artist's are recorders of human experience. So, my art is a record of all of the things I've experienced in life - whether that be just a fleeting moment, a momentary thought or feeling, a hard-won truth bought by years of experience, or an idea from my reading or research. All of experience is a potential inspiration.
🖼I Am Waiting ⬆️
How did you discover NFT art?
I found CryptoArt in somewhat the same way as I did encaustics: I stumbled across using blockchain as a way to track provenance. In looking into and working with that, I was pointed to Telegram groups, which led to becoming aware of the things going on in Ethereum and with NFTs.
Why did you start to create NFT art?
I started doing digital art because I wanted to start a daily practice and develop my visual language. I didn't have a studio at the time, so setting things up and putting things away, plus time spent creating just couldn't be fit into a daily routine. So I needed something with less overhead. That's when I started doing digital painting.
But what a rabbit hole! I soon realised that there are things you can do with digital art that just can't be done with physical painting, so I've chosen to focus on these things. AI generated art. Programmable art.
What “tools” do you use to create your art?
My current daily practice is based around little colour studies, really getting to know the colours I'm working with. I'm particularly interested in the feelings that certain colours bring to mind. This information can then feed into my larger works. But these daily works are done quickly, trying to stay one step ahead of thinking! So I use tools that allow me to express things quickly, like many apps on my phone.
So, I use a variety of tools depending on the type of piece that I want to make. At the moment, I am focused mostly on two things: AI generative art, working with Artbreeder's GAN and programmable art, with the tools provided by Async.art.
I hope you enjoyed this month's NFT Proof-of-Work Art Edition. Stay tuned for next month's edition and subscribe to Zima Red for more info on all things NFTs.