The “Run Ed" collection by Ed Balloon, an artist, community leader, and musician, illuminates the reality of many web3 artists. People who, in the face of adversity, continue to work on their craft as they seek to unbox themselves. The Run Ed is a one-of-a-kind collection, both in production and representation. Ethereum-based, the collection generative sound and motion picture project. 1000 animated pieces that combine stop motion, 2D and 3D animation, music, and sound.
During the global epidemic, Black Dave committed his craft to music, producing, mixing, mastering, and designing EP cover art. Including producing, mixing, and mastering over 400 beats every month. When we arrived in the NFT scene, his only ambitions were in music as a rapper and producer. That was until he minted his first NFT - an unused, and unreleased piece of cover art he had created. That was December 2020. Soon after he was selling art on Nifty Gateway and tapping into his passion for anime and even minting characters. His unique and diverse body of work incorporates a blend of wit and musical prowess.
One noun, every day, forever. The mantra of this colorful and charming collection is the epitome of generative art. An ideal that promises to persist through eternity and pave a path for digital art’s permanence. Nouns are 32x32 pixel images of people, places, and things, each with the iconic square glasses. An eclectic and diverse cornucopia of cows, strawberries, eggs, planets, crowns and more take on a life and character all their own. People dream it, do it, the world loves it. The goal is to cement Nouns as part of the culture so that everyone recognizes these varicolored, endearing characters. They begin to represent a cultural movement led by the people, instead of by a company or corporation. The characters are not at the mercy of any governing body, but by individuals who fell in love with the art and the mission of the project.
The rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has created new opportunities for artists to create and sell unique, limited edition, artwork, photography, and even music. NFTs are digital assets that are one of a kind and can be sold and traded on the blockchain.We’re still in the early days of NFTs, but there are already a number of ways artists can make money with them. You can sell your work directly to buyers, collectors and galleries, sell your work to other artists, and even work for or create your own NFT project. They can also work on projects or create their own projects.
The decentralization ethos of web3 has dealt a blow to the antiquated art market system. Digital and traditional artists alike have used NFT (non-fungible token) technology to kick start a new art revolution. Artists, like Cory Van Lew, debuted at Sotheby’s London in 2021 with a digital/physical piece, and artist, FEWOCiOUS, earned over $2 million in his auction debut at Christie’s. According to music business research DAO, Water & Music, music NFTs generated over $86 million in total revenue in 2021. The arts are thriving as they flip the tables on traditional industries.
What I am about to say is blasphemy by many in our NFT community. I don’t like Gary Vee. Not that I knew him, but the NFT art I first saw on sales platforms reminded me of something a 6th grader with little artist experience would draw. Ouch. Little did I know those simple drawings weren’t just art, they were doorways. Doorways to a whole new universe.
The most populous life form on earth isn’t mankind. It’s mycelium. The invisible living threads. It lives everywhere. In soil, tree roots, rocks, air, your hair, skin, and teeth, even under the ocean and in space. Its existence is composed of networks. A map of the human circulation system reveals a vast network of veins and arteries. A subway map of Tokyo or London reveals an image that looks like linked computers mining crypto. Maps of linked computers can mirror the image the receptors of our brain. We tend to only think of fungi- mushrooms, mosses but they are the flowering of this mighty organism.
Big names are a draw, but as we saw in Web2, focusing only on them leaves emerging artists and, if there is such a thing, middle class of the NFT world, waving from the back of the room for any attention at these events. The already rich get richer. The organizers of NFTNYC want to change that. They want to feature the artists, the small start-up founders who make up the majority of Web3.
NFTs are poised to change this dynamic. It’s no longer just about owning a piece of art, it's also about the ability to buy, trade, and sell it on different digital platforms. A critical shift that’s creating opportunities for monetization, creative control, and ownership, never before seen by this generation's artists. If a digital asset is an NFT, that means it’s unique—just like an original piece by Banksy or Jean Michel Basquiat. The main difference is that the creator has full control over its ownership and can sell it at any time on the blockchain—a ledger where all transactions are recorded publicly and immutably (i.e., forever).
For decades, the art world has consistently echoed a flagrant devaluation and marginalization of women's work, a defining notion that has made more women disinterested in expounding their art skills. The NFT world is barely 7 years old, but it seems to be already imitating this abnormality. With the way it proposes an unconstrained and more lucrative way to create and sell off artworks, hardly anyone would think that there are only 16% of women artists in NFTs. If you dig further, you'd find that only 5% of NFT sales were accrued by women in the past 21 months.