Local artists drop NFT knowledge in Asheville, NC

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Photo via @soulplayclayworks

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Chances are good that you’ve heard of NFTsbut how are they relevant to the local art scene? To get the scoop, we chatted with five area artists about how they’re creating art + making a living through this unique digital currency.

First things first

Though it sounds funny, non-fungible just means something — like images, videos, or other types of digital visuals — that is unique or one of a kind. And in the digital world, this means its code is traceable on a digital ledger known as the Blockchain.

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Working in digital art is “an inspiring + empowering experience,” Ivana says. I Photo via artist

What local artists want folks know about NFTs

There’s a lot to love. Photographer + digital artist Ivana Desancic says one of the best things about NFTs is that “unless you agree differently with your collectors, you will always keep making profits from your NFTs after they sell, through secondary sales.”

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Darcy Jones says creating digital art is like “literally painting with light.” I Photo via @soulplayclayworks

Others, like fine art sculptor Darcy Jones and Eric Rufa with SoulplayClay, adore them because they “offer a way of having art seen internationally without the overhead or need to truck my heavy sculptures to art fairs and galleries.”

A still from a stop motion digital NFT by artist Justin Noah Whales of Whales Ink. A dinosaur skull is glowing a luminous blue-green on a black background.

Justin on creating digital art: “The possibilities seem endless.” A still from a .gif via artist

Multidisciplinary artist Justin Noah Wells appreciates the unexpected stability NFTs have brought working artists. “Many artists have been able to focus on their art full time thanks to funds generated by the community,” he says.

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Thanks to NFTs, “I have a global audience for my art that is profitable,” says Zachary. I Photo via artist

Illustrator + designer Zachary Gladwin says NFTs are more than a “tech bro” interest: “The NFT space is filled with a variety of creative people building communities and causing real world change.”

How NFTs have changed the game

Ivana and Justin say NFTs have made them stronger artists by requiring them to gain new skills. Zachary now operates “almost exclusively on Twitter and Discord” and has “had more successful art sales in one month in NFTs than in two years in traditional markets.” For Darcy, digital art enables her to “tell stories with my art that I can’t tell in clay alone.”

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