Forget mowing lawns and bagging groceries. Some Gen Z kids are finding other ways to make money this summer.
Last fall, Randi Hipper decided to, as she put it recently, “go in-depth with the crypto space.” After hearing about NFTs on Twitter and other social media platforms, Ms. Hipper, then a 17-year-old senior at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, began releasing her own digital artworks — cartoonish and self-referential pieces showing her cruising in a car with a Bitcoin license plate or riding the Coney Island Wonder Wheel.
Ms. Hipper comes up with the concepts and collaborates with digital artists, including a teenage boy in India who goes by Ajay Toons, offering the works for sale through the NFT marketplace Atomic Hub. An NFT, or a nonfungible token, is a digital file created using blockchain computer code. It is bought using cryptocurrency such as Ether or Wax, and exists as a unique file unable to be duplicated, often just to be admired digitally.
“Right now, I’m trying to do one drop a week,” said Ms. Hipper, who now goes by Miss Teen Crypto and has since turned 18. “I try not to overload my feed, my collectors.”
The 40-year-old digital artist known as Beeple may have grabbed headlines last spring when one of his works sold at Christie’s for $69 million, but NFT markets like Atomic Hub, Nefty Blocks and OpenSea are filled with creators barely old enough to drive. They promote their work not through blue-chip galleries or auction houses but on social media.
“In the NFT world, anyone can post online, market themselves on Twitter and build a following from a young age,” said Griffin Cock Foster, who is 26 and lives in New York City. He and his twin brother, Duncan, founded the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.
Duncan said, “The comparison I like to make is it’s similar to the way TikTok is causing people to be discovered at a really young age.”
In June, Nifty Gateway did a drop called Nifty Next Generation. It featured the work of jstngraphics, a 17-year-old from Washington State, and Solace, an 18-year-old from Soledad, Calif. Both teenagers have been making NFT art for less than a year, and first drew attention by selling through the online auction site SuperRare. The works of both artists, which ranged in price from about $1,000 to $7,250, sold out.
“I was tossing out random stuff to see what was going on,” said Justin Bodnar (jstngraphics), who makes surreal landscapes and what he described as “Tron-style” art. “Then I got onto SuperRare and things started blowing up.”
Solace, whose real name is Carlos Gomez, began making NFTs on a borrowed iPad because he didn’t own a home computer. “I saw how digital art was being put out there. It was being seen by people and valued,” he said. “I come from poverty my whole life. NFTs changed my life forever.”
Solace and jstngraphics seem like oldsters compared to Benyamin Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy from suburban London, who released an NFT collection last month. The project, “Weird Whales,” featured 3,350 pixelated whales, each with distinct traits, some rarer and thus perceived to be more valuable. The collection, sold out and earned Mr. Ahmed tens of thousands in crypto.
“I got interested in the NFT space because originally I thought it was cool as an online flex,” he told the website Decrypt.
Such improbable success stories have inspired enterprising young people to join the NFT boom. For some, it’s a fun after-school hobby. For others, it’s a perceived gateway to a career as a full-time artist or crypto entrepreneur.
Magnus Aske was a 19-year-old sophomore at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., when he got sick with Covid-19 last March, around the time of the Beeple sale. He spent his 10 days in quarantine learning everything he could about NFTs, and came up with a project involving the antiquities collection of a foreign country (his classmate had connections within the government).
“For me, it’s not even about the money. It’s working with a team, seeing something through from ideation to creation and seeing a sale,” said Mr. Aske, who is now 20 and studying finance and entrepreneurship.
Josh Kim is a rising senior at Colby College who founded the Cubby, an online marketplace for college students to sell their art. Mr. Kim plans to introduce NFTs in the coming months, which, he said, will further the site’s mission to help young creators “achieve financial success,” or at least earn extra money while in school.
Indeed, for some teenagers, making NFTs and other forms of digital art has become the new summer job, a modern take on bagging groceries or working at a fast-food restaurant. One 15-year-old in Brooklyn draws custom art for users of Twitch, the livestreaming platform popular with gamers.
“It’s mostly for spending money,” he said.
Griffin Cock Foster likened the teen experimentation with NFTs to “kids hacking around with Napster in the early 2000s,” adding, “They had a preview of what the world was going to look like. Pay attention to what teenagers are hacking around on, on nights and weekends and in the summer.”
The most popular and successful young NFT artist is Victor Langlois, a transgender 18-year-old who goes by FEWOCiOUS, or Fewo to his fans. He makes digital art that chronicles his difficult childhood and struggles with gender identity and his transition.
Last summer, Fewo started selling work on SuperRare and built a following there and on Nifty Gateway. Soon, he came to the attention of Noah Davis, the digital art specialist at Christie’s, who arranged an auction of his work in June. The online sale of five lots, entitled, “Hello, i’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life,” earned $2.16 million, turning Mr. Langlois into an art-world star.
“Victor has been alive about as long as artists are making art before they get to Christie’s,” Mr. Davis said.
Understanding NFTs and their value as digital objects comes naturally to a generation raised online, Mr. Davis added. “I consider myself pretty digitally native, but I can still recall floppy disks. That’s cuneiform tablets to Victor. He grew up completely immersed in this.”
For Ms. Hipper and others like her, Fewo is “such a role model for Gen Z,” she said. “He came into NFTs and blew my mind. The fact that he was able to create a platform, for me, it’s inspiring.”
When the stock market was booming and Bitcoin was above $60,000 earlier this year, Ms. Hipper said, one of her NFTs sold for $1,000. These days, her art sells on Atomic Hub for as little as 125 Wax, or $21. She views her pieces as tradable collectibles, similar to Pokémon cards, a common outlook among young creators. Indeed, NFT works can sell for as little as $1.
Brent Lomas, who founded the Queenly NFT, a site that sells the work of L.G.B.T.Q. artists, tracks the NFT space closely, and said that low prices are a deliberate strategy by young creators, who, in many cases, are appealing to collectors their own age.
“It’s partly to get virality,” Mr. Lomas said. “These kids are pretty savvy. They can look at other drops and model their work after it. If you’re young and you get social media and meme culture, it is possible for you to go viral with your first drop and get attention and make money.”
Mr. Davis said that Fewo was selling pieces for tens of dollars only last year. For a digitally savvy teenager, earning that kind of money for making NFTs beats mowing grass. It’s “unique to our present moment,” Mr. Davis said. “If you can make movie theater money for your summer vacation from your creativity, I can’t think of anything more utopian or American than that.”
Ms. Hipper estimates that so far, she’s earned “a few hundred dollars, max,” because she has to pay her artists. But, she said, for now the money is secondary to learning the ropes.
“I wanted to perfect my skills, knowing how to do a drop,” she said. “You need to know how to set up your store. How to create a template.”
She added, “I just graduated high school. My plan is to go full-time crypto.”
Art Beat: Coast artist heads to show in New York City – Coast Reporter
Roberts Creek artist Kandice Keith is on the U.S. East Coast this week to show her nature-inspired paintings at the Affordable Art Fair in New York City, Thursday, Sept. 23 to Sunday, Sept. 26. “It’s a really amazing opportunity,” Keith said in an interview. “I’m very fortunate.” Keith was set to go to the twice-yearly fair in March 2020, but the outbreak of COVID-19 put an end to that plan. “This is a make-up for that show,” Keith said. She’s also slated to return to the NYC fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion next March. You can see some of Keith’s vivid and luminous work currently on display at the Gumboot Café.
Anna Lumiere, Grant Olsen, and Coast String Fiddlers are among the performers featured at Oktoberfest, which has been on all week in downtown Sechelt until Friday, Sept. 24. A full rundown of acts and events can be found at secheltdowntown.com. Celebrations move to Rockwood Lodge on from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, where more live music is planned. Prizes for best lederhosen and beer stein.
FibreWorks Studio & Gallery in Madeira Park had planned an opening reception last Saturday for its new, juried exhibition, A Beautiful Mess: the joyful & random discovery of the artistic process. The reception has been rescheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Scent and Soul
You can meet Rohanna Goodwin Smith, author of Scent and Soul: The Extraordinary Power of the Sense of Smell, at One Flower One Leaf Gallery on Marine Drive in Gibsons, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Peter Van plays a solo show on piano at the Clubhouse Restaurant in Pender Harbour on Friday Sept. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. Then, for a $5 cover on Sunday, Sept. 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. you can hear the Steve Hinton Band.
The Howesounders host a Friday night jam session at Roberts Creek Legion on Sept. 24, starting at 7 p.m. Sign up at the door to book some solo- or group stage-time. On Saturday, Sept. 25, there’s a Jeevious/Jaggs Jambouree, where members of the Jeevious family and a few players from Vancouver’s Staggers and Jaggs will shake things up for a few hours, starting at 7 p.m. Jim Foster is at the Backeddy Resort and Marina in Egmont, weather permitting, on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Banditry Cider on Pratt Road in Gibsons is staging its first Apple Festival on Sunday Sept. 26, with a lot of family-friendly frivolity starting at 11 a.m. The band The Burying Ground plays from 4 to 6 p.m.
Let us know about your event by email at email@example.com.
Aging, Art and the Modern Elder opens at the 1401 Gallery | Cranbrook – E-Know.ca
September 23, 2021
Aging, Art and the Modern Elder opens at the 1401 Gallery
The show will run until October 24 and the gallery is open every weekend, Fridays 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Entry is free although Cranbrook Arts welcomes donations towards their exterior renovation fund.
This project is from 16 artists belonging to North Okanagan Federation of Canadian Artists. All the artists are seniors and through their art they wish to educate the general community about aging, elderhood and ageism.
This project aims to promote a reconceptualization of aging and highlight the opportunities inherent in the new longevity. These artists hope to help change society’s attitude toward aging and mortality from one of disease or condition to be dreaded to one of challenges, opportunities and joys.
Each artist is interviewed in an accompanying video which will also be running in the gallery.
If you have not yet visited the new 1401 Gallery, we invite you to do so.
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
First Annual Art in the Park on Sept. 18 in Massey – Sault Star
Aside from the detailed planning and organizing of an outdoor event such as the upcoming Art in The Park at the Mouth Park in Massey, event organizers are tasked with many other jobs. Jobs including setting a date for the event, getting the word out to the public, and perhaps most important of all, finding, booking and scheduling artists to perform at the event.
This is no easy task. Yet the newly formed Friends of the Mouth group has tackled the job and is all set with performers, artists and performers scheduled for the first annual Art in The Park. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 11 am till 2 pm.
Art in The Park is organized by Jayson Stewart and volunteers from the Friends of the Park. Stewart is confident this event will be held annually in the early fall each year.
Several artists are scheduled to appear at this first annual event in Massey. However, Stewart is leaving the door open for others to take part.
“You don’t have to be a scheduled artist to create art at our event. Bring your sketchbook or paints, write poetry, read a book, knit something… be a part of the creative fun,” he says.
Scheduled performers include: tie-dye artist Amanda Robinson, potter May Cameron, Poet Charlie Smith, poet Jacqueline Denis, painter Mary Dillen, painter John Gaudrffeau, Jody Blackwell (crochet and knit hats), Theresa Minten (painter), Quilts of Velour (quilters), musician Paul Disale, Jayson Stewart (painter and fairy doors), Massey Movement and Dance, and Beth Cassidy singer/guitarist. Stewart is inviting all to attend this event.
“We would love to see you at Mouth Park for the first annual Art in The Park Day where you get to enjoy live music while watching local artists create all sorts of artwork, or just bring your swim trunks and enjoy a day at the beach.”
Those who attend Art in The Park are asked to observe all COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing, wearing a mask if you can’t social distance, and limit yourself to a group of no more than five people around an artist or musician.
Stewart is excited to have so many artists participate in the Art in the Park Day.
“Anyone can come out and watch the artists do what they do best, but they’re also welcome to bring their own sketchbooks, easels or just a chair or picnic blanket and create their own art.”
Stewart is putting out an invitation to high school students to visit the Art in Park on Saturday.
“If any high school students join us that day and do some art in the park with us, they can earn community service hours.”
Interested artists and musical performers can email Friends of the Mouth firstname.lastname@example.org. Updates on the event may be found on the Friends of the Mouth website, https://www.mouthpark.com/events/artinthepark2021
The long-range forecast for that day is sunshine with a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
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