Wollongong-based graphic designer Ayjay specializes in creating virtual reality worlds that are an extension of his signature style of intensely colorful and psychedelic art.
- NFT stands for non-fungible token and provides an ownership license for a digital file
- Illawarra artist Ayjay has sold two NFT artworks for over $4,000 each
- Investors are spending millions of dollars on NFTs, giving artists the chance to sell their work for hefty prices
Thanks to a global boom in the number of people buying proprietary rights called NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on digital goods, he is quickly trying to seize the opportunity to sell his work.
“Working in the digital space for the past four years, I feel like I was working on preparing for something, not really knowing what it was,” Ayjay said.
“Now the NFT opportunity has come up, it has really helped me clarify my mission and where I want to go.”
The artist recently sold two NFT artworks – two 30-second video tour snapshots in his virtual reality worlds.
Purchases are made using cryptocurrency, with Ayjay selling his first Psychoactive coin for 1.60 ether ($6,601) and second Ethereum Delirium for 1 ether ($4,126).
“When there’s hype around things, people crave it.”
NFT art sale for nearly $70 million
The thirst for NFT made global news recently when artist Mike ‘Beeple’ Winkelmann sold an artwork for $69.4 million ($88.6 million) and another artist called Pak sold an artwork for a single gray pixel for $1.36 million ($1.76 million). ).
“For some people, NFT is a byproduct of wanting to support someone, and knowing there are collectors out there willing to invest, I’m really thinking about putting on a show for them and creating unique NFTs.”
He said that by creating 30-second windows in his virtual reality worlds, he could quickly produce a work that would become a high-quality file for someone.
In the same way that the works can be presented to the public, the clips themselves can always be viewed freely online on the artist’s website.
The only difference is that there is one person who owns the rights to the artwork.
The environmental impact of NFTs called into question
While NFTs have provided a rare and highly lucrative opportunity for artists, the environmental impact of the platform on which transactions take place has come under criticism.
NFTs are bought and sold using a “blockchain” computer system that uses a huge amount of electricity for its maintenance.
While Ayjay discusses the cryptocurrency Ether, rival currency Bitcoin uses as much electricity as an average-sized nation to operate.
Ayjay said that while he was concerned about this, he hoped that as the technology developed, efficiencies would be found to reduce the carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency.
“If you think of a computer, we used to have massive computers consuming huge amounts of power with minimal computing power, but as the NFT market grows and the size of the blockchain increases, people will start to review ongoing processes and power consumption.
“Once there are more eyes, there will be a review of the process.”