Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist (Part 4)
In the final part of our series Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist, we head Southeast to the state of New South Wales to join photographer Franca Turrin in her workspace. With a career spanning thirty years in the industry, read on for a glimpse into her day-to-day routine, what she’s working on next and what inspires her craft.
Photographer Franca Turrin’s studio is based in Sydney, Australia. According to the creator, the space has been hers for 20 years–while not described as large, it allows Franca to work on both commercial pieces and her personal art.
1) Tell us about your journey into digital and/or physical art.
I started professionally in photography over 25 years ago, initially in advertising then portrait photography. At the same time, I also started using a new digital program, Adobe Photoshop version 2, no layers ! I don’t consider digital and physical art separate as they have always been intertwined for me and even at times interlaced with traditional paint mediums.
Throughout my time in industry, I have always maintained an art practice which has been landscape/studio work and painting with light. In the last five years I have worked primarily on my artwork. To have the freedom to do so I still work commercially as a retoucher, so I spend a lot of time in the dark with Photoshop. This means when it comes to my practice I like the challenge of taking the very real & authentic and imbuing it with an otherworldly alien perspective. Shooting all in camera, long exposure, one take reflects this rawness and authenticity. I then use Photoshop to purely grade and clean up.
I am currently working on three series: Tetryon dreams, futuristic flowers (almost complete) and Project X, a continuation of the Resilience Collection and Désherber for which I have been learning 3d and sculpting this year.
For me, whether digital or physical mediums these are the tools of the craft they are not the art or its intent.
2) What inspires you to create?
The Australian landscape and flora, painters, other artists and always the innate need to create.
3) What are your studio essentials?
LIGHT in all shapes and sizes!
4) What’s your day-to-day/work routine like?
It is a balance, as a self-employed person funding my art practice it depends on day-to-day assignments. Mornings I tend to leave for client work. Afternoons and evenings are for my artwork. This suits me best as a lot of the work requires absolute darkness. And the studio still has some light leaks!
5) What are your goals as an artist?
To be true to the work and myself. As corny as it sounds, to continue to grow and never stop creating.
7) How do you unwind/reset after a long day in the studio?
I spend a lot of time in the dark, inside or outside studio, so unwinding is time outdoors in the sunshine with my trusty studio companion Louis.
8) Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?
Franca’s original photography NFTs are available on Bluethumb Digital as part of our Muses collection. Browse them here.
Enjoyed the feature? Read the previous instalments of Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist, featuring names such as urban artist Mysterious Al, 3D artist and viral creator Marble Mannequin, as well as Perth-based video artist Nicola Coxon. Follow us for more news on Instagram or Twitter.
Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist (Part 3)
Welcome back to part 3 of our feature, Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist! In today’s article, readers can take a short trip to Western Australia to meet digital native Nicola Coxon, who works with the fascinating medium of video art. Keep reading to find out more about her work, background and glimpses of her studio.
Nicky is a 37-year-old digital and NFT artist from Perth, WA. Her studio is an extension next to her house (and is currently being renovated), so in the meantime, the creator has taken over the kitchen. According to Nicky, the area is “essentially a workshop to cater for any kind of art.” She is hopeful for the studio to be completed before Christmas.
1) Tell us about your journey into digital and/or physical art.
I’ve been an artist since I was a kid. I went to uni and studied fine art and was about to complete my grad dip ed (Graduate Diploma in Education) in 2006 when my sister, Kate committed suicide. I abandoned my art and went back to study physiotherapy to help people. Ten years later…in the midst of a pandemic, the desire to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional artist has been realised.
My goal, as it has always been, is to connect and perhaps help people through my art in some capacity. The rise of the NFT in 2021 was a clear indication to me that video and digital art was having a Renaissance! Even all those years ago my lecturers would tell me “you’re too early, the technology isn’t there yet, what do you do with it?”
Even in 2022 im still having these same conversations, albeit the fact that technologies have come sooooo far!
I finished my fine art degree in 2005, my final studio pieces were almost identical to the type of art/mediums/videos to the pieces I am creating now – just with the bonus of a gorgeous digital camera, smart TVs and NFTs.
2) What inspires you to create?
My favourite hobby as a kid was creating anything with plasticine. Ive wanted to create as far back as I can remember. If I don’t create of visualise or do something I feel lost, anxious and not me. The desire or inspiration lately comes from the medium itself. The need to convey the feeling I get when I see liquids moving or reacting. Its very hard to put into words!
3) How would you describe your style?
This is a very tricky question, but probably organic liquid landscapes? Moving mediative paintings, organic digital art.
4) What are your studio essentials?
Loud good music, coke zero, darkness and no interruptions.
5) What’s your day-to-day/work routine like?
I’m a mum of two kids, aged eight and four, plus I still work as a physiotherapist at a tertiary hospital so my routine at the moment….I don’t really have one yet! Hopefully once my studio is complete I can have a more set balance between mum life, work life and art life.
7) What are your goals as an artist?
Get set up in my new studio and next year have another in-person exhibition.
8) Any tricks of the trade to share?
Start small, start creating, make connections, immerse yourself in the art scene.
9) How do you unwind/reset after a long day in the studio?
After a long day in the studio there is nothing better than sitting out the back of our house with a chilled glass of rosé with my husband.
10) Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?
Keen to read more about artists in the NFT world? Discover Parts 1 and 2 of Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist, where we speak with Melbourne-based digital and urban artist Mysterious Al, and viral creator Marble Mannequin. Otherwise, stay tuned for the next part of our series, where we interview photographer Franca Turrin inside her studio.
Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist (Part 2)
And we’re back with Part 2 of our blog series, Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist! In this article we uncover the studio of viral creator Marble Mannequin, along with his top tips, day-to-day routine and goals as an artist. Keep scrolling for an exclusive tour inside his creative space!
Another artist featured in our Genesis drop, the 40-year-old is based in Kew, Melbourne and has had his studio for four years. According to Marble, the workspace was originally a recording studio that became a 3D and motion graphics studio during the pandemic.
“It’s a small acoustically treated room, a record can be produced in it from start to finish. It’s equipped with two super powerful workstations used for a variety of graphic processes. All my animations for Marble Mannequin are rendered here.”
1) Tell us about your journey into digital and/or physical art.
I have been a musician since a young age. I started with 3D in 2020 due to the pandemic.
I am a graduated audio engineer and music producer, as well as a self-taught photographer, filmmaker and now 3D artist.
2) What inspires you to create?
3) How would you describe your style?
Stories and dreams of surrealism evolve on a photo-realistic environment that sometimes evokes futuristic games of useless machinery.
4) What are your studio essentials?
A 16 channel audio interface and NVIDIA RTX 3090 24GB graphics card.
5) What’s your day-to-day/work routine like?
If I’m not working for any particular brand, I open Blender and start playing with the default cube, move some vertices around. Letting my inspiration know that I am here.
When I come up with an idea, I first make it work regardless of how it looks so I don’t lose interest. The physics of my animations are the hardest task to accomplish, if I am struggling with that I’ll take a break by trying some shaders on the objects.
6) What are your goals as an artist?
Improve as an artist and expand my collaborations, but more importantly keep myself motivated.
7) Any tricks of the trade to share?
Don’t overthink and start at the beginning. If you’re a beginner, have fun regardless of how your creation looks. The chances it will look amazing are pretty low. But having fun will keep you motivated.
8) How do you unwind/reset after a long day in the studio?
Laying down on the floor (not on the couch).
9) Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?
Stick around, my most important collaboration to date is coming soon.
Check out Marble Mannequin’s original crypto art here.
Hope you enjoyed Part 2 of our blog series, Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist! Recap Part 1 here or keep your eyes peeled for our next artist, Nicola Coxon. For more frequent updates, join our community on Instagram or Twitter!
Inside the Studio of an NFT Artist (Part 1)
Happy November! This month, we delve into the secret lives of four NFT artists and their studios across Australia. What are their creative processes and must-have tools? What do they do in their spare time? Our first artist in this series, Mysterious Al, answers all your questions and more. Keep scrolling for an exclusive glimpse inside his studio!
Mysterious Al’s busy studio is in Collingwood, VIC. Just off Johnston Street, the artist has access to great lunch options nearby, and the location is easy for people to visit. According to Al, he spent a long time working from old warehouses “with questionable health and safety that regularly flooded or got broken into, so it’s nice to have a secure comfortable space where I know my work won’t get eaten by rats.”
1) Tell us about your journey into digital and/or physical art.
I’ve been making physical art since I was a small child, and I’ve been making digital art for the last 20 years or so. Actually, I was selling flash animations on ebay for £20 back in the early 2000’s, so making art on the blockchain kind of feels full circle for me. Back then I had no ledger or anything, there was no proof of ownership… It was all just a bit of fun. I’m taking it more seriously now (although it’s still fun).
2) What inspires you to create?
I’ve always made art. It makes me feel good and like I’m contributing something to the world. By making items that are treasured I can live forever in some way.
3) How would you describe your style?
I make easily accessible artwork that’s fun, colourful and exciting, but with a darker undertone just beneath the surface.
4) What are your studio essentials?
Computers, tools, paint, paper, canvas, lots of glue. You name it. The studio is set up so that I can pretty much rig up/make anything here.
5) What are your goals as an artist?
To keep making art forever.
6) Any tricks of the trade to share?
Eat healthy and get regular exercise. Take long showers.
7) Describe your studio, on camera!
8) Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?
Keep an eye out for my upcoming digital X physical project dropping at the end of November. I’ve made 100 original artworks that we’re planning to do something very cool with. Follow me on Twitter/Insta to be the first to see it! @mysteriousal.
And that’s the end of part 1! Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, where we feature our next artist, Marble Mannequin. Keep up to date with us on Instagram or Twitter, or browse our collections here.
Bluethumb Launches Third NFT Collection Amidst Significant Growth Projections in the Digital Art Market
Bluethumb Digital is launching a third exclusive collection, Free Frida, as interest in NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) in Australia is predicted to see significant growth in 2023.
The popularity of NFTs – including digital art, collectibles and other digital asset ownership on the blockchain – hit its peak in mid 2021 as cryptocurrency values were at recent highs. Since then, the NFT market has cooled off but interest in collection and investment remain constant. Market insights company Grand View Research estimates that the NFT market will increase from USD13 Billion to USD200 billion in 2030 due to interest in how NFTs can offer solutions for ownership in the real world, and as Bluethumb Digital expects, change the way that art is appreciated, owned and shared.
Growth in the NFT space is expected to happen on the Ethereum blockchain, which shifted to a more eco-friendly system this month, cutting around 99% of the network’s energy usage. Consumption of large amounts of energy has been a consistent criticism of blockchain technology. A study conducted this year by Columbia University’s Climate School claims 150 terawatt-hours of electricity is being consumed annually – more than the entire country of Argentina, a population of over 45 million.
Amidst this backdrop, Bluethumb’s third collection comes during an exciting time, marks a first collaboration with Sydney-born artist Yasmin Shima. An artist with a global influence, Yasmin has released NFTs with Coinbase and the WNBA league in North America, and was a speaker at an NFT LA event organised by women-led project Women’s Tribe, alongside Alo Yoga and Fame Lady Squad. Her mark in LA can be seen in a YOTW mural in Fameyard, off Melrose Avenue. Other achievements include being selected as one of over 200 artists for the NFT Diversity Artist Showcase in Times Square and Marriot Marquis, and travelling to New York to attend and preview her work showcased in Times Square.
The upcoming Free Frida collection is a selection of seven artworks by Yasmin, who is also the artist and founder behind NFT project Year of the Woman, alongside four other founders. Now sold out, the collection of 10,000 pieces includes famous celebrity Eva Longoria as a collector. The Hollywood actress has purchased three pieces of Yasmin’s artwork.
Yasmin Shima turned to art full time during the COVID-19 pandemic and hasn’t looked back. Having turned to digital art when she found herself unable to use a traditional easel following a surgery, Shima discovered NFTs in 2021 – as many artists did – and has discovered a new way to continue to create art that allows her to support herself.
In our Artist Series Video: Part 3, Yasmin discusses the possibilities of NFTs, community and art.
Similarly, the NFT boom has helped many other artists realise that they can leverage the power of cryptocurrency technology to earn from their work. Today, the average price of a NFT on Bluethumb is .66 Ethereum (around AUD $1,325 at the time of writing) and artists will earn 85% and 7.5% resale royalties. However, there is still a strong under-representation of Australian artists who are selling their artworks as NFTs. According to a survey conducted by Art Tactic, artists from the UK, US and Canada accounted for 77% of sales in the NFT market.
Bluethumb Co-Founder and CPO George Hartley on supporting Australian artists, “We are so excited to launch Bluethumb Digital’s third NFT collection which shines a spotlight on Yasmin’s artwork. Partnering with an artist of Yasmin’s calibre is a vote of confidence in the Bluethumb Digital mission and we’re always proud to support Australian artists. Despite a declining crypto market, we’re still seeing strong demand for high quality, curated NFT art like Yasmin’s. Crypto bear markets don’t last forever, and I treat them as a great time to acquire quality art when the price of Ethereum is lower.”
Yasmin Shima on the launch, “Bluethumb has been instrumental in bringing digital art created by Australian artists to the world. NFTs have revolutionised the way art is created, appreciated and collected. To be a part of their latest collection is a privilege.”
Artworks will be available for viewing on 25th September, with the public launch taking place on 28th September. Any artwork held from Bluethumb Digital’s inaugural Genesis collection will give the owner priority access to the Free Frida series and future collector pieces in Bluethumb Digital collections, plus other exciting benefits across Bluethumb’s physical and digital offerings.
Watch a video below for a sneak peek of the collection and follow our socials for the latest updates on Free Frida.
Dropping September 28 at: bluethumb.digital/yasmin-shima
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates on Free Frida.
10 Questions with Year of the Woman Artist Yasmin Shima
It’s an exciting time here at Bluethumb Digital, with our very first Artist Series launching later this month. At the forefront of our newest curated collection is Year of the Woman artist Yasmin Shima, who is releasing a brand new drop of seven 1/1 artworks titled “Free Frida”. Originally from Bondi Beach, Sydney, Yasmin’s journey into the crypto art scene began in 2021, where she created her first collection around female empowerment and sisterhood, Ride or Die. Her NFT project Year of the Woman minted out 10,000 individual artworks, garnering the interest of celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longaria (a collector!).
In today’s feature, we’ll be asking Yasmin ten questions, including her goals as an artist, the challenges of creating her own collection, as well as the inspiration behind the Free Frida series. We also have an announcement at the end – keep reading to find out more!
1. In three words, how would you describe yourself?
Creative, Sensitive, Random.
2. About your NFT journey thus far: what are some web3 communities you’re involved in?
I founded my own NFT project Year of the Woman with four other founders. We are aligned with many female led projects and others, such as Women Tribe, My BFF, Fame Lady Squad, Not Your Bro and Code Green to name a few.
3. Tell us a little about the work you’re releasing for this drop – what’s in store for the audience?
This collection ‘Free Frida’ represents Freedom. I was based in Mexico the past couple months and have taken inspiration from the great Frida Kahlo, who appears on murals across the country. This collection is my modern day take on how Frida would show up in the world today.
Here’s a sneak peek of the upcoming drop below:
It represents letting go of society’s expectations and stigmas, in a slightly cheeky manner.
The palette uses Mexican colours found everywhere – in markets, food, clothes, buildings – and represent their cultural attitude of freedom and taking chances. The bright colours are more than just a cultural tradition, they are a reflection of the warm and lively culture which is experienced every day.
4. In general, what inspires your work?
I find inspiration in many forms. Art, pop culture, the streets, experiences, music, feelings and my surroundings. I love beauty so I’m drawn towards painting women. I love observing different styles and techniques, seeing how I can integrate a vision into my style and create something unique. I like merging digital with physical bridging the gap between the two, and playing with different line styles to create more dynamic work.
5. We’d love to know what your goals are as an artist. Could you share some of them with readers?
To fulfil my IKIGAI and live on purpose as a full time artist, with the ability to wake up every day and do what I love, make and share my art with the world. I want to continue to make art that drives me and inspires others. I want to share beauty, passion, purposefulness and connectivity through my art.
6. You’ve also founded your own project, YOTW. Were there any unique challenges you faced?
There were many challenges. Right after we launched the project the world went into financial crisis. That affected people’s spending habits. From an artist POV challenges included relentless hours in pre production–I drew over 400 images in 8 weeks! Then had to work around the clock on community engagement and international time zones to build community. It was an exhilarating and exciting time! Also very testing mentally and with loved ones.
I am so grateful for my team, the journey and all the hardships which made me more resilient and gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone.
I’m so grateful we are still around. Many projects have fallen away due to the slow market and hardship from slow mints. We push on and continue to show up.
7. How would you describe your collector base?
Our holders are genuine fans of real art. They love the art, team and what the project stands for. We have holders collecting the whole Zodiac series, some are new to NFTs or minting Zodiac signs for their loved ones. Our ‘Hundy Club’ holder Busur holds over 300 YOTW NFTs! What a legend.
8. What advice would you have for artists looking to go into NFTs?
Get involved. Keep working. Get onto Twitter, align with artists who inspire you, join communities or projects that speak to you and start talking to the mods and communities. Networking is key.
9. More broadly, what are your aspirations for the Australian NFT scene?
That Aussie artists can have a platform to be recognised and share their passion. The more creators that get involved the more innovative the space will become, with more ideas and concepts shared and created.
Beyond the local scene as well, I want to see a world where creators do what they love and live comfortably, just like with any corporate role. As my good friend and artist Danielle Weber says, you wouldn’t ask a tradesman to work for free so why would you ask that of an artist? Creators pave the way for society, they are the innovators and deserve the same value as other professions.
10. Are there any artists and/or collectors that you’d like to give a shoutout to?
I have to give a shout out to my whole team – William, Skips, Ry, Bradski & Aary for being on the Web3 journey with me. There’s a whole list of holders and community that deserve a mention alongside Busur, I even tagged their names on the YOTW mural in LA.
My fellow Web3 artist friends Stefanie Neal, MLAK, Danielle Weber – all doing so well in their own right and all an inspiration to me. To my Ride or Die and co-founder of shimablancoart Benny Blanco, who makes my dreams come to life every day.
The Free Frida Collection is dropping this September. To find out more about Yasmin’s work, tune in to our upcoming Twitter Space on Tuesday, 20th September at 6.30 p.m. AEST. Don’t forget to set a reminder here!
Bluethumb Digital’s Carbon-Neutral Journey: New Updates
It’s been nearly half a year since Bluethumb Digital went carbon-neutral, beginning with our inaugural Genesis Drop, and now Muses! Since launch we’ve partnered with Trace, a local startup. The company provides climate-conscious organisations a way to calculate, decrease and offset their carbon footprint over time, as well as track impact. In one of our past articles, we shared some well-known issues with NFTs and their environmental impact, so we’re here with an update on our carbon-neutral journey! At Bluethumb Digital, we’re all about providing technological solutions and opportunities that improve the lives of Australia’s arts ecosystem and individual artists.
Together with Trace, we’ll continue to work toward reducing CO2 pollution, conservation efforts and backing UN sustainability goals.
Our Carbon-Neutral Journey and Commitment
So far, we’ve invested into independently-verified carbon reduction projects aligned with the aims of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the Katingan and Rimba Raya Peatlands Conservation initiatives in Indonesia, and the Mount Sandy Conservation Project right here in Australia. Created to protect the traditional land belonging to the Ngarrindjeri people, the area has been cared for by their community for thousands of years and is being revegetated after a large amount was cleared for agricultural purposes. The project comprises gold-standard verified carbon offsets, which you can read about here.
To date, we’ve planted 172 trees and offset a total of 30.8 tonnes of CO2, over the estimated 1.9 tonnes of CO2 produced across our transactions on the Ethereum blockchain (data sourced from DigiEconomist’s Ethereum Energy Consumption Index). During our ongoing partnership with Trace, we will continue to improve on tracking and reducing our carbon footprint.
For more information, you can check out our impact page here.
About Bluethumb Digital
Bluethumb Digital has released two curated collections, including our inaugural Genesis Drop and the second, Muses. Muses is a collection celebrating femininity and self-expression by an all-female lineup of Australian NFT artists, whilst Genesis features artworks from 25 of the best digital artists across the nation. With Genesis, collectors can get priority access to future pieces and other benefits across Bluethumb’s physical and digital offerings.
Bluethumb Digital is the new curated digital art offering from one of the most established online art marketplaces, Bluethumb. At the heart of our mission, we focus on empowering artists in Australia and simplifying NFT culture so that both artists and collectors can crossover to the digital space.
Founded in Adelaide in 2012, Bluethumb represents more than 17,000 emerging and established artists from Australia. We work with 20 of Australia’s most remote Aboriginal owned and operated not-for-profit Art Centres to give you access to more Australian artists and their art than anywhere else in the world.
From all of us at Bluethumb Digital, we’d like to say thank you to our collectors and artists for embarking together with us on our exciting journey thus far. To find out more about NFTs and local artists, keep checking back for new blog articles here. You can also find our latest updates on Instagram and Twitter!
25 Female Australian Artists in the NFT Scene You Should be Following (Part 2)
Continuing where we left off in Part 1, today we’ll be introducing ten more female Australian artists in the crypto scene. Get a fresh glimpse of art styles and individual mediums chosen by these creators: from hand-drawn, digitally created art to mind-bending animations and even AI textile art, the local NFT landscape remains vast and unexplored. Keep reading to find out more.
Hailing from the Eastern coast of Australia, the incredibly talented Tiffatronn is a well-known artist in the NFT scene. With originals characterised by galactic hues, gorgeous textured brushstrokes and portraiture, she has sold out a few NFT collections across various platforms. The largest of her series of works comprises 101 digitally created, hand drawn original portraits. Existential themes also run through her work, as Tiffatronn mentions exploring topics such as identity, human experience and alternate realities. Those interested should keep an eye out for her collaborations and new work in the metaverse.
Follow Tiffatronn here.
Another artist making waves in the Australian NFT scene is EM! (pronounced ee-em-ai), who has teamed up with names such as Yahoo and Future Art. With a style described as Psychedelic Pop Fantasy, EM!’s works are spectacular, often dynamic mixed media collages which have fantastical elements (fans can spot anthropomorphic characters, space machines, portals and much more in her pieces!). According to the artist, her work draws inspiration from defining periods and mediums throughout art history, including European Surrealist paintings from the 1900s, 1950s pin-up posters and Japanese prints.
The artist is currently based in Melbourne. Keep up to date with her works here.
3. Aileen Ng
Also Melbourne-based, artist Aileen Ng has a background in maths and physics, with works largely influenced by space and our relationship with time.
Aileen uses her practice as a tool to experiment with the subjectivity of the human visual system. Her work explores the ways we interpret three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface, investigating subjects such as depth perception, optical illusion, and colour theory. Using a vibrant aesthetic and quirky geometric elements, her dynamic artworks invite one to keep on watching.
Similarly, landscape artist Mae (also known as Eniosta) is also one exploring the 3D realm. Her journey in the digital medium interestingly began with the creation and sale of game assets, before she decided to return to making art. Using her craft as a means of escape, Mae’s creations have a tranquil quality, with geometric, textured landforms as the subject of the artworks. Semi-abstract and yet rendered in a photorealistic way, one can step into the artist’s imagined landscapes and have their soul blissfully whisked away.
5. Renee Campbell
Emerge into a world of flowers with Renee Campbell’s macro photography–for the uninitiated, this term refers to miniature objects or subjects zoomed in to create a larger-than-life shot. A fine art floral photographer who has sold out three NFT collections and three editions, her works are distinctively prismatic and uplifting. Hours can be poured into each floral subject, with each shot painstakingly zeroed in until elements such as structure, light and hue come together in harmony to create a sense of calm.
Keep up to date with Renee’s work here.
6. Lola Hubner
Get a bird’s eye view behind the lens with Lola Hubner, an Australian creator who uses drones to capture undiscovered scenery, along with ethereal colours and textures. With four collections under her belt, the Sydney-born photographer’s collections have interesting concepts such as memory, where each artwork is symbolic of Lola’s personal best memories shared with the audience, as well as bone – how nature can reflect our corporeal form. Often documenting her travels and van life all across the country, Lola is also a commercial photographer.
7. Bianca Beers
The creative industry is also home to Bianca Beers, an artist, designer and creator specialising in digital illustration and creative direction. Her work is a buoyant amalgamation of fashion and botanical illustration, graffiti and portraiture. With an energetically positive focus, Bianca aims to create community and uplift others by bringing colour, joy and meaning to the spaces her works occupy. The creator launched her career in late 2017, and has since gained a strong momentum and dedicated following, with her first solo exhibit supported by Microsoft in 2019, whilst catching the attention of major on-going clients such as Nike, Adobe and more.
Another one to look out for, HPart’s portrait works embody a surreal quality as well as gorgeous, muted hues. Originally a traditional artist who worked with Pan pastels and oils for years, she began experimenting with digital platform Procreate during the previous year’s lockdown. According to HPart, this unlocked new realms of possibilities, including the realisation of complex concepts, and not having to compromise working with a specific medium. See the gorgeous result below (warning: may contain themes of nudity).
“It’s an exciting time for artists, and I’m so happy to be a part of Bluethumb’s NFT launch.”
9. Rose Jackson
This artist’s luminescent pieces are born from a collaboration between traditional craft and digital technology. According to abstract textile artist Rose Jackson, her process involves using traditional wet felting methods to create wool felt artworks, after which she adds digital elements, dynamic animation, or GAN (generative art networks). Popular amongst collectors, her works have been exhibited across various cities including London, New York, and within China. A recurring theme in Rose’s art is the exploration of the connection between the natural and digital world.
10. Kellie North
Also one with a deep desire to connect to nature, the audience and herself, visual artist Kellie North plays with movement, light and texture to create evocative figurative images connected to the subconscious.
As a self portrait artist, her interest is in creating digital imagery of the feminine form: her photographs capture mostly faceless figures draped in billowing fabric in water, or juxtaposed against the ruggedness of the natural environment.
“My art explores the vivid contrast of fluid organic shapes and the natural world, it celebrates their differences yet unites them…creating a lasting impression with the viewer. Not one for treading the traditional photographic line, I often like to combine my natural forms and landscapes with surreal elements, using carefully refined composite and digital art techniques.”
And that brings us to the end of Part 2 (which is by no means an exhaustive list)! If you know other women artists we should be following in the Australian crypto art space, tell us in the comments below.
Finally, in case you missed it: our Muses collection is now live! Make sure to keep up with news on our latest collections on Twitter, or scroll through our insta-worthy feed here.
What are NFTs? Minting, the Blockchain, and What You Should Know
GM readers (that’s good morning in the NFT community)! After a lot of hard work behind the scenes, we’re proud to say our new curated platform, Bluethumb Digital, is live. Our first collection launched in February, featuring some of Australia’s top digital artists alongside fan favourites from Bluethumb venturing into the metaverse for the first time. Since then, we’ve been working hard on improving the site and adding new and exciting art for you all to enjoy!
Jumping into the NFT space for the first time comes with a whole lot of jargon and technical concepts to understand, so where do we begin?
Let’s jump right in:
- Why did Bluethumb go into NFTs?
- What are NFTs?
- Blockchain technology – how does it work?
- Digital art vs NFTs: what’s the difference?
- How do you create NFTs?
- How do I buy NFTs?
- What is an allowlist?
- What about the environmental impact of NFTs?
1. Why did Bluethumb go into NFTs?
Bluethumb has spent over a decade supporting Aussie artists, leading the way to make selling and collecting art as accessible as possible. The next step in our journey is Bluethumb Digital, an NFT platform focussing on Australia’s digital artists.
“For years we’ve wanted to add digital art to Bluethumb,” says Co-Founder George Hartley. “Some of the most interesting new art in the last few years has been in digital and video and we actually have hundreds of artists already on Bluethumb who do some digital work. The problem is we haven’t been able to work out how to sell it and now NFTs have solved that for us (continued below).
“The explosion of NFTs in the last 18 months has been amazing to watch. OpenSea didn’t exist as a company two years ago. It is now the world’s largest art company by sales,” he points out. “There are obvious questions with the fast rise of NFTs around how much is driven by speculation and how much is collectors. But having been a crypto-user since 2015 and having started to collect NFTs last year, with the joy of collecting and discovering brilliant new digital art and the explosion of amazing new talent, I’m confident that NFTs will make up an important part of contemporary art going forward.”
“Whenever we plan something new for Bluethumb the only question is: does this benefit our artists? Bluethumb Digital does and will into the future. I’m excited about the new art that we will be introducing to our collecting community.”
As we’ve done for traditional art, Bluethumb Digital will continue in the same spirit: making the collection of NFT art easier than ever for everyone (no need to be a crypto-millionaire)! Also, we’ll still continue to be Australia’s top destination for all art and artists.
You can read more about our mission to help more Aussie artists go full-time on their art careers over on our site.
2. What are NFTs?
NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) are used to prove the possession of unique items. To put this in art world terms, you can think of them as similar to a certificate of authenticity that serves as provenance and proof of ownership for digital goods. Unique – or “non-fungible” – refers to assets which have distinctive characteristics, and therefore cannot be interchanged or have equivalent substitutes.
It’s good to get an idea of how cryptocurrencies work to understand the mechanics behind NFTs. These are an assortment of digital currencies that utilise cryptography as a sort of complex security code. Unlike dollars or cents, cryptocurrencies are not maintained or issued by a single entity such as a bank, but rather, their value is overseen and maintained by users (a decentralised network).
3. Blockchain Technology – How Does it Work?
Blockchain is the technology that powers – or enables – the day-to-day functioning of cryptocurrencies. Often associated with the keyword “public ledger”, it’s helpful to think of it as a database of transactions. When each transaction is generated, information is stored in a “block”, then added permanently to the “chain”, or the record of all previous exchanges. A couple of key features are thought to be unique to Blockchain technology:
1) transparency, as transactions are publicly viewable in real-time; and,
2) security, due to the linear, chronological way data is stored.
Transactions cannot be modified without the majority of users in the network agreeing. For people who want to do further reading, we recommend Investopedia’s article on blockchain technology.
The two most popular cryptocurrencies today are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Fun fact: anything other than Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, is referred to as an alternative coin or altcoin (yes, this includes the much publicised dogecoin).
4. Digital Art vs NFTs: What’s the Difference?
The former can be thought of as art made or displayed through the use of digital technology, including 3D animation, image scans and online music. NFTs are different in the sense that they employ blockchain technology so that the provenance of online assets such as artworks can be validated. An NFT acts as a digital certificate of authenticity.
You might ask: in an online world where multiple versions of one file can exist at the same time, what do NFTs have to offer?
To use an analogy, artists on Bluethumb can choose to release reproduction prints or multiple editions of their artworks, but the idea is that only one numbered edition is in the hands of one owner at any one time. It’s much more difficult to control how files are shared on the internet when it comes to digital art, as well as to truly stake one’s claim on said artwork.
However, NFTs make it possible to own and sell digital art in a way that’s completely new. Plus, everyone is able to see that you own it (e.g. bragging rights!) because of the transparency that the blockchain brings. Yes, maybe someone else was able to download a copy of Snoop Dogg’s art, but it’s not authentic, and everyone can look at the blockchain to check it for themselves.
One more cool feature is artists can get royalties with each sale, even secondary ones.
Now, onto the next section: how are NFTs created?
5. Minting: How are NFTs Created?
Minting describes the way NFTs are added to the blockchain, which is commonly done on the Ethereum network. This is a technical process that requires the deployment of smart contracts. In essence, smart contracts are an automated set of commands to execute the transaction. Smart contracts require some coding and get a bit technical, so NFT platforms like Bluethumb Digital can step in and help to do the minting for you. Artists, we’ve got you!
There are normally costs associated with minting, such as commission fees, a percentage of royalties, and “gas fees”, which are the transaction fees needed to add the NFT to the blockchain. This is typically charged in the token or currency released by the specific blockchain. There are also methods of minting whereby buyers mint and pay gas fees at the point of sale.
NFT artwork files aren’t always stored on the Blockchain (though they can be through services like IPFS), but rather the token or block is.
6. How Do I Buy NFTs?
You’ll need to have a crypto wallet set up to buy, store and even swap NFTs and cryptocurrencies. There’re a few different types of wallets you can use, but for beginners, many recommend using digital wallets for security and ease of use. These should be compatible with the token or currency you’re looking to buy. For example, Metamask is recommended for its compatibility with most Ethereum-based NFT platforms, like Bluethumb Digital.
You can think of crypto wallets as something akin to digital banking apps. These will allow you to transact with various platforms and cryptocurrencies, (and most importantly) build a cornucopia of NFT art!
On Bluethumb Digital we accept a number of wallets, including Metamask, Wallet Connect and Bitski. Take a look at our FAQs here for the full list. We also plan to introduce easier credit card payment options in future!
7. What is an Allowlist?
Much like exhibition openings in the real world, NFT art collections are usually released in drops. If you’re on the allowlist it means you get early access and first dibs on artworks ahead of everyone else! The good thing about NFT allowlists is that anybody can be on them. However, you do have to have a wallet set up and provide your public ETH address in order to get on the allowlist. This system is a way to reduce gas fees and failed transactions by limiting the number of people trying to buy from the same collection at the same time.
This may all sound quite complicated, but we promise it’s not as tricky as it sounds. If you don’t have one already, you can set a wallet one up in 5 minutes using MetaMask (click here to set yours up).
8. What about the Environmental Impact of NFTs?
The environmental impact of blockchain technology is a common concern when it comes to NFTs. But why does this occur, and how does Bluethumb Digital fit into this?
Ethereum uses a concept called proof-of-work, where user consensus validates each transaction. Simply put, users or miners in the network receive an incentive – the gas fees we talked about earlier – to complete and process each transaction via a complex mathematical puzzle. This requires significantly large amounts of energy and increases as more miners join the network.
The downside of this is, according to Ethereum, “proof-of-work consumes 73.2 TWh annually, the energy equivalent of a medium-sized country like Austria.” When site traffic is high then, it makes sense that miners would choose to prioritise transactions with higher fees, and more would join in the mining process, increasing the use of energy and environmental footprint of NFTs.
However, the good news is Ethereum is switching to a more environmentally sustainable operational system later this year. Additionally, an increasing number of environmentally friendly alternatives are emerging which use better consensus models such as proof-of-stake, which are much more energy efficient than proof-of-work.
While the space continues to evolve, we put a lot of importance on making sure Bluethumb Digital’s launch was carbon neutral. We’ve partnered with climate organisation Trace to ensure that our product is certifiably carbon neutral, with a portion of our proceeds going towards carbon offset initiatives such as the Mount Sandy Conservation project.
There’s a lot of exciting developments in store for Bluethumb Digital and much to learn, but our capable team is committed to making NFTs and crypto an accessible space for everyone.
Keep checking back for more educational content and news from us, or get the latest updates via our Twitter and Instagram pages!
Introducing Muses: A Collection of 24 Exclusive NFTs from an All-Female Australian Artist Lineup
This June, we’re excited to be launching our second exclusive curated collection: Muses.
Defiant, dangerous and divine, the launch will feature twenty-four exclusive 1/1 artworks from eleven ground-breaking female artists. In this post, we’ll be detailing the inspiration behind Muses, the artist lineup, why we built Bluethumb Digital and more. Keep reading to find out!
- What is the Muses Collection?
- A Lineup of Eleven Female Australian Artists
- Why We Built Bluethumb Digital–and Where We’re Headed
- Key Dates
- About NFTs, Environmental Concerns and Previous Collections
1. What is the Muses Collection?
Muses is Australia’s newest, most divine NFT art collection on the Ethereum blockchain featuring a lineup of all-women creatives. While some might think the concept refers to the influential subject behind an artistic work, the name ‘Muses’ was inspired by a more powerful, divine force: the Greek sister goddesses of art.
Celebrating women breaking ground in the Australian NFT and digital art scene, each Muses artwork explores themes of femininity and self-expression from artists all over the country–each with their own unique style and perspective. The all-female collection was conceived to disrupt the traditionally male-dominated crypto art space.
“There is an amazing amount of artistic talent emerging in web3 across Australia, and in particular some women artists having a big impact at a global level, like @Tiffatron and @Betty _NFT (of Deadfellaz),” shares Lauren Capelin, Principal at Startmate. “At the same time, we are seeing a proliferation of projects geared toward educating, investing in and connecting women interested in web3 more broadly. This is a generational shift on many levels… it is pivotal that women are seen to have agency, and be recognised for playing a role in this transformation. Bluethumb Digital’s Muses drop creates a perfect opportunity for this to occur.”
Muses artist Joy Chiang agrees. “It’s heartbreaking to think that the gender gap may not close in my or my kid’s lifetime. We have the opportunity now to leverage technology and reshape the internet to be better. By elevating diverse voices in the NFT space, we can only grow to expand our own perspectives and be better for it.”
Muses marks an important next step for the Bluethumb team, too. “We play a crucial role in setting the tone for representation as an industry,” adds Bluethumb Digital Lead, Emilia Russell. “Helping to bring this collection to life is something I am incredibly proud of, and I can’t wait to shine a spotlight on the diversity of Australia’s digital art talent.”
2. A Lineup of Eleven Female Australian Artists
In this collection, you’ll see some favourites from the inaugural Genesis Drop collection return, as well as other well-known faces from Australia’s wider art scene being introduced into the mix. The exciting lineup includes photographer-turned digital creative Stefanie Neal, Indigenous artist Kelly Taylor, geometry/pop-art creator Lana Jaie and eight other artists.
See the video below to discover all of the artists:
You can also read more about them in part 1 of our blog, 25 Female Australian Artists in the NFT Scene You Should be Following.
3. Key Dates
Allowlist or early access signups for those with Ethereum wallet addresses has now closed. However, you’ll still be able to grab a Muses artwork if you’ve bought a Genesis 1/1, or you can simply wait until our public sale opens on the 23rd!
12 p.m. AEST, 22nd June: Early access opens to Genesis Artwork holders
7 p.m. AEST, 22nd June: Early access opens to Allowlist signups
7 p.m. AEST, 23rd June: Public sale begins
4. Why We Built Bluethumb Digital and Where We’re Headed
Every day we wake up and choose to build technology to help artists sell more work, chase their career dreams, quit jobs. It’s our mission in life, and work, and it’s something we care deeply about.
Our traditional art platform Bluethumb has supported those in pursuit of their passion as a full-time career for over a decade. With Bluethumb Digital, we’re excited to provide an avenue for emerging digital artists to succeed and cross over into the NFT space.
We are committed to inclusivity and accessibility for digital artists and collectors, as well as representation across the Australian NFT landscape.
Future drops are designed to help more artists start their digital journey, including a collection of generative artworks by Bluethumb’s Indigenous artists, as well as emerging artist showcases and individual creator spotlights.
5. About NFTs, Environmental Concerns and Previous Collections
NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – utilise blockchain technology, a solution that allows digital artists to earn royalties through selling tokens of ownership that are completely unique. These tokens offer buyers a permanent, publicly verifiable record linked to the artwork, providing value through establishing authenticity. You can read more about it on our blog here.
The emergence of NFTs has revolutionised the way that we collect and create digital art. “Since the NFT space is fairly new and inclusive, this opens great opportunities for women to define new rules and shine through what seems like a limitless channel,” shares urban artist and figurative painter Lucy Lucy.
A core concern of the blockchain industry and its supporters is the environmental impact generated due to the new technology. Since Bluethumb Digital’s first launch, the company has been proud to partner with Trace to offset its carbon footprint and ensure the platform’s NFT collections are climate-positive.
Muses, Bluethumb Digital’s second drop, follows our inaugural Genesis Collection. Owning one of the 92 Genesis works gives the owner priority access to all of Bluethumb Digital’s future collections.
Only a few days left until the launch of Muses! Follow us for live updates on our Instagram, Twitter, or Discord.
25 Female Australian Artists in the NFT Scene You Should Be Following (Part 1)
Tying in with the launch of our Muses collection this June, we’re here to highlight some of Australia’s most talented female artists you should know in the NFT scene. Working across a host of eclectic mediums, you’ll find inspiring creators immersed in various disciplines: 3D to fibre art, digital abstracts and much more. From emerging to established names all across the board, read on to discover the diverse spectrum of talent the country has to offer.
1. Serwah Attafuah
Having worked with big names such as Paris Hilton, Charli XCX and Triple One, multidisciplinary artist Serwah Attafuah’s star is on the rise. Self-described as “Western Sydney’s Finest Demon” (according to her punchy Instagram bio) working on Dharug land, Attafuah’s figurative works are distinctively rendered in 3D, featuring lush, surreal afrofuturistic visuals and interpretations of the self. With so much demand for the artist’s work, her collections often fetch high prices– some may be surprised that her digital skills are entirely self-taught.
Read more about the artist here.
2. Yasmin Shima
Moving eastward to Bondi, digital artist and painter Yasmin Shima is the figure behind iconic NFT project Year of The Woman. Having been raised in an artistic family and having created her first self-portrait during her late teens, Yasmin’s work leans towards highly stylised, semi-realistic depictions of the modern woman. Her zodiac-themed collection embraces the diversity, grace and energy of female beauty, and gives back to those in the community. Yasmin has been creating NFTs since 2021.
See her Twitter profile here.
3. Joy Chiang
Another artist dedicated to a good cause, Joy Chiang is a Melbourne-based mixed media artist whose works will go towards supporting local organisation PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia). Joy’s latest works are inspired by her journey into motherhood. Due to the artist’s urban planning background, she is inspired by nature and features explosive elements of city chaos in her art. Chiang strives to express emotions and beauty through the language of colour, and started branching out into the NFT space early this year. She is currently an art lead for APAC-based Web3 community DAO Under.
Stay tuned for the artist’s work in our upcoming Muses collection.
4. Tammy Kanat
Drawn to the use of colour as well as materiality in abstracted ways, Tammy Kanat is a weaver and fibre artist who is inspired by artistic precedents such as Josef and Anni Albers, Hilma af Klimt and Gunta Stolzl. Internationally recognised for her work, Kanat’s large-scale tapestries are a celebration of hue, pattern and the creative process. They also invite the viewer to be still and contemplate – fostering an appreciation for slowness amidst the unrelenting pace of the present. The artist’s work has been acquired by the NGV and other significant private collections, and had a recent collaboration with motion artist Jurriaan Hos to adapt her work into film. The result? Textured, mesmerising video NFTs (see below).
5. Danielle Weber
Known for her contemporary work as well as her involvement in the local NFT scene, Danielle Weber is an artist and muralist whose works have been commissioned by high-profile names in Hollywood, along with Olympic athletes and more. Weber uses a diverse range of styles, ranging from photorealistic portraiture to more stylised graphic work, as well as abstracts. With two NFT collections under her belt, she also credits her career to the support of an artistic and humorous family, which allowed her to pursue her dreams.
See her latest updates here.
6. Merr Watson
Oneiric aerial photography is the specialisation of creator Merr Watson, who captures her work via drone technology. Perth-based, the Philippines-born visual artist photographs stunning dreamscapes of various locales around the world, allowing her viewers to step into the beauty she experiences. Watson’s work is featured by well-known brands such as Qantas and Conde Nast Traveler, and she has released more than three NFT collections to date.
Read more about her here.
7. Nicola Coxon
Also hailing from Perth, digital artist Nicola Coxon utilises analogue techniques to create moving digital paintings. Through exploring mediums such as paint, ink and solvents at a macro level through real time videography, Nicola’s work strives to show the universal properties inherent in these material substances and their correlation to the cosmos. She began her video work back in 2005 and has recently held the first solo physical NFT exhibition for Western Australia, called KINEKT, in October 2021.
Featured in our upcoming Muses collection, you can also see Nicola’s Genesis artworks here.
8. Stefanie Neal
Combining her passion for digital art together with years of professional photography skills, self-taught artist Stefanie Neal explores the intersection of poetry and visual storytelling in her work. Having honed her creativity since childhood, the artist describes herself as “forever lost in any expressive outlet she could find.” Neal’s images draw significant influence from nature and reflect her playful demeanour with beautiful results–representing the confluence between the familiar and the fantastical.
Stay tuned for her work in our upcoming Muses collection.
9. Lucy Lucy
Another artist whose work explores the mythical, Lucy Lucy’s work as a figurative painter captures the evolving folklore of the feminine, exploring its energy through archetypal portraits of women which symbolise social change and resilience. The artist invites viewers to navigate the inner and collective landscapes of the female psyche through symbolic imagery. Known for her artistic collaborations, involvement in the urban art community and work with established brands, the French Parisian born creator’s multifaceted work also focuses on multiculturalism.
Also a Genesis artist, Lucy’s new original work will be featured in Muses.
10. Kelly Taylor
Indigenous artist Kelly Taylor was born in Port Augusta, South Australia, and belongs to the Yankunytjatjara / Kokatha people. In creating digital designs, Taylor uses her traditional symbols to choose colours that complement a story using her creeper dots style of dot painting, blending and overlaying colours to create an eye-catching effect of ancient art fused with traditional and contemporary art. She brings out the beauty of both that represents her childhood days where she travelled with her family, hunted and gathered traditional foods, played and rolled down beautiful red sandhills of Ernabella [now Pukatja], Fregon [now Kaltjiti], Ayers Rock [now Uluru], Indulkana [now Iwantja], Alice Springs, Coober Pedy, and Port Augusta, where she would camp surrounded by trees, wildflowers, sandhills and plenty of water holes to swim in and sit by the campfire out on country.
Stay tuned for her NFT debut in our upcoming Muses collection.
11. Lana Jaie
Also based in South Australia, digital artist Lana Jaie’s work combines geometrical patterns with elements of pop art. The artist is known for her contemporary interpretation of sacred geometry–an art style with over a thousand years of history–by which she creates kaleidoscopic, intricate abstracts that repeat in an infinity pattern. With several NFT collections to her name, Jaie began creating the designs in 2016 with the use of photo montages.
12. Franca Turrin
An Australian based photographer with over thirty years of experience in a variety of disciplines, Franca Turrin has a foundation in traditional film and portraiture and currently works as a fine art photographer. Capturing otherworldly tales and explorations of landscapes and flora, she describes her work as a construct of still life – whether in the studio or external landscape – which is driven by textures, light and the allegory of life. Turrin’s current exhibitions and projects include the Aussie Artists Collective Exhibition (December 2021), NFT Liverpool (June 2022), and Resilience on Spatial.io (2021-) (solo exhibition).
New original works by Franca can be found in our upcoming Muses collection.
Always the artist, MLAK (Karlee Mackee) was “born with crayons in her hands” so as to speak. Since her formative years, she has been known for her fearlessness in self-expression: her NFT art includes an eclectic mix of motifs such as playing cards, playfully-depicted female genitalia and tiger heads. At the heart of her work, MLAK celebrates women and the expression of sexuality, as well as provides an avenue to give back to the community.
She is also a featured artist in our Muses collection, launching this June.
14. Zeke’s Lunchbox
Fans of a highly popular femme reinterpretation of tarot cards may be familiar with Zeke’s Lunchbox, the creator of the eighty piece original epic deck, “Zeke’s Arcana”. A pseudonym for Melbourne-based artist Julia Rich, the artist is best known for her weird creatures and mystical women, with her work often described as strange, unearthly and prismatic. You can find Zeke’s art exhibited across the world as well as through partnered global brands such as YouTube and Wix.
Stay tuned for her upcoming works this June.
15. Caroline Lejeune
Having painted in various places across Australia including Melbourne, Brisbane and Byron Bay, French Parisian born Caroline Lejeune has a deep love for the local floral and fauna which she features in her work. Capturing the bright energy of Australia and its lush nature, the symbolic imagery she employs invites viewers to dream and escape into ethereal tropical landscapes through her art. Lejeune’s paintings also often represent powerful women in their queendom.
The artist will be featured in our Muses collection.
That brings us to the end of Part 1, but stay tuned for 10 more female Australian artist highlights in Part 2! Also: don’t miss out on our Muses drop featuring some of the talented creators mentioned above. Sign up here for early access and get notified when we launch, or follow us on Discord and Twitter for updates!