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!