Originally published in September 2020

Hi Everyone! Crypto Northerner here – the Ride the Hype? series aims to summarize key industry sales, sentiments and eco-system drivers in the rare digital art space, largely focusing around the main absolute USD and volume sales across the industry.

Here, we re-publish the original editorial of Ride the Hype Part 1 for a refresher after it’s initial publishing back in September 2020.

The growing desire for digital art forms and styles are evident. The neon futurism and crypto motifs of Primal Cypher and Lucho Poletti, hyperdetailism from Javier Arrés, distinct abstract, colorful and gritty surrealism of HarvMCM, CG wizardry from Alessio de Vecchi, rebellious skulls meeting modern classicism from Ekaitza and animation meeting technology from marc0matic. This piece is a celebration of the coming together of these fantastic minds.

The growth of digital art platforms are in many ways a celebration of amazing minds, emotional creations and augmented realities which are encouraging discussion and debate – A bringing together of the original crypto philosophers with venture capitalists from the “nascent-new world”, alongside expressive, forward-thinking artists. The philosophies born under Satoshi over ten years ago have evolved and fragmented: Alt protocols are thriving, crypto-use cases are increasing and blockchain eco-systems are growing, with a sliver of the Satoshi origins represented through fresh, youthful, crypto-digital art.

Crypto-currencies are often cited as the exit hatch away from the current debt driven monetary system, towards a multi-faceted digitized new world, underpinned by the science of mathematics, crypto-economics and a decentralized ledger of transactions which are scarce, immutable, permission-less and verifiable. Rare digital art platforms are the green shoot eco-systems on top of those very foundations where color, animation, and technological techniques capture both artists and collectors. Both creator and curator are. intertwined by the common culture of a disruptive industry, where power is no longer centralized but pushed to the edges. Through this industry, artists now have a stronger voice. Art has just become more liquid, transparent and highly tradable.

The notion of investing without emotion is considered a prerequisite trait to successful investing. With digital art this becomes more challenging – not only is it addictive, but the emotion attached to the artwork is a large part of the value. You either hold onto it in true HODL style, or you begrudgingly let that creation go to the next buyer. It’s tough being an investor, and even tougher for the artists. The growth of NFTs including rare 1/1 digital art pieces is notable, as demand for high quality, authentic art pieces continues to drive prices higher.

“The Great Desire” by Primal Cypher

Digital Art – elements to success

The creation, the art piece is only one component of the value proposition. The collector, the investor, the buyer wants to see more. They want to see the artists’ art reserves, understand the transparency on what releases are in the pipeline, peel back the artists’ history and social branding, their social credentials, their social influence scores, their social engagements, their interactions with other facets of the crypto eco-system. Being able to monetize these satellite components, around the art piece, is key to social, financial and brand success. The digital art creation itself will open that exit hatch to taste success, but the competition amongst artists is fierce and only those artists with the vision and the ability to differentiate themselves either through manipulating digital technologies, or sleek marketing – those hungry enough, with the pointier elbows, who want to be seen, want to be heard, will get front and center attention, and the lions share of the $.

“Bullish” by Alessio De Vecchi

Also key to success is for artists to establish a close circle of focused collectors, or followers, who can amplify the artists work through social media. Leveraging collectors as “intermediaries” or “brokers” of the artists own work can amplify success. A recent genius piece of marketing that stood out most recently in this regard was Yura Miron’s limited edition airdropped artwork to all collectors who had purchased Yura’s artwork on the various digital art platforms – a great way to leverage collectors, create noise over social media and share their recently acclaimed, limited edition airdrop – advertising the artist and the artwork, as well as incentivizing collectors for potential further art airdrops.

What we also saw most recently from DCLblogger –was a virtual meetup of artistic minds in Decentraland – another example of the the multi-faceted engagement approach artists should aim to take part in. Pr1mal Cypher’s and Fewocious’ interview with Josiebellini also gave “air-time” and an insight into the personas behind the artwork – whilst Serguei Vinnitskii’s enlightening and comical daily Powersurge⚡provides welcome shout-outs, delivered with casual humour.

The digital world is vast, yet accessible and the community is, for the most part, welcoming – the door is open to engage. Raise your game artists – go get it – it won’t just be handed to you. Uploading that art creation is the first stage of monetizing your brand and your eco-system. Get the best out of that art creation, share it far and wide, attract peoples’ eyes towards it, share the story behind it, share the emotions put into it. Engage with the wider crypto community, collaborate with each other – Bring those colors and animations to life and always be looking for an angle to keep your brand relevant.

“Bitcoin will save us” by Primal Cypher

Hype meets success

The growing desire for digital art forms and styles are evident. The neon futurism and crypto motifs from Primal Cypher and Lucho Poletti, hyperdetailism from Javier Arrés, CG wizardry from Alessio de Vecchi, rebellious skulls meets modern classicism from Ekaitza, animation meets technology of Marc O Matic and the distinct abstract colourful and gritty surrealism of HarvMCM. The coming together of the Hackatao, Coldie and Pak – the first movers and the upcoming younger artists creates a vibrant, competitive virtuous cycle of support and positivism across crypto-art platforms. The recent success of Fewocious through her artwork, extrovert personality and influencer connections via Morgan Creek caused a mini-hype bubble that can only last and be positive for the future success of digital art.

“Rebirth of the Yesterbeasts” by Marc0matic
“Bona Tempora” by Ekaitza

One of my favourite, and who I believe is one of the most under-appreciated artists, is HarvMCM. His recent rare digital art debut with ‘Discover your subconscious” , “Be quiet, we’re watching the world end”, followed by “Alone but together” highlights the systematic destruction of the character in his artwork. The fragmented George Condo and Basquiat-esque cubist plane styles are clearly embedded in HarvMCMs work.

It was the representation of the psychological state that captured my initial attention, and HarvMCMs initial work on the platform focuses on emotions that challenge – rooted in the more darker pits of the mind –  “isolated from reality”, “searching for a part of you that’s been lost for a while”, “eye to eye with your fate” and “who you really are” although have serious undertones, are displayed with carnival-like colour and are somewhat humorous.

“Stuck in Limbo” by Havmcm

On the social media side, Harvey has a growing and respectable social following. His art reserves are abundant and a positive signal for future releases, which should bode well for his early momentum to continue.

These successes are not simply short term hype cycles, but rather the beginnings of a structural mega trend in displaying, sharing, pricing, transacting and appreciating art. Price discovery is well underway – despite what feels like an oversupply of artwork currently, given the potential for monetary gains, the demand/supply of artwork vs collectors will at some point hit various levels of equilibrium over the long term.

We wish all the artists well and look forward to their continued success.

Makersplace : Crypto Northerner

ETH address: 0x13e49cd3f314188032bed445a2f3de55f3669110

Mentions: Primal Cypher, Lucho Poletti, Javier Arrés, marc0matic, HarveyMCM, Yura Miron, Josiebellini, Fewocious, Alessio de Vecchi, DCLblogger, Ekaitza, Hackatao, Coldie, Pak, XCOPY, Serguei Vinnitskii (Powersurge ⚡)

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