There is a connection between art and cryptocurrency.
Artists are finding space to sell their digital work (non-fungible tokens or NFTs) using the Ethereum cryptocurrency. And they make money. Not money, but crypto.
“NFTs are a byproduct of Ethereum,” said Stephanie Telemaque, 29-year-old creative director of Creator Labs at T&T and co-founder and creative director of Marq Studio in New York.
In the space created by the fusion of art and cryptography, Télémaque found both fulfillment and financial freedom.
For now, she is producing her own collection of NFTs, called Renaissance Women, a project with 10,000 NFTs, next month.
But that’s just one of the many ways the artist has integrated art into her life, she told the Express Business in an interview late last month.
She had just returned from New York, where she spent three months and attended the NFT NYC conference with her partner Stephen Hadeed Jr, owner of Creator Labs.
She is attuned to the change taking place in the advertising industry where she is anchored and in the world of crypto, where she also hopes to drop anchor.
In this way, there is also a connection with his passions.
She observed that if you follow the global brands and their direction, they are all heading towards the metaverse.
She has spent the last year understanding the role that art will play in this future.
Creator Labs is essentially an NFT production studio, she said.
“We help brands and artists transition into the metaverse and into the Web 3.0 digital space,” she said of the four-member team.
Their clients vary from brands to individuals and artists.
She explained that some spaces work for artists, while others don’t.
“Many times we had to tell customers, let’s build your community in the traditional sense, and then we can bring you into the crypto space,” she said.
“I’ve seen brands, artists and people, who have a very large audience in the traditional sense, struggle a lot in Web 3.0, because people don’t realize it’s a new community. It’s a market of people who probably wouldn’t have bought what you’re selling before. And you have to build your footing, you have to build new loyalty with these people. You’re not just going to go out there and have 100,000 subscribers, you have to prove to those people and to Web 3.0 that what you’re trying to give them is genuine, it’s genuine. It’s something they would want. It’s a totally different experience. And in fact, I’ve seen people with very low followings on Instagram and on Facebook do extremely well in Web 3.0. It flips everything on its head,” she said.
But is it for everyone right now?
She noted that two clients, a kombucha company and a shoe company recently tried to bring their business into the metaverse, but she didn’t think the time was right because commodities are tangible things.
“I think it will be for everyone in the future. But I think right now, because it’s so early, and the amount of effort you have to put in to build this community, in a new space, you really want to make sure it’s aligned. You know, Stephen and I always go back and forth. He’s like, everyone should get involved. And I’m like, yeah. But from my experience in branding and advertising, I’m like, no, it should line up. It should be what you want and envision for your business. Synergy. Some people believe what he thinks, and some people believe what I think. But I think eventually everyone will be in the metaverse. It’s inevitable,” she said.
“Anyone who wants to be part of it, I want to help them be part of it,” she added.
Ultimately, the market will determine what has value.
“And there are people who like weird things and people who have weird interests. And if you create a following, people who really like the stuff you produce, they’ll buy it. There is no doubt,” she said.
An alumnus of Savannah College of Art and Design, she studied alongside Tobagoninan Sekani Solomon and BackYard Design Company creative director Nicholas Huggins.
At that time, she recalled that the concept of studying art direction at university level was “difficult to digest”.
“But for me, I was always in art school, so I did that. I started a business in New York with my best friend (Lily Marshall) that does branding and advertising,” she said.
She observed that she was stuck in advertising and brand building.
“In the traditional sense of thinking about art, it’s the field that makes money, isn’t it, and I’ve denied my creative sense and my artistic production, to follow this stream that traditionally brings money. It’s just societal pressure on areas that make money, so I focused on that and like I said, ignore my artistic expression,” she said.
This experience, she said, allowed her to move into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency.
She remembers receiving emails from customers saying they wanted to enter the metaverse.
“For me, it starts at the level of artist understanding and then goes up to the level of financial understanding,” she said.
Now she’s getting into it personally.
“Renaissance Women’s goal is to make a global impact through technology, while collecting art,” she said.
“Each token allows each holder to contribute to global charities that aim to feed the next generation. Through the Renaissance Women Foundation/DAO, the community will be able to vote for a charity of our collective choice, as well as donate to women-focused charities through royalties from secondary sales,” she said. Explain.
“It’s basically me who’s been following this journey all my life, even when people didn’t believe it was something to do. And now when people are, you know, a little more comfortable with travel art,” she said.
Telemaque felt that the younger generation of artists are drawn to the nexus because of the freedom it offers, distinct from the fiat world.
“So crypto kind of opens up that space of, hey, I can actually get there sooner than I thought, but it also brings you into a community where you feel like you belong, because that’s what is the crypto community. And then financial freedom. When you enter NFTs, it’s about owning and actually owning the things that you expend your mental energy to produce,” she said.
How to meet skepticism?
She uses her parents – former beauty queen Rachael Thomas Telemaque and Michael Telemaque – as the perfect example. She said it was only after she and Stephen sat down with her parents and explained the concept to them that it “hit them off”.
“I can hit something on the blockchain and I can in perpetuity, get royalties and be rewarded for the work that I’ve done,” she said.
On the question of volatility, she replied: “Zoom out”
“If you’re actually looking at the crypto chart, let’s say you’re looking at Bitcoin or you’re looking at Ethereum, those two different currencies, and you zoom out to the actual chart, even though it’s making these dips daily, when you zoom out, it’s constantly rising. So you’re not really paying attention to the day-to-day fluctuations in cryptocurrency, but you’re looking at it from a very distant, zoomed-out perspective of where this thing is going and where it’s coming from, up to where she now lies,” she said.
For Télémaque, it is not only a question of flourishing, but of financial freedom.
It’s also an opportunity to empower women, like former fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee did with her metaverse launch.
“She actually brings her fashion line into the metaverse. She is currently working with Creator Labs to bring her clothes into the metaverse,” she said.
She explained that as an artist, you can decide whether you bring tangible utility to your project.
“Some artists will decide to say, okay, you buy my NFT, I’ll provide you with a print or it will give you access to purchase my line. Some designers and artists may sell their print or painting to you, but you have a digital version and then you can have your physical version. So that’s the physical part and it gives you a physical reward. Some people want it. And then you have a lot of people in the crypto space who don’t want physical rewards. They just want the digital, you know, they like that token,” she explained.
So how many hats does she wear?
“Oh gosh, that’s a lot but I love it,” she laughed.
“Essentially every role I play is the art director role which is basically aligning an idea with the brand. If you have a client and they want to know is the metaverse the road for me I can say, you know, it lines up, that’s perfect for your brand, that’s where it should go. And also having conversations with customers, like what you see for your brand, so maybe the metaverse is the perfect solution. So with every role I play, I think deciding whether something fits a brand is consistent. So it’s a lot because they’re different currents but that’s all I do. Is that authentic to the brand you’re trying to build and the person you know and how that translates into your brand, because you are your brand if you’re the face of it,” she said.
“So I play that role in everything I do, even if they seem different,” she said.
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Building Alignments With The Metaverse | Local Business – Tech Tribune France
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