So getting into NFT was a bit funny because I wasn’t able to do it myself, but thanks to the support of people trained in the field, I was able to launch this collection. We hit on International Women’s Day, and I was on a Twitter space with Eva Longoria, and she hit one of my works, and then Reese Witherspoon hit one after that, which was huge.

Artist Yasmin Shima with one of her Women’s Year pieces.

So, as an artist, what’s the benefit of turning something into NFT? What are the benefits of doing this over more traditional media?

As a mainstream artist, I was looking to become more mainstream, so I nibbled on getting commercial murals so I could be seen in public. And when I started doing NFTs, I was catapulted to a platform where I was all of a sudden talking with art buyers, celebrities, and other famous artists.

So that was the most important thing for me. In my daily work as an artist, I could go around and network in different places, but in Web3, it was this massively amplified community. And you end up forming these networks, and you really become familiar with all the artists and projects. And it gave me a platform to reach an audience that I wouldn’t usually be able to connect with.

It is also a question of authenticating the work. As a physical artist you have a work of art that may move in its lifetime, but you as an artist will never know where it is going and you will never receive secondary sales royalties . NFTs have opened up this whole gateway for artists to receive royalties in perpetuity.

One of the negative symptoms of the market downturn is that a large number of NFT users have simply left Web3.

Speaking of which, have you made more money with your NFT currency than with other more traditional works of art? How does it compare?

My previous NFT mint (which is an ongoing NFT project) provided me with an income that, if I chose, would allow me to pay for my groceries and live modestly, which had never happened before. A commission for a mural might be $5,000 or $10,000, which would only last a few weeks. So it’s been mind-blowing because unless you win the Archibald or something that just doesn’t happen for artists.

I really hope Web3 can continue to do this for other artists and creatives so they can make a living from their passions.

Well, the NFT market is down about 97% since the start of the year, which is a huge drop. What does this mean for a project like yours?

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It’s definitely quite stressful. A lot of projects failed, a lot of them didn’t turn out well, and a lot of them just disappeared. As a team we have stayed in communication and are constantly trying to find ways to pivot and be nimble when the market is so bad; but one of the negative symptoms of the market downturn is that a large number of NFT users have simply left Web3.

I think there was such hype with NFTs, and when the market goes down – whether with stocks or NFTs – people panic and get stressed. But as a team, we stick to it. We are here for the long haul, we will continue to show ourselves and the market will recover.

What do you think of the more “early” NFT projects like Bored Apes? Are they good for the space as a whole?

I probably can’t comment too much on this because all projects are unique. But obviously it was a huge project that now does crazy things, and our project is pretty small and doesn’t do these crazy things. So I don’t want it to overwhelm the artists entering the space; you don’t need to do anything [Bored Ape’s] gauge or scale. I just want to continue to focus on my art and do things with our project that support that model.

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NFTs haven’t been viewed particularly favorably by the art community – many artists think they’re a scam or not worth it.

I think it comes down to personal experience. I completely understand artists who don’t get anywhere with NFTs – I have friends who collect and get a lot of admiration and recognition, but no sales.

I’m not saying that’s the way you should do it. I’m just saying through my experiences it’s been fun for me and I hope other artists can find a break in this space as it can be a huge platform to showcase your work. Like any job or anything in life, you have to keep pushing. I have to keep working and presenting myself as an artist, there is always more work to do.