Hello! Who are you and what do you do?
Hey, thank you so much for opening up the NFT process and making this amazing opportunity transparent for all.
I am DJ Rainbow Sprinkles or Mr Sprinkles, and for the better part of a decade, I've been blessed to travel all over as a club circuit and studio engineer/producer, specializing in EDM, Techno and House music.
During this time, I have amassed a treasure trove of unreleased music, but most importantly, many memories of meeting some of the kindest, craziest and musically savant people on the planet.
Unfortunately, when the pandemic happened it stymied the Club scene, so instead of going stir crazy in a small NYC apartment, I decided to utilize my other passion - photography - and take a stab into the NFT market
What's your backstory and how did you start?
Backstory? That's a dangerous question that could easily evolve into a three-act musical if we're not careful!
All jokes aside, my late father was a brilliant airbrush artist active 81-97; he specialized in scaled murals for schools, businesses, homes, baseball parks, churches and even recreational vehicles.
But the most memorable ones were in our home foyer where he painted Michael casting Lucifer out of Heaven called "Falling Angels' how apropos. These were 21' vaulted ceilings, and I woke up one late night to him dangling from what used to be the chandelier -painting away.
Looking back, I probably should have been worried but just laughed. I never appreciated art and how emotionally intrinsic or cathartic it can be until he passed away in 2011.
That was the catalyst that propelled my interest and purpose to learn as much as I can as well as built on what little artistic magic I inherited from him.
Even though I am a fairly decent sketch artist, that genre has become more niche, so I decided to fuse my passion for photography with technology and create "Mimics" or "CA Renderings".
Here is a mosaic called "swim" (Not sure if you can catch the hue alignment with two Duck-like figures, one with an outstretched wing kind of pushing the orange and green ducky into the water)
Here it is in the original form before it was skewed into the mosaic above:
This was my first apartment, no lifeline, no one ready to catch me if I drowned.
Hence why I called the finished piece Swim.
Take us through your creative process of conceptualizing, making, and minting your work.
So my process is actually the funniest part since the majority of my pieces stem from a "Muse" photo, I can still skew the piece into a perceptual denominator vastly understood or received by everyone - thus welcoming the art experience to all and mitigating the exclusivity, demeaning and crassness Fine Art traditionalists wear like a badge of superiority.
Choosing a muse can hit me on the #2 train down to Brooklyn - where my work studio is - because you can see the chaotic beauty of NYC from Midtown to the Seaport District in Lower Manhattan.
For me, it's as simple as cutting in (LiveQuartz Pro) several random holes through a photo then sliding it over different scenes, colors or patterns (layers). Once I have visualized the direction I want to go, I work non-stop until it's finished.
Oftentimes that is 7 to 33 hours later.
The latter only happens when I become conflicted by an either/or fork within the execution or palette that usually ends in several iterations.
This process may seem daunting or confusing so let me show an example. Here are all iterations (not layers) of "Pride Glitch":
The center picture is the final piece. When I break down a photo, I usually start with the negative and then sketch in different stylistic markers, working my way into full-color if that's the end goal.
There was one where I got stuck on sketching because it was so different from anything I had done before. The base layers' lines had so much depth and character that I ended up spending an additional eight or so hours creating sketches with additional filters and style markers.
But ultimately, I ended up sticking with my original Pride-themed color motif.
At first, I was extremely scared to mint my work. I was downright petrified. Each of my pieces is an extension of my thoughts, fears, tears, losses, laughs and loves. Perhaps this could have been the fear of rejection or of being joked about in the NFT Super Secret Club of professional artists.
Truth is, art should always be receptive to the interpretation of how it makes an individual feel and not subjectively forcing someone to feel or believe a certain way.
I had to have faith in my art and allow it to speak for itself, and let me say it's visceral and transcendent when your work sells and the buyer is over the moon with joy just to own a piece of your work.
What do you do to increase the visibility and collectibility of your work?
The key to being a successful digital artist is incorporating excellent skillsets of both a social media influencer and a marketer specializing in demographic targeting.
Alternatively, you can hire a person or firm to handle the promotional aspect of your business.
Some scoff at me for calling this a business, which is fine. Jumping into the NFT market was just a hobby at first, but with a bit more attention and hustle, I noticed the undeniable potential and chose to cross the line and turn this into a business venture.
Through this, you can still work on your business and have fun doing it. You just have to be conscientious with your BPOA and execution.
I am still figuring the market out, so much so that "Trial & Error" should be my moniker. I have learned that there is a cult of personality type following that exists within the NFT ethos, so I had to own my quirkiness and sell it with extra sprinkles and flare.
One of the mistakes I have made is not allowing appropriate time for market digestion. When you get ready to mint it is best to create some hype or teasers. Then, once released, let it go and focus on community engagement with collectors and artists alike.
I instead decided to mint my stockpile of projects which caused sensory overload for some. There was no clear motif, genre, niche, scheme or even specific style. This hindered my launch into self minting (previous work was sold through a broker), but it was an invaluable lesson learned.
Right now, I have 61 original and 11 secondary pieces listed across three marketplaces, and each original piece has its home market specifically targeted for that market's demographics and similar (not the same) stylistic tendencies of that marketplace's top sellers.
I do not double-list, but if let's say you have a piece minted on an Ethereum blockchain, it does not sell, and you have an option to burn (trash the mint) to try its chops on a Tezos blockchain, go right ahead.
There is nothing unethical with presenting your work to anyone willing to purchase. It's just important to ensure none have sold from the original mint - that technically would be double-listing.
This is a fundamental component to the longevity and success of my art and my brand. If there is one thing undeniable about my art, that's got to be the vibrance and melody of color I blend with neutrals.
Below is one of my favorites called "Soledad" ~ Solitude is a lonely existence, yet in the brutal chaos of society's emotional atrophy it is the only semblance of peace.
What I was creating at this moment wasn't necessarily art in my head, I was instead at therapy, and anyone who appreciates this piece is technically my therapist.
Soledad represents a personal dichotomy between hope for humanity and the bleakness we show our brethren. But the majestic, purple-lavender hue represents bravery, and it is the sang royal of colors, harmoniously intuitive amidst complete chaos and compassionate to the plight of others.
In summation, I have faith in all artists and their ability to create timeless artifacts that will cement our generation's footprint alongside fellow boat-rockers such as Amy Cappellazzo, Laurence Fuller, Blalock, Voke, XCOPY, and WGMeets.
The key is, just like these trailblazers, to deliver exceptional art with humility and respect for your craft, all the while lifting fellow artists up.
What have you learned about NFTs and the NFT space since you've entered, and what is your focus for the future?
I have walked into this with an open mind ready to learn, but I never anticipated the amount of learning I would be consuming. Not to fret, everything has been benign for the most part, just a lot in a short period.
The biggest mountain I set out to tackle and understand was why people are willing to pay large sums of money for an object they will never touch, smell, enshrine on a wall or in a case, lend to a museum or university with "Special Thanks To" attached!
Now I get it.
As we grow closer to a global society via 10011101010111011000's that innate human need to connect through ownership gets stronger.
As the virtual platforms become increasingly more interactive, the more we direct our time and money to be a part of that experience.
I will use myself as an example.
Two years ago, I was trying to focus more on mastering my photography skills when a broker called me from Hokkaido, Japan, on behalf of a private collector that had seen a photo of my pink crepe myrtle (unpublished) and wanted to commission me to do a Yoshino cherry tree piece for them.
This was extremely suspect and became even more peculiar when the contract was presented. "NFT, what? Why? They want what?" This was my response to the broker upon reading the commission outline. Unfortunately, due to that contract, I have said just enough to skirt the legal line.
I can say that I flew to Washington DC, and that these blooms may be presidential. To this day, "和" is my highest sold NFT. This client used technology to facilitate the medium within pleasure, comfort, portfolio diversification and security all in one token.
This makes the NFT market, in all honesty, without bounds. Especially if it gives you all the satisfaction a traditional gallery or gala does but mitigates risk, exposure, health or harm, and your asset is unequivocally protected.
Hence, I am more focused on acquiring as many pieces as I can from artists across the globe and building a stellar gallery to hold Galas and Genre specific showings with featured artists.
(Pink Crepe Myrtle)
What platforms/tools do you use?
As I mentioned briefly in the previous question, I don't believe art and the education it delivers us should be exclusive, so any marketplace that excludes any artist or collector will never have one of my pieces on its roster and will never see a cent in my wallets!
I am very partial to Hic Et Nunc, which is a bohemian, grassroots type community.
I also use Rarible, OpenSea and recently Kalamint and ΝiftyGateway. I use a menu of creative tools and here are a few:
Which books, people or resources have had the most influence on you?
I am a huge Ralph Waldo Emerson fan because I believe he had a pretty firm grasp of what humanity should be like and a sobering understanding of how far we are missing the mark.
There should be a sense of altruism in art, not indifference but the sentiment of what it can offer us rather than what we can take from it.
I feel these artists encapsulate this concept:
Joanie Lemercier - His art within conceptual topography is unparalleled, and he uses his artwork to educate, fund and fight for our home Earth.
Erin Mulligan - Through technology /GAN, she is creating timeless pieces that make you scream Rembrandt or Goya.
Mathijs - His bright, narrative paintings will illuminate the darkest night. His technique is a masterful slide with a high definition ultra-fine inlay, making his work fire hot on the marketplace.
Advice for artists who are just starting out with NFTs and the crypto space:
If you are new to the marketplace, I would suggest visiting some chats or forums for the marketplaces you feel comfortable listing first, make friends, and build yourself up to the jumping-off-the-cliff point.
This way, you will have a support group ready to help answer any questions and possibly become collectors of your work.
Before you mint, make sure you have a vision and/or a Business Plan of Action (BPOA) because if you can't see where you are going, how are you ever going to get where you need or expect to be?
Also, please reach out to your accountant; if you don't have one, do your due diligence and educate yourself on your country's/state/province tax code.
A part of your BPOA must have a budget plan included, and I suggest, as best practice, to have funds attached to the minting and sales of your art be separate from any collecting and secondary sales of art you choose to purchase.
Depending on your country's tax code, this can affect personal tax burden more than business.
Always remember to believe in yourself, your craft and understand not everyone will be your fan.
Not everyone will like your art.
When you scope out the marketplaces, find similar items and price them out, you do not want to enter the market setting sky-high and unsubstantiated prices for your work.
Of course, once your art has established its quantifiable markers, you can set your prices using a supply and demand calculator.
Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there isn't a macro, app or widget for this one just yet, but give it time, we Millennials punted this one to GenZ.
Until a quick calculator is available, I suggest using a traditional economic model to set price variances. Here is a more in-depth breakdown of pricing variants.
Lastly, consider editions.
This I have learned varies between platforms. On some, it's smart to do high number editions, low sale price, but hefty royalty and on others that thrive on a more long term collector aspect, it's best only to mint a small number of editions and price your work accordingly to the fair market price.
I've seen some selling out of 500 editions at $1.35 each, having a 25% royalty and their work going for 600% the original asking price on the secondary market. Hence they made more off someone else reselling their work.
Granted, this is an extreme example and not an everyday occurrence, but you must be aware of how to price your art appropriately.
When it comes to NFT pricing, here is a fantastic tool you can use: ArtCentral, which provides statistics of NFT prices and transactions:
Where can we go to learn more about you?
Country of origin: US
Where are you based: NYC
Describe your art style(s): A fusion with Contemporary and Art Nouveau
Years of experience in art: Been around it my whole life with my Father; Only 2 years releasing my own art.
How much have you made from NFTs so far: Roughly $15,000
Largest NFT sale: $1,800
Describe yourself in one line: If only I were an onion, describing myself would be as simple as peeling one layer at a time.
*This Content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice*