• R. Helgason

When Beeple in collaboration with Christie's auctioned 5,000 individual jpegs, for $69,346,250 the world started paying attention to NTFs.

Beeple – otherwise known as Mike Winkelmann. Winkelmann first shot to fame following the auction of a collection of surrealistic CGI images that Winkelmann has been producing and posting once a day, every day, since 1 May 2007.

"The Everydays are a thing I started almost 11 years now ago, and it was to get better at drawing. I saw an illustrator from the UK named Tom Judd, "He did a sketch-a-day, and so at first I wanted to get better at drawing, so I also did a drawing per day and posted it on mine. This is 2007, so this is pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter, I was just posting on my web. So literally nobody saw it. I saw that was a good way to get better. I still, at the end of the year, sucked at drawing, but I was a lot better than I was a year ago. So I had always wanted to learn a 3D package, so I decided maybe I'll try doing this with Cinema 4D, and I had no experience in Cinema 4D. So if you go to my website, you can see the very first render I did day one in Cinema 4D, when it was like, Oh sweet. There's something about reflections or something, I was like, This is super sweet."

Beeple’s shock success follows an explosion of interest in the market for collectible art that has opened up around non fungible tokens (NFTs). Through NFT trading platforms like Nifty and Super Rare, artistic hopefuls are able to sell artworks backed by what are, effectively, tradable digital editioning rights. Technically, pretty much anything digital can be bought and sold as such a ‘tokenized’ NFT asset.

Even though some people in the traditional art world look at NFTs with skepticism, what may seem like a bubble could be the beginning of an industry, but even more importantly, a new way for artists to make a living doing that they do best.

Check out Beeple's art