Artist Spotlight: The Next Generation of NFT Photographers
Photography has gone from darkroom to digital, becoming central to our online lives. Even now, the possibilities multiply with each new tech wave. The latest: NFTs.
Avaissance includes photography NFTs. Though an unheralded sector of the NFT world, photography NFTs open new doors for creators and collectors. Critically, NFTs give photographers novel ways to monetize at a time when countless photos are shared each day.
The next generation of great photographers is getting into NFTs now. Many of these rising talents are embracing Avalanche. Today, we meet three talented photographers with big NFT aspirations who are among Avaissance’s cohort of 50+ digital artists:
The first photographer, Tommy Kwak, has been exhibited across the world and done commissions for brands like Louis Vouitton. His work “explores the transience of landscapes and natural forms through ethereal large-format color photographs.” Misty coasts. Palm fronds. pink sun.
And yet, despite a 15+ year career, NYC gallery representation, and a photobook of Miami’s lifeguard towers under his belt, Tommy finds entering NFTs a bit mystifying.
“In the NFT space, I feel like I’m a complete noob,” he said. “I feel like I’m constantly stumbling when it comes to what to mint, pricing, and marketing.”
How should he position himself on Twitter?
How might his giant photos translate digitally?
Tommy wants to learn. That’s why he’s so pumped for Avaissance.
“I’m super excited to have a mentor to bounce ideas off of, and also to have the artist-in-residency program infrastructure to support my NFT project,” Tommy said.
He has become a big fan of the Avalanche NFT scene. “I can see the Avalanche artists and community are very tight-knit and supportive, which makes for a great environment to create,” he said. “Also, gas fees are much lower, which makes minting much more effortless and easy on the wallet.”
Marylee Burman is an adventure and lifestyle photographer who captures richly colored, FOMO-dripping natural vistas. Her portfolio brims with mountains and meadows shot in places like Switzerland, Iceland, and the Pacific Northwest. Marylee moonlights as a photographer. By day, she’s a design program manager at Google Cloud.
She likes to shoot while traveling, often for work. She has taken to NFTs for their intentionality, for “the permanence of minting something” that will forever live on-chain.
She wants “to pioneer a new space, to build a community and learn something new.”
So far, Marylee has enjoyed her Avaissance programming.
“I’m still kind of pinching myself that this is actually happening,” she said. “I’m excited by the community part of it all, and being able to work with all these mentors.”
Marylee views Avaissance as a highway to the next level. She’s in the phase of her artistic journey where she’s developing new creative wrinkles, fine-tuning her visual storytelling, and finding her style.
“I think the most exciting thing about this program is it’s going to allow me to break outside of my box and tap into my creative intentionality,” she said.
Houston Vandergriff is a young travel photographer who goes by Downs & Towns. Already this year, Houston has traveled to seven states, three continents, and shot in Turkey, Egypt, and Portugal. Houston has down syndrome, and his parents say his speech isn’t always clear. “Houston’s camera is his voice,” they said. “His travel photography captures his unique view of the world.”
Houston’s work has a deep sense of place. For instance, his Season’s End NFT drops the viewer onto the side of a hazy Guatemalan river, muting everything but a tiny man in a canoe.
For pieces like these, Houston made NFT Now’s latest NFT 100.
After joining Avaissance, Houston met his mentor at NFT NYC. Avaissance lessons have been “thorough” and “incredibly informative.”
Houston and his family see NFTs as a way to create greater inclusivity in art. “NFTs open the art world for artists with disabilities that never existed in the history of the world,” they said.
Houston has gained a reputation, a following and launched several collections. And yet, he and his family didn’t know about Avalanche until Avaissance. They’re happy they did, they said. “With each new thing we learn, we love it more and more.”
Like Tommy and Marylee, Houston is excited to bring his talents to Avalanche.
Avalanche is a smart contracts platform that scales infinitely and regularly finalizes transactions in less than one second. Its novel consensus protocol, Subnet infrastructure, and HyperSDK toolkit enable Web3 developers to easily launch powerful, custom blockchain solutions. Build anything you want, any way you want, on the eco-friendly blockchain designed for Web3 devs.