Haze Long, Malaysia's best speed painter and global artist best known for my murals, fine art, NFTs and Youtube channel.
Can you tell us a bit about your artistic career and how you came to create NFT art?
Hi I’m Haze. I have been a mural artist for over a decade, produced over 100 murals in my country. I am locally known as a speed painter - I perform on stage with a rotating easel and complete a painting within a song’s duration.
During the pandemic, the income streams from above came to a halt. Fortunately, I had a YouTube channel that gained traction a year before pandemic. I provide free Procreate tutorials and brushes for the art community. Meanwhile, I worked on my first NFT collection which was on ETH.
When did you decide to establish yourself as an Artist and what type of artwork do you most enjoy creating?
I was actually working on my traditional fine art collection through out pandemic. However, because I had gone back to digital painting because of my Youtube channel that I decided to get into NFTs.
I have experience in coding and that caused me to stumble upon AI art. I wanted to be an AI assisted artist and leverage AI to speed up my workflow.
I love workflows that are efficient and well planned and I aim for the process to be part of the art, just like my performances. This mindset influenced me to head into Alla Prima oil paintings, which is a genre that allows the artist to complete a painting within one session.
My speed painting performances are also centred around the reduction of brush strokes instead of repeated rehearsals. By reducing the amount of brush strokes and ensuring that I do not reach for the paint as often, I get to complete the paintings in an extremely short amount of time.
This led me to have an obsession with brush work and achieving multiple goals in one single stroke. This philosophy is prevalent in chinese painting/sumi-e paintings where every single stroke matters and none are accidents.
Have you also gained experience in the classical art market?
I dipped my feet into fine art once before getting into NFTs. At that time I was creating illusions in boxes. My solo exhibition was in a tiny artsy island called Penang, and it was officiated by the Chief Minister back then. After that I had a pop up gallery for about a year and distributed my pieces that way. This year, I will be heading back into the market. But this time, with my brand new AI assisted workflow and visuals.
Can you share with us a special project or piece of art that inspired you or that you recently created?
Title : Hello-ooh!
This was the piece that made me stumble into my current workflow. At that time, I was disturbed by the repetitive AI subject matters and styles. I kept stumbling into artworks that look similar to my raw AI outputs.
I was rushing for a piece for submission and my friend had an event that was due in 4 hours. So I made this in 3d in a hurry and deconstructed it in AI. It was a hit and this became my go to workflow.
What role does success play for you as an NFT-artist?
Success to me meant that there is a consistency in the queue of collectors waiting to collect and consistency in a strong brand as an artist. The daily tasks of creating, marketing, balancing supply and demand became small milestones.
In return, the success allows me to contribute back to the NFT economy by collecting NFTs and ensuring that the market is healthy.
What challenges have you experienced so far as an NFT artist and how have you overcome them?
The first year is the most difficult as we have to adapt to the ecosystem fast and comfort zones are constantly challenged. Success may not come as quickdespite our real life reputation and talent. Talented artists can try and still be undiscovered for an extremely long undeserving time.
Collectors are few in the bear market and they chose to pump artists based on reasons other than the quality of the art. There are also big token gated communities that are toxic and profit driven.
As an antisocial person, I somehow managed to make friends quickly by getting out of my comfort zone many times. These friends and communities made things bearable as we huddle together, compete and strive for success together.
Do you collect art/NFT art as well?
I started out collecting NFTs on Objkt for less than 1 tez, that was all I could afford. The numbers grew and now I am collecting on ETH. My latest purchase was 0.17 ETH.
How important is it to you to connect with the crypto community and how do you use that connection to spread the word about your art?
There was a month when I was really busy creating a 150 NFT drop. I wasn’t present IRL nor in Twitter. I wasn’t collecting nor interacting as much.
Some of the friends I made on Twitter, continued to promote my art and tag me in opportunities despite my disappearance. This actually resulted in Cozomo replying to one of my artwork, giving me a wave of boost.
What role do collaborations and partnerships play in your NFT art career?
In my earlier days when I was still undiscovered, I had alot of collaborations. This helped me grow my audience quickly. Submission for contests, events and exhibitions are like sowing seeds. Some grow, some doesn’t but all grown seeds are harvested a month later. It was important to continue planting seeds daily.
Can you give us an example of a creative and innovative use of NFTs in your art?
Title : Deadpan
I like to push AI tech by creating impossible AI art. This piece features multiple precise expressions, it was important for every single one of them to be distinct and exaggerated. This was impossible with the current AI’s limitations. The creation of this piece was heavily assisted by 3D and digital painting with endless prompting in AI.
How do you see the future of NFT art and what do you think will change in the future?
More galleries will adopt NFTs in their exhibitions and the opportunities are just endless. I am looking forward to IRL display units that can display NFTs. Metaverses will be decorated with NFTs and that’s just the beginning of the new world.
What is your goal or vision as an artist?
To be the artist that other young artists are talking about.
What advice would you give to newcomers to Space or new NFT artists?
If you are popular IRL, please consider contributing to the ecosystem. Collectors in the space are on the alert for cash grabs, so running after getting your profits is not that easy anymore.
If you are talented and new, get use to others less talented having quicker and bigger success than you. The quicker you can transform your envy and ego into genuine love, the quicker you will be elevated.