"I strive to learn something new everyday and stay up to date with different methods and techniques used to create art. Something I really admire about the NFT space is the ability to connect with so many different artists with different niches. A simple art can go a long way and I believe that creativity and imagination can do wonders."
Can you tell us a bit about your artistic career and how you came to create NFT art?
I have always been very passionate about art since a very young age. My journey started with pencil sketches and doodles, after which I started doing pencil portraits. I always strived to improve my artistic skills so I started learning how to paint using acrylics on canvas as well as digital painting using procreate. Before I knew about NFTs I did custom digital art illustrations and had the honor to collaborate with top names like Gina Carano, Nate Diaz, Cody Garbrandt, Cris Cyborg and many more. One of my goals was to be able to share my art with as many people as I can and connect with different artists. The first time I heard about NFTs was from my friend but I never thought it was for artists and painters. I did my research and started joining twitter spaces to learn more about how to convert and sell art into NFTs, which got me really motivated to start sharing my digital art and connect with different artists in the space.
When did you decide to establish yourself as an NFT artist and what type of artwork do you most enjoy creating?
I established myslef as an NFT artist in 2021, that's when I made very good connections and knew how to create NFTs. I mostly enjoy creating digital art with a story behind the piece and abstract works that focus on different cultures.
Can you give us some insight into your creative process when creating NFT art?
My most used application for creating digital art is Procreate which I love for the variety of brushsets you can use. Depending on the collection I am dropping, I sometimes include photoshop effects and some AI rendering.
Can you share with us a special project or piece of art that inspired you or that you recently created?
My favorite art that I created which inspired me is 'Past Reflections', which depicts my current self looking at my reflections of the past which had some bad memories. It inspires me because I always remember how the tough times in the past shaped my current self and made me who I am today. I tried to include as many milestones in this art piece to make it my story.
What is the story behind your art?
Growing up in a small village in Egypt I had to travel overseas to join a good school. All I did as a kid was sketch and play video games, was lazy and didn't do any sports. Been bullied a lot in school as a kid for being tiny and made fun of for where I come from.
Was suspended once for punching the bully in the jaw. Used to be made fun of repetitively by my high school biology teacher in front of the whole class for being skinny, calling me "malnutritioned" and was placed in detention when I talked back. That's when I decided to change my lazy and boring lifestyle all around, and not be that tiny lazy kid who gets made fun of. My goal was to prove those people wrong and show them the talent that I have. I joined a boxing and mma gym and eventually started competing.
I started being a lot more confident and productive. I started utilizing my artistic talent by doing acrylic paintings and digital illustrations and started learning photography. Had the honour of doing art collaborations with top names such as Gina Carano, Nate Diaz, Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt and John Wayne Parr. All this was done while pursuing my engineering career.
My main goal was to share my talent with people around the world and to remind those in a similar situation to always use the negative words as a motivation and to never lose focus.
In your work we find portraits of women again and again. What is the reason for this focus?
The main inspiration for me is my mother and the hard times she went through to give us a good life in Canada. As you noted, the book is about women and culture. I try to highlight the strong women from different cultures because I have met so many people from different cultures who have helped me on my journey as I went from one country to another to make a good career.
What role does success play for you as an NFT artist?
Success for me as an NFT artist is getting to connect with the amazing collectors and big named artists in the space, get my art curated for different drops on various platforms and the opportunity to get my art exhibited in different countries around the world.
How do you assess the value of your works and how do you set pricing?
It depends on the type of art or collection that I am dropping, and whether it's a 1/1 or an edition. I also take into account the blockchain on which the art will be minted, the time required to create the piece and the different tools used.
What challenges have you experienced so far as an NFT artist and how have you overcome them?
One of the challenges I faced as an artist is reaching a point where you are not making sales. This can be demotivating for many, but I try to utilize this time to build my connections by joining twitter spaces and researching different ways and blockchains to mint my art.
How did you sell your first NFT artwork and how did you establish yourself in the NFT market?
My very first NFT artwork was sold on an 'Art Share' twitter space. Having big collectors like JF, Steve Ryan, Bavugar, Ali Sharafi and Shurooq Amin collect my work also helped get more eyes on my art and establish my name as an artist in the NFT space. I aim to build my connections everyday by connecting with different artists and collectors in the space and that's through holding art threads and joining twitter spaces.
Can you tell us about your marketing strategy and how you interact with your community?
My marketing strategy is building hype on my new art/collection before it gets minted, as well as choosing a good time to share with my community that the work is minted. I usually share my new art drop in the GM tweet, since it gets the most replies and this helps with the twitter algorithm and getting more eyes on the tweet. I love to keep my interactions with my community going by sharing and commenting on their work as they do the same thing with me. Supporting each other goes a long way in the NFT space.
What role do collaborations and partnerships play in your NFT art career?
Collaborations play a very important role in my journey as an NFT artist as it makes me think outside the box and gives me the opportunity to utilize different art techniques. I had the honour of doing 2 collaborations with the world renowned NFT artist Sabet.
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?
Building connections is one of the most important things an NFT artist should do. Having a strong community will result in more people supporting your work. Whether it's a like, comment or a retweet, it goes a long way. Connecting with my community is one of my top priorities as I believe in good karma. When you connect and support other artists, you will get the same support from them. I do my best to share the new art drops of my connections, and that way they will share mine when I drop my new collection.
How do you see the future of NFT art and what do you think will change in the future?
I believe that NFT art will go a long way in the future with the advancement in technology and many companies jumping on the web3 space. In the future I feel like there will be more opportunities for artists to collaborate with big named companies like Nike, Adidas etc. for limited edition merchandise like shirts, jackets etc.
What is your goal or vision as an artist?
My goal as an artists is to have my art exhibited in different countries and events and connect with as many artists as I can. The more events I het exhibited in the higher the chance of getting more collector eyes on my work which is a very important step in my journey to become an established NFT artist.
What advice would you give to newcomers to Space or new NFT artists?
Patience is key for new NFT artists in the space. New artists tend to think that sales will come right away but the reality is it takes time and a lot of work to build your connections. That should be done through joining twitter spaces and speaking about your art journey, interacting with other artists and building your connections
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am always grateful to connect with new artists in the space and strive to help emerging and new artists in the space by helping get more eyes to their work. I know the struggle of a new artist in the NFT space and would be more than happy to share all the knowledge I have gained throughout the years.