The drone photographer from Chicago/United States has been capturing the unique from above for 8 years. His unique perspectives from the air impressively show how drone photography can merge with AI. We chatted with Deftony83, real name Charles Martínez, as part of his exhibition at CREO Gallery.
Can you tell us a bit about your artistic career and how you came to create NFT art?
I have been taking photographs for the past 11 years and came across NFTs last quarter of 2021 and became fascinated with the vast community interested solely on art and I became more than interested to start selling my work of many years.
When did you decide to establish yourself as an NFT artist and what type of artwork do you most enjoy creating?
I decided in October 2021 when I minted my first work on Opensea Hoop Nation Vol. 1. i enjoy Aerial Photography the Most.
Can you walk us through the process of creating one of your NFT artworks from start to finish?
First I pick a piece that resonates with me and perhaps with the audience. Then depends on what I want to do with it ( create a 1/1 or edition ) I pick the best marketplace suited for my needs and then start the minting , advertising and marketing process until the piece or collection is sold out .. to start over again.
Can you share with us a special project or piece of art that inspired you or that you recently created?
I am currently working on 365 1/1 collection merging my aerial photography with artificial intelligence specifically Midjourney V4.
As part of your exhibition, we will show "TRICOLOR" in our gallery. How was this picture created?
This was an opportunity to be part of project renovating and painting a basketball court for a dangerous neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The court was dedicated to Tay: a 15 year old who passed away due to gun violence. She was a positive influence in this neighborhood in Milwaukee. Within 3 days of completion this court got vandalized and immediately was renovated thanks to the community.
What moment inspired you?
The Artistic look on these courts inspires me to keep capturing them for the past 6 years. There are so many of them that it became collectible items when I travel.
What do you want to show with it?
I want to show the beauty of art from Above at a large scale to courts that where the youth are greatly benefited by the beautiful art while they play.
How has technology influenced or changed the way you create art?
Blockchain technology has influenced my way of thinking when it comes to creating and selling art. It gives me a sense of ownership that I have never experienced before. A level of confidence and motivation that compliments my insatiable passion of traveling and photography.. the perfect symbiosis.
Can you describe a particularly challenging or rewarding moment in your artistic career?
Rewarding moment was one in particular where I challenged myself to drop a 50 edition not knowing what would become of it. I made a list of potential supporters and rest was history where I was able to sell all 50 pieces for a grand total of 1.5 ETH. It gave me a boost to pursue NFTs even more.
How does your cultural or personal background influence your art?
My personal background which is the military helps me out organize and become disciplined with my art and how to keep my energy always at top levels to stay performing with it no matter what. I learned how balance things in life so my art stays afloat without breaks in between.
Can you talk about a time when you had to take a risk or make a bold move in your art career?
In my NFT Career I had to take a huge risk on my first mint that was a considerable sum of money during the bull run so I have to be extra motivated to pull through and make the sales happen to make that investment worthwhile. It was exciting to say the least because of that extra push and pressure from the beginning.
What challenges have you experienced so far as an NFT artist and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenges is not selling an NFT or a collection. I have experienced that and I have come to the conclusion to either burn NFTs , Revamp or just keep them there for a long period of time. The whole point of being here is to experiment and allow yourself to fail so you can improve in future endeavors.
How did you sell your first NFT artwork and how did you establish yourself in the NFT market?
My first sale came about out of a space where we were sharing our fellow artist work .. one of the collectors on the listeners heard my pitch and decided to buy the piece I was mentioning about my fellow artist. After that he decided to buy my piece as well. I established myself in the community by giving my time and energy for the artists selling their work and promote their art. I gained traction by putting my work, supporting others and participating on discussions where people could feel my personality and what I can offer to the table.
Can you tell us about your marketing strategy and how you interact with your community?
I don’t have a strategy but I believe in the law of reciprocation where if I give and give I will receive eventually due to consistency and good will. There is no secret other than being consistent and doing things because you want to do it and that’s sustainability.
How do you find art collectors?
Collectors are everywhere and they are found by establishing a genuine connection and also being aware if they love what you do as far as art.. many collectors will like you as a person but don’t really resonate with your medium of art and prefer others.
How do you see the future of NFT art and what do you think will change in the future?
I think the future will be multi chain
What is your goal or vision as an artist?
My goal is to become one of the most recognized aerial photographers in the planet or at least in the NFT Realm.
What advice would you give to newcomers to Space or new NFT artists?
Never quit your dreams because if you do everything you did prior to that was in vain. Learn to balance all around you and use to your advantage. Write down your goals and keep yourself accountable with it.
Charles: Founder of @art.of.chi and @droneglobe