Anthony Azekwoh is one of Africa’s most visible and notable designers. He started as a writer, to become a world famous digital artist.
The 22-year-old is one of the adroit creators putting Nigeria and Africa on the world map. Through the use of 21st century technology, his world-class paintings and artworks have sold for thousands of dollars. A testament to how amazing his job is.
In an interview with Technexthe shares his journey as an artist and the limitless opportunities available in NFTs.
According to him, it started in 2016 when his laptop broke down. As an author at that time, he couldn’t write without the gimmick (because of his bad handwriting). It made him improvise. He took scraps of A4 paper from his parents’ house and started playing with swirling patterns. The rest they say is history.
“The years have passed, I sculpt now. I believe that people exist in multiplicities, that everyone has different facets and they choose to express themselves. I feel like human beings can express themselves in any way possible.
Revolutionary art technology
Blockchain and by extension NFT technology are becoming the most powerful tool of the 21st century. NFTs have given artists, musicians, and content creators the platform to own their art and use it on all fronts. Anthony Azekwoh is a resourceful young African using this revolutionary technology.
“I never thought it could work. I was not a child when I painted and wrote. All of these things started when I was already quite young. So, I always had this strong will to experiment; see what works and doesn’t. After my interest in NFT surfaced, my first drop was in March of last year. And just seeing the success of it and being able to support myself financially was very important to me, so I think so far it’s had a very big impact on my life.
Anthony Azekwoh took the internet by storm in 2020 when his artwork – “The Red Man” sold for $25,000 as NFT. He then became a viral social media sensation and caught the attention of the global art community. He refers to this sale as the turning point in his artistic career, and it all boils down to originality and novelty.
“It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve really painted for myself. I wasn’t trying to copy any of my idols, I wasn’t trying to be anyone, I was just trying to be myself and paint in the best way possible. And that made all the difference. The painting “The Red Man” changed everything for me.
Despite the entrepreneurial challenges in the Nigerian environment, Anthony Azekwoh has been on an upward spiral ever since. Breaking boundaries and pushing the boundaries of artistic revolution.
“I would say it’s an everyday learning curve. The landscape is always changing so the key is to learn to adapt. And just speaking up, I feel like my journey so far has been more inward. Trying to figure out what I’m trying to say and trying to do, and work from there.“
His challenges lay in working in a relatively unfavorable location like Nigeria.
“They can wake up and banish the whole landscape. They banned Twitter, banned crypto. It was a wild time. But overall, we keep pushing. Somehow and somehow it works on its own.
There have always been controversies about how artists are underpaid and unappreciated, especially here in Africa. It’s acclaimed that most creative geniuses don’t really get what they deserve with their craft, and that exact problem is what NFT solves.
While answering a question about what got him interested in NFTs, Anthony said:
“Royalties, certainly royalties. In today’s art market as it is, when an art is resold for any amount in the secondary market. Let’s say an artwork sells for $10 million on Christies, that’s the secondary market and the artists get no royalties from it. But in NFT, 10% is guaranteed, always. And I feel like that’s important. »
The perfect avenue for artists
NFTs are currently the rave of the moment, the talk of the town, and fertile ground for creators to sow the seed of creativity. NFT platforms would be the perfect way for African artists to harness their creative talents.
“I don’t think there’s anything that’s the perfect avenue. I think right now that might be one of the best avenues. Because the big art market can certainly be very brutal for newcomers. So I feel like right now this is the right way for young African artists to properly step into a new space and start earning a living from their work.
However, with the profitability of the digital art market for creators, as unpleasant as it may seem, not all talented creators can touch it big.
“One thing is to do it. Because making money, being successful and being happy are three different things. If it’s referring to making money, it’s like in the real world, not all alternative creative people make money in music, architecture, engineering, or whatever. Making money is another thing, being successful is another. Many things happen beyond your control, there are risks. There are many things that can make an individual “successful” by any metric or standard. »
The future of art?
With the groundbreaking advancements that NFTs have made in such a short time, it is predicted to be the future of art and all forms of property. However, there are those who are of the opinion that NFT is a fad, and its hype would soon diminish.
“In this case, I don’t think NFT’s longevity ensures its credibility. I feel like what he has already done has proven what NFTs can do. To me, NFT doesn’t just represent the technology itself, but rather the thinking behind it – why shouldn’t the majority of creators who have worked on all of this stuff be paid or fairly compensated for it?.
Anthony Azekwoh says the conversations and movements have just begun and cannot be stopped.
“I feel like these conversations have already started and they really can’t be stopped now. I think the spirit of NFTs, whatever shape or form it takes, will continue to exist because it’s is something that has been around for a long time since the early days of the internet.
“How do creators take ownership of their work, how can people take ownership of their own autonomy, how can people work on things they want to work on without this intermediary. It’s happening in music, it’s happening in film, it’s happening in art and I think it’s part of a larger conversation about these big structures, these big people, these big intermediaries, what role do they really in shaping our culture, and our craft.
The adept creator says this is the start of the NFT hype and we are about to witness two very groundbreaking years. According to him, it may not be NFT in particular, but the spirit behind the idea of decentralizing information and crafting.
Is he returning to the literary world?
Anthony Azekwoh’s career is worthy of emulation. One of the reasons it regularly innovates is because it tries to explore everything in the wild new world.
“I feel like there’s so much, there’s a lot of opportunity, so explore that without prejudice, without judgment. It worked for me.
The artistic assistant does not stop. Anthony Azekwoh is now focusing on diversifying his interests. Subsequently, there will be written content from him.
“I haven’t really dipped into my writing in a while so there’s going to be a new series of writing very soon, there’s going to be more sculpting, more appearances and really more of the 360 degree approach to this creativity.”
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