Previously, digital artists got little respect. To the tastemakers in the world of fine art, digital art seemed more like a commercial craft. Could something made with Photoshop really be art?
Then Bitcoin—the world’s first cryptocurrency—emerged in 2009, proving that with blockchain technology, people could assign owners to unique digital items. That has opened the door for digital artists like Jaiden to market what they create as one-of-a-kind objects.
“In the NFT world, anyone can post online, market themselves on Twitter, and build a following from a young age,” says Griffin Cock Foster, who co-founded the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.
Benyamin Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy from suburban London, released his NFT collection “Weird Whales” in July 2021. The project featured 3,350 pixelated whales, each with special traits, some rarer and thus perceived to be more valuable. The collection sold out and earned Benyamin tens of thousands of dollars.
Such success stories, though somewhat rare, have inspired enterprising young people to join the NFT boom. For some, it’s a fun after-school hobby. Others view it as a potential gateway to a full-time career.
Randi Hipper was 17 when she decided to, as she puts it, “go in-depth with the crypto space” in the fall of 2020. Hipper, who goes by “Miss Teen Crypto,” releases her digital artwork as NFTs and runs her own business with the mission of spreading crypto and NFT adoption and education to Gen Z.
“NFTs are unlike anything we have seen before,” Hipper says. “There is a huge opportunity for anyone of any age to come into the space and make a difference.”