Besides the innovative art pieces and pop culture memorabilia often attached to them, NFTs have also captured the public’s imagination because of how financially successful they have been. Top pieces can be sold for millions of dollars and artist Beeple holds the record for the most expensive NFT ever sold at $69 million.
From artists like Beeple to smaller ones all over the world, NFTs are giving artists a way to make a living over the internet. One of the biggest (and youngest) success stories from the NFT space has been Nyla Hayes, a 13-year old American artist who has become a millionaire after just one year of selling her NFTs.
Like many of those who sell NFTs, Hayes’ work is her own original art. Specifically, it is art that features notable women throughout history drawn with uniquely long necks. She has listed over 3,000 pieces in her collections and past subjects have included late United States Supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Since starting her journey with NFTs a year ago, Hayes’ pieces sell for thousands of dollars per unit and have earned her worldwide acclaim. Amongst other achievements, she was named as an ‘artist in residence’ by Time Magazine in 2021.
On her part, Hayes says that her NFTs are inspired by women and the different cultures of the world.
”I love drawing women from all around the world because I really like different cultures and different backgrounds. I didn’t know what to call them so I just thought of them as long neckies,” she says in a recent interview.
As for the art style itself, Hayes says that it was inspired by her love for Brontosaurus dinosaurs. The prehistoric creatures have notoriously long necks and the artist has incorporated this into her world, giving her illustrated characters what she calls ‘long neckies’.
“At first I just wanted to put two things that I love together, and that was a Brontosaurus and women,” she says, “I wanted to show how beautiful and strong women were, and I thought of the brontosaurus as that as well.”
When Hayes first began creating her drawings, she did so on a smartphone and only showed close family and friends. But with encouragement from them, she began listing her work online as NFTs and found quick success, making over a million dollars so far from her efforts.
NFTs: Champions of Indie Artists
While obviously, not every artist who gets into NFTs is selling their work for millions of dollars, there is something to be said about Hayes’ success story. Many artists struggle to make a living from their work but NFTs act as an avenue for easier income generation.
In the case of digital art like Hayes’, the artist doesn’t need a big gallery or agent to get their foot in the door or even a physical product. Love it or hate it, NFTs are clearly beneficial for a lot of artists and will likely retain a place in the art world for years to come.