Our Spotlight falls on Ghanian NFT artist, Afroscope. With a background in Economics and Statistics, he has impressive experience in art, design, and entrepreneurship.
Before starting a couple of creative organizations, the rising NFT star began his career with design agencies and has run various businesses in different fields. In an exclusive interview with African Digital Art, he shared his journey and aspirations in Crypto Art so far.
“The same curiosity that compelled me to engage with such a vast array of industries led me to the NFT space: I received an invitation to Clubhouse during its early days, saw a few rooms on NFTs, got curious about what they were, hoped in and listened intently, and as an art and tech lover, I simply had to jump in to understand the space for myself.”
A Worthwhile Journey
Some creatives in the NFT space consider the journey beneficial due to the economic freedom and opportunities that abound. However, Afroscope begs to differ, strongly regarding his journey valuable due to the amazing people he has built relationships with within the community.
“Yes, the sales and recognition have been great. If it were down to just those two things, I could still describe my journey so far as worthwhile,” Afroscope revealed. “But nothing compares to the friendships, professional connections, the deep discussions, casual conversations, and all the laughs I’ve shared with folks on practically every continent in the world.”
For him, these are experiences that are imperative and very close to his heart. Even If NFTs were to disappear today, he’d still have these priceless relationships.
Collections In 2021
The artists had a splendid 2021 with incredible collections listed on Foundation and OpenSea. Some of them include Hu Mani So Ma me, Carrying Cultures to Unknown Planes, Shapers of Prana, Striving, Oracle Portenders, Voyage of Perception, among many others.
Talking about what inspired these collections, he contended they were part of a collection titled ‘Spiritual Migration,’ a visual exploration of speculative realities and dreamscapes. Our spirits could exist as the earth becomes increasingly uninhabitable and unsuitable for spirits who are more aligned with nature.
Some pieces from this collection were part of the virtual reality segment of his display in the ‘Efie: Museum As Home‘ exhibition, which is currently going on at Museum Ostwall in Dortmund, Germany. It was also the first virtual reality experience in the museum’s history that featured crypto art.
Successes, Challenges, And Expectations
Afroscope, whose highest NFT sale so far is 1.5 ETH, maintains his main successes have centered around the people he has met within the space and some of those he helped onboard. He narrated a perfect example of this as follows:
“…my friend and amazing artist Linda Dounia, who I told about NFTs and invited onto the Foundation platform. Her intuitive grasp of what the space could be and how to navigate it allowed her to rise quickly, establish herself as a great creator and resource and eventually found Cyber Baat: the soon-to-be DAO and the brand under which the first African NFT exhibition (which existed in both the real world–Dakar, Senegal–and the in metaverse) was held.”
Afroscope related how the creation of Cyber Baat allowed him to connect with so many fantastic artists and people in the space, make some sales, and have a front-row seat to the creation of a DAO. Moreover, the ongoing experience has allowed him to learn a lot, thus enabling him to share information with other folks within his community.
Though high gas fees continue to be an issue with minting artwork on Ethereum, the overall benefits have far outweighed any costs for the West African artist. But his notable challenges have had to do with making time to engage with the community as he’d like to.
“This specifically has to do with finding the time to talk about my work well so people understand what I’m actually doing and also finding the time to participate in groups that I may be able to add some value,” he said. From his perspective, this is a significant challenge because the space requires and rewards intentional engagement; therefore, it feels like a series of missed opportunities.
Concerning expectations, he envisions this continuously accelerating rate of change within the space will continue to happen. The talented artists anticipate things to keep evolving quickly.
More so, many artists and collectors will jump into the ecosystem, bring new perspectives and contribute to this constant NFT and crypto flux. Regarding his career, he expects to keep growing within the space as he intends to be here for the long haul.
Even though more Africans are discovering NFTs and entering the space either as collectors or creators, there is still the perception that Africans and Black communities worldwide are underrepresented in NFT. But unlike the advent of other technological trends, Africa has close to a level playing field to get into Crypto Art.
Afroscope is optimistic about African participation and thinks African artists will continue to grow within the space, carve out their niche and make their presence regarded. Although, he pointed out that, like in many industries, Africans are not prioritized and have the short end of the stick.
“However, I do not doubt that as the world-opening and life-changing power of NFTs are felt more and more, more African artists will get the representation and recognition they need to grow and impact their communities,” he predicted.
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