For Bangkok-based French creative director, product designer, and entrepreneur Jonathan Rycx a.k.a. Rixou, NFT art is a powerful platform for democratizing the art market.
"One of the biggest impacts of NFTs on the art world is the ability for artists to monetize their digital creations in a new way. Before the emergence of NFTs, digital artwork could easily be replicated and shared online, making it difficult for artists to profit from them," Rixou told Digital Life Asia.
Ownership and authenticity
"However, NFTs allow digital artwork to be sold as unique, one-of-a-kind items, providing a new revenue stream for artists. NFTs allow for verifiable ownership and authenticity of digital artworks, increasing their value and appeal to collectors. They also democratize the art market by providing exposure and opportunities for emerging artists to explore new forms of digital art and interact directly with collectors. However, it's important to note that the NFT market is still in its nascent stage and it's yet to be seen how it will evolve and impact the art market in the long run," he said.
Rixou said that becoming an artist was not actually his childhood dream. Instead, he was fascinated by the idea of designing cars and entering the automotive industry.
When did Rixou first realize that he had a talent and passion for art?
"I think I realized I had a passion for art at a young age, when I started watching Japanese animation. I was captivated by the unique art styles and storytelling in the shows. From then on, I became increasingly interested in different forms of art, whether it be traditional or digital. I would spend hours exploring different artists and their techniques, and I found myself constantly inspired by their creativity. My passion for art continued to grow as I got older, and it has since become an integral part of my life. I believe that art has the power to evoke emotion and inspire people, and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of that world in some way," he said.
Art and blockchain
During his free time, Rixou is an avid gamer, Street Fighter fan, and otaku.
"I also have a passion for traveling and trying new food. One of my mantras in life is to push myself to the limits in both life and career goals," he said.
Asked how he would describe his art style, Rixou replied: "My art style is a blend of cyberpunk and pop art, with inspiration drawn from Japanese anime and manga as well as American popular culture from the 1980s. I strive to infuse elements of both into my work to create a unique and visually striking style that reflects my personal tastes and interests."
It was in 2012 that Rixou first encountered blockchain technology.
"I first heard about blockchain technology back in 2012 when I was working on a French fansub team. We were accepting donations in Bitcoin for our dedicated server, but I didn't know much about it at the time.
"But what I found really interesting about blockchain is that it's not controlled by just one person or company. It's run by a whole network of computers working together. And because the information is spread out across the network, it's super hard for anyone to lose or mess with the data," he said.
It took a while, however, for Rixou to decide to become an NFT artist.
"I first minted an NFT in December 2021, but at the time, I didn't fully understand the potential of this new technology and how it could be used to monetize my digital artwork. I was just experimenting and trying to understand how it all worked.
"It wasn't until later in 2022 that I started to take NFTs more seriously and began to explore the possibilities of creating something truly unique and valuable for myself and for my audience. I started to read more about the technology and the market, and to engage with other artists and collectors who were already active in the NFT space. I began to see the potential for NFTs to revolutionize the way digital art is created, shared and sold, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that. So I started to learn more and research more about NFTs and how it can benefit me as an artist," he said.
His NFT project AI x Cyberpunk Pop Art can be found on OpenSea.
"It will soon be available on Rarible, Singular, and Foundation. My current collection is mainly for display purposes, but I am working on a new and larger collection that will have more exciting features. Keep an eye out for updates and follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more information," he said.
How artists can adapt
As NFT art becomes more mainstream, how can artists adapt to this changing environment?
"Artists can adapt to the NFT market by learning about the technology, using online platforms to sell their work, creating and selling their own NFTs, building a strong online presence, experimenting with new digital techniques, networking and collaborating with other artists, and staying informed about legal and ethical considerations. By doing so, they can monetize their digital art and increase their exposure in the digital art world," Rixou said.
Asked what message he would like to share with aspiring artists, Rixou replied: "As an aspiring artist, it's important to stay current with new technologies and find new ways to create art. Experimenting with AI can open doors to new forms of expression, but it's also important to think about the ethical ramifications and the essence of art. Embracing AI has the potential to expand what can be achieved in the art world, but it's also crucial to remain true to yourself and your artistic vision."
After all, technology itself is not art, but just another tool in the hands of an artist.