Aug 25, 2023

NFT artist Bobby Lee joins "The Hash" to share his journey that led him from the traditional art world to the Web3 space.

Video transcript

Months ago, we invited NFT artists to reach out and join the show to share their experiences with NFTS and their outlook, especially as trading volume continues to drop. Month after month, Bobby reached out to share his story. He's jumped from the traditional art world to embrace opportunities on the web. Join me now in welcoming artist Bobby Lee, welcome to the show. All right. Thanks so much for having me. Thanks for being here. Thanks for watching and thanks for reaching out. We loved it when our fans reached out and join the show. Um All right, let's let's talk about this, that conversation we were having, we were saying, you know, it's easy enough to set up uh an FT project, but maybe the barrier comes when it comes to like marketing and advertising and that's where, you know, the traditional art world kind of steps in and helps artists sell their artwork. Talk to us about your journey from the traditional art world to web three and maybe weigh in on if you face some of those barriers. Yeah. So, um so yeah, I've been making art and music for as long as I can remember. Um, I've, I've been showing in art galleries for a couple of decades now, uh, operated in an art gallery for a couple of years. Um, and I've been sort of working in the arts in one way or another, uh, for my whole adult life and, um, was in crypto and at the, I guess the end of 2020 or so started to catch wind of NFTS and, um, started to look into it and um was discouraged because it was just hard to just searching around to figure out where to get started. Um And randomly joined Twitter one day to catch up with, to keep up with people like you and to follow the crypto markets. And I was there for about a day when I realized, oh, this is where these NFT people are. And um yeah, just quickly started making connections, making friends. Uh Twitter Spaces started uh shortly after that. And so for me, I was really excited about not just the all the potentials of having a new market and a new audience, but just the possibilities of being able to connect with artists and art lovers all over the world. Bobby, we've been talking about NFT royalties, go to zero lately with open C and others. Sort of driving that conversation. I really want to know like from a, from a business perspective how that impacts you. What's your take on this royalty debate? It seems to have been a race to the bottom and I was wondering if it really did hurt, uh, your bottom line. What do you think? Yeah. So it's definitely unfortunate. Um, it's been, you know, I, I feel like it's sort of baked in at this point because, you know, volumes dropped off maybe summer of 2022 and have just continued that trend ever since then. And so, um, you know, I think NFT projects NFT artists have sort of been, have just realized for quite a while now that royalties aren't really something that you can depend on uh to operate a, as a, as a business. And so um you see a lot of artists, um you know, turning to other, you know, whether it's um you know, web two products, physical products or just putting more NFTS out there to generate revenue. Um But for me, it really hasn't made a whole lot of difference. Um Just because, you know, it's just, that's just the way it's been for, for quite a while now is royalties haven't been bringing in too much. OK. That's good to know we will infect the next royalty conversation with that on the ground perspective. I thank you. Uh Bobby, I got one for you. Is it viable for new digital artists who don't already have a name for themselves to play around in the NFT space right now? Like, would you recommend that new artists even try to dip their toes in at this moment. Yeah, I think so. You know, I, I didn't have a name for myself as a, as an artist really outside of my home state. Um, when I got in. And so, you know, I think, you know, the more the better known you are, the better you're, um, the, the faster your trajectory will be as far as getting, uh, recognized and, and getting attention there. Uh, but no, I think it's the kind of thing that, you know, if you're making good work and if you, um, can operate within the technological, uh, confines of the space and are, um, you know, reasonably, uh, pleasant to be around in social media. Uh, you've got a good shot. Um, 11 thing that I've always been curious about is I feel like kind of in the earlier days of, um, NFT art, there were all of these programs that you'd see where people would be attaching, you know, meet and greets or, um, you know, zoom calls or, or dinners and stuff, um, or, or whatever other, you know, add-ons to a purchase of a, a given artists NFT and that kind of faded away as people wanted to focus more on making the NFT about the art itself. And I'm curious how you've seen that trend progress, whether you think that that was kind of just a blip a moment in time when we saw those add-ons, like, is it just going to be NFT Art, um, how's the format gonna change? That's a really good question. I, I still see some of that. Um And I think, you know, if anything, you might see more artists return to that as they are looking for uh more incentives, you know, as the market goes down, they're looking for ways to incentivize, purchasing their work. And so, you know, you might see more of that uh return again. Um I think you're also seeing uh more sort of Gamification of the space. And that's really something that uh certainly distinguishes NFT art from the traditional art world is, you know, you've got these possibilities of, you know, adding um a little bit of fun to it where you really couldn't with just what uh art on the wall. Bobby. I'm curious what your experience has been with the Flower Girls. You're part of launching that project. I believe you're on the board of that project. It was supported by, you know, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gary V. Is it all, is it good to have celebrities kind of pump you up at the beginning of a project? Like, have you been able to maintain the hype around that? Uh That's a good question. I, you know, I think any attention, any um volume is probably good. Um You know, we, we wouldn't have been able to sell out, we sold out in something like 30 minutes, um which was um fast even at the time, this was the end of the, of, uh, 2021. Uh, really all thanks to Gary Vay and obviously, you know, when the jumped in, I think that was sometime in the spring. Um, that certainly drove a lot of sales. Um, the question was, is it good? I, I'm not sure. And, uh, can you sustain that? Um, I think the answer is probably no, unless those celebrities continue to do that. Um, you know, you see that, you know, the, the, the very tip top of our chart is when, uh, you know, Reese Witherspoon and, and all of them, uh jumped in and then, you know, it kind of has declined since then with the rest of the space. And so it is, yeah, it's very hard to continue that. And part of it's just the, it's not as uh trendy as it was. And, you know, Gwyneth Paltrow is one of our, our holders and, you know, she's, she's gotten into a little bit of trouble and so have some other celebrities. And so I think, I think a lot of celebrities kind of want to keep their distance, uh for the time being. And so I don't know if, um, at this point, you're going to see a lot of celebrities jumping in, but we'll see. All right, last quick one. also forward looking, you know, what are you thinking for the NFT market in 2024? Not even the market. But what do you what's your prediction for what the NFT story will be next year? Uh You know, I think it's going to follow the crypto story. Um You know, I think if, if, you know crypto has, I think shown a lot of resilience. And so, um if it can continue that, obviously, you know, this week hasn't been the best week recently. But I think, um you know, if it can continue to be resilient and if it can enter another bull cycle, then NFTS will follow. Um I think otherwise NFTS will pretty much stay where, where they are. I do think you're going to see more. One of one uh artists um do well, I think with the royalty conversation, one of the effects of that's going to be projects are going to be, they're probably going to be fewer projects and uh in a smaller portion of those are going to stick around. And so one of one artists are going to be able to, uh you know, take care of their, their communities better than a, than a project. Can I think? All right, Bobby, thank you so much for joining the show. Thanks for reaching out. Thanks for watching. Of course. Thanks for being here. That was fun. Thanks Bobby. That was NFT artist Bobby Lee.

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