BIGGEST NFT ARTISTS – AND HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS
Most recently, Jones teamed up with rapper and filmmaker Ice Cube to work on a seven-month long creative project. The collection is a combination of their creative abilities that explore, experiment with different subjects, styles and concepts. It’s a fusion of media including painting, music, animation, and digital innovation.
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This is why Jones is preparing for volatility. He hasn’t bought anything extravagant with his newfound wealth, just a new car (albeit a Tesla). And next year he is renting out Stirling Castle in Scotland to host a party for the collectors who own his art – a luxury in some ways, but one he sees as good business.
“I need to grow my brand and community to survive the eventual bear market,” he said. “There will be a lot of artists who will disappear, and projects that will go to zero. Everybody knows it. But some artists will succeed and come out the other end. I hope I will be one of them.”
‘I went from having to borrow money to making $4m in a day’: how NFTs are shaking up the art world
Among them was Trevor Jones, a 51-year-old painter who lives in Edinburgh. You’ve probably never heard of Jones, but he’s the most successful NFT artist working in the UK. He started making NFTs in 2019. “Five years ago, I was struggling to pay the mortgage,” he tells me. “I went from having to borrow money from friends to pay the bills to making $4m in a day.”
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This NFT (and a Rare Whisky) Just Sold for $2.3 Million
While connoisseurs will say every bottle of Macallan is unique, what set this particular one apart from others is that Metacask, which says that it is “the world’s first NFT marketplace for whisky cask investments,” commissioned artist Trevor Jones to create an abstract painting of the cask called The Angel’s Share.
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The double-size cask, a first-fill sherry butt distilled at The Macallan, which currently holds about 600 bottles of 30-year-old whisky, was sold at auction. It included a digital asset from artist Trevor Jones called “The Angel’s Share,” which is an uncompressed scan of Jones’ oil painting as well as an animated component.
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Producing his artwork in physical form before digitizing it, in a recent auction, Trevor put up for sale both the physical painting and the NFT, increasing interest and revenue from the auction. Wanting to do some good with his artwork, Trevor donated 20% of the proceeds from the auction to charity. He is certainly one to watch for the future.
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“It started with being depressed at 30 and deciding to do an art degree,” he says, “to [becoming] an overnight sensation.” His rise is emblematic of the transformative effect the recent NFT boom has had on artists’ lives. Far from an abstract internet phenomenon, NFTs are responsible for some becoming millionaires – in the exclusive art world no less, where it’s not easy to get rich.
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Trevor Jones, a 50-year-old artist from Edinburgh, sat down on a recent evening for a glass of wine with his wife. He tried to relax, but he was finding it hard to concentrate – his latest artwork was for sale, for seven minutes only.
‘She literally took my phone away from me and put it in a pillowcase and said I couldn’t watch for seven minutes,’ Jones says.
‘It wasn’t until after it all ended and we opened it up and looked and saw the number.’
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Canadian Trevor Jones, who lives in Scotland, sold more than $3 million worth of digitally-authenticated versions of his painting “Bitcoin Angel” in just seven minutes.
“It’s crazy how fast this space is moving,” Jones told CTV News. “This is the first time in history that an artist could monetize digital pieces.”