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I am an artist.

When contemplating the idea of introducing myself and my own connection and discovery of the cryptoworld, I had to consider how I got here. Thinking back to even a few years ago, the concept of Steemit and the crypto world was completely alien to me.

Before I began my foray into using social media with my art I was primarily a printmaker. Having been previously an oil painter, printmaking took me to new places and ideas. The female form often being my muse.

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I used a combination of technology in the very tactile practice of my prints in those early day. I had to take my images and alter them digitally to be printed out on acetate as negatives to be burned onto silk screens. Thus, I was going from the tactile “real world” into the digital and then back out again for the various stages of my work. It was my first foray into computers with my artwork.

A few years back I had, like many artists, began to use social media.

It became a means to meet new people and grow a larger audience. The connections with new people across the world was bound to affect the way we see ourselves and to reevaluate our art. I was happy at my printmaking, but it was a challenge month on Facebook,#inktober, that brought me back to the love of pure drawing.

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This type of digital interaction and connection began to open up my work to more ideas and ways to create art, but I was still basically a pen to paper, silkscreen to canvas kind of girl. That changed out of necessity.

I was in London and unable to find a suitable studio.

The places were either too far away from where I wanted to be, or not equipped with all a printmaker/silkscreen artist needed. I pondered what to do. The answer was being carried about in my bag with me already.

I love the London Library.

This is not a non-sequitur, but a means to my digital discovery. I am a member of the said library and I loved visiting it everyday whilst in London.

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It’s location and atmosphere was what I dreamt a studio could be. However, there was no way an ancient building full of beautiful rare books would allow such a mess. That was when the light bulb went on in my head:

You could carry your studio around with you in a bag.

And without much knowledge of digital art I bought a used wacom tablet and an old version of Painter and I was one step further into the digital world.

This movement into the digital artworld began to really increase my productivity. Having the luxury of one’s studio always at arms reach really began to allow me to improve my own production schedule.

When I finally found myself on Steemit I had already begun to really enjoy and to have some fairly good success with my digital creations. I focused on my love of animals and a bit of tongue in cheek humour. I had just come off a pretty good successful series of animals in chairs. I found the collective editions of a theme to be both enjoyable and useful for applications on things from t-shirts to art canvas.

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That collection included things such as Farm Animals in chairs, like our friendly pig here, juxtaposing the mid century ‘country’ themed wall paper with the ease and modernity of the Eames chair.

Sometimes they took on a different feel where the animals were interacting with the chairs in new ways, like in a standoff as with the horse, or in the garden like the hippo or themselves being sat upon by the chair like with the zebra.

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This love of digital art and the growing connections possible via social media and the new venues in which to sell your art on objects( such as phone cases and housewares) gave my work a more commercial bright feel. I even had a little success with a series of animal as famous characters.

 

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When I first arrived on Steemit I wasn’t really aware of what it was.

I considered it to simply be like other social media such as Facebook and Instagram. I soon began to see that it was unlike these places and in fact reminded me of the “old school” blogging world of the mid 2000’s. I found very talented people who liked to share article style image filled posts and who would honestly engage with you in comments. This was like coming home for me, as I loved the blogging movement of the mid 2000s.

I was almost ready to unplug…

It was true that I loved digital artwork and sure the online life was good for sales and making new connections, but it was beginning to feel that those connections weren’t real. That the once engaging more fully thought out world of the blogging days had been replaced by quick one sentence posts on facebook or glib responses with ‘likes’ and emoticons.

I was on the verge of becoming a Luddite…

And the engaging world of Steemit and it’s talented people had me not only loving being online again reading ‘blog posts’, but I was beginning to find my old love of the figure once again. When I really began to interact with Steemit at the beginning of this year, it was through the fun of Contests and Challenges. It was like being in school again, with a brief to follow and an assignment to complete and the fun of ‘chatting’ about your work and the take on the brief given.

Here are a few pieces that lead me back into my love of the female form. Each was for a contest, one even embracing my own fear: clowns, by making a version I liked.

 

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Not only had Steemit brought be back to the female form, but by connecting with some amazing surreal artists, I also began to find my love of surreal painting, which I hadn’t done in years. These two pieces were both done for challenges on Steemit that had me painting in the surreal landscape once again.

 

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This new form of social media was pulling me in and even changing my approach to art itself.

I was beginning to feel even more connected to the world digitally through networking, friendships, and artwork. Oddly enough, it was a power outage in the bleak months of this past Winter that lead me to my most digitally influenced and engaged series I have done yet: My Singularity Series.

It was a cold few days here when we were without power. I considered myself now so connected that to lose that connection had me pondering life and the coming world. I was staring out on the cold landscape of my home when I envisioned what it would be to live in a post Singularity world when man and machine had joined and we were impervious to the elements and were our own power-sources.

This sketch and this watercolour were the response to that.

 

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When our power returned I once again returned to Steemit art contests, and found my next pieces not only combining my return to Surrealism and the female form, but playing in this new idea of a post Singularity creatures and the world of tech encroaching on my creative work as well.

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I had found myself going from the idea of unplugging to being engrossed in tech and the ever changing world of crypto supported art so much that an entire series was born of it.

I am still engrossed in this series and these are a few of the pieces thus far complete, the first being the realization from that first sketch in the dark power-less house.

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My continuation into the world of Blockchain has recently been the connecting with the site rareart.io where I have some of my works for sale as part of the blockchain. This idea of a tangible digital copy of art tied to the blockchain itself is surely the next big move in the art world.

I hope to find greater forays into this burgeoning artworld of crypto.

 

My aim would be, in some form as yet discovered, find a means to create a new space for art and artists that ties into this crypto reward scenario. The idea that as artists on Steemit we can already earn from the very act of making our art gives the feel of the old patronage of the old Renaissance painters. Unlike then, however, we need not rely on a few landed gentry, but the entirety of the digital world to simply enjoy our process and our work enough to support us with crypto.

 

I am uncertain exactly how that could come about but finding Steemit and now with the luck of this #sndbox cohort intake, I am hoping to be inspired and to work with others in these fields to see what can become of it all.

We are on the verge of a Brave New World and I hope we can all be the architects of it’s construction.


This post was authored by @donnadavisart , a member of the sndbox incubator. Learn more, follow @donnadavisart or begin a conversation in the comment section below.


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