Since February, Lana Denina has made around $300,0000 from selling her art as NFTs, or Non Fungible Tokens on several platforms. But she’s not an expert, in fact, she learned about NFTs just a month earlier.
In an interview with CNBC, 24-year old Denina says, “I didn’t know anything about blockchain.” She started learning more about it and “I was mind blown,” “It was completely revolutionary,” she says.
As she was a painter, Denina was instantly impressed by the technology. She was seeing it as a vehicle for proof of ownership for artists, she says.
Traditional art VS NFTs
“Traditional galleries are kind of like the old world,” since there isn’t much diversity, Denina says. “I never felt fully attracted to it, especially as a woman of color.”
These are not like the traditional markets for artists. Moreover, NFTs and Web3 allow artists to create their own choice of galleries and set the prices they desire, Denina explains. With the help of this framework, artists can also earn a royalty income on secondary sales of their piece of work with NFTs. Denina says she herself earns a 10% royalty income.
She also says, “I hope to inspire more creatives who look like me to step a foot into tech.”
Initially, Denina started selling NFTs of paintings created by her one by one. But later, she started to list the entire collection. Though both are unique, the single works are one of a kind and cannot be produced by another, whereas collections are often generative and meant to be collectibles.
Mona Lana is her most recent collection that she minted in November and this was sold out within weeks.
What does Mona Lana NFT contain?
The Mona Lana collection comprises 500 unique portraits of women that are created by Denina herself.
“It took off very fast. I was really surprised,” Denina says. “I don’t know if I got lucky. It was a big success for me and my partner. We worked a lot on this project, and we were really happy”. While Denina is currently working with a partner but she creates all the art by herself. She did not reveal whether profits are divided or not.
In her work, she portrays the people of color and Black culture. She says, which has resonated strongly with many in the NFT community. She feels proud and grateful when people say they decided to buy their first NFT after seeing her work.
“When they saw the Mona Lana, they really wanted to buy an NFT,” she says. “Before that, they were looking at other projects, and they didn’t feel fully represented maybe.”
Soon after the Mona Lana collection passes 100 ether in volume traded, Denina, plans to give a percentage of sales to Cyber Baat, a creator DAO collective. This is because they support African artists, and donate to women’s shelters in Canada. Currently, she’s close, at 99.5 ether in volume traded.
In November, Denina tweeted, “As a young woman of color in this space, it has been 100 times more hard to be respected and seen as equal as the other bros of this space, However, I’ve also met incredibly supporting, extremely intelligent and talented people.”