This 31-year-old artist brought in over $200,000 from the sale of NFT

Elise Swopes made over $200,000 in about 10 months selling her work as a non-corruptible token or NFT.

After the first sale in March for over $17,600, she thought, “‘Oh my gosh, my life is about to change,'” the 32-year-old tells CNBC Make It. “And it has happened since then. It has certainly given me a lot of opportunities.”

Brooklyn-based photographer and graphic designer lists her art on NFT marketplaces like SuperRare and Nifty Gateway. Her works depict animations of the cityscapes that she captures. She regularly adds elements of nature that she digitally designs to her photos.

For example, in her first time Nifty Gateway Collection, Swopes has created many works that combine her photographs of New York, Portland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and Denver, with giraffes and other jungle elements. In honor of the giraffes featured in his work, Swopes donated a portion of the proceeds from the collection to the Somali Giraffe Project.

“Giraffes in Portland,” by Elise Swopes.

Courtesy of Elise Swopes

As her work continues to be resold, Swopes earns royalties ranging from 10% to 15%.

With most of her earnings, Swopes pays her manager and other bills, but also donates to organizations and buys other artists’ NFTs, she said.

Swopes has collected NFTs created by photographer Brittany Pierre and visual artist Lana Denina, among others. She showcased her NFT collection in a digital gallery that she created in the super-inverse CryptoVoxels, which cost about $10,000, she said. She also noted her admiration for Black NFT Art collective, helping to amplify Black artists in the NFT space, and its creator, Iris Nevins.

“When I make a sale, I make sure I’m also giving back to the community that is making a profit,” she says, “because there’s a cycle [of support]. “

“But I also had a hard time with [NFT] she said.

“Perspective” by Elise Swopes.

Courtesy of Elise Swopes

“Obviously there’s a lot of room for advancement for white men, and we’ve seen them consistently get more revenue. Women have barely made any sales in the last 21 months“Swopes said. Indeed, Bloomberg reported that female artists accounted for only 5% of total NFT art sales in that time frame, citing a November report by research firm ArtTactic.

When Swopes speaks out about the issue online and promotes diversity and inclusion, it “doesn’t always garner the best support from everyone,” she said.

“They find it uncomfortable to be uncomfortable and responsible for the division of their assets, especially given the money these people have earned so much. So I find myself with a lot of responsibility. It’s just women, it’s women of color. in this community who understand the point of view and can put themselves in the shoes of others,” she said.

Many people in the space, she said, lack consciousness, make jokes or comment “really alarmingly”.

“I hope that people can continue to invest in my art and continue to invest in what I’m doing, because I’m really trying to commit and make a change,” Swopes said. .

“Chasing Waterfalls” by Elise Swopes.

Courtesy of Elise Swopes

Swopes’ artistic and branding career began in 2010 after joining Instagram shortly after the platform’s launch. She noticed similarities in how she felt then on Instagram and now in the NFT space.

She said: “This is just like what I went through on Instagram, I felt like I had to be a voice in so many ways. “I find myself in that position again, just make sure I support Black women, minorities, in [NFT] community.”

Next year, Swopes plans to start a collective called Sunrise Art Club, she said. The club will support women of color through various events and programs, and sponsor various NFT projects.

“There are a lot of Black women in the NFT community right now and they’re doing a lot of really great things. We’re really great community builders and I hope the money goes well. than where? [the community] give us a seat at the table,” said Swopes.

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Emma James

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