Digital Art has boomed into a global phenomenon. We now hear of NFT, CryptoArts, Digital Tokens, and their worldwide community, and it is not minimal at all.
Like Cryptocurrency, that new art has been pulling in collectors as well as speculators looking to invest in this latest creative trend. We are talking about thousands of dollars and even tens of thousands as seen in the case of one of Mike Winkelmann’s art pieces.
In Lebanon, Digital Art is also on the rise, yet still shyly so but not without outstanding artists. Among them is Karl Sfeir.
Psychedelia, neon lights, phantasmal beings, and ominous shades and colors.
This is a brief summary of Karl Sfeir’s remarkable digital artwork that’s featured on his Instagram page, which is a phantasmagoria of these pieces that evoke both wonder and amazement.
In an interview with The961, Karl said he enjoyed visual arts, specifically photography since his childhood. His camera was always on him and, later on, he started taking photos of concerts and gigs in Lebanon.
He worked for several agencies as a graphic designer, however, he says that he didn’t find it his place. He wanted to make his own art without being restricted.
That’s when he took the self-employed route, which he described as a tough decision.
To him, the most important part of being self-employed is believing that you can make it without an agency, and this attitude helped him a lot to reach where he is now.
He mentioned that while he isn’t selling any NFTs at the moment, he is looking into getting into it, with the plan to sell sets of artworks that share a theme.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens. They’re “digital tokens tied to assets that can be bought, sold, and traded,” as explained by Time online magazine, and “they are enabling artists to profit from their work more easily than ever.”
It is a massively booming art field, with hundreds of millions spent by speculators and collectors in February alone, according to market tracker NonFungible.com.
Notably, back in March, a digital art piece created by Mike Winkelmann made the headlines when it fetched $69 million at Christie’s auction house. But that wasn’t the highest price ever fetched by a digital artist.
It was the 3rd. Digital arts by Jeff Koons and David Hockney secured even higher.
However, for the Lebanese digital artists during the ongoing crisis in the country, selling their artwork as NTF is a difficult challenge.
Like other world artists, it will require them to invest between $40 to $200 apiece to process them into that specific market for auction (mainly the Ethereum blockchain): From signing them up, to mint them as digital tokens (uploading and validating the info).
However, Karl Sfeir, as most Lebanese today, is not losing hope despite the unstable economic crisis and the unavailability of dollars. He has hope of getting into the NFT scene and selling even animations online.
As The961 has come to know, insisting demands from the public to purchase his digital arts are not lacking even at this stage.
For those new to this form of creative arts, Karl’s artwork might feel very otherworldly, however, it is from real life that he draws inspiration, as he explained to us.
Seeing things and thinking about his perception of what he’s seeing is how he finds his ideas.
His art is also influenced by Disney movies, and specifically Fantasia’s Pines of Rome segment, which featured flying whales in its ending, a facet of Karl’s current artwork.
Karl has always been interested in this kind of art, however, life was different before he started working on it, which was before the pandemic.
He tried to get into the software Cinema 4D, but his limited knowledge at the time stood as a barrier in front of that, and the lack of free time was also problematic.
As he saw more and more art on Pinterest and the likes, he started thinking, “This is what I want” more and more, and with the quarantines, Karl got the free time he needed.
He approached 3D art, and started from the very basics, what each button does, what each option is for, and then started watching tutorials. The whole process wasn’t easy, as he told us.
The freedom that 3D art offers motivated him to go on with it, as it gave him a lot more options.
When he started creating artworks, he sent them to people that he knew could offer him criticism and advice to grow, which helped him a lot to grow and improve.
Karl emphasized the massive help the 3D artist community offered him, despite the heavy competition in the field. They were the main people who gave him advice and criticisms later on.
Karl Sfeir is an artist with high-level creative art that is very promising. He’s also a facet of the Lebanese people’s ability to move forward, create, and evolve while tackling the challenges they face in a country filled with uncertainty and crises.
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