Selling your Artwork on Blockchain Technology

In today’s culture, we are inspired or entertained digitally, we are all digitally connected and we narrate our life stories with digital images.  So what is digital art? Connecting the dots, science and art have been blended to improve, stimulate or influence our lives for better and at times wickedly. Technology has phenomenally enabled artists to express their imagination with computers rendering ultimate realism to alluring fantasy.

LaTurbo Alvedon - SITTIN' UP IN MY ROOM
LaTurbo Alvedon – SITTIN’ UP IN MY ROOM

Yet, the anxiety of copyright and monetizing lingers in the digital sphere! Being fairly compensated for a work of art and the happy hunting ground for all and sundry are liberally ideal! Once again, technology is the positive force that reinforces this concept. The blockchain technology provides the artist a favourable platform to protect and be awarded deservedly not to mention conveniently and gives transparency to the opacity of the art world.

Whether the digital and the new media genres are in our computers or part of our living or working space, it is significantly expressive of our culture, social observations or just feel-good indulgence.  At the same time, the fluid creativity that appears in digital work and new media from pointing out the inequalities, oppressions, fighting for justice, questioning mindless behaviours or beliefs to inspire and improve our ways of life can be viewed, shared and owned prolifically.  Being able to own such artwork that moves you, the provenance is clear, and it might go up in value is appealing to many of us.

Eva Papmargariti - In ‘Always a body, always a thing’ Papamargariti, examines transformation and morphological/ontological fluidity through a series of bizarre incidents – actual or imagined – whose common thread is the ingestion and embodiment of plastic by living beings (fish, frogs) that end up mutating, as well as the appearance of a host of amorphous masses in natural settings (meadows, lakes).
Eva Papmargariti – In ‘Always a body, always a thing’ Papamargariti, examines transformation and morphological/ontological fluidity through a series of bizarre incidents – actual or imagined – whose common thread is the ingestion and embodiment of plastic by living beings (fish, frogs) that end up mutating, as well as the appearance of a host of amorphous masses in natural settings (meadows, lakes).

What’s more, blockchain technology addresses many critical questions for the artists and the whole art world! It transforms the way art is distributed and owned. It tackles the seriousness of censorship by decentralizing. It gives the sufficient power to the artist over the ownership or use of the artwork specially by institutions or groups of people whose ideas oppose the artist.  Galleries & museums are our point of contact to the artist but what about the ones that are located in another continent or are not particularly household names? Blockchain technology means significant change in fairer distribution of wealth and having democratic choice in the matrix of our societies.

Few online art projects and sites applying blockchain technology:

Dadiani Fine Art is the first gallery in the UK to start accepting cryptocurrency for works of art. The currencies which we currently accept include bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, dash and NEM.

left gallery produces and sells downloadable objects.

Cointemporary  an online platform for exhibiting and selling artwork.

Ikonotv.art offers a free art stream for internet and SmartTV users.

Featured image by: CARLA GANNIS’S work examines the narrativity of 21st century representational technologies and questions the hybrid nature of identity.  (Transfer Gallery)

The impact of Blockchain Technology on Diamond and Jewellery Industries

Imagine the beauty & the emotional connection to your fine jewellery is supported by conflict-free, fair labour and authenticity. Imagine that, one day, with a click on your cell-phone you can trace from it’s inception to production, the history or the past ownerships. One of the biggest challenges of fine jewellery specifically the diamond industry is the convincing fakes, the swags and the misleading claims.

Resolving these issues requires integration of innovative solutions into the trade such as Blockchain Technology. The transparency and the verification systems provided by this technology, corroborate trust and significantly reduce frauds whether in insurance realm or counterfeits.  By creating immutable records to track and protect the valuable goods through Blockchain Technology, manufacturers and brands set the seal on the authenticity & ethical trade. Ultimately creating a progressive world where everyone is a winner.

The disruptive technology promotes socially fair transactions, prevents compromising reputation, and establishes personal connections between the customer and the brand.  The industry is warming up, leveraging Blockchain Technology to generate value for it’s customers and reduce costs. One of the technology companies, offering solutions underpinned with Blockchain Technology for diamond industry is Everledger. A global start-up creating thumbprints across the supply chain pipeline to protect the ownership, authenticity, reputations and the challenges that bear a heavy cost not only for the owners, insurers, but to all parties involved.

Industry leaders such as Debeers are also investing in new platforms supported by Blockchain Technology to create highly secure database to record the activities throughout the supply chain while making sure that the sensitive data will remain between parties involved in the transaction. Thanks to Blockchain Technology,  the ownership joy of DeBeers refined collections is largely expanded.

DeBeers - ADONIS ROSE CLUSTER RING
DeBeers – ADONIS ROSE CLUSTER RING
DeBeers - SWAN PAVÉ BAND
DeBeers – SWAN PAVÉ BAND
DeBeers - INFINITY BAND 5MM
INFINITY BAND 5MM

 

DE BEERS AURA HEART CUT PENDANT
DE BEERS AURA HEART CUT PENDANT

 

TALISMAN YELLOW GOLD LUCKY COIN BRACELET
TALISMAN YELLOW GOLD LUCKY COIN BRACELET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign Sapphire Corp., is another custom and branded jewelry company, that is incorporating Blockchain Technology to authenticate sapphires as a conflict-free and accepts Bitcoin as payment via Bitpay on reignsapphires.com.  They offer Australian sapphires, designed in Beverly Hills with chic and modern aesthetics appealing to millennials.

Reign Sapphires
Baguette Double Ring in Yellow Gold

 

Flexible Stiletto Earrings
Flexible Stiletto Earrings

 

 

 

Amor Ring
Armor Ring

Digital Artist & Blockchain Technology

 

Art and culture are credited for our communities wellbeing, education and enlightening our emotional world. Various types of political statements, beliefs or social values have been produced and communicated through Art, Music or Literature by struggling artists and independent content creators of all kinds. Although, the digital revolution has reshaped the Art and Media industries by introducing different ways of production, distribution and enabling reasonably priced promotional campaigns, still the technology has its flaws.  For many artists and content creators working with brick-and-mortar institutions, streaming or other social web-based platforms is a gruelling route. Why? simply, because of the unfair treatment by the powerful intermediaries as they offer insignificant royalty fees, commissions or payments.

Ipso-facto, keeping the torch of artistry lit, requires transparency and incentive.  So enter blockchain technology. Progression from the age of information to age of value, the blockchain technology serves the two essential elements for support and creation of art. How? Well, the simple idea behind the technology is that information or anything of value such as music, art, money, IP, deeds,… can be securely stored and relocated on a expansive global distributed ledger or database, run on numerous machines. The principle behind blockchain is to fulfill common needs by establishing trust through mass collaboration and clever code.

The transparency factor is about the provenance and the authenticity of the art of all kinds. A well documented provenance confirms that the piece is authentic, not stolen and the history of the ownership.

The application of blockchain technology for verification and ownership of physical art has been employed by number of companies such as Verisart in Los Angeles, Tagsmart in London and Ascribe in Berlin. They provide certificates of authenticity and provenance records.

The concept of ownership and provenance can be used for digital art. Once the art has a story together with the element of scarcity, it becomes collectible and eventually adds financial value. Beatriz Ramos, a Venezuelan artist and CEO of DADA.nyc , has created decentralized digital art marketplace on the blockchain offering the transparency factor along with a social network where artists speak to each other through drawings.

The incentive factor allows the ethical and fair payment to the artist. The common good practiced at the very best as art lovers reach their “high” from the ownership and have fulfilled their moral imperative by supporting the artist fairly and directly. At the same time, the stimulus is significant for the artists to be in charge of their creative work and gain from their magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Bring Your Personal Brand Voice To Life?

In previous blog post, I talked about how to define your personal brand voice and frame recognizable standards to create your brand story. In whatever field, your distinct voice, signature image and style determine your relationship within your circle or group, overall in society at large. Let’s expand our topic to the critical element of bridging your brand identity/voice to real life and social media.

Let’s start with your engagements through myriads of social media platforms. Generally, the nature of these mediums are spontaneous and fluid. Cultivating your personal brand voice on social media calls for identifying your tone, your language and your purpose.  Creating contents that are authentic and endorse your brand voice; requires clarity, discipline and consistency. Blissfully once established, it takes away the distracting flotsam in your busy lives.

Sweeping through your list of what I am and what I am not, can be used to create contents that give a hint or a splash of your identity. It really pays off if you have done your homework.  For instance:

You prefer the visual appeal of Instagram to adapt your screenplay and engage with your friends or the public. You are an empathizer but not a sympathizer; you prefer soft rock & relaxing music but not techno; you love to read fiction concerning social issues not science fiction; you are an advocate for a specific cause, you love to eat french pastry, the list goes on.

Certainly, the efforts to define your personal brand voice gives you a clear idea to share images and micro stories that exhibit your opinion and position. Creating snaps, videos, tweets or images to showcase what matters to you; putting into words effective captions that firmly support your perspective; sharing your odyssey, together breath life to your brand.

Each medium evokes different experience and connection. Tapping in to the most compelling one to convey your intentions, you need to tailor your brand story to fit. No matter what form your are using, there are few techniques that you can apply to stamp your brand story, whether through snaps, images, conversations or attire:

Show don’t tell: your choice of clothing, manner, your posture, your eye contact, your images, a piece of art, snaps or pins,… should be in harmony with your brand voice.

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Serena Williams sleek feed on Instagram attest to her qualities and values.

 

 

 

Foreshadowing by giving hints and clues: your choice of accessories, food or wine; a quote or a proverb; building anticipation by composing contents that your circle looks forward to,…. are few tips to consider.

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For instance, one accessory that reflects your character in an understated elegance is a watch. Let’s say, you are a sportsman, a thrill-seeker,  drive a Porsche 911 and choose to spend a weekend in Circuit  des 24 heures de Mans. Certainly you wear an Omega wristwatch that communicates the style with power in a subtle way.

 

 

Appeal to senses: your choice of music to include in your storytelling; a description of a taste;  narrating the mood,…. invoking a sentiment that one hopes for and allows your audience to relate.

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Jess Hoffman snapchat account (@ChoosingChia) focus on wholesome plant-based ingredients. She shares the fresh produce that goes into her juice of the day, step-by-step videos of her favourite recipes.

 

 

Ability to find solutions: Be a thought leader by sharing your knowledge; talk about your experiences;  be the expert in your topic of choice; tell what motivates you; your world views,….

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Lewis Howes, an American author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player. He hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed podcast. He makes use of his knowledge of marketing, product design and human behaviour through his online media company.

 

Set up a unified visual branding: this technique surely applies both to your social media engagements and physical attributes. Use of colour that matches your emotions and fonts that appeal to you personally. Be expressive and include a signature style to indicate your distinct voice.

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Christoph Niemann Instagram account @abstractsunday is innovative and witty. His whimsical signature is apparent in all his visual storytelling.

 

 

We might not have the unique experience of cheering people up, influence, entertain, tell and hear stories around a campfire at all times, still adapting the same approach and emotions to our social and career networking brings our personal brand voice to life.

 

How to foster advocates and loyalists?

Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested to improve social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to the 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly  harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.

For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of belief-driven audience, fosters loyalists.  On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way?  By creating:

  • Personal and relatable contents
  • Provoking a conversation
  • Activating sustainable solutions
  • Engaging your audience to shape the social movement

Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.

Consider the shaping elements of a good storytelling as a starting point:

  • What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveil the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
  • Who: has been affected
  • Why: are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open ended questions.
  • How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
  • When: the development speed of a news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
  • Where: does your audience absorb information?

The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthens your authority.  Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.

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Procter & Gamble’s thought provoking ad called “The Talk”, acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.

Or “thank you Mom, Winter Olympics 2018” video:

Unicef’s campaign, “It’s on all of us to stand up and speak out to #ENDviolence against children. Recognize it. Report it”, deeply disturbs and propels you to act upon.

Jen Mann – Relationships & Emotions

Jen Mann is a Canadian artist who explores how relationships form and develop. She delves into “self “concept, the realization of being a separate entity and how our shared experiences whether in the form of harmony or conflict, condition our ways of life.

Fireworks by Jen Mann
Fireworks by Jen Mann

Her compositions manifest the prevalent social trends in digital narratives with incredible hues. The unnatural colours that embody her work relate to her storylines and formulate into strong emotions.

PLZ
PLZ ❤ Me – Jen MannJen Mann

She tackles the existential questions by taking a satirical, intellectual and honest approach to our conventional values.

Emoji - Jen Mann
Emoji – Jen Mann
Venus - Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Venus – Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Wet Dreams - Jen Mann
Wet Dreams – Jen Mann

The concept of real or constructed self identity is portrayed in her creations to make us aware of our cultural attitude towards individualism. She is her own muse and captures her identity in different conditions by being conscious of her interrelationships with self, others and her environment.

I don't feel blue, I feel delft blue - Jen Mann
I don’t feel blue, I feel delft blue – Jen Mann

 

Single Tear - Jen Mann
Single Tear – Jen Mann
The Facade - Jen Mann
The Facade – Jen Mann
The side I don't see - Jen Mann
The side I don’t see – Jen Mann

 

Jen Mann’s contact: http://www.jenmann.com/info

 

How To Create Your Personal Brand Statement

Your commitment to your natural talents, your learnt skills and your intentions creates your personal branding statement. Specifically, you are responsible to align your intentions and your strengths to communicate your brand. Your approach to craft a statement should not be to classify, state a job description or a goal, but what makes you memorable, solid and competent.

“In my opinion, a good personal brand shouldn’t be the goal; it should be a side-effect of having good goals and acting consistently.” Tim Ferriss

Your personal brand statement shouldn’t be more than two sentences. Start with your personal & professional attributes, make a list and then choose the ones that people recognize you for and more importantly you are able to consistently deliver to the standard of expectations.

Once you narrowed down your list, choose the ones that make you different, bring value to others and solve problems.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • In what way I am different from others?
  • How my perspective in life brings about improvement?
  • How do I perform differently compared to others?
  • Why am I interesting to others?
  • What experience people feel when they meet me or work with me?
  • How can I help others?
  • What kind of activity engages me for a long time?
  • Why people come to me for help?
  • What makes me stay focused on a task?
  • How do people introduce me?

Recognizing your unique value proposition, allows you to echo your promise. This commitment is your “unique selling proposition”. By leveraging your experiences, your values, your trainings and skills, you give a different colour to your brand. For the most part, your point of difference is your unique selling proposition. Therefore, developing a a concise and clear narrative about your distinct reputation helps your stand out.

To help you get started, here are few examples of personal brand statements of influencers , retrieved from  twitter bios or other sources:

Richard Branson : “Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at !”

Michelle Obama: “Girl from the South Side and former First Lady. Wife, mother, dog lover. Always hugger-in-chief.”

Oprah Winfrey: “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”

Chiara Ferragni: “Love fiercely (and don’t forget to stop along the way to take photos).”