Cover Farizwan Fajari, who goes by the artist moniker Speak Cryptic, is a Singaporean contemporary artist known for his comically gritty illustrations

Artist Farizwan Fajari, who goes by the moniker Speak Cryptic, on the most important things you need to know about art on the blockchain

For a few months in early 2021, the art world went blockchain crazy. People were trying to wrap their heads around the news of digital artist Beeple selling his collage, Everydays, at a Christie’s auction for US$69.3 million as a non-fungible token (NFT)

Not many people outside of tech had heard about NFTs before then. Then quickly after news of the purchase broke, there was a flurry of content by media organisations explaining the mechanics of these one-of-a-kind digital collectible items. We know because we were one of them.

A few months later, the buzz around NFTs seems to have died down for now. But at least one Singaporean artist thinks they're here to stay.

Farizwan Fajari, who is best known as Speak Cryptic, has sold two of his artworks as NFTs and is working on more. He also recently bought his first NFT, from an Indonesian artist. We speak to Farizwan to learn more about this segment of digital art, and why the market for it is still booming.

Read more: NFT: Why Digital Art is Here to Stay

Be prepared to put in the time to study first

“The learning curve for me was honestly a little steep, and I spent a few weeks doing some hardcore research before deciding to mint. But I like to jump into a situation with both feet in order to really be able to learn, which was what I did with NFTs. 

When it came down to creating my first NFT, it didn’t actually take much. My first NFT was minted—the process of turning digital art into a part of the Ethereum blockchain as a public ledger—on this platform called Cargo, and they had an option called “Magic Minting”. It allows you to sell your NFT without needing to pay the gas fees upfront (gas fees are what you pay to get your NFT onto the blockchain). 

It was pretty low risk, which was important to me because we are still in the middle of a pandemic after all, and every cent goes a long way. A kind soul acquired my NFT a couple of days after it went up for sale, so I was super lucky.”

See also: Artist Red Hong Yi On Why NFTs Are The Future Of Art

The NFT space is still booming

“The NFT space is anything but quiet. It's a place that does not sleep. There are things constantly happening every day. From drop parties to artist talks to collectors AMAs, it’s all happening 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it's pretty hard to keep up. 

Hundreds of NFTs are also being bid on and resold on the secondary market every day. There is definitely a sizeable group of individuals who see a lot of value in NFTs, myself included. It has the potential of revolutionising how we buy and trade not only art, but other objects in the future—and yes, I believe it's here to stay. I think we’re still in the early days for NFTs and I'm very excited to be a part of the space.”

Don't miss: Namewee Hits Millionaire Status After NFTs of His Song ‘Fragile’ Sell Out

Anyone can be an NFT buyer

“The person who buys NFTs could be anybody. Since I started, I've had the pleasure of meeting amazing people from all over the world, with different cultural and economic backgrounds and who’ve all expressed interest in collecting NFTs. Some collect often, some rarely and some are just starting out. I just recently bought my first NFT myself, from an Indonesian artist, so you know, it could really be anybody.”

Find a community you can trust

“Just like in the real world, be extra careful if you decide to be a part of the NFT space. There are currently a number of scams happening that are designed to gain your confidence before they steal money away from you. Some of these have extremely elaborate strategies, so be careful! It's best to find a community of people who you can trust to make sure that everything is legitimate. (Shout out to NFT Asia.)”


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