😺 From a Boring Office Job To NFT Best-Selling Artist - Goldcat's Story
Goldcat quit her job and started out by drawing book covers, orcs and elves...
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about Successful Women Leading The Generative NFT Art Revolution. I wanted to include today’s artist in that list, but we couldn’t set up an interview on time. Fortunately, that changes today, as I am very excited to share the story behind goldcat — Another woman leading the NFT art rankings in the Tezos blockchain.
Goldcat breakout and first generative art collection
Her breakout collection came in December 2021, when she released the Conjured - a 60-piece collection minted on the generative art platform FxHash.
“A night-shrouded figure in paint.
Again and again and never the same.”
This isn’t your typical on-chain collection. Instead, Goldcat masterfully translated her style (dark portraits resembling oil paintings) into this new space. The Conjured has commanded over 12k Tezos (+$50k) in total volume, and the floor is around 400 Tezos (+/- $1500), making it one of the most demanded series on the platform.
Could you tell me a bit about your non-NFT background?
Where to start? I finished my A-Levels in Mombasa, Kenya. After my university application got lost on the way to South Africa, I decided fine art was probably not a viable career for me anyway. I enrolled in a project management training course in Germany and finished it off with a bachelor’s degree in Business from Leeds University, UK. After almost 4 years of an increasingly depressive office job back in Germany I quit and became an illustrator. That was 2016 and I had discovered this thing called digital painting. Bought a tiny second-hand Wacom tablet and forged my career with it for the next two years. I was drawing orcs, elves and got several game illustration gigs. I learned what I needed to know from youtube and Facebook drawing groups.
The freedom of being self-employed was everything to me even if I earned a quarter of what the engineering firm paid me. Fast forward to the disillusionment that is concept art studio jobs and cliche fantasy book covers until NFTs came along.
How did goldcat discover NFTs?
In February 2021 I saw two fellow illustrators use the hashtag NFT on social media. I dug a little and was amazed at the possibility to create originals from digital paintings. So I decided to dive in and experiment. The public perception of NFTs was so bad, however, that I decided to create an art alias and goldcat was born.
This article is part of the #30NFTArtists30days series, where I write a daily newsletter edition about a different NFT creator during March 2022. Consider getting a premium subscription to support my writing journey ✌️
Can you describe your creative process?
My most successful process is when I surround myself with inspirational bits and pieces, faces, muses, colour combos, old photographs I've found, or works of brilliant artists. I fill a whole mood board and put my canvas in the middle of it all. Other times I only work off one reference that will serve as my starting point. Again other times I don't use references at all, like for the charcoal drawing "Marianne". The portrait is my comfort zone, I go to life drawing sessions every two weeks and it's the best practice there is.
Who are goldcat’s favorite NFT artists?
I discover and rediscover new artists every day but I have come to enjoy the artistic company of the lovely Bahrull Marta, CSaros, Damnengineer (and his humor), and basically the whole DarkNFT crew. I love the wonderful work of Sasha Katz and the can-do attitude of narisofka. I appreciate Claire Silver and Angie Taylor for paving the way for women in the space and amazing artists like Ruben Fro for giving back to the community. There are too many to mention here really...
What are your future plans?
Well, let me start off with going to space. Yeah, insane, I know. Later this month the DreaMe project (@DreameArtwork) is sending the artworks of over 50 artists and thousands of dreams from around the world to be displayed on the International Space Station. There may or may not be a possibility to collect the artworks afterward. ;)
I am also currently working together with one of my favourite generative artists to create a special art project to be displayed at ArteFiera Bologna in May. You heard it here first!
Then there are three other collaborations and a secret project that I cannot talk about just yet.
What I can say is that I am considering my first solo exhibition towards the end of the year. No doubt this year is tougher than last year. The world is going crazy and markets are hurting. But I've always said I'm playing the long game and I am continuing to explore the art that hopefully one day I will be known for.
Don’t forget to follow goldcat on her Twitter account. You don’t want to miss out on exciting projects, collaborations, and exhibitions.
Until next time,
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