Lana Denina, 24, has raked in over $300,000 in the last 10 months selling her art as NFTs or nonfungible tokens. Denina started selling her collection in February this year but she began learning what NFTs are only a month earlier.
Based in Montreal, Canada, Denina said she didn’t know what blockchain was despite the growing popularity of the platform. According to her, she was astonished when she looked into the platform as she found it revolutionary.
She was impressed with the technology and its ability to act as a vehicle for proof of ownership for artists. “Traditional galleries are kind of like the old world,” Denina told CNBC Make It. “I never felt fully attracted to it, especially as a woman of color.”
According to CNBC Make It, Denina started selling her paintings one by one but later listed her entire collections. She recently minted her November collection called Mona Lana and it sold out within weeks.
CNBC Make It further reports that the Mona Lana collection had 500 unique paintings of women Denina created, adding that each painting was generated by code with 112 different traits.
“It took off very fast. I was really surprised,” Denina said. “I don’t know if I got lucky. It was a big success for me and my partner. We worked a lot on this project, and we were really happy.”
While Denina works with a partner, she creates all of the art herself, she said. NFTs, unlike traditional markets for art, allow artists to create their own galleries and set their own prices online, Denina explained to CNBC Make It. She said artists can also earn royalties on secondary sales of their work with NFTs, adding that she herself earns 10%.
The Canada-based artist said she wants to give a percentage of her sales to Cyber Baat, which supports African artists as well as donate to women’s shelters in Canada.
Denina represents Black culture and people of color in her work. Many people have been moved to buy their first NFT after seeing her work.
“When they saw the Mona Lana, they really wanted to buy an NFT,” she said. “Before that, they were looking at other projects, and they didn’t feel fully represented maybe.”
Despite not doing badly in the NFT space, Demina recently decried the effort people of color have had to put in to get respected and seen as equals.
In November, she tweeted: “As a young woman of colour in this space, it has been 100 times more hard to be respected and seen as equal as the other bros of this space. However, I’ve also met incredibly supporting, extremely intelligent and talented people.”