An artist enters the world of digital art with Bird Girl-NFT | State and region
Renowned West Virginia artist Jamie Lester, who designed the Jerry West and Don Knotts sculptures in Morgantown and the Cardinal Rising statue at The Plaza in Beckley, presents his works in a new medium on Saturday, January 15 at 11 a.m.
Lester, owner of the Love Hope Center for the Arts in Fayetteville, created “Bird Girl”, a non-fungible token (NFT). The collection includes 1,000 different digital images centered around the theme of a woman in different iterations, with birds at her head.
Bird Girl-NFT is Lester’s foray into digital “painting” and NFT.
Lester created Bird Girl-NFT on a program called Procreate and used iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to draw the images. He then created 40 different “layers” that would be placed on the base and head of the Bird Girl, which serves as a bust or mannequin for all Bird Girl entities.
His partner, Michael Reynolds, downloaded a piece of computer code and plugged Lester’s designs into the code so that it could be randomly distributed and marketed for sale.
NFT, as the techinnovations.info website explains, means the token is unique and cannot be replaced.
“Take Bitcoin, for example,” the website posted. “Bitcoin is fungible, since you can exchange your bitcoin for another bitcoin.
“You will end up with BitCoin either way.
“However, NFTs are more like Yu Gi Oh cards, one-of-a-kind trading tokens that if you trade one for another, you’ll receive a different token than the one you gave.”
NFTs can be JPEG images, music or digital art.
The theme of birds runs through much of Lester’s work.
He said Cardinal Rising in The Plaza – a red cardinal taking flight and becoming more abstract as it ascends – illustrates his work with different bird symbols.
It is normal that his entry into digital art includes a subject of confidence.
“The bird girl is a very deep theme, along a bunch of different lines, through a bunch of different practices to me, and makes a lot of sense,” Lester said on Friday. “It’s an image I’ve been using for about 15 years.”
Lester first made a sculpture of the bird girl which was about four inches tall, when his youngest daughter was 3 years old.
“She had very curly hair,” Lester recalled. “I just sort of replaced the hair on his head with these little birds perched on his head.”
Since that time, Lester has made paintings, drawings and sculptures in bronze and ceramics of the concept of the woman with the birds on her head, as a crown or an ornament.
“It naturally has to do with the symbolism of the bird and the flight, and so inevitably you start thinking about things like your dreams,” he said. “It’s attached to the top of the head.
“It’s about dreaming, being able to fly, seeing things from a different perspective.
“It’s dramatically striking, kind of a striking image, but it makes us stop and think about what it might mean.
“I like to keep things open so the viewer has plenty of space to work with,” he added.
Art collectors buy NFTs. Most notably, 41-year-old artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold an NFT in December to an art collector for $69.3 million. Beeple’s NF is the most expensive piece of digital art, according to Forbes.com.
Lester’s works in more traditional media such as sculpture and painting typically sell for no less than $1,500. NFT offers a less expensive way to collect Lester’s works. Some collectors buy NFTs with the idea of reselling them for a higher price later, but Lester said he’s happy someone is buying his work to own.
While some may be confused about owning art in the digital world, Lester noted that NFT can be printed.
But keeping it in digital form is also valuable.
“When I first heard of it, I just couldn’t understand why you would pay money for a jpeg or PNG file,” he said. “I had to learn how it was connected to the blockchain (digitally distributed, decentralized public ledger that exists on a network).
“We buy intangible things all the time, like a movie,” Lester added. “It’s a purely digital and intangible thing, and they own it.
“Stocks are a better example. They are totally intangible, but they are worth a certain amount of money.
“NFTs are the same.”
“Bird Girl-NFT” features 1,000 digital images that will be randomly sold online starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 15.
To view and purchase, collectors visit the website at www.birdgirl-NFT.com
The site walks visitors through the steps of buying Solana (digital coins) and establishing a cryptowallet. The Solana is transferred to the wallet and a Bird Girl-NFT can be purchased using Solana. The NFT is delivered to the collector’s crypto wallet.
Buyers will receive a random NFT. Lester said the line-up of the Bird Girl NFT images didn’t matter.