In the world of digital art it would be normal to wonder how more traditional physical artists (painters, sculptors, etc) can succeed. Mr Callaby may just have the answer.
He has been posting images of his acrylic paintings on Instagram for the past 6 years or so and has accumulated quite the following. As he states in our interview, he focuses on “anthropomorphic characters that see-saw between adorable and disturbing”.
While his customers have acquired his physical illustrations he has experienced some early traction with NFTs. A number of his pieces have sold on Foundation and for the first time he’s combining the two via a sale on SuperRare. While the bidding has not yet hit his typical painting sale price, it is directionally headed that way.
It may just be a start but it appears that Mr Callaby has a successful future ahead in the world of crypto art.
What was your first entry into art?
15 years ago I used to be pretty addicted to online gaming on the PS2. Back then you’d have to arrange clan matches etc via forums. On these forums you could have a little image signature below your messages, 650 x 250px or so and I used to love designing these for myself and clan members, on my bootleg Photoshop. This was probably my first entry into design, playing with every filter imaginable and heavy image manipulation. Man, those were good days.
How has your style evolved over time and how would you describe your style today?
Also around that time I became obsessed with street art and started painting a lot, taking influence from that movement. Unlike designing signatures on video game forums I haven’t stopped since. This has slowly developed into my style today, where I often use acrylic on canvas to create cute, chubby characters in a strange, vivid world. My work usually features anthropomorphic characters that see-saw between adorable and disturbing, but my main goal is for the work to be fun.
Prior to selling your NFTs was your art your full-time job?
After graduating art school I worked in advertising for almost 8 years, frantically painting during any spare time I had. But last year, just before the pandemic, I finally made the leap to pursue painting full time and haven’t regretted it since.
Were you previously involved in the cryptocurrency space? If so, how?
A little bit of dabbling, me and my brother bought some DOGE back in 2014, but we can’t access it which is a killer.
What prompted you to begin selling NFTs?
At first I just saw people selling art for Ethereum which was amazing to me and wanted to get involved. Since then the community buzz has really captured me, it’s addictive. It feels like the DeviantArt/ PS2 forum days where everyone is hyping each other. The internet and art scene feels alive again. Also it’s forcing me to try new things with my art and re-think the process which has to be a good thing.
How are your sales going so far?
For me I’m blown away, but it’s nothing compared to a lot of people. I’ve managed to sell 3 pieces on Foundation for around 0.5 Eth each, which has got me embarrassingly hyped.
Have NFTs changed your plans for the future? If so, how?
I’m super excited to start working on a new concept, merging my traditional paintings with digital animations. I’m having to approach my traditional practice in a completely new way and I’m finding it very invigorating.
What do you think would improve your overall experience with NFTs?
Gas fees. I also hope artists continue to make art because they love making art and not get too distracted by the selling side of things.
Do you have any exciting upcoming NFT projects? If so, any that you care to share?
I’ll hopefully be having a little exhibition in the MetaVerse which I’m really excited about. Shout out for Claire Silver for organizing and everything she does for the community. I’ll also be releasing some completely new 3D collection in the next few months, which is a new and exciting journey for me.
What’s the best way for people to check out your work online?
Anything else that you care to share?
Thanks for reaching out and thank you Claire Silver, Punk4156, Stani.eth, Rudy, Mark, Moritz and everyone else who has supported me so far in this space.