As part of our Women’s month celebration, we are featuring Mary-Jane Uzodinma an 18 year old digital artist and leading NFT creative. She is one of our customers and an inspiration to us here at shecluded. Let us share her journey with you;
Hi Mary-Jane, so quick question. What is an NFT?
Hey… so, basically an NFT means a non-fungible token. It is an intangible unit of data stored on the blockchain. There is an association with digital files like; photos, videos, assets, audio, and many other things that come in digital format. NFTs have a unique string of data embedded in which ownership can be claimed only by those with a unique token. For example; If I have a plain 1000 naira note and you have one signed by Kanye, the value of the two cannot be the same and the value of your Kanye note can increase over time on the blockchain.
Interesting…Tell us a bit about your NFT journey. How you started, your motivation, and rise to fame.
I’m a digital artist and I’ve been for about 3 years now. I got to know about NFT in early 2021 but I never saw it as such a big deal and spent time honing my skills in digital art. In October 2021, when I was less busy with school, I reactivated my Twitter account and my timeline was buzzing with news on NFT. This was what piqued my interest and I decided to know more. The fact that my art could actually have greater value and be more appreciated really served as motivation for me.
I came in as a beginner, tried to relate with people and took note of who was doing what and how they were doing it. When I realized there were Nigerians in the space too, I felt more comfortable and encouraged.
Along the line, I got to meet a lot of supportive Nigerians in the space and found out about communities there. We have, the Nigerian NFT community which is a really supportive platform for new members coming into the space. There is the African NFT platform, the Black NFT platform, etc. Joining these communities and participating in activities really helped me. There is a strong sense of community among these people and it helps a lot with networking.
Next, I posted sneak peeks of my second collection called HER CROWN on my Twitter which highlighted The African womens’ hair. It gained traction on social media before I officially put it out on OpenSea. The same night I dropped this collection of about 43 items, Twitter purchased one of my works, and immediately after, people rushed in to buy more, and in a few hours, it got sold out!
Information is everywhere but most of it is very vague so how did you get information on the NFT community and what steps did you take to meet the right people?
Yes! Information is everywhere but the validity of this information should always be ascertained. Go further, do your own research, it is very important !. I got my information, initially from a friend I met on social media, He put me through a lot and encouraged me to get into it.
When I was ready, Twitter played a huge role in helping me immerse myself in the NFT community. One authentic community is the Nigerian NFT community. Like I said earlier, I took an active part in any activity I needed to and joined their weekly clubhouse meetings.
Other communities yet again include; the African NFT community, the Black NFT community, etc. Individual artists in the space are also doing amazing. Artists like; Toraira, luthrong, Taslima, J. pearl, Taiserat, Yinkorey, Abi, etc. act as some form of community leaders and try to educate people in the space.
What is required if an artist wants to mint a collection?
If you are an artist, notwithstanding the kind, and you are coming into the NFT space for the first time looking to mint your collection or put up your collection on the blockchain, you will definitely need some form of cryptocurrency to pay as gas fees. It all depends on what platform you are using and what blockchain you will be putting your NFT up on. We have; Ethereum, Solana, bitcoin is coming into place now, so there is a whole lot of them. It all depends on you as the artist.
Apart from the cryptocurrency, you will be needing to mint your gas fees which is like liquidity, you will also need to know what platform you will be minted on. There are several NFT market places like; open seas, foundation, known origin, super rare, marketplace, Zora, etc.
Amazing! we heard that you are also interested in tech, so, let us talk a bit about tech…
(laughs)…Before dabbling into the whole digital art thing, I actually started coding first. I picked interest in it in my JS2 after a one-week introductory program. From there, I went on youtube, checked a lot of websites, practiced a lot, and generally went further.
You know, I actually wanted to become a robotics engineer (laughs)… My inspiration was from an animation, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, Big Hero 6?…yeah, that was how I got involved and I was around 15years old at the time.
Women’s month this year is centered around “Breaking the Bias“. In your own words, how do you feel you have achieved this in your field and what is your advice to upcoming females?
To me, I feel like I have been able to achieve something in this respect but there is still room for improvement. There is a shortage of female talents in the NFT world and I feel like, encouragement and mentorship can tip the scales and increase the number of female creatives in this space.
Thank you so much Mary-Jane, you really are phenomenal and the amazing part is YOU ARE ONLY 18! . We will be looking out for all the awesome things you have in store for us. CHEERS!!
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