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Thursday, 20 June 2024

NFT Artist Spotlight: An Interview with Sarah Woods

Introducing Sarah Woods visionary behind creations like Sarah Words.

Sarah Woods is a unique artist with a focus on art and poems, mixing the two in web3. She can be found on NFT marketplaces such as Objkt, Opensea and more!

Interview with Artist Sarah Woods

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to the world of NFTs?
It was during the pandemic, when I was getting a lot more time to create and paint. I kept seeing ‘NFT’ being mentioned on different social timelines and my FYPages. I was listening to other artists talk about how they were using this new technology to sell their work and I wanted to try it too. It was the blockchain authentication and ownership that I was so fascinated with. And in years to come, what that can do for artists’ work being shared, away from socials that are so susceptible to algorithms.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an artist?
Hhhmmm. My parents always encouraged me to create and enter competitions. My Dad was really into the arts. Writing, in particular. And his brother was an artist as well. I remember being fascinated seeing the work he created when I was younger and being inspired by it. 

What are some of the most interesting or exciting NFT projects you are working on now?
My main collection is a word/quote collection, called ‘Sarah Words.’ I use closeups of my abstract paintings as the background and place writing over them. Some of the writing and sayings are now part of a phygital collection, also titled Sarah Words, within my apparel brand, The Woo 1984.

I’m trying to incorporate my art as a dynamic nft so that my customers who purchase a sweatshirt or hoodie from this collection will get the art token as part of their receipt. After doing a short course on dynamic NFTs with Transient Labs, I aim to use this type of token to be able to communicate with my customers in the future about giveaways, discount codes etc. Taking communication and announcements away from the promotional email tabs and social posts and straight to the token on their phone/token wallet. Cutting out middle people and algorithms.

me in live laugh leave me be

Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your art?
Absolutely. I still dip in and out of this thinking tbh. I think this is a common and recurring phase for a lot of artists. Self doubt in your ability and doubting whether your work is good enough is something that can keep you from even sharing your work. The impact, at least in my experience, of not believing in yourself can result in not sharing your work, and sometimes not even creating anything at all, while you’re in that head space. A lot of people think success of their work is sales and how many followers you have. But sometimes, success for an artist can be sharing something you don’t have full confidence in; it’s one of the biggest hurdles you can overcome. Can you imagine all the art; movies, tv, music that we may not have today, if those creators listened to their inner critic?

So, how are things going today? What is your recipe for success?
Literally looking at this like a recipe, It’s 3 ounces of persistence. A tablespoon of delusion (to drown out the taste of disbelief in yourself) 2 cups of authentic creativity and a pinch of DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL. I think that the fear of failure keeps people from trying. But if you get used to how that tastes, you’ll eventually cook up a success. 

Which tips would you recommend to NFT artists starting out?
There’s a lot of resources online to help get started. I’d highly recommend a short course on Udemy by fellow Irish artist and web3 advisor, Niamh Aughney (Check out here:)

Join X spaces and listen to learn from the mistakes others have made.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The web3 space is moving at a rapid pace and from my experience so far, people are sound and helpful and eager to learn themselves. Nobody is an expert yet. 

What are your “3 things I wish someone told me before I minted my first NFT,” and why?
The very first time I tried to mint, the gas prices were crazy expensive. I knew that you had to pay a gas price but I presumed it’d be manageable. At the time of late 2021, it wasn’t too manageable. After researching, I found that I could mint late at night/early morning in Ireland to get a lower gas price while the rest of the world was predominantly offline and not driving up the gas fee. So, I stayed up until 2:30/3am one night to mint my first piece for a really cheap gas price. 

To learn about different blockchains. When I first minted, I was imbued with information about Ethereum and jumped right in. Now, I mint on Tezos as well as ETH.

To read the small print and research about different platforms that you want to mint on. Ahem, OpenSea…

To look at generating your own smart contract for your tokens so you can retain as much control over your work and secondary payouts. OK, I know that’s more than 3 but why keep it to myslef. 

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by artists and the NFT industry today?
I think the biggest challenge faced by artists and the NFT industry is the general assumption that selling your work as a token is a scam or a fad. At the beginning there were obviously a lot of collections that made huge money and that caused a lot of nausea for this new way of presenting and selling your work. I think we still have a bit of a challenge on our hands to show people that this technology is making the purchase and selling of art a lot more seamless for both sides. And that as artists, we’re getting involved in blockchain to further evolve how we showcase our work and interact with our collectors. Personally, instead of saying ‘NFTs,’ I say ‘Art Token’ or ‘artoken’ as a way of reframing and taking control of the narrative. 

How can our readers collect your art or follow you online?

The best way to see all the platforms that I’m on and links to different websites is through my Linktree.

Jillian Godsil
Blockchain Advocate, Founder, Conference Chair, Women in Blockchain Advocate, Keynote Speaker, Crypto Journalist, Broadcaster, CEO, Writer, Homelessness Advocate, Former European Parliament Candidate, Law Changer, Mother, Choir Member, Hill Walker, Dreamer

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