Squirterer, a Filipina fine artist from Davao, has been earning all of her income in crypto since 2018. She has stayed afloat financially despite the economic fallout brought by the pandemic. She creates, mints and sells her art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and also keeps a blog about her skills to earn rewards on Hive. Her success has allowed her to upgrade her equipment. She invested in a new iPad and an ASUS laptop designed for complex graphics, all while living in a country where unemployment rates hit a record high of 10.3% in 2020.
In her latest op-ed for CoinDesk, Emfarsis Director Leah Callon-Butler observed, “For creators like squirterer, the financial impact is real, and her ability to invest in the equipment that she needs to do her job well indicates the crypto bull run and NFT boom have done more than just make the rich richer.”
As a person living with PTSD, squirterer uses her experiences to fuel her art. She has turned her pain into a competitive advantage. Through Hive, she learned how to convert tokens and crypto such as Hive to Ethereum and successfully sold her NFTs, with some of them fetching prices well above the average floor price for a tokenized art piece. Leah discovered that the buyers of her NFT art come from around the world, including the Museum of Crypto Art, Gabby Dizon of Decentraland’s Narra Gallery, and other prominent NFT collectors.
A gallery once resold one of squirterer’s physical paintings without her consent, preventing her from connecting directly with her buyers. Her experience with this gallery highlights the art industry’s need for transparency and decentralization. Amid the economic struggles of the Philippines, Leah strongly believes that the success of artists like squirterer is crucial and that traditional art markets have a lot to learn from the decentralized space.