Yet again, another star is born. The metaverse has transformed Hayes into a multi-millionaire by selling dinosaur-inspired NFT portraits of long necks in just one year.
Dozens of these NFT (non-fungible tokens) projects have popped up in recent months, typically themed around a single creature. There are penguins, aliens, and robots; lions, tigers, and bears; plus many cats. But the NFT metaverse is filled with all types of creations.
The Long Neckie Collection features diverse women with elongated necks inspired by her favourite dinosaur, the Brontosaurus. Ok, I am honestly considering jumping onto this NFT train now. Like seriously? But all in all, with massive respect to Nyla Hayes, though; her NFT collection is currently worth nearly $3.4 million.
At 12 years old, Hayes created the first female-led, all-women generative art collection on the Ethereum blockchain. The hand-drawn, computer-generated collectables have 3,333 variations and all feature women with long necks – giraffe-like.
Nyla began her artistic journey at four years old before turning to digital art around nine. The transition to digital art was natural for someone born well into the 21st century. “I feel like I transitioned into doing digital art because I’m left-handed,” Nyla remarks, listing the myriad reasons making the switch was so easy. For lefties plagued by smearing their artwork, innovations like digital art alleviated the obstacles of the left-handed artist.
Last August, the most expensive NFT sold for 4 ETH, or around $11,737. But besides the enormous amount of moola she is raking up, Nyla is inspiring and breaking down boundaries, leading the way for young African American people in technology.
Her parents bought her a smartphone when she was nine years old to practice creating digital art. A few years later, in March of 2021, her uncle told Hayes and her mother about NFTs. She and her mother researched what NFTs are and how to create and sell them online through YouTube videos.
“I made drawings of people with long necks, which I call Long Neckies. This past March, my uncle told my mom about NFTs. We watched YouTube learn how to create and sell them. Soon, people were buying NFTs of my Long Neckies. I have made more than 960 ETH. Being part of the NFT community is amazing,” said Nyla Hayes.
Hayes was also named the first artist in residence for TimePieces, Time magazine’s web3 and NFT initiative. For the industry, the digital artist created the Long Neckie Women of the Year collection for 100 different women, including Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama, Toni Morrison and Beyoncé. Last year, the artist was named NYC’s Emerging Artist of the Year.
I am seriously considering getting involved in this before the next NFT clash – whenever that is.