He is red-haired and short-sighted, with a penchant for round glasses. His nickname was all found: Ginger Potter, the red Harry Potter. This nerd-oriented illustrator, holder of a master’s degree in interior architecture from Alba, wanted to make a living from his art rather than take a job and cultivate his talent for a hobby. For three years, benefiting from his family’s support, he imposed on himself the discipline of posting a work a week on his Instagram account while thinking of ways to become financially independent in a country in crisis. His works reflect his moods at the moment and illustrate his meditations as a young Lebanese trapped in a dystopia. A little extraterrestrial character becomes his avatar, even his puppet, which he animates as he pleases, through spaces that are sometimes reminiscent of Lebanon and sometimes become abstract with a psychedelic tone.
Without brushes or canvas
Last October, Ralph Khoury decided to plunge into the world of non-fungible tokens or NFTs, these virtual goods, which are sold in cryptocurrency on the metaverse markets, in this case in an art gallery in OpenSea. A practice that not only proves to be profitable, but also costs him almost nothing, as it relieves him of material costs that are often unaffordable for young artists, who each count a penny to equip themselves with brushes, canvases, paints and other. All he has to do is draw his work with his computer equipment and put it online. He does not even have to charter it to the buyer, who in turn can choose what he likes and buy it in cryptocurrency.
A full-time job
Reverse digital artist, the one his fans, who have gone from 600 to more than 40,000 in a few months, recognize under his pseudonym, Ginger Potter, will embark on a marketing campaign to raise public awareness of his work and his approach. . Because the web is large and one can easily disappear there.
The other side of this ingenious medal is that it involves full-time work, with almost no rest period. Without sacrificing her status as a traditional artist, Ginger Potter appreciates the freedom that virtual space provides to sell or dispose of the intellectual property of her work, allowing the buyer to make the use that suits him. . , and even market it by printing it. on t-shirts, posters or other media. This choice has its material advantages, as it can give the artist royalties for life, in the order of 10% for each resale of the work. The artist can also choose to sell the physical work with its virtual version in the form of NFT, the creator explains.
With two collections of 21 pieces each already sold out since their release, Ralph Khoury now has both feet in the meta-heirs. Following his series in JPEG format (still image compressed according to a decoding standard defined by an algorithm), he embarked on the preparation of a series of small video animations, always 21, a lucky number, in MP4 format. As for the buyers of his works, Ralph Khoury defines them as art enthusiasts from all over the world. They would not have much in common, other than that they like his work and are supportive when he turns to them for advice. The illustrator estimates their number at around forty, all ordinary NFT collectors, both art lovers and speculators, hoping to see the value of their acquisitions increase.
Asked if his NFTs are sold at auction, as is often done in the metaverse, Ralph Khoury points out that his prices are still quite affordable, so it has not happened yet, even though a collector a few days ago was looking for a partner for ” share “the acquisition of a work. Nevertheless, the works to date have been sold to unique buyers, though the artist says he is tempted to test an auction when his next edition is sold. “I sold my first works for 0.05 Etherium, which is roughly equivalent to $ 150. The coins in my next collection will be offered for 0.25 Etherium (about $ 750 according to the price of Etherium at the time of sale), which represents five times the value of The former and demonstrate a clear added value, “he says. And if most of the collectors of his works are international, Ralph Khoury points out that he also has a percentage of Lebanese collectors who have already reserved certain pieces from his new series.
A new standard?
If the metaverse is still a fuzzy concept for most people, it’s because it’s still in its infancy. Just as the Internet in the 1990s was not of immediate interest before it penetrated itself as a pillar of everyday life, the virtual market, which can already be visited with augmented reality equipment, has not far become a new norm, especially as Covid- 19 have introduced habits in the world of work and trade that are destined to hold. Ralph Khoury’s wish is to train Lebanese artists to join his approach and follow him in the meta-verse in order to make a living from their art.
He is red-haired and short-sighted, with a penchant for round glasses. His nickname was all found: Ginger Potter, the red Harry Potter. This nerd-oriented illustrator, holder of a master’s degree in interior architecture from Alba, wanted to make a living from his art rather than take a job and cultivate his talent for a hobby. For three years he has benefited from the support of his family …