In 2021, we witnessed the birth of a new creator economy. It was born on the blockchain. Since NFTs took center stage, artists have achieved NFT superstardom, billion-dollar brands have been forged in the span of a few months, and lives have been utterly transformed time and time again. Yet, the most inspiring thing about the NFT space is the number of artists of all creeds and mediums that have found community and support by embracing this technology.
In keeping with our mission to empower creators, we present Next Up — our monthly franchise dedicated to showcasing rising artists. In our March edition, we’ve curated a list of five ascendant talents who are poised to make significant waves in 2022.
Brooke DiDonato is a surrealist photographer based in New York City. She describes her unique and oddly composed pictures and portraits as “uncanny eye candy.” She notes that her works are based on reality, but all include a subtle distortion of the familiar. Over the course of her decade-long career, DiDonato has worked with an array of influential brands like Adobe, Coach, Gucci, The New Yorker, and more. She became involved in the NFT space in the Fall of 2021 and is quickly becoming a prominent part of the growing NFT photography ecosystem.
Crux is a multidisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia who, for the last 15 years, has been pushing the boundaries of movement art. She has been classically trained in Hip-Hop, African, ballet, modern dance, jazz, contemporary, tap, musical theatre, and acro/gymnastics. Crux teaches, performs, and choreographs both local and virtual performances in her day-to-day life. In the NFT space, she is one of the most prominent artists minting dance and movement art on the blockchain.
Josefin Jonsson is a 3D artist from northern Sweden. Also known as Pastelae, Jonsson has become known for her vibrant, candy-colored style and whimsical, multimedia NFTs. Jonsson lives with and frequently collaborates alongside Emil Eklund, another NFT artist living in Sweden. Throughout her career, Jonsson has worked on music videos for artists like Brooke Candy x PussyRiot, Skrillex, Melanie Martinez, and more.
Mcbess, real name Matthieu Bessudo, is a French illustrator and video director living in London. He has become well known for his unique black and white style, which is inspired by vintage cartoons. Although he’s already garnered a sizeable following throughout his career, Mcbess only recently took the plunge into NFTs — with his first few 1/1 pieces selling out quickly, each for over 2 ETH.
Vintagemozart is a Zimbabwean afro-surrealist and afro-futurist digital artist who channels themes of African and Greek mythology into their work. They have become known for their surrealist digital collages and unique music x animation NFTs. Vintagemozart has said that their own mixed-race heritage has greatly informed their unique style, through which they aim to intertwine mythological tales and historical references into mystical dreamscapes.