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Noland Explores – NFTs Series x Isabelita Virtual

Are NFTs a revolution in the digital art world or just another bubble about to burst? 

N x NFTS, is a program aimed at those intrigued by digital art, NFTs, and their immense potential.

We interviewed many renowned artists and asked all of them the same question: Are NFTs a revolution in the digital art world or is it just another bubble about to burst?  

Today’s interview is with Isabelita Virtual, a multi-awarded Creative Director and photographer.

She has been awarded by Cannes Lions, Clio Awards and the D&AD Festival. The first Spanish woman featured in Times Square (NYC) with Midnight Moment.

Isabelita launched a luxury outerwear brand via NFT with Cape di Cour, which will be explained in today’s interview.

What brought you into this digital art world and what is it that you find attractive and interesting about NFTs? 

One year ago or so, Alejandro Mingarro from Brosmind mentioned NFTs to me and said it would be an interesting opportunity. I began to understand all the possibilities that the technology could offer me.

All my work is digital for several reasons. My first photos from 10 years ago were taken with very little resolution for large format printing as I took them with my phone. During these years I have had a lot of problems transforming the digital work into physical work and sometimes it seemed that if there was no physical work there was nothing… Before I got involved with NFTs, I found other ways to exhibit my work and give it value like virtual reality.

I participated in the Uncontaminated Oslo festival and I was able to exhibit in virtual reality. For me, it was an outlet for that digital work that I could not print in large format. 

In what ways do you see NFTs complementing the art world? Which benefits besides financial do you see in NFTs compared to more classical ways of creating and trading art pieces?

I believe there are three important benefits that NFTs offer: 

  1. Changing the status quo. I think we have to try to find other ways of doing things in a way that has not been done till now. For me, the most important thing is not the speculation or the future itself, the most important thing is to change the status quo and the idea that art is only for a few and is something elitist. Now, I think that many people have started to buy art and become collectors. There is a speculative part but there is also a part of supporting artists and demystifying the figure of the collector.
  1. Transparency. Knowing who has bought that work, where it is, and its evolution afterwards seems to be something incredible and necessary.
  1. The creation of communities, where the community makes sense again and ceases to be an element of accumulating followers or likes. Your power is not a like on instagram. You have real power to do things with others. 

What do you think about collectives like Worldofwomen? Do you consider it necessary for these platforms to exist? and is there also female discrimination in the digital art world?

I believe that the main motivation is not so much to support women in the arts but to educate within the world of economics, which has always been more linked to men.

Collectives like World of Women, what they achieve beyond giving support, which is also important, is to educate and break the stereotype that everything related to the economy and technology are male areas and that women only do art.

It is very difficult for you to understand the NFT world if you do not know what a Digital Wallet is, or if you do not know what Ethereum is. For this reason, these collectives are important. 

It is also important when it comes to backing up with NFT fraud or scams, isn’t it?

Yes, I know very few people who haven’t been caught in some scam, because the risk in the NFT world is “earning by doing”. That is to say, you have to invest money, and when putting money in a hostile environment you have to be very careful and cautious. 

Do you think the NFTs have been a revolution in the digital art world or are they just a speculative bubble? 

I find it hard to think that it will become a speculative bubble with so many technology companies and banks shifting to crypto. Everything is going very fast but I think that now the speculative rush is falling and people are trying to buy with more criteria.

For me, I only buy art that somehow either speaks to me or connects with me, or someone does something that hasn’t been done before.

The luxury industry, sports clubs, the music industry, the artistic ecosystem, etc… all have joined the NFT movement. Do you think the NFT world is focused on a more exclusive market? 

Mainstream platforms that reach millions of people like Twitter, Tiktok and Instagram have started to democratize it. The easier the access gets, the larger the market will be, where all kinds of contracts and all kinds of prices and sectors will prevail. If you are going to buy something that is worth 50€ it is very accessible to people, the markets will diversify and everyone will access these digital assets like we access them now. It’s normal that luxury brands have taken advantage of this movement because money breeds money.

But in the end, the more people buy – even if the price is low – the more money everyone earns. So it’s in everyone’s interest that technology is accessible at more affordable prices. 

How was the experience of working with Cape de Cour and what could you express with NFTs that could not have been expressed in any other way? 

It was a campaign launch. Cape de Cour is a luxury waterproof jacket brand where the material of each garment is a technological material patented by them. It made sense for a brand that was already working in the world of technology to communicate to its audience in another way.

We did the collaboration with a digital artist named Tony Murray, and he created the avatars and the space where this story takes place: It was two guardians standing by Heaven’s gates who controlled the weather and the rain.

The big difference in making this piece, which could be a communication piece, is that for the first time, a brand offered the piece itself to a client, that is, whoever bought the cape kept the piece. It was a way of talking differently, of explaining that when you buy the cape you are also buying the brand values, the vision, the technology. They made an unlimited edition of capes and the first 3 people who bought it got the content. It is a gift but at the same time, it can also be an investment for the same customer because, 10 years from now, having a Cape de Cour NFT could be much more valuable. 

‘’, a startup from Barcelona, will launch in April as the first platform in the world where you can buy NFTs with a credit card. What do you think about democratizing NFTs?

There are already some ways to buy NFTs with Apple Pay or a credit card.

I think what will make sense of all this is that, by democratizing it, it’s not going to be so important to understand the technology or how to gain access to the product being offered, but to understand the culture that is changing. 

It will be much easier to gain access now, although I don’t know if in turn, when something is democratized so much it loses a little bit of its magic. This is part of the game right now, to think that not everybody knows it, to discover new things, a whole underworld to be discovered.

It will also help to avoid scams, which I think is the most dangerous and less beautiful part of these channels that are so difficult to manage. 

How do you see the future of NFTs in the short and long term? 

At the moment I want to see it with optimism. For example, 10 years ago Instagram appeared and made a change. As technology got associated with photography, communities made Instagram or social media, in general, bring some excitement to the communication landscape. Now, just by forcing us to think differently, NFTs have already been a breakthrough.

I believe they’re here to stay, and I hope it is just the beginning of a different system from what we are used to. I hope we don’t repeat the same mistakes and apply the same system deficiencies to this new technology. That’s all. It would be great if there were mechanisms in place to enforce a better way of doing things.

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