Anaroth: Gm and welcome, thank you for spending some time with us today. To get us started could you introduce yourself, and share a little about your Art journey.
JYXDI: My name is Jyothee, and I am a Toronto based artist. I have been painting for about 15 years of my life, started up any when I was ten and then I got into NFT last year in August. I entered the NFT space with Dual Soul, a collection about spirituality and unity. If you browse the collection you will see the face is halved, one being of a girl, the other of an animal. I made this as an expression of the fact that energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred. Themes of reincarnation were important for me as well, my goal has always been to be able to teach people about spirituality through Art. Having a medium like NFTs has really allowed me to pursue that even further and I will always be grateful for that.
To give a little more perspective on my background with Art I started painting around 10, but drawing started when I was 2. I would be scribbling all over the walls of my home, and my parents just let me be. At 10 there were some art competitions in school, and that was my first time painting and I got first place! I was like oh shit! It let me feel that this is something that I could be really good at. I have been painting for 15 years now and have probably invested about 10,000 hours in my craft.
Another experience I had was being able to judge an Art Battle in Toronto. This is when a group of painters come together and take 15 minutes to create something each. Then the audience gets to vote on their favorites and the Artists can win prizes and recognition. Judging was a really unique experience seeing other people compete, but also an impossible challenge. How each person sees Art is different, and that's kind of why it contradicts when you try to teach Art because there’s also different ways of learning. With Art you can learn techniques on how to create, but knowing techniques doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to truly put your mark on something.
Anaroth: Thank you for sharing and adding some context. This is a good transition into my next question. You have had success collaborating with projects and brands in the past, what advice do you have for someone looking to collaborate or build their own brand?
JYXDI: Yea, honestly when I was starting up as an Artist I would reach out and send my Artwork to big brands. Simple things like hey check out my work let me know what you think and how we could collab? Sometimes they get back to you, sometimes they don’t. When I think about my biggest collab I think it might be with 40, Drakes producer, I did a custom pair of shoes for him. This meant a lot because it was right after I dropped out of school in 2017, and it was crazy that someone like that would reach out to me for something custom. I also was able to work with Coach for the Michael B Jordan Naruto Collection and actually they reached out to me for that. That was crazy to me, at the time I had a little following on Instagram, like 160K, and Michael B Jordan saw my work and selected me.
Most recently in NFTs my latest collaboration was with Gutter Cat Gang. I actually reached out to them, saying hey I love your community I want to work with you. They reached back out and we landed on the banner drop, and an auction drop as well. Honestly I love the community and everything that it stands for. Doing collaborations with NFT projects literally brings so many people together, I get introduced to new people, and I really appreciate that.
Anaroth: One of the things I really heard in your answer there is having the confidence to just send your work out. It feels like that confidence you have in yourself and your craft has and will continue to serve you well. Doing some research before our conversation, I read that there was a small amount of time (3 months) before you were able to support yourself from your brand. What advice do you have for people in the early stages of brand creation?
JYXDI: Yea I was in secondary university for Math and I just felt that secondary school wasn’t for me. Whenever I went to class I would fall asleep in my lectures, I just felt like something was always missing. That something was Art, and I realized this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was worried that I may not be able to support myself on the art alone initially but I would just stay up until 4:00 AM painting, go to bed wake up and paint some more. The work to build my brand came from the countless hours and consistent release of content. Having something new I could post each day was important. I think most importantly though, when I was creating it didn’t feel like work, it just felt like passion. That’s something that I really like because you gotta fall in love with the process at the end of the day. If you don’t love the process you just won’t enjoy it as much. So, whatever you pick, make sure it’s your passion and that you fall in love with the process. If you fall in love with the process opportunity is limitless. Even if you reach the sky, the sky is not the limit, the process will take you further.
Anaroth: I love the relentless optimism in your answers. When you think about the future in the space, what are you looking forward to being able to create? What advice do you have for people creating?
JYXDI: As an Artist I used to have a lot of utilities for my project; then I realized Art is the utility. As an Artist it was important for me that the DualSoul collection Art be presented well. It is an all one of one collection, I hand drew all of them and I have an incredible appreciation for our community, it is amazing. As an Artist you don’t need to worry about a roadmap or utility, just create. When you create consistently the right people will come find you, come find your work, and support you. You should also be aware of bad actors. As an Artist last year I had an incident where people came and said they have Naruto license, and they finessed me and 15 other artists. We actually put in the time and work to make these pieces of Art, but we didn't get paid. Thank god the minting didn't happen because we all stepped down right before. This just serves as an example that Artists can get rugged too. So protect your time and your work.
As a collector though. Do your own research! See who is running the project, take some time to learn more about them before purchasing. Are they organized, and do they have a strong community?
Anaroth: Your passion for your art comes through so genuinely. I want to take a moment and shift focus to some of the values that you associate with your Art. Could you share some of the central focuses and themes that exist in your craft?
JYXDI: Ever since i was growing up my dad always taught me when you create you're actually using your right brain. That’s what I always stood for, reminding myself to balance both side of the brain. He also taught me chess when I was 4, sharing that this is for your left brain, the logical side. So in life and in Art I try and balance both.
While Art allows my creativity to flourish, I also look to balance the logical part of me and participate in chess tournaments. It’s not something I talk about on Twitter but it’s something that I do all the time, a hidden talent of mine. Chess is so much fun, and it has actually taught me a lot. When playing you are always thinking three steps ahead and you automatically start applying that in life. You start thinking three steps ahead before making any decision in life. So the theme I would share is really balance and finding a way to engage all of me. Mental health is also so important, body, mind, and soul you need to balance all three and that’s what I stand for as well.
Anaroth: When you reflect on your Art career as a whole can you share an experience that you are proud of, and what else you have going on in your world right now?
JYXDI: Yea, I wanted to do my first solo show in Toronto last year, and couldn’t because of the vaccine rules. I ended up moving the show to Miami in early April just a couple weeks ago. It feels like one of my biggest accomplishments because of the adversity of having to go to another country to make this a reality. I am so happy that I did though, I had about 1,400 people come through and show support while I did live painting while my Art was hung up. All the pieces were glowing under UV light, with live music, and it was all really dope. It definitely feels like the biggest success of this year so far.
I'm almost done the collection as well. I just have a few more mirror souls left and they're all gonna be auctions. It'll probably be done by May 2nd, after that I'm actually working on an anime series. It's called Spirit Gates, and I'm still working on the artwork. I'm expecting it to be released by end of May or early in early June.
Anaroth: I feel like you're so humble. Like yeah just have this animation thing coming out soon in a couple of months no problem. I threw his wildly successful event down in Miami because I couldn't do it in my country, no worries. It's fantastic that you have this very freeing thing, you know where you're supposed to be, and I think you exude it in everything you do. I think that's a really genuine gift that you have and I wanted to say thank you for taking some time and spending it with us.
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