When she started selling her work as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, at the age of 13, a young artist became a multimillionaire. “Non-fungible” refers to a one-of-a-kind item, such as an original song, film, or drawing, and each of Hayes’ portraits is one-of-a-kind in its own right.
The teen’s paintings feature famous ladies, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Lucille Ball, as well as regular women. When she’s finished, Hayes uploads it to an NFT website, where it can be purchased using cryptocurrency.
On Thursday, the digital artist told NBC News Now anchor Savannah Sellers, “I love sketching women from all over the world because I really like different cultures and different backgrounds.”
Hayes refers to her work as “long neckies.”
Hayes’ works are distinguished by one feature: a stretched neck.
Hayes’ models have an elongated neck, a feature that can be found in all 3,000 of her photographs, and she notes that the unique feature dates back to her youth.
Hayes was enthralled by the Brontosaurus dinosaur when she was younger, so she gave it a nice nickname.
“I couldn’t think of a name for it. As a result, I simply referred to them as “long neckies.” “she stated
That was the spark — and the moniker — she needed to elevate her work to the next level.
“At initially, I just wanted to combine two of my favourite things, which were a Brontosaurus and women,” she explained. “I wanted to highlight how attractive and strong women could be, and the brontosaurus fit the bill perfectly.”
Hayes sold her “Long Neckie Lady” painting on Instagram for $6,621.70 in March. She also sold a drawing for $3,920.05. a month before that.
How did Hayes get into producing NFTs in the first place?
Latoya Hayes, Hayes’ mother, claimed she bought her daughter a smartphone when she was nine years old because she “really developed an interest in painting.”
“I could see how dedicated she was to her craft, and I wondered if I could help her in any way.” “I’m going to do exactly that,” Latoya stated.
Hayes used to create her portraits on her smartphone and only reveal them to her family and friends before she started making large money. “I was worried that others wouldn’t like it or think it was strange,” she said.
Hayes and her mother decided to look into NFTs after some encouragement from her uncle, to see if it may be a lucrative industry for her.
“When I first heard about NFTs, I was like, ‘I honestly don’t know about this,’ but I’ve been wanting to put my art out for a while, so it was a wonderful venue to do it,” she explained.
What was it like for Hayes after she became famous?
Hayes was named the first “Artist-in-Residence” by Time Magazine in 2021, a distinction granted to people who are advancing their professions using NFTs. She developed a stunning collection as their artist-in-residence, recreating Time’s cover photos for their “Women of the Year” franchise.
She had no idea her business would take off the way it did when she initially started selling NFTs.
“I simply thought it would be interesting to put my art out there and see how people react to it,” Hayes said. “I didn’t anticipate it to go off like this.”
Hayes said it wouldn’t have been possible without her mother’s help, characterising her as “wonderful.”
She said, “I need her,” before cracking a joke. “Because I’m left-handed, she reminds me of my right hand.”
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