In the first part of our “Women in NFTs” series, we saw how the lack of female representation in the crypto industry gave women no choice but to carve out a path for themselves in the NFT space. In our second piece, we took a look at the most famous and iconic women-led projects in the space.
But who are the influential women behind these projects? And more generally, who are the top female NFT artists?
From NFT superstars grossing 7-digit sales to community-centered artists striving for more visibility and inclusion for women, here are 8 must-know female NFT artists.
Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Blake Kathryn
Selling a piece of work for seven figures is a rite of passage for those at the top of the art world, and Blake Kathryn can say she has entered that auspicious echelon of creators.
Collaborating with Paris Hilton, Kathryn’s Iconic Crypto Queen sold for $1,111,211 at a Nifty Gateway gallery auction in April 2021.
This came as no surprise. Kathryn’s candy-colored psychedelic fantasy-scapes had been gaining traction for quite some time, with her Twitch account being a fan favorite as she shows her creative process to viewers. And with the addition of Hilton’s name recognition, Iconic Crypto Queen was destined for big numbers.
2. Monica Rizzolli
Known for her Fragments of an Infinite Field collection, São Paulo-based Monica Rizzolli creates floral patterns and naturistic vibes through generative art. In her different pieces, flowers have different variables, with seasons playing a significant role in her creations.
She calls it a “compositional system in which an idealized plant species is generated and arranged in a potentially infinite field of foliage.”
Last September, Monica Rizzolli’s life changed for the better as she watched her net worth grow by over $5 million in less than an hour. That day, she was auctioning a collection made up of 1,024 NFTs on the Art Blocks platform.
3. Cath Simard
Canadian-born Cath Simard is a photographer and digital artist. Her very unique style meticulously blends reality and fragments of her imagination, rooted in an immense passion for the outdoors and wilderness.
She is also one of the founders of the Metascapes project, the first AI-generated landscape collection, based on her work and that of @ibelegurschi & @SHBackpacker.
Simard is well known for engaging her community, sometimes letting her fans decide which photograph they want to see editioned.
And she definitely holds a special place in the NFT photography space that has been booming for the past few months.
Originally from France, Alycia Rainaud is a Montreal-based digital artist and graphic designer. She created her artistic name and persona, Maalavidaa, as early as 2016 but has boomed as an NFT artist more recently.
Inspired by Jungian therapy (a meditation and creative exercise for self-expression), color therapy and meditation, her work explores life’s complexity and the feelings that arise from that reality through daily abstractions.
After entering the NFT space at the beginning of 2021, she founed Heal The Deal, Crypto’s first ever emotional support club as a safe space in the Metaverse driven by a creative, inclusive and caring community.
5. Yam Karkai
Co-founder of the groundbreaking World of Women (WoW) project and community, Yam has since become a superstar in the NFT space. Her outstanding women-empowering NFTs include 10,000 PFPs representing powerful and diverse women around the globe.
“The mission of my art was always to showcase women, and put them in the spotlight, and bring more diversity into the space,” says Yam Karkai.
Before this life-changing success, Yam’s art had always been centered around the notions of inclusion, representation and diversity.
Probably the most notorious female NFT artist as the only woman who has made it to the top ten, Canadian musician Grimes’s artwork has generated close to $10 million.
Last spring, she made a jaw-dropping $5.8 million in about 20 minutes, selling out a suite of NFTs published as “WarNymph Collection Vol. 1.” She had announced the launch via a tweet to her 1.1 million Twitter followers just a few hours before.
Some of the works were accompanied by original musical compositions with titles like Ærythe, Mars Theme, and Anhedonia.
Although a lot of her pieces have lost considerable value since then, she is still considered a monument in the NFT space.
7. Sarah Zucker
Based in Los Angeles, Sarah Zucker is a digital artist and writer, known across the internet and metaverse as @thesarahshow. She is a personal favorite of ArtCentral since she was featured in one of our newsletters.
In her own words, ‘her art merges the gorgeous and grotesque through humor, psychedelia, mysticism, and the interplay of cutting edge + obsolete technologies. She works across mediums, specializing in mixing digital and analog video techniques and the use of VHS.’
She is very clear about the new opportunities offered by the space: “The option to self-elect and sell directly to collectors is a huge opportunity for artists who would otherwise have no entry into the more codified realms of the art world.”
And appreciates the ability to communicate her narrative and sell her art directly without “mediators who may slow down or confuse the process.”
8. Itzel Yard aka IX Shells
Itzel Yard is one of the top-selling female NFT artists working primarily with generative art. Originally from Panama, she lived in Toronto, Canada for several years.
She became the highest-selling female NFT artist with a whopping $2 million sale of her artwork “Dreaming at Dusk”, commissioned by The Tor Project. Meant to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tor Browser through which users can anonymously surf the internet through multiple layers of encryption, it was sold to PleasrDAO.
As a woman in the NFT spaces, she easily observes that “White men have the advantage from the very start in crypto; it’s obvious that they’re the first to build up the space.”
Her conclusion will be ours: “This time around, we have an opportunity to flip things around and bring more balance into the system.”
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