Do I even need to describe today’s guest? Fer is beyond the reach of my words and her passion, kindness, loyalty and talent are more unquestionable than the fact that WAGMI. She’s a star and her gravity pulls us to the warmth and life around her orbit. It’s a pleasure to have her as the community leader and head of curation on ArtPacks. Today, we’ll have a chance to know a bit more about her.
Fer, we’d need a whole book to define you: Artist, adventurer, community builder, curator, collector, entrepreneur, traveler, storyteller, etc, etc, etc. Phew! But let’s cut down to: when did you look at yourself and said: “I am an artist”?
GM GN! OMG this is a funny question because there was actually an “a-ha” moment. Even though my first art award was at the age of 12, I never believed I could choose art as a career, so I went to corporate instead. Halfway through University and already with an excellent trainee position in a multinational company (I took classes at night so I could work full-time), I decided to take a sabbatical and go to Spain for a Semester. I had a sketchbook that I filled with observation sketches. It was during El Camino de Santiago (a pilgrimage route I took 35 days to walk) that I had this aha moment. I was sitting in an abandoned church, doing a sketch, and I thought: this is really what I love to do! However, I went back to corporate and ignored the calling but life pushed me back to it a few years later when my husband at the time got a job transfer, and we moved to NJ, USA. I had to quit my career due to limitations on my VISA, so I decided to pursue art then. The year was 2000.
You’ve been exhibited in galleries and museums and you brought this experience to the NFT Space. What parallels do you see between IRL art world and web3 art world?
The most important parallel I see is that artists are still artists, working hard to get recognition. And despite the whole speech of decentralization and no gatekeepers, at the end of the day, a market is a market, and it is never simple to sell.
IRL or in the NFT Space, artists usually start with the dream of becoming famous and making a good living out of their art. Again, same as IRL, after a while, they realize it is not that simple, and when you do art full time, the least you do is actually create art. Most of your time goes towards marketing and networking. I could talk about the differences, but that is another subject, and I could write a book on that. haha.
Your art is recognizable from miles away and your style is unique. However, another expression of ourselves is what we collect instead of what we create. How does your collection define who you are?
What a great question! Sometimes I feel like we collect things that are somewhat similar to what we create, because that is our comfort zone. However, I feel like most of the time we collect what is our ideal world, we collect what speaks to our heart. I collect art that inspires me. I collect art that has a meaningful message and goes with my principles and vision. I collect art that are simply pleasant to look at. I always say that art is a portal to another dimension. It has the power to shift one’s mindset and that is mighty! You can look at a collection and know a person’s heart, just by reading what they choose.
You lived in several places in different conditions throughout your life. Did this journey change your art? Can you spot a piece of yours and notice how the current place and situation affected your work?
It would be sad if I said that throughout my experiences, my art remained the same. Whether we see it or not, we are constantly inspired by our surroundings. My art teacher (late Mr. Philip Sherrod) used to have us paint without music because he would say that would influence the art. He also said each painting was a self-portrait. I miss him. He truly shaped me as an artist. Of course, in time, I learned to use the surroundings (including music) to put me in the right mindset for a piece I wanted to create. So, I don’t have a piece to share. I can tell you ALL my pieces are a reflection of what and where I was living and experiencing at the time.
Now you’re the leader of community and curation of ArtPacks, working with hundreds of artists on this Season. Would you tell us about this experience and what do you expect to see in the coming drops?
Some people like to receive gifts. Some people are happier giving gifts. I realized I enjoy helping other artists succeed instead of focusing on my own career. Of course, managing so many artists is not easy, but I believe in what we are building and how much it will benefit everyone. I have to say, our artists have been fantastic and have delivered such excellent quality art that the only outcome of this is an absolute success. We understand the market is VERY slow, and I have no expectations of selling out immediately, but we will get there, and I believe soon collectors will come to us for the curation concept so they can collect a complete set of art from a theme they love.
When you’re depleted of inspiration, what drives you to keep going?
It depends… if you are talking about art, I am rarely out of inspiration, but when that happens, I use the technique “feed your brain.” So, I look at art books, go to a museum, visit galleries, get immersed in art, and inspiration never fails to come back. But if you are talking about life in general, what keeps me going is my kid.
What’s your favorite piece among your creations?
My favorite is always my latest piece.
When and how did you learn about NFTs?
I first heard the word from a guest at my museum exhibition in SC. He asked if I had the art as NFTs because he didn’t collect physicals, only digital. It took some ten other people over the following five months asking me about my art being available as NFTs before I paid attention to it. I was actually onboarded by a collector (Johnny Utah) for a charitable project, Kindred Hearts, and that was when I saw potential and joined the space.
How do you think NFTs are changing the way we experience art?
The most significant change I see is accessibility. We have broken country borders, cultural borders, all sorts of walls and shared art with anyone who is willing to see it. Also, along with NFTs, we have the virtual galleries and events. NFTs are bringing people together for the love of art and freedom of expression.
What’s your ultimate goal as an artist?
Once, my goal was to make this world a better place. But I don’t have that arrogance anymore. I have no goals as an artist. I create when I create and participate in meaningful projects when an opportunity calls, but I don’t look at myself and think I will change the world. It is too much of a burden to think that way. I would rather stay behind the scenes, and if I help promote change, I don’t need anyone to know it was my doing.
Fer, thank you for being this beacon of life and for dedicating your time and strength to uplift so many artists out there. You’re a force of nature and we’re grateful to have you in our team both as leader and artist.