As NFTs continue taking over topics on the future of arts, Kulture Magazine spoke with Nigerian Artist Chinemerem Omeh who released his first NFT project in October 2021. Born in Enugu (1994), Omeh is a graduate of Fine and Applied Art from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and currently resides in Atlanta, USA.

KULTURE MAGAZINE: How did you discover NFT?

CHINEMEREM OMEH: I first discovered NFT on Instagram in 2018, from an artist and friend I follow, Prince Jacob known as Osinachi. Two years later, NFT caught my attention as the popularity increased, I then proceeded to reaching out to my friend, after which we had a detailed conversation on the subject and how to navigate the art market.

KULTURE MAGAZINE: What is the success you’ve had with NFTs?

CHINEMEREM OMEH: NFT gives certification of ownership to the creator. As an artist, I would say my biggest success with NFT is that it has enabled me to take my creative process a bit further. My first NFT release tells the story of my people (Ndi Igbo), who we were, and what we could still achieve based on our history. I did receive amazing responses from this release, and this fired up my drive to explore and dig more into the world of NFT. Although I am still very young in the NFT space, I look forward to creating long-term benefits with my digital artwork. 

KULTURE MAGAZINE: What are your thoughts on NFTs in the creative market? 

CHINEMEREM OMEH: NFT gives you ownership and authenticity of a digital art piece. The most obvious advantage of the NFT is market efficiency, as this allows artist to directly connect with their audience, eliminating the middleman, as well as creating an environment to help exhibit and sell digital artwork. Another apparent benefit of NFT is that it gives the creator an environment for long-term growth and revenue, by setting up a smart contract with NFT, the creator will receive revenue when sold and royalties with every resell from the new owners. Although NFT has a lot of benefits, the art market is still very tricky, the online articles about NFT paints a picture far different from reality. The harsh reality is that NFT takes time and a lot of effort to build, you need to establish a social media presence by engaging with the online community to find your audience and create value for your digital assets. The truth is if we take a quick look at the NFT platform, we will see that a huge faction of people selling for millions are already established artists, so as a new creator in the NFT space, having the best content and work does not guarantee the expectations of making fantastic sales, there are a lot of other factors to consider.As a traditional artist, my opinion is that NFT is here to stay but it is a bit frightening as these digital art piece have no physical presence in comparison to the paintings hung in galleries which we could feel, study and connect with.

KULTURE MAGAZINE: What advice would you give to someone who wants to venture into NFTs?

CHINEMEREM OMEH: Given my experience with NFT, I would say there are three very important things someone venturing into NFT needs to know. Firstly, learn about NFT extensively, you must do your research, understand the NFT space and digest as much information as possible. Secondly, find your audience, the NFT market space is on Twitter, you must be proactive and engage with the online community. Thirdly, have patience, do not let the quick success and figures you see online discourage you, always remember that NFT takes time to build. Just the same way traditional art takes time to create value, expect NFT to take the same efforts and more.