When contemporary artist Nina Chanel Abney, branding guru Shaun Neff and gallerist Todd Kramer started discussing concepts for Nina’s first step into NFTs, they discovered something all great entrepreneurs are in search of: a problem.
“We felt there was a huge miss in the current market for an artist-trusted platform that’s highly curated,” Neff told Entrepreneur. “There are so many projects out there — from the super-legit to the infamous rug pulls — and it’s hard to seek out what is good and bad.”
And so Neff quickly did what he does best. He pulled together a super-team of talented and passionate artists and business leaders to build the thing they needed that didn’t exist. The result is GODA (Gallery of Digital Assets), a highly-curated NFT minting platform for successful and respected contemporary artists. “The goal is to build a trusted art community within this new digital world,” says Neff.
Among the founding members of the GODA team is 13-time Grammy Award-winning visionary Pharrell Williams. “To me, with GODA we are building a bridge,” he explains. “It’s effectively a bridge that gives world-class artists a clear, accommodating path to harness this new digital opportunity. Artists have traditionally relied on a centuries-old model, often exclusively. Done right, this is a new frontier.”
Nina Chanel Abney, whose large and vibrant works can be seen in museums around the world, says she is thrilled by the possibilities that GODA can bring to artists. “I am always looking to go into new places in which contemporary artists or artists from underrepresented communities are not widely represented,” she explains. “I am entering a completely new territory, and while it was a bit overwhelming in the beginning by virtue of all of the new information I had to learn and process, it has been extremely exciting. I have been having a ton of fun learning and exploring this space.”
There’s no question that NFTs have transformed the art world, says Neff. The artistic and financial possibilities are limitless. “NFTs allow the artist to receive majority compensation for their work and a better way to build community. And the space opens up the door for more collectors and allows unique utility and benefits that traditional art can’t offer. Also, the ability to trade and sell direct is game-changing for art collectors.”
“With GODA, we’re making art – classic and new age – much more accessible, more valuable, and open to more artists. Smart contracts have enabled a new level of empowerment,” adds Pharrell.
Despite the newness of the space and the still-unknown possibilities that Web3 affords, the heart of this company remains within the passion and hands of the artists. “Visually, the creation process has not been much different for me,” explains Nina. “For my upcoming NFT project, I created traits by hand and then vectorized everything to further alter them. This is essentially the same approach I take when creating many of my other projects like murals, commercial products and animation.”
For Pharrell, the process of collaborating on NFTs is no different than on other mediums. “Whether you can make art on canvas or make art on a digital platform, it still requires the talent to create something beautiful,” he says. “What I love about this project is how much further that piece of art can go.”
GODA, whose team also includes innovators Easy Tobar, J1mmy.eth and Nick Adler, is gearing up to launch Nina’s NFT soon and while they wouldn’t share any details, Pharrell is confident it “is going to blow people’s minds.” Head to GODA for updates regarding the project, and to win a GODA Mint Pass that will allow you access to all future art drops.
“I am hoping to be able to use my NFT project to engage the supporters of my work outside of social media and create a bridge between the digital NFT space and the physical art world,” says Nina. “And I am looking forward to using the resources we’ve put together at GODA to support the endeavors of artists from underrepresented communities.”