How Visual Artists and Photographers Can Leverage NFTs to Expand Their Businesses with Jeremy Cowart

In this episode of Freedom with NFT’s Jeremy Cowart shares with us about:

  1. His background as a visual artist before entering the web 3 space and why he took action on leveraging NFTs

2. Leveraging NFTs as a visual artists to create new opportunities

3. Projects that he has dropped in the NFT space

  • Block Queens

4. His strategy behind the two seconds sell out of Block Queens NFTs

5. Advice for visual artists who are just learning about NFTs

About Jeremy Cowart:

Jeremy Cowart has spent the past 15 years as a photographer, specializing in celebrity portraiture and humanitarian photography projects around the world. Before becoming a photographer, he spent time as both an abstract painter and a graphic designer. All of these mediums recently came together when Jeremy released his first NFT series called “Block Queens”, which combines his paintings, portraits and drawings together as fully interactive NFTs. The body of 999 NFTs sold out in seconds in February of 2022. Jeremy is now focused on many upcoming drops, spanning 1/1s and generative work. Jeremy is based in Nashville, TN.

[00:00:00] Lauren Turton: When I was at NFT LA, I was honored to have a press pass, which allowed me backstage. And there was an activation that was happening in the back corner that had me absolutely enthralled. There was a photographer who was shooting the speakers that had just come off from the state.

And of course, in true Lauren Turton fashion, I had to get my way in there to figure out what was going on. And this is when I met Jeremy Cowart, who is a visual artist and photographer later on we’ll have Jeremy share the activation that he was doing at NFT LA, Jeremy, how are you today?

[00:00:38] Jeremy Cowart: I am so good. Thank you for asking. How are you?

[00:00:41] Lauren Turton: I’m doing wonderful. I’m very excited to connect with you for this episode on freedom with NFTs. I find that when I interview people that I’ve met in real life, because we’ve had that connection, we’ve had a handshake, a hug and eye contact that these interviews have a different type of energy. So let’s jump right in.

Tell us about your background.

[00:01:03] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah, I’ve been around for a long time as a photographer and a visual artist. I really spent the last 15 years photographing celebrities and gosh, album covers and advertising, and then a lot of humanitarian work as well, mostly photography, but a lot of other visual art projects as well.

[00:01:24] Lauren Turton: It sounds like you’ve had an incredible career. I’m curious to know. When did you first find out about NFT?

[00:01:30] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah. It was really a year ago with the people sell like many people. I was like, what in the world is that? A JPEG for $69 million. And so that was the beginning of me hearing about the space. And then ever since I’ve just been trying to learn in immersive myself.

[00:01:47] Lauren Turton: When you first entered the NFT space, what were some of the ways that you took action on learning about NFTs?

[00:01:55] Jeremy Cowart: Gosh, just obsessive, really learning around the clock, whether it’s followed over a thousand new Twitter accounts. I listened to Twitter spaces every day. I listened to podcasts like yours or jump in discord. If you’re doing all those things, you’re going to be learning at a pretty quick pace.

[00:02:13] Lauren Turton: Absolutely. So at what point in time did you decide all right, I’ve got to take action on leveraging NFTs for my career as an artist?

[00:02:24] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah, I jumped in last August of 2021 and tried, but I did not understand it was overwhelmed by the talent, the vocabulary, I just didn’t get us so quit. And then a few months later in December, I got re engaged again, jumped in this time, like hardcore all in, around the clog of learning. And have a look back.

I mean, it’s what I do for a living now. It’s all I do every day and I love it.

[00:02:51] Lauren Turton: So share with us some of the projects that you’ve dropped in the NFT space.

[00:02:57] Jeremy Cowart: Sure. Yeah. I dropped a project called Block Queens in February of 2022, and that was the gender of art project, consisting of photos and drawings and paintings, and just a bunch of mixed media. And each NFT has 11 layers of art stacked, and you can actually interact with them and zoom in and zoom out.

And there’s not a lot of interactive PFP projects out there. And so that was called Block Queens released in late February of this year. And it sold out in two seconds. And so that was life-changing for me and a really fun entry into the space.

[00:03:34] Lauren Turton: Can you share with us some of the strategy that went behind having such an incredible sell out?

[00:03:40] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah. I really took a healthy approach mentally, thinking like, cause I have a lot of followers, I guess you could say on Instagram and Twitter and all that, but I looked at web 3 is like starting from scratch. Like I realized that nobody in this space cares who I am. So I got to like work super hard and start over and with a fresh approach and partnered with other communities on giving away, a low less spot, which really helped.

And then we did a presale day showing off Block Queens and that’s when it really blew up. I kind of blew up on Twitter that day, where the entire space was talking about it. And so by the next day on main day sales, it sold out very quick.

[00:04:23] Lauren Turton: Congratulation for the success on that project. And is there something that happened today that you’d like to share with us?

[00:04:32] Jeremy Cowart: There is yeah. Today I sold my first one-on-one dropped on superrare is a three-day auction and it sold this morning for 15 euth, which for me is mind-blowing. And so, yeah, it’s crazy. And like a last sign at around midnight, I check the homepage of superrare and it was my project just right above people and Madonna, like, what is life?

Like I literally couldn’t believe it. I was at like 15.1. They were at 15. And so I think they’re still at 15 today. I’m sure they will far surpass me in that, but just for a moment, it was really cool to see my little NFT up there with people.

[00:05:13] Lauren Turton: That’s absolutely incredible. Congratulations for that. For someone who has been on an artistic journey for many years, what have NFTs done for you that wasn’t happening in the web two space?

[00:05:31] Jeremy Cowart: Oh, gosh, everything I’m going to now make royalties for the first time in my life. And now I can just make digital art period until like that’s never really been a thing. I mean, you can sell prints as a digital artist, but that’s never been that exciting to me. And so now I’m literally making a living doing this.

I get to sell the work that I want. That’s in my soul. I’m not having to sell my soul to clients, to just shoot whatever somebody hires me for. I get to make the work that’s in me whenever I want. However I want for whatever price someone and to receive royalties for the rest of my life. I mean, literally all of that is new.

All of that is a game changer.

[00:06:11] Lauren Turton: It’s a total game changer, Jeremy, what’s next for you? What can we expect in the future?

[00:06:18] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah, I have a lot more one of ones coming, I’m working on a massive project from all these conferences where I met you, some shooting, photographing all the big names in the web 3 space. And I’m working on a project tentatively titled for now yearbook that I will release at the end of the year of all these photographs that I will remix in my own little artistic way that imagine a massive drop of just all these names and all the people that have come through the space over the last year.

[00:06:47] Lauren Turton: Can you walk us through the process of how you’re creating this project? Because remember at the beginning I shared, when I saw you in that booth and the coroner backstage, at NFT LA share with us what it is that you actually were doing in that booth

[00:07:04] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah, over the last year, I’ve invented a really crazy process of light. In fact, my gymnast system Subaru is the first ever portrait on the blockchain with interactive lighting, where you can literally move the light with your cursor which has never been done before. And so I was doing that process backstage, where I met you.

And so there’s just a ton of lighting setup, or I do some really weird stuff with flashes and triggers and remotes and then a bunch of interactive code to make it all work.

[00:07:36] Lauren Turton: It was an incredible experience for me to be photographed by you. So I am very excited for when this project comes to fruition.

[00:07:45] Jeremy Cowart: You haven’t seen your photos yet. Have you?

[00:07:48] Lauren Turton: I saw a preview after you shot me.

[00:07:51] Jeremy Cowart: Oh, I gotta send you your actual photos so you use them.

[00:07:55] Lauren Turton: Oh, thank you. Yes, that would be wonderful.

I think you sent me one of them, which is on my Instagram, but yes, anything else I would love to see.

[00:08:03] Jeremy Cowart: I’ll shoot you a bunch more.

[00:08:04] Lauren Turton: Thank you.

[00:08:05] Jeremy Cowart: Of course.

[00:08:05] Lauren Turton: Awesome. Thank you. What advice do you give artists and photographers who are just learning about NFT?

[00:08:13] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah. You just have to immerse yourself. Like I did. I tried to dip my toes in the water and learn it for there for a couple months and that just did not work. It wasn’t until I fully immersed myself that I like had to find my own path. And that’s why I had to immerse yourself. Cause you can’t just drop a photo and expect it to sell.

It’s just not going to, that if you get in you network, you learn the ways of web 3, meet people and start building a name for yourself. You’ll just like, find this path. It’s sitting there for you, but you gotta to go find it and you can’t do that being lazy, you gotta work hard.

But I do believe there’s a path for everybody. The weather is saying wagmi. Well, wagmi is true. If you work hard to find that path.

[00:09:02] Lauren Turton: What’s one of your favorite platforms to connect with others in the web 3 space?

[00:09:07] Jeremy Cowart: Probably Twitter. I mean, I spend most of my time on Twitter. I’m there all day, every day. I’m in some discords. I’m in telegram as well. There’s a couple telegram communities, I’m a part of. But Twitter for sure.

[00:09:20] Lauren Turton: Absolutely. I agree. A hundred percent on that. Are there any communities that you can recommend artists or photographers to check out?

[00:09:28] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah. I love what the quantum community is doing. Quantum photo, quantum art, whatever they are called now. But they are legit. They’re doing it right. I’m very, very impressed with all that they’ve done all the photographers they’ve chosen. I mean, gosh, so many others.

I’m a big fan of the moonbirds community. Hold for men birds and the love, everything that Kevin Rose is doing.

[00:09:51] Lauren Turton: Thank you for sharing those communities. I’m sure it will be a great resource for the freedom with NFTs audience. What’s your biggest learning lesson during your NFT journey so far?

[00:10:02] Jeremy Cowart: Too many to count. I’ve just ate into so many projects as a collector, investor that are like, why did I do that? And so now I’ve come a long way in two months as a collector. Now, I really believe like you have to research the team that you’re buying into, have to know that you can trust them. Or like, I think buying things with like really, really actual utility is the way to go. Yeah, I’ll leave it at that.

[00:10:28] Lauren Turton: Thank you for sharing these insights before we wrap this interview up, is there anything else you’d like to share with the freedom with NFTs audience

[00:10:38] Jeremy Cowart: Like I said, we’re all gonna make it. You just gotta jump in all of them and find your path and look forward to seeing what people create. And yeah, I love this space so much.

[00:10:51] Lauren Turton: Jeremy, how can we stay in contact with you?

[00:10:53] Jeremy Cowart: Yeah, just @Jeremycowart on web 2 socials. At Cowart superrare and foundation, Opensea stuff like that. But just Google me. I’m there.

[00:11:05] Lauren Turton: You’re there and we’ll make sure to link all of those in the show. I appreciate your time and your energy and sharing so many valuable insights for the freedom with NFTs audience. It’s going to be incredible to see the next steps in your journey unfold after an already successful web 3 career so far.

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