NFTs-Opportunity to Grow as an Artist

What is a NFT?

A NFT (Non-fungible token)is a digital asset that exists as part of the cryptocurrency system. NFTs allow us to create a token of art, photography, collectibles, music, videos, tickets, gaming items, fashion lines, and more. NFTs can be collected similar to collecting photographic prints or fine art in the traditional market but it is conducted digitally via the blockchain. If you are new to NFTs and cryptocurrency this concept may seem intimidating at first. There is a learning curve to becoming a NFT artist and collector. For me, learning about NFTs has been mentally and creatively stimulating. NFTs are giving more power to creators, artist, photographers and musicians in regards to profit and rights.

I became aware of NFTs through following entrepreneur Gary Vanerchuck. Pictured here is Joyous Jellyfish, my first NFT purchase from a project of Gary’s titled Veefriends. This project has been a foundation for many artists entering the world of cryptocurrency and NFTs. I have been challenged deeply as an artist to define my story, connect with community, and share my art on a worldwide platform. Joyous Jellyfish is not only a NFT but it serves as a ticket to Veecon for the next 3 years. This journey has impacted my life as an artist. I am grateful to be in this space. I am committing to NFTs and to being a part of the advancement of Web 03. I am dedicating a category of my blogs for sharing information that can help other photographers and artists start their own NFT collections.

Do you want to create NFTs?

I am happy to help you. I have invested this past year into studying about NFTs and Cryptocurrency. I listen, read, and connect with people experienced with NFTs. It has been exciting learning and finding my own voice.

Step One… Learn!

I want to encourage you to utilize Google, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Youtube as these are tremendous resources about NFTs. If you do not have a twitter account, start one today. Follow me @KimZahnow as I am happy to help. Use this powerful search engine and connect with NFT spaces. The NFT community is welcoming. I have been connecting with photographers and artists from all over the world that are making a difference in my life.

Step Two…Know Your Story

I want to challenge you to take your artist statement to a deeper level. Be vulnerable. Ask yourself questions that connect you to your truth. Why are you an artist? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your goals? Put yourself out there on social media and in your community. Allow people to see you. This is foundational to connecting you to your art and potential clients. Collectors and buyers can look at thousands of NFTs in a day. What makes you stand out behind the art? I admit this may have been the most difficult parts of the process for me. I journaled and soul searched for months. I was surprised at what I discovered about myself. I am humble in nature and it has been uncomfortable for me to talk on social media or even show my work. I am growing. I am in a new place of celebrating my work and finding joy in sharing my experience, knowledge, and art with the world. I am going to keep these blogs coming. I welcome you to return for more information.

I am working on an exciting new NFT project that I look forward to sharing in the near future.

Keep on Creating,

Kim

Vulnerability, the Courage of Being an Artist

I am no stranger to burnout. Whether I am photographing or socializing I am connected to the emotions and experiences of the people around me. I see opportunities to empower others and I want to help. I go all in. I think this is a key part of what makes photography have meaning. Sharing our work takes great courage.

I had the honor of photographing David Reinke, sculpture artist and graphic designer. David shared with me about the burn out he experienced as an artist and how it led him to open Pizza Mambo in Douglas, Michigan. We explored the emotional connection and the experience of his journey in our photography session.

“As an Artist, I try to become one with the material that I’m using before I even start a piece. Mixing the plaster with my bare hands and feeling the substance before it hardens is a kind of spiritual connection with the future piece. ” ~David

“Then comes the anguish of conceptualizing the sculpture knowing that the end result will be critiqued and judged by the viewer. I feel that the sculpture created is a direct reflection of myself. I have the feeling of “will it be good enough, and will the people viewing it feel the emotion I felt creating it? ~David Reinke

“I put my heart and soul into the work so that the viewer feels that “spiritual connection” or some kind of relationship to the piece. If they have that connection my work is complete.” ~David Reinke

David shared that he experienced healing during our creative session in a way that he was not expecting. I know that I relate as an artist to all of Davids words shared. I am thankful for the artist community that we share. Artists have a beautiful purpose in our world.

Keep on Creating,

Kim

El Recreo Coffe in Nicaragua

When you have a dream or vision in Nicaragua, you do not have the resources or even a realistic expectation of turning a dream into reality.  Nicaragua has endured natural disasters and wars that have resulted in the population being the second highest poverty nation in the western hemisphere.  El Recreo Coffee Farm has been created through the vision of Carlos and Leana rooted from over 50 years ago. They have endured wars, loss of crops, loss of land, and loss of everything but the shirts on their back. They had to seek political asylum, send their own children to safety, and then buy their land back again after the war. Their dedication, hard work, and relationship with their community has kept their dream alive.  Carlos and Leana are Heroes. 

Children

The children of El Recreo Coffee Farm are the exception in comparison to other children living in Nicaragua.  Leana has overseen the education of more than 3,000 Nicaraguan children. This is the only coffee farm in Nicaragua that does not allow child labor.  Carlos and Leana pay their workers more than the other farms with the understanding that if they have children, the children will go to school on the farm and not work. Leana instills in everyone around her that “Education is the one thing that nobody can take away from you.” The children are fed three meals a day, educated, and encouraged to play. The farm now has a trade school, university accredited school, and a vision for a school for young women.

El Recreo farm provides their workers with housing, food, healthcare and education. The opportunities at El Recreo are having a lasting impact on the community and country. 

Farm Life

The sounds of the farm are like a soul filling song that you want to replay over and over again. No electricity for lighting meant that when the sun set, everyone went to bed.  I fell asleep to sounds of random animals on the tin roof, Luna the dog keeping everyone safe, and the serenade of jungle frogs. These nights were some of the best nights sleep I have ever had. I woke to the sounds Juana making tortillas at 3:00am, Carlos leaving to pick up workers at 4:30am, and the kitchen staff arriving to prep the day’s meals.  The workers were joyful at every moment, from the beginning of the day, through the very hard work of the day, to the very end of each day.

Success

The success at El Recreo are abundant everywhere.  It is not hard to immediately see all the things we take for granted in our everyday lives, which is ironic because the everyday joy of life at El Recreo, is also immediately obvious. Yet higher education, succeeds in offering real future opportunities for everyone that reaches higher. Leana and Carlos are approaching their 80’s yet work tirelessly everyday. Their children are passionate about the farm and continue to help. Their daughter Miriam Morales has a thriving coffee shop in Boston called El Recreo that serves their delicious coffee and was responsible for connecting Biggby to El Recreo.
Below are more images; your looking glass as a glimpse into the everyday life and culture so many beautiful  people share.

Granada and Managua

We were fortunate to have a day touring Granada, Managua, and Masaya Volcano National Park. I could spend years photographing the people, historical architecture, natural beauty.