Graduating with an MA Fine Art (Hons) from Edinburgh College of Art Trevor has been working at the intersection of art and technology for over a decade experimenting with QR code oil paintings in 2012 and AR the following year. Investing in Bitcoin in 2017 inspired a new creative direction with the development of crypto themed AR paintings, which in turn soon led him to the fast paced and exciting world of NFTs.
READ Our Q&A with trevor jones Below
What have you been up to, what have you been working on over the last year?
It’s been a busy 12 months! A few of the things I’ve been working on: The Ice Cube collaboration, the Angel’s Share (1991 Macallan cask) painting and NFT, I’ve established and quickly expanded my new company TREVORJONESART LTD, the planning of #CastleParty2022, I’m organising an Archangels rewards club for many of my collectors, and then the upcoming drops including the Steampunk AI project dropping on Coinbase NFT and an exclusive bronze cast physical sculpture and NFT. I need a holiday.
Tell us a bit about your art practice and any key themes throughout your work.
The unifying factor in my art practice is the fusion of Fine Art with Technology. Since my first experiments with QR codes I’ve sought to combine the handcrafted with digital mediums; to both celebrate the past and embrace the future. Recently I’ve been fascinated with the concept of exploring the themes associated with this practice. For example, the series of paintings for the Ice Cube collaboration incorporates AI, which raises the question as to how this technology could positively and/or negatively affect us in the future.
How did you first hear about NFTs, what did you think and when was that?
I first heard about NFTs in April 2019 at the first crypto conference I attended. Initially I didn’t understand what NFTs were and couldn’t see why I, as a traditional painter, would be interested in them. However, I followed several digital artists on Twitter, and, after watching the space rapidly expand throughout 2019, I decided to jump in at the end of the year with the EthGirl collab with Alotta Money.
What have NFTs enabled for you? (economically, creatively, community wise)
Without a doubt NFTs have completely changed my life. The successes of the past few years have provided me with the resources to grow as an artist without fear of wondering if I’ll be able to pay the bills or lose my home. To have this creative freedom, to be able to work only on the art projects that I’m truly excited about without anxiety or fear is such a privilege.
As for how NFTs and my creativity, I see this digital phenomenon as a dynamic, innovative way to express my ideas and to communicate visually in new ways through animation, music, etc. Although I’d been producing short video clips for my augmented reality paintings since 2013, the notion of monetizing creative digital expressions in and of themselves was fascinating. Moreover, the collectors in this space are 100% all in on art and technology, which is such a breath of fresh air in contrast to the decade previous when I was trying to sell QR code and AR paintings at traditional galleries and there was almost zero interest in my work at that time.
To have an entire community of art collectors come together around my work from all around the world, in particular, the Bitcoin Angel, is mind boggling. The possibility of this happening to me had never even crossed my mind. It’s so exciting but also, it’s a big responsibility. I want to ensure that those who place their trust in my work are rewarded. I’m always thinking about how to build on what has already been created. For example, my annual Castle Party is one way to give back to the Angel community and I’m really looking forward to the inaugural event July 30th and then every year after! It’ll be such an honour to meet people from all around the world at the castle, to talk art, NFTs, crypto and everything else…. over a wee dram, of course.
How have NFTs informed your art practice?
First and foremost, I consider myself a traditional artist, however the NFT medium and market has changed the way I look at my work, how I can manipulate it digitally, how I can present it and tell new stories, and how I can engage a new audience.
What attracted you about showcasing at Satellite?
In 1996 I strapped on a backpack to travel to Australia. It was the first time I’d left Canada. I was nervous leaving home, but this adventure turned into the best time of my life. I met the most amazing people and I’ve always wanted to go back. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make this show but it’s still very cool to be able to show my art in the country where my journey began and where I was bitten by the travel bug.
What are the NFTs myths you often dispel?
That minting an NFT doesn’t kill a baby seal in Canada.
What advice do you have for other artists/collectors trying to break into NFTs?
I posted a blog back in 2019 “How To Become A More Successful NFT Artist” with 75 tips. I continue to add to the list as I continue to learn. You can read it here: https://www.trevorjonesart.com/2019/12/18/artist-checklist-for-success/
Is there an NFT you’re most proud of, and why?
The Bitcoin Bull was the one that really elevated my reputation as the sale of it garnered a lot of media even outside of the NFT space. However, I’d have to go with the Bitcoin Angel as this is the artwork that has created an entire community around it and launched the Castle Party. I have a lot more projects in store as well that will become a part of the Bitcoin Angel legacy. The Angel is the artwork that changed my life completely.
Do you have a favourite NFT in your wallet / project you idolise and why?
I’m a huge fan of Pascal Boyart’s Underground Sistine Chapel and NFTs. It’s a masterpiece on so many levels, both physical and digital. Also, anything by Alotta Money. I have a few of his works but La Peste Bleue is a personal favourite. Alotta is a creative genius!
Can you share any plans for upcoming projects?
I’m one of Coinbase NFT’s partner artists and I can’t wait to drop my AI Steampunk project inspired by Tesla, SpaceX and more. I have a very cool physical (bronze cast sculpture) and NFT that I’m working on atm, hopefully dropping in June and of course, I have the Castle Party coming up end of July!
In your crystal ball, what are your predictions for NFTs in the next 5 years?
This space moves so fast I can’t even predict what will happen next week! I just keep my head down and work away on the things that I’m excited about and that keeps me busy.
Don’t miss seeing Trevor Jones NFTs at Satellite 2022
A month-long, digitally immersive and sensory experience Bringing together over 40 NFT artworks from leading influential Australian and international artists, in Bondi Beach this March.