Spend enough time browsing the internet, and you’re bound to find artists whose work resonates with you. From traditional techniques to 3D animated loops, there’s something out there for everyone, with the NFT space making it easier than ever for creators and collectors to find each other.
For NFT collector and creator Archan Nair, this is exactly what happened when he discovered the work of Ian Permana – better known as Iannocent – with a deep appreciation forming between the artists. Though the two lie on opposite sides of the globe with many thousands of miles between them, the pair have developed a strong bond, with Archan Nair bringing Iannocent to the popular Foundation platform where both their artworks are currently making waves.
As both artists continue to gain notoriety for their stunning artwork and collaborations between the pair looking likely, it’s worth learning a thing or two about their lives and their creations.
Berlin-based Archan Nair’s own artistic journey began in 2006 as a 24-year-old entrepreneur who started to paint. Thought always fascinated with art in all its forms, Nair had never imagined himself as a creator. This all changed, however, after he uploaded a quick 10-minute piece to the internet. After receiving a few comments, he soon realized the potential for the internet to foster creativity never before seen in history. After discovering this nascent potential for the internet to be a creative sharing tool, Nair fully committed to the goal of becoming an independent artist in 2007.
Entirely self-taught, Nair now describes himself as a visual artist and illustrator, focusing on mixed media digital creations. Over 14 years on from his foray into the creative sphere, he describes his pieces as being attempts to capture the universe as he sees it, claiming:
“…[I’m] influenced by the mysteries of our existence and how every action, emotion, and our interconnectedness in a universal scale sets off a chain of reactions…which we experience from the micro to the macro scale.”
And his creative efforts have paid off, with collaborations formed with the likes of Nike, Redbull, Sony, Netflix, Samsung, and GQ.
Now a well-known figure in the digital art scene, Nair continues to embrace the merging of digital technology and artwork through his creating and collecting on Foundation. With over 60 diverse pieces in his collection so far, Archan Nair is now establishing himself as a pillar of the NFT community.
And it’s this passion for fostering upcoming artists in the NFT space that led Nair to invite Iannocent to the Foundation platform, where he is gaining a steady following and causing more than a couple of bidding wars as collectors scramble to own his artwork.
Located in Bandung City, Indonesia, Iannocent has been an illustrator for over 1 2 years. Before moving to the NFT space, he claims he was just about getting by, describing it as “…hard to make a living as an illustrator in my country.”
Not put off by the lack of financial reward, Iannocent continued to create, whether commissioned or not, claiming he simply loves drawing. After grinding away for several years, the tastes of the online art scene broadened, with 2016 being a particularly notable year for him. After that point, he found his art style in vogue, with multiple collaborations and undertaking projects for brands.
However, it was the world of NFTs that really changed his life. After the COVID-19 pandemic caused businesses to panic, many of his commissions proceeded to be canceled, causing him considerable financial strain. It was then in 2021 that he stumbled across NFTs and found his break after being invited to the Foundation NFT platform by Archan Nair, an admirer of his work.
Seeing continued growth on the platform, Iannocent has now completed his 3-part collection entitled “The Divine Comedy,” inspired by Dante’s 14th Century poem. The quality of his NFT work shines through with his reputation now, causing some of his pieces to be relisted with reserve prices in the tens of ETH.
The beauty of the NFT ecosystem is that artists such as Iannocent and Archan Nair will continue to gain royalties from their work in perpetuity, thanks to the Ethereum blockchain ledger system tracking ownership and provenance. Ever the family man, Iannocent has used his NFT success to buy a home for his family, something he described as “absolutely crazy.”
For both artists, NFTs have proved a way to fund their creativity.
In Archan Nair’s case, it allows him to continue creating his almost psychedelic paintings that are simultaneously organic and digital, with aspects reminiscent of the images produced by deep learning artificial intelligence. While his creations on Foundation only amount to four, they are inspired pieces that have attracted considerable attention when listed for sale.
The beautiful portrait Swerve, for example, features elements of fine drawing and traditional oil canvas styling, but with digital distortions and features that resist cohesion with the rest of the piece. Currently relisted by its current owner with a reserve price of 15 ETH ($39,000), NFTs are the only way for artists like Nair to continue to profit from their creations after releasing ownership.
An established artist, Nair has a popular Instagram account where he shares more of his mixed-media creations, including watercolors, acrylic pieces, and the inclusion of photographic elements. He describes his creative process as beginning with a “highly conceptualized sketch” that gradually finds form with dashes of spontaneity. He describes the imagery used in his pieces as coming from dream states and meditation, visually manifesting them as best he can.
For Nair, however, NFTs are an opportunity to find new muses and collect their artwork, with a comprehensive collection of pieces in all styles. With Nair an NFT connoisseur and Foundation being an invite-only platform, Nair’s appreciation of Iannocent’s artwork is clear, with him claiming the latter’s style is “enriching and moving.”
Skulls feature heavily in Iannocent’s work, with the artist claiming the influence came from the enormous Metal scene in his home city of Bandung when he was growing up:
“…I was inspired by a lot of Metal artworks at the time, and it gave me this desire to draw again. That’s when skulls became important for my drawing journey.”
Iannocent’s artwork is punchy, with clean shading and line work similar to that of the best comic books artists. Though both Iannocent and Nair blend the organic and the technological in their pieces, their differing artistic styles produce entirely different results. In Iannocent’s Paradeso, for example, we see a skeleton cyborg with glowing light sources swamped by natural elements such as mushrooms, waterfalls, and trees. In his incredible piece, Substance, we see similar elements used to create a different, darker mood. With perfectly punctuated animation representing the “psychological reaction of living things,” Iannocent has proven himself a creator that is worth watching.
As with Nair, Iannocent had an already established fan base prior to the NFT scene with an Instagram account that has over 100k followers where you can see his creative process, from sketches and line drawing to shading and animating.
With well-respected artists like Archan Nair and Iannocent finding their way into the NFT sphere, their army of fans will likely follow, hoping to own a piece of their work for themselves.