Take a look at 36-year-old Blake Jamieson’s paint-splattered studio floor, and you’ll know, for sure, that this is a place where art is created. Vibrant outlines of canvasses overlap one another, with pieces leaning here and there, spray cans littering the space, with a feeling of liveliness, And this feeling of frenetic energy carries over into Jamieson’s art producing abstract pieces and pop art portraits that cry out with vibrancy and character.
Beginning his artistic journey at the age of 30, Blake Jamieson was already on the path to success, creating portraits for successful athletes. His foray into the world of NFTs, however, is proving to be one of his most lucrative ventures yet. Making $46,000 in a matter of mere weeks, his tentative first steps has spurred the artist on to create more NFTs.
While Jamieson’s goal is first and foremost to create art, he firmly believes NFTs will make him a millionaire by the end of 2021.
Here, we’ll take a look at how Blake Jamieson came to get involved with NFTs and learn how he’s leveraged digital marketing and his business mind to stand out from the crowd.
Given Jamieson’s upbringing, it’s perhaps inevitable that he’d wind up creating art. Jamieson’s Father was an art collecting photographer, his Mother a mosaic creator, and his Grandma, a painter.
His original path, however, involved a lot less spray paint. After studying economics at Davis, Jamieson’s career seemed on course in digital marketing. While editing videos, graphic design, and writing copy provided Jamieson with a creative outlet, by the age of 30, he was burned out.
“Even though I was doing creative stuff every day, I was still doing it within this box. Essentially having to punch in and punch out.”
Taking a leap of faith, Jamieson left his job and set off for Barcelona, where he spent five weeks exploring the city’s famous street art. With nothing but a backpack and a camera, he documented Barcelona’s iconic graffiti, learning from tour guides the techniques and methods that were used to produce the art.
Upon returning from Barcelona, Jamieson sold his house and moved in back to the family property in San Francisco. With $90,000 in savings, Jamieson went all in and set up an art studio in the property’s barn stalls.
For six months, Jamieson documented his creative process on social media as he got to grips with his painting technique and established his own style. Describing himself as a businessman as well as an artist, Jamieson made a list of everyone who enquired about sales during this time, despite not being ready to sell any of his work.
Confident in his work, he then reached out on Facebook to his humble following, offering to paint ten pieces using any of his stencils on a 16×20 canvas for $500. The pieces sold out in short order, netting Jamieson $5000 in two hours.
Leaning on his business savvy, Jamieson analyzed the profile of his buyers and discovered they were all involved in tech startups.
Jamieson went on to target this demographic, relying on Linkedin rather than the oversaturated Instagram, producing pieces for offices and workspaces.
It was during a trip to Las Vegas, however, delivering a piece to a client, that Jamieson met the NFL player and entrepreneur Jarred Fayson.
For Jamieson, it was this encounter that changed his life. Enthused by Jamieson’s art, Fayson encouraged him to branch out into sports portraits, putting the artist into contact with players who would appreciate his work.
Sensing the opportunity of a lifetime, Jamieson produced three works for free, gifting the players the pieces in exchange for promotion.
The gamble paid off, with the artist receiving messages constantly from players who wanted pieces commissioned after seeing his work in their teammate’s lockers.
“I have a really big Rolodex of pro-athlete clients, and they’re like beating down my door to do this stuff.”
It wasn’t long until Jamieson was noticed by Topps, the collectibles company who commissioned him to create 20 recreations of iconic baseball cards for their latest project. This collaboration was the big break Jamieson was waiting for, netting him considerable wealth and the freedom to pursue other artistic endeavors.
Ever the entrepreneur as well artist Jamieson began a podcast with his friend Matt Costello, called Pretty Big News. One of their early guests was the former MLB player, now established fine artist Micah Johnson. It was during this interview that Jamieson came to hear about the world of NFTs, at this point still a relatively unheard of market.
Unsure of the technology, Jamieson posted a couple of high-res photos of his work on some NFT platforms, OpenSea and SuperRare. For a few weeks, nothing. Nobody bid and, Jamieson did nothing to promote his work.
Eventually, bids started to roll in. Nothing groundbreaking, just 0.1 ETH, around $150 at the time. But with attention growing, the platform’s algorithms started to push Jamieson’s work in front of people. Attracted by the bold colors and iconic individuals portrayed, his NFTs started to receive more and more bids. Jamieson was especially pleased to find abstract pieces he’d long forgotten about receiving bids, showing the NFT space’s power at connecting artists with collectors.
While digital ownership is becoming increasingly normalized, Jamieson believed overcoming the intangibility of NFTs could boost his sales.
“One of the biggest issues is people don’t understand what they can’t touch, and they can’t feel.”
He therefore bundled in physical pieces with the sale of his NFTs, using smaller, metal prints and even the original painting in the case of a James LeBron piece.
His method worked, and over the space of six weeks, Jamieson found he’d netted around $46,000.
Jamieson’s journey to NFT success has not been a matter of luck. He has used his digital marketing skills and business acumen to supplement his passion for artistic creation.
His NFT venture is the culmination of this journey, combining the physical with the digital, financially rewarding creativity. With this financial security, artists like Jamieson are free to push the boundaries of the technology, taking bigger risks.
As the space continues to grow exponentially, Jamieson believes he will find himself a millionaire in a matter of weeks. For this artist, putting the art first and taking chances has proven the best recipe for success.
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