Spend any amount of time exploring the world of crypto-art, and you’re bound to have come across Trevor Jones, NFT artist, in your travels. Jones, 51, is one of the NFT space’s most exciting artists, infusing traditional art with digital energy, breaking all sorts of records along the way. In February 2021, his piece Bitcoin Angel set a record for the most expensive open edition NFT artwork, totaling £3.2 million in sales in just seven minutes. And, while it does feel like a new name pops up every day in the world of NFT art, Trevor Jones is one you really do need to pay attention to.
Living the life of a struggling artist may seem a bit of a cliche, but it’s something Jones knows all too well.
Like all good success stories, Jones’ beginnings were humble. He grew up in a small logging community in Canada and, while he always had a passion for art, it was the stage that he felt drawn to, claiming he always dreamt of becoming a rock star.
Alas, Jones claims this pursuit went “horribly wrong.” At a loss for what to do next with his life, Jones found himself backpacking around the world, attempting to find himself. Although “it’s all very cliché,” Jones claims, “I decided that I needed to become an artist to save myself and find redemption.”
With purpose found, Jones enrolled in a course at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art, graduating at the age of 38. Through a mixture of business savvy, artistic temperament, and the benefit of a few extra years of wisdom over his peers, Jones landed himself a job soon after graduation at a nonprofit organization called Art in Healthcare. Here Jones helped use art to improve the health and wellbeing of those in healthcare environments and became exposed to a variety of new artists and inspiration.
That’s not to say things were now easy. Jones still had to teach in his spare time and rent out his spare room just to fund his artistic ventures. Financially speaking, Jones found things like solo exhibitions were hardly worth the effort. After overheads and the gallery’s cut, artists like Jones look to make only a meager amount for up to a year’s hard work organizing an exhibition.
While some may say this is simply the life of an artist suffering for his art, Jones found himself in his early forties with little artistic success. However, by 2012, Jones began to take more risks with his art, carving out a new niche for himself, integrating QR codes and AR into his art.
Over the next few years, Jones further explored integrating technology into his art with work like his World Leaders portrait series and a stealth augmented reality exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. At last, his innovative art began to get people’s attention and began to gather a larger following, especially amongst the crypto crowd after his “Most Influential” series captured people’s imagination.
Entering the NFT Space
In April 2019, a happenchance meeting with the CEO of KnownOrigin, David Moore, led to a conversation about NFTs, “I could not get my head around it at all,” claims Jones.
After seeing other artists selling their work on KnownOrigin, however, Jones realized this wasn’t something he could ignore. So he decided to collaborate with his friend Alotta Money on an animated piece called EthGirl, inspired by Picasso’s work. Upon its release on the marketplace, it broke the current record on SuperRare, selling for just over 72 ETH ($10,000) in December 2019.
As the NFT space grew, so did Jones’ audience and popularity. Then, with another record-breaking sale of Picasso’s Bull on the new Nifty Gateway marketplace, he found himself fast becoming known as one of the biggest names of the NFT scene.
And it seems Jones blend of traditional painting with digital technique was a catalyst for the NFT art scene, with many people referencing “Picasso’s Bull NFT as the one that got them into the space.”
Throughout 2020, Jones found yet more success. Another collaboration with Alotta Money called EthBoy sold on the async platform for $140,704, and on Nifty Gateway, Pak and Jones made over $1.4 million in sales.
The super-accelerated pace of the NFT market is both a blessing and a curse, Jones feels. While it allows upcoming artists like Fewocious to blow up overnight, making a living from art, the success stories can sometimes overshadow emerging artists who are as deserving of attention.
Jones does his bit to counter this by showcasing artists on his Twitter account and offers advice wherever possible.
And this helping of other artists is emblematic of Jones’ character, not letting the success change him. Friends and colleagues claim Jones is still the same person he always was, with art still being his primary focus.
A champion of digital art, Jones claims he is excited for the future of the medium and believes blockchain technology like NFTs will “completely shift the way art is consumed”. He is particularly keen to see how VR spaces evolve as places to showcase NFTs. The hope being digital collectibles and artwork will be displayed in virtual spaces just as we would on a wall in a gallery or our homes.
Also showing confidence in a more decentralized future, Jones’ newly acquired wealth is held not just in fiat currency but also in Bitcoin and Ether.
While Jones is not sure if it’s the large amounts of money driving the NFT scene or the NFT scene ushering in the large amounts of money, the reality is the crypto-art world is getting bigger by the day. For Trevor Jones, NFT artist extraordinaire, the gamble paid off. He is now one of the most well-known artists in the NFT scene and has established himself as the first traditional artist successfully breaking into the world of non-fungible tokens. With his success, it’s only a matter of time until we see more do the same.
Top Most Expensive NFT Artworks By Trevor Jones
PAK X TREVORJONES – THE SIX PORTRAITS
The PAK X TREVORJONES collab was one of the biggest collaborations for Trevor Jones in the NFT space. It got sold and made his approx. $1.4 million dollars, while still having no clue about PAK real identity as the artist PAK prefers his identity to be kept hidden.
The NFT artwork was basically about the mesmerizing oil painting portraits of different reputed artists who are renowned in the world of art. The include artists like Picasso, Basquiat, O’Keeffe, and many more. The collection series was absolutely loved by the community and it is one of the best works of art in the NFT community.
Trevor, Alotta Money – Ethboy
Ethboy is a unique art that depicts the son of Picasso, Paulo dressed as Harlequin in this artwork. The octahedron Ethereum logo replaces the chequered pattern of the original jester outfit. The boy who fiddles with his fingers gives off a very nervous aura yet his expression displays confidence. Wearing a robe that is filled with Ethereum logo pattern upon it and who stares directly at the viewer with a rather Mona Lisa-like’ smile. This artwork tells us a lot about the Ethereum crypto-currency as it seems as though the Crypto- world is filled with uncertainty and people are nervous about it. Yet, the boy represents all the artists in the NFT community who have worn the robe of Ethereum and who are somewhat confidence and optimistic about the whats going to happen in the future with NFTs and Crypto-art.
This artwork was created by Trevor Jones in collaboration with Alotta Money and it was sold for $140,000 dollars bought by the user named witty-pollock-1544.