On August 21st, The Howard Hughes Corporation and MoonPay launched a one-of-a- kind interactive digital experience at the Seaport in Lower Manhattan, bringing breakthrough Web3 technology to New York’s historic waterfront neighborhood.
This article originally appeared on TheSeaport.nyc
Over the past few years, NFTs have cemented their place at the groundbreaking intersection of tech and art.
Digital artist Johana Kroft knows this firsthand, as the designer of the affable tokens participants can collect during the first-ever Seaport Scavenger Hunt powered by MoonPay.
How did you get your start as an artist?
As a child, I was always drawn to colors and patterns. My parents tell stories of how I’d paint on any surface I could find — from walls to scraps of paper. I started with sketching, moving on to watercolors, and eventually exploring digital art. Like any journey, mine had its ups and downs. There were moments of feeling lost and overwhelmed. However, with each setback, my resolve only strengthened. I never wavered in my determination, choosing to push myself further with every attempt.
When did you first discover NFTs?
I was first introduced to NFTs by friends and fellow artists. Initially, my curiosity was tepid. But with an open mind and the thought that I had nothing to lose, I ventured into selling my art as NFTs. This decision turned out to be transformative. The NFT space not only gave my art value but also broadened my audience reach. The thrill of this new medium and the opportunities it brings is truly exhilarating for an artist like me.
What drew you to start creating your own?
Prior to NFTs, the digital art realm often felt overshadowed, with limited avenues for artists like me to truly shine and gain recognition. NFTs presented an exciting frontier — a chance not only to showcase my art but to redefine its value in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Beyond the art, the NFT community has been a treasure trove of camaraderie and inspiration. It’s a dynamic space, and I’m grateful to be part of this revolution, both as an artist and as a member of a vibrant, supportive community.
How does digital art differ from physical art? What about it excites you?
I really enjoy both digital and physical art. Digital art lets me play around and try new things easily, while physical art gives me a hands-on, real experience. But the magic really happens when I mix the two. Right now, I’m working on sculptures for a show, and combining what I love about both types of art is the most exciting part for me.
Can you describe your creative process?
My creative process is fluid and doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach. It varies depending on the project at hand. At times, I dive straight into a 3D program, letting my intuition guide my initial steps. Other times, especially when I’m grappling with a complex idea or tool, I take a more methodical route. This involves extensive research, gathering inspiration, and giving myself time to fully understand and visualize the concept before bringing it to life. The journey from inception to completion is always evolving, and I embrace the unique challenges and discoveries each project brings.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
As I got more involved in art, I started seeing inspiration everywhere — in everyday life, the people I met, and the places I visited. Traveling gave me new ideas, and meeting people taught me about different cultures. All of these experiences helped me figure out what I wanted my art to say. When I look at my art, I see a story of ups and downs, challenges, and wins. And I’m excited to see where my art journey takes me next.
What are some of your career highlights to date?
I’ve been fortunate to have many standout moments in my career. Some of the highlights include: Witnessing my characters for the Seaport and Moon Pay come to life across New York City. Being a speaker at the Pictoplasma Festival in Berlin. Showcasing my art at Art Basel Miami. Conducting two significant exhibitions in China. Being a part of the esteemed Venice Biennale. And the privilege of collaborating with the New York Times, a dream client of mine.
Yet, the moment I’m most looking forward to is my solo show in Paris this coming October. It feels like a culmination of my journey so far.
What can you tell us about your NFTs for the Seaport Scavenger Hunt? Do you have any favorites?
My NFTs for the Seaport Scavenger Hunt each hold a unique charm, embodying distinct characters that I’ve lovingly crafted. While it’s hard to pick favorites, if I had to choose, the pigeon always brings a smile to my face. The collaboration with Seaport Scavenger Hunt was an amazing experience. I truly enjoyed every moment of it, and I’m thrilled to have been a part of such an innovative project.
Looking ahead, what’s next for you?
In the future, I’ll keep making art from my studio in Bushwick. I plan to go to some art shows and enjoy New York’s fall season, which I think is really special. I’m also looking forward to new work partnerships that might come my way.
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