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Judy Lindsay on NFT Photography, Mental Health, and Bringing Music into NFT Space
BY ERIC P. RHODES - Eric is an award-winning Crypto Art artist, renowned Trash Art artist, and creator of the iconic NFT collection, Unofficial Punks. Working exclusively in the Web3 space since 2019. 💬 Follow Eric on Twitter
GIFs. Poems. Tweets. Burnt Banksy prints. Anything can be turned into an NFT. The NFT space has helped traditional artists crossover into the digital world and make millions. However, one group of artists is still lagging: photographers.
But artists like Judy Lindsey are making an effort to change all of that.
Looking at it from a commercial perspective, NFT and photography are a match made in heaven. For years, digital photographers have had difficulties selling their work due to the number of photographers and protecting their intellectual rights.
NFTs can solve all of these problems. They provide a perfect opportunity for photographers to make a hefty sum just from selling a single photo. Just ask Kate Woodman, who recently sold her “Always Coca Cola” image for more than $20,000.
A photographer like Judy can now make a comfortable living selling minted photos.
Of course, that’s not the only thing about. Judy has struggled with mental issues all of her life, so the pandemic was especially rough on her. But NFTs kept her going.
How did your NFT get started?
Everything started on February 13, when my friend Crawley reached out to me out of the blue. He said that he has been studying NFTs for a year now, thanks to the pandemic and that he wanted to mint one of my photography pieces.
To be honest, I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. But I went along with it and sent him my favorite photograph. It’s the best piece I’ve done ever since we went into the lockdown. I’ve been in isolation for 14 months.
Crawley is a part of the Enigma Bazaar Collective out of Colorado. They have a physical gallery and a virtual one, so he knew what he was talking about. He minted my picture, posted it, and after three days, it was sold.
That’s what got the ball rolling. I give full credit to Crawley.
What about the NFT Photo Community?
Art got me through the pandemic or the apocalypse as I like to call it. I had gotten deep into the photography community. I’ve been a photographer my whole life. I have a darkroom, my gear, and everything. The apocalypse kind of prevented me from pursuing photography.
Once I started doing NFTs, I loved watching the bidding war in my feed. Daniel Stagner was one of the first people I befriended in the NFT space. I was also added to a bunch of group chats. All of this gave me the energy I needed to go through.
The money was great as well, but I’m not about money. I’m all about creative energy and expression. One of these chat rooms was kind of getting into the money side. We talked about how not many photographers know about NFTs.
That’s when we decided to start a Discord. We created, added a few people. In less than two months, we have more than 1200 members. That’s amazing. If you’re a photographer, you can follow us on Twitter for updates. Just look up NFT Photo Art.
We’re quick to get rid of scammers. It’s a great space for everyone, full of love and kindness.
Where does this attitude of love and kindness come from?
In all honesty, it comes from social depression. Anxiety. Being hospitalized. It’s the fucking apocalypse, you know? I have four brothers. I live with an older brother who recently had a triple bypass, so I wouldn’t know what to do if he got infected.
I went through a lot of pain over the last 10 years. I unexpectedly lost my mother four years ago. My life changed in a second. Then, last year, I had to put down a soulmate horse. She was very young, only 13 years old. She got sick and I had to do it. That shook me to the core.
My anxiety disorder re-surfaced after that. The only thing that kept me sane during this time is the NFT community. Art as a whole. Before NFTs, it was photography that kept me alive.
What’s more profitable, selling NFTs or prints?
What’s more profitable? NFTs. There’s no question about it. I recently sold a photo for $500. That’s a record. It’s like, I’m just Judy Lindsay and that was just a picture of the Olympics that made me happy. And it sold for $500. How crazy is that?
During the pandemic, I sold two prints for $30 each. I had to go to the print shop to make the prints. To the post office to mail out. The entire time I had to be careful who I got in touch with. That really stressed me the fuck out. All of that for $60? It just wasn’t worth it.
What do you think about the people who criticize NFTs?
When someone starts talking shit about NFTs, I’ll listen for maybe two seconds, and then, tell the person to go fuck themselves. They don’t get it. Everyone is profiting from the blockchain. Miners, businesspeople, and artists. Everyone.
I was being interviewed by a journalist for The Guardian about a month ago and I said that I consider myself the Pied Piper of the NFT community. I’ve been an artist my whole life and only now, I’ve been able to make a living off my work.
My older brothers are famous artists. But during the pandemic, they weren’t able to make a lot. That’s when I showed them NFTs. Now they know that they can take a picture of their work, mint it, and someone will be interested.
What were you like at 12 years old?
I did a lot of drawing with crayons. I was also involved in film, because one of my brothers was making movies. I think having parents that were professionals gave me the discipline I needed to become an artist. My mom was a business major and my dad was a doctor.
I wrote a book when I was 11. A complete book. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s about a bunny. I recently discovered it and it’s freaking adorable. I’ll probably make it into an NFT. I’m also thinking about animating it.
At 13, I was debilitated with depression. But art saved me. It led me to the bright side. That’s what art does to all of us.
You had mental health issues in the past?
My dad was a prominent psychiatrist. Big time. At 13, he decided I needed meds. So he put me on antidepressants. My mom was livid. I don’t think I had real clinical depression.
I feel like, if you don’t have a condition and you get on a med, you can develop that condition for real. I was over-medicated for the majority of my life.
Only recently, I started taking Celexa, an anti-anxiety med that gave me relief. I think I always had anxiety, but it simply never got treated.
How does all of this play into your art?
All my work is about joy and delight. I’m all about energy and I don’t want to spread negative energy. I really think that my purpose on this planet is to spread love and kindness, and I’ve been able to spread it through my art.
Although I’m sticking to art. Last year, I got heavily involved with the BLM movement. I was helping photographers that were rounded up here in Seattle connect with lawyers. I was very vocal about it on Twitter, and I got a lot of death threats. Of course, that freaked me out.
I had to take down a lot of information about myself. Pictures, things that pointed out to my address. I’m a public figure, there’s a lot of information on me out there. I have a radio show. People can see my face all over the city.
What’s your radio show about?
It’s a music show. I play the best of roots rock and soul. The station is called KBC and it’s pretty big here in Seattle. We have a major following on Twitter, over 70,000 people listen to us. It’s an interactive experience because I take requests.
The show allowed me to meet some of my favorite artists, like Eric Bibb and Clinton Fearon. They’re just delightful human beings. Also, I’ve met a ton of up-and-coming artists as well. We help them reach more people, and most come back when they become big.
Any plans to bring music into your NFT experience?
I have something planned with DJ Burn One. He’s doing a track and it will come with my original art. It’s framed and all. That will be dropping on Foundation. I made 90% of my money from collabs, so you can expect a few more things down the line.
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