🎙 "NFTs Gave Me a Sense of Security and Economic Stability I Never Felt Before:" WoW Creator Yam Karkai
In this week’s episode I speak with Yam Karkai, the digital illustrator and artist behind NFT project World of Women. She’s had all sorts of odd jobs, before becoming a full-time illustrator, and none of them had anything to do with crypto. She was freelan...
In this week’s episode I speak with Yam Karkai, the digital illustrator and artist behind NFT project World of Women. She’s had all sorts of odd jobs, before becoming a full-time illustrator, and none of them had anything to do with crypto. She was freelancing from gig to gig when she discovered NFTs this year and that’s when everything changed for her. For the first time ever, she had some economic stability, oddly thanks to volatile crypto.
She started making 1 of 1 artworks. Yam grew up in the Middle East and now lives in France, and the mix of cultures in her life has always inspired her to highlight women of all colors and types. She realized she would be able to carry her message to a wider audience by doing a larger collection and that’s how she and her three co-founders decided to launch the World of Women generative NFT project.
Launched in July, it was one of the first NFT avatar projects that seemed to depict women in a way that was meant for women. It sold out overnight and quickly rose to become one of the most popular NFT projects, with the current price floor on the secondary market at 2.3 ETH. Yam wants to inspire more women to come to crypto, so that they can realize, just like she did, that the space is full of possibilities for freelancers and artists.
The podcast was led by Camila Russo, and edited by Alp Gasimov. Transcript was edited by Owen Fernau.
🎙Listen to the interview in this week’s podcast episode here:
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👀 Only paid subscribers have access to the full interview transcript below.
Yam Karkai: I have a background in many things. I've done a lot of very different, contradictory things in my life, work-wise. From working as a waitress, to scriptwriting, to being a translator for legal documents, and boring things like that, to actually becoming a digital Illustrator. So the path has been very crazy with a lot of ups and downs, but I finally found my calling, I guess.
So I actually entered the NFT space at the beginning of this year. And before that, I was just living the normal life of a digital illustrator trying to get clients and visuals for them for their websites, for their products, things like that. But as I discovered exciting things, this NFT thing, which at the time, I had no clue what this was really. Even after reading on the internet the definition of NFT was very vague and confusing. But once I entered it, I realized that it was really a space full of possibilities for freelancers and for artists that are trying to get the power into their own hands and build something where they have full control of it in a way.
“...I realized that it was really a space full of possibilities for freelancers and for artists that are trying to get the power into their own hands...”
So for me, it was really exciting, which is why I got into it in the first place. I was like, wow, I can sell my art here, and it only depends on how I market myself, how I put myself out there, the effort I put in and the hours I put in doing this marketing thing, which I was not used to doing before. So I learned a lot about that. And I found a way of putting my art out there which, full disclosure, I've always drawn women, that's my thing. My main characters in my art pieces are always women from all backgrounds and all skin tones, that's my thing. I don't draw men. I don't draw anything else.
“...I've always drawn women, that's my thing. My main characters in my art pieces are always women from all backgrounds and all skin tones, that's my thing. I don't draw men. I don't draw anything else.”
So I started selling my art pieces in the NFT space as single edition artworks, which is what we call one on ones. And I was lucky enough that it went well for me, but I felt that even though people were connecting with it, and I was selling well, I didn't manage to get my message across as well though, because you don't reach a broad enough audience when you're selling single edition artworks as if you're doing a big scale project.
So one day, I was just having drinks with Raph and with our two friends who are now the co-founders of World of Women, and this crazy idea of what if we did a collectible project and it was all women avatars and not like animals, right? Which sounded so crazy at the time because it was when the Apes were booming and they were the Bulls on the Block and all of those things. And that's really how we got started, just a quick conversation.
CR: The whole story is so interesting. First, the fact that you come from a background that has nothing to do with crypto. Was your first experience with crypto when you learned about NFTs?
YK: I guess, yes. For real, yes. I remember being a teenager in 2010 and I did this online job where you do reviews and they pay you a very tiny sum of Bitcoin, so that was my very first touch of crypto, but I didn't understand it at all at the time. But it was definitely the first, and I really immersed myself into the whole crypto scene, for sure.
CR: And that was this year?
World of Women Roots
CR: Awesome. And then this conversation with Raph and the other two co-founders, so there's four co-founders of a World of Women?
YK Yeah, so it's me, Raph, and then we have BBA and Toomaie. So Toomaie and BBA are the developers, they did the smart contracts and the implementation of the website and everything that you need in order to have a 10k project goes smoothly, technically-speaking. And as I've said many times we're lucky that they are friends in real life. So for us it's really a great match because we trust each other very much.
CR: How did you all meet?
YK: So actually, this is more of Raph’s story, but he used to work at a tech company that was focused on cloud gaming. So they all met at work and I used to hang out after work with them, and have drinks and stuff like that. So we met several years ago through Raph’s previous job.
CR: How are you related? Is Raph like a longtime friend or how did you meet with him?
YK: Oh, okay, sorry. Actually, Raph and I are a couple actually…
CR: Oh, that’s so cute.
YK: Yeah, we're like a nerdy crypto couple, and we've been together four or five years now. So it's been a while too.
CR: Nice. Well, my husband is also in crypto, so I understand nerdy crypto couples as well. Okay, that's awesome. So around when was this? You said this conversation happened around when Apes were trending? So what, May or so this year?
YK: Yeah, it was around May, absolutely, yes. Because we launched on the 27th of July and we started talking about World of Women two months and a half before we launched. So yeah, it must have been around there. I just remembered that the Apes were everywhere. That was like the main thing.
CR: So you decided to do a 10,000 NFT piece collection because you wanted to get your message across. What was this message?
YK: Well, so when I started understanding everything about these collectible projects, because as I've said, I was a single edition artist which you don't necessarily mix both worlds when you're into NFTs. When I started learning about the collectibles, I just realized that I felt very strongly that all of these collectible projects were clearly aimed towards a market that is men. And I didn't feel like I really connected with any of those. Because I just felt like they all had this more macho or masculine message or vibe going on. And I didn't feel like there was any character in there that I felt represented by or that I felt like represented anything about my personality.
“...I didn't feel like there was any character in there that I felt represented by or that I felt like represented anything about my personality.”
Even though I love the art and some of these projects I'm a big fan of, I still felt like something was missing and that something could be done because I hadn't seen any female-looking avatar project. So for me that was a big thing. And because I was already drawing women, I just thought, well, maybe I could do this even though I had never considered that before. But that's really how it happened, because I saw a problem, well what is for me a problem, maybe for other people it’s not a problem, and I wanted to do something about it.
CR: I felt the same way. It wasn't something that I had been really conscious of before when I was looking at all the NFT projects. I really love them, and they're really fun. But I hadn't really connected with any of them in the same way that I did when looking at these women profiles and I think it's because there was something missing. And so you mentioned also that you've always drawn women of different skin tones and other types of differences. Can you talk more about the art behind these pieces?
YK: So the art behind those pieces... I mean, talking about art is very abstract, because the process every time you do a piece is completely different in how you're approaching it and what parts of the illustration you're starting with. For me, it really varies. I know that it always starts with a sketch, because I like having a sketch as a base. But then it's a whole story in a whole world when you start developing those.
But I think that what is very clear to me and what has always been clear behind my art pieces, is the reason why. Like, people are asking all the time, Yam, come on, why are you only drawing women? Don't you want to draw something else? There's so many other things you can draw, why do you have to draw women all the time? But for me, it's really because I feel like I want to celebrate women, and I feel very strongly about that. I want to celebrate women from everywhere, women that look like the women in my family because we're very mixed.
“...it's really because I feel like I want to celebrate women, and I feel very strongly about that. I want to celebrate women from everywhere”
And I want to see women represented and seen as these strong, powerful figures and that's what I'm trying to do with my illustrations. I try to always show an aspect of a woman's life through them. So that's something that's always present.
CR: Pretty cool. And I know that you're very private about your background, but to get a better idea of where you come from and your family, if you can just give us a general idea of both that and also where you're based now?
YK: Yeah, of course. So I'm based in the south of France right now, because that's where Raph’s from, he’s French, and as I said, we’re a couple. And I grew up in between Europe and the Middle East. So I grew up in between two very different worlds, and two very different societies and cultures. So that definitely has affected me as a creative person, for sure. I always try to sneak in something from the Middle East in my pieces, even if it's very slight because that feels like home to me.
“ I always try to sneak in something from the Middle East in my pieces, even if it's very slight because that feels like home to me.”
CR: Wow. nice. So what hints are there from your Middle Eastern culture?
YK: In the World of Women, there are some pieces of jewelry that, for example, are inspired by a necklace that my mother wore as a young girl or things like that.
CR: Oh, that's cool.
YK: Yeah. So I've added a few little details like that because I mean, as I've said before I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to have elements in World of Women that were specific to anyone’s culture because I wanted it to be very neutral and open so that everyone could relate to it. So I didn't want to put anything from my culture specifically or religious things. But there are little things from my private life in there that are special to me.
Generative Art Process
CR: Very cool. Okay. And then from the initial conversation to execution, that took two months. How was the process of creating art for these generative pieces? I guess that's an entirely different process that you'd have to deal with as an illustrator?
YK: Yeah, it's a completely different mindset and a completely different rhythm of working and creating. Because when you're doing this kind of project, we didn't have a specific number of attributes that we knew from the beginning that we wanted, but we had something approximate. So you already know that you're going to do at least a couple hundred, or more than a hundred attributes. So that already, in your mind is like, okay, I'm going to have to organize myself, this is not going to be one of these moments of oh, I'm just going to draw and see what happens and do this one crazy piece. It's more like, okay, today, I better do 10 assets, because if I don't do that, tomorrow, I'm going to be late on things.
So definitely, you have to organize yourself more, and you see it more as a task. Then when you're sitting in front of your computer or your tablet, it's all about creativity and drawing, because after all you're drawing things. But for sure, I mean, it's completely different to draw 27 types of clothing separately and 27 pieces for hairstyles. It's like you're decomposing what you would put together in one art piece. So it's really strange at the beginning, but then you get used to it, it's kind of fun. It feels like you're enjoying elements for a doll or something. So, it was fun, but a lot of work and you got to organize yourself, for sure.
“...it's like you're decomposing what you would put together in one art piece. So it's really strange at the beginning, but then you get used to it, it's kind of fun. It feels like you're enjoying elements for a doll or something.”
CR: How many different assets did you create?
YK: So there's 180 assets, if I'm not mistaken, with several different categories. So there's backgrounds, there’s hairstyles, there's face attributes, face elements. There's eyes, eye colors, mouth, mouth shapes. There's a lot of different categories. Funnily enough, some of those categories were actually created last minute, just because it makes sense from a creative perspective as well to separate them and put them in one big category.
CR: How much kind of reworking had to be done? I don't know how easy it is to make all of these assets combined in a way that is beautiful, or that makes sense that you have to redo this at all, or was it you create the 180 assets and that was it?
YK: No. The thing that I always had in mind from the beginning is that every single element that I'm drawing, I have to take into consideration the color combinations that I'm using each thing to make sure that it's combos that would be working with each other regardless of what thing would end up with what thing. So there's a lot of color homework there, like you really have to think about the combinations and make sure that there isn't anything that if it were to be put together, it would be hideous.
“...you really have to think about the combinations and make sure that there isn't anything that if it were to be put together, it would be hideous.”
So this is something I always had in mind from the beginning. But either way, I always work with very similar color palettes, so for me that was not so hard because there's certain tones that I like working with and I always use. But also, of course, there was a whole phase in the process where it was trying. So basically, we would try and generate like a bunch, right, with the developers and just see what it looked like for us, just to have an example and then I would see that oh, there's a necklace that is like two millimeters off and then you see actually a space in between the neck and the background. So those are things and tests that you have to do just to make sure that everything is in place.
CR: So much work goes into these projects, and it looks so kind of seamless once they’re generated.
YK: Oh, and we went really crazy and especially because I have OCD, so for me it's really hard I have to have everything exactly like in my mind it's supposed to be. So we had some rounds where we would do like 5,000 okay, we would generate 5,000 and I would go through every single one of the 5,000 just to make sure that everything was fine. So that would take hours and hours and hours. So we went very far with the checking phase.
No Art Degree
CR: Nice. Well, it was worth it. They really are beautiful. Did you have formal art or illustration training or were you more self-taught?
YK: More self-taught. I mean when I was a child, I always was a very creative kid. And I just remember that always in classes that were not interesting to me, I would just be drawing, or things like that. So that's something that I've always liked doing. I guess that we've all gone to art classes as a child because your parents send you to do that after school, but that doesn't really count in my opinion. But no, I didn't really go to a fine arts college or anything. It was just something that I always liked doing and never thought I would do professionally.
CR: Oh, that's awesome. Were you doing illustrations professionally before NFTs?
YK: Yeah. So I mean everyone was struggling to get clients because it was the COVID era of things. But yeah, definitely, I was working with some clients, for example, in makeup or beauty brands and doing some illustrations for them for Pride Month, things like that. Yeah, my aim was completely different before I found NFTs.
CR: So how did your career or even life change after finding NFTs?
YK: Well, completely, because NFTs, which sounds really crazy, because crypto is super volatile, really gave me a sense of security. It really changed everything for me, because I found this stability in it and also an economic stability. Like I'm not going to lie, that really gave me an economic stability that I never really felt before. Because when I was working as a translator, I was a freelancer.
“...NFTs, which sounds really crazy, because crypto is super volatile, really gave me a sense of security.”
And when you're a freelancer, at least in France, you have to find your jobs on your own and you're always asking okay, what's going to be my next gig. So you never really know how much money you're going to end up making every month. So for me I was lucky because it worked well for me with selling NFTs. I really felt like I had an income that was quite stable because I knew I was getting a certain amount every month from selling my pieces, and I was actually making money out of something that I absolutely love doing, which I never actually was able to do before. I've had the shittiest jobs, and for me this has been really incredible. It's really a dream.
From NFT Sale to Brand
CR: What an inspiring story. That's so awesome to hear. So can you give an overview of the evolution of World of Women? When you first sold the collection, how much did it sell for, and then how has the project evolved since then?
YK: We sold out overnight, which was incredible for us. It was probably the most emotional deal of our entire lives. So that's how it all started. Then, as it usually happens with these kinds of things, you then concentrate yourself very intensively into the socials and your community and everyone that asks about your project. So it was really a moment of engaging with everyone that got into this World of Women family, especially on Discord, and delivering the first roadmap which is what we were doing the whole time since launch.
And now that we've basically delivered the first roadmap, because I don't know if you know, but we released the second roadmap last week. So now things have changed a little bit. The first roadmap was like this is what we're doing right now, we're going to do this, this and this, we did that, that, and that. It’s done. But now the second roadmap is more long term as well. It's more of a this is the vision that we have for World of Women, which is that we wanted to be this established brand that really bridges the gap between the digital and the physical world.
“...we wanted to be this established brand that really bridges the gap between the digital and the physical world.”
So this for us is really big right now. This is really what we're working on and concentrating on which is why in our second roadmap most of the items have to do with just that: collaborations with brands or with products in real life to bring real life value to the holders of World of Women and also getting more women from the outside of the NFT space interested in crypto and NFTs, and see that there's a project here where they might feel represented and seen and that they can do things here because there are women here that are amazing, and there were a lot of women before me doing things that are great, and we just want to show that to people.
“...there are women here that are amazing, and there were a lot of women before me doing things that are great, and we just want to show that to people.”
And same for art galleries, expos and things like that. We want to do real life things. Just so that he doesn't stay as this separated thing where the people from the surface don't know anything about what's going on here. We want people to see the opportunity, especially women, and I think this is the best way to do so. So right now that really is the objective to continue building this, and of course, bringing more value to our community with airdrops and things like that.
CR: And can you go into a bit more detail on what the first and second roadmaps are?
YK: Yes, of course. So basically, the first point on our roadmap is really getting World of Women into galleries and expositions around the world so that people can physically go there with their friends, their family, and they can show them, hey, look, this is what the World of Women is. And ideally, it would be great if there would be a QR code underneath the image that is being exposed so that people can navigate into OpenSea and learn how it works and things like that. That would be a great way of introducing NFTs and World of Women to people.
So this is something we're working on right now, and we actually already have some events confirmed. For example, at the end of this month, I will be showcasing my art together with a few World of Women NFTs at the Turkish art week in London, in the Saatchi Gallery. So that is really crazy exciting because it's a very well-known gallery and we’re just very happy.
And the second point of the of the roadmap is actually something that from the beginning, we've known that the community wanted, and that this is something that people just like and they want anything important to them when they're part of a community, especially collectibles, which is merch. So we're working on creating physical goods for people to be able to represent the World of Women better, and just show that they're part of this team of World of Women NFTs. So this is something that we're working on doing limited edition drops of hoodies, or t-shirts or things like that.
And of course, because we're talking about the long term, and World of Women is something that we want to grow as much as possible and get it out there under the eyes of people and the world, we have to grow our team. Because right now we're four co-founders, we have a community manager, who is fantastic, she's doing an incredible job. And we also recently hired two licensing agents that are helping us to have these deals in real life with brands and people and such.
But we still have to keep growing the team, because we have a lot of ambitions and a lot of things that we want to do, and this is not possible with such a small group of people. Because right now, we're all multitasking. Like I'm an artist at heart, but I'm doing a lot of other things. And Raph is a business developer, but he's touching everything, like a bit of social media and stuff. So we really need to hire people in order to be able to, each one of us, concentrate on our strong points. So that's what we're doing right now.
We want to get an assistant for the community manager and someone to do some branding to take the branding to the next level, things like that. And we just want to continue, this is another point in the roadmap, but we want to continue doing collaborations with charities or things that are related to charities in order to keep making an impact on the lives of women and girls around the world.
“...we want to continue doing collaborations with charities or things that are related to charities in order to keep making an impact on the lives of women and girls around the world.”
So that's why right now we're going, I can’t say it in detail because it's going to be announced at the end of the week, but we're doing a very beautiful collaboration with Too Young to Wed, which is a charity that we've actually already donated to because it was part of our first roadmap. But we're doing a very beautiful collaboration with them in order to help growth, especially in Africa. For people that don't know about it, Too Young to Wed focuses on ending child marriage around the world, especially in the Middle East and in Africa. So for us, that's super important and means a lot to us. So this is something that we're doing and announcing soon.
“...Too Young to Wed focuses on ending child marriage around the world, especially in the Middle East and in Africa. So for us, that's super important and means a lot to us.”
And that's also why we launched the Mother Earth Muses competition, which I don't know if you heard about, but we launched it last week. And the Mother Earth Muses competition is also something that we think is going to help promote diversity and inclusion on your whole new level as far as the NFTs go. Because what we're doing is basically a competition between the World of Women NFTs, in order to at the end have eight winners, one from each human skintone, that will be photographed in real life by a female identifying photographer around the world.
And with a model that matches the skin color of that World of Women that they were assigned to. And their models will be all sizes, all ages, no matter what conditions they have, it would be very inclusive, and just about showcasing the beauty of women, no matter where you come from, or who you are. So this series of photographs are going to be put up for auction, and part of the earnings will go to charities, and the other part will go to the photographers and the models. And then one part would actually go to the token holder of the WoW that won this competition. So that's going to be really exciting.
CR: Just one question on that. Like, how do these NFTs compete? What do you mean by that?
YK: So basically, what we did at the beginning of last week is that we launched a competition, we said, hey, you can apply with your World of Women NFT, okay, through Google form that we created. We want to hear the backstory of your World of Women NFT and why you think she would be a good representative for the World of Women collection as a whole. So people actually got creative, and they wrote beautiful, moving or exciting or crazy stories about their World of Women in order to show why she's a good fit to represent this diverse community.
“...people actually got creative, and they wrote beautiful, moving or exciting or crazy stories about their World of Women in order to show why she's a good fit to represent this diverse community. “
So then what we're doing now actually, what I'm doing is reading all of these stories, and I'm going to select a specific amount, and then this amount of selected World of Womens will be put up for everyone to vote for in a bracket kind of contest, you know. So it will be like in the World Cup where you have four and then it goes like that, and you have two winners. So that's going to be the process that’s going to go through. And this is going to go through in a few weeks, and the whole community and also Twitter and everyone is going to be able to vote.
And that's how we're going to include the community into the selection process which is also very fun.
CR: How many applications did you get? Like how many different stories?
YK: We got 250 stories, I think. And some of them are extremely, extremely good. Like you read them and your eyes don't go away from the screen. So there's a lot of talented people out there.
CR: Maybe you should just publish all of the stories, even the ones that don't win?
YK: Yeah, you know what, we might do that. I mean, there's so much to read. I don't know if I'm going to manage to choose everything on my own because I always want to choose everybody, but I know that I can’t. So yeah, we’re still going through them. But that's going to be very exciting and very big. And photography is also something that in the NFT space hasn't boomed as much as illustration and 3D art and stuff.
“...photography is also something that in the NFT space hasn't boomed as much as illustration and 3D art and stuff.”
So I think it's a great opportunity as well to show the beauty of the art of photography and there's a lot of female photographers in the NFT space, lots and lots of them. So it's a great moment to do that, I think. And I hope that people will fall in love with photography again through the competition.
CR: That's so cool. So from your roadmap, it sounds like World of Women is really growing into a business with a team and specific roles, and there's this big vision. What do you think about this development?
YK: I think it's super exciting. And I think that's what we've wanted since the beginning really. We didn't want to do just an NFT project, make some money, and then say bye, okay, we're done, we did and we left. We've always wanted to do something with purpose and that has a long term lifespan. We want World of Womento go as far as possible. Because we just think that a lot of women, obviously, there's more men that are buying NFTs than women because it’s just the way it currently is in the NFT space. There's not as many women and that is something I really want to change, even though I know I can do it on my own.
“We didn't want to do just an NFT project, make some money, and then say bye, okay, we're done, we did and we left. We've always wanted to do something with purpose and that has a long term lifespan.”
But there are a lot of women supporting World of Women and that's really important and dear to me. And I just want to take this to a whole new level so that even more women get into it. Or not into World of Women, but just into another project that they connect with, or just into the NFT space. And I just think that if we make this a serious brand, it's possible because a lot of people are going to see it. So it's exciting.
CR: So a couple of questions on that. First, why do you think that there are so few women in crypto and in NFTs? Though I think in NFTs, there are definitely even more women than there are in crypto in general. I've been in this space for a while now, and I have maybe my theories and I've heard others. But it's hard to come to a good conclusion. So I’d love your take, especially from another woman who has just come into this space. Why do you think that is?
YK: I mean, this is, again, my opinion. But I think that if we're really talking about the core of the problem, I think that what applies to this is the same reason why women are less present in big tech companies. I mean, it's just a field that we as women have never been introduced to as something that we're supposed to be doing.
Like when you were growing up as a girl, no one is really encouraging young women to work in a big tech company, or be into technology and crypto and things like that. Those are not the kind of things that you're guided towards. And that's just the way it is. So I think that really the root of their problem is a social one. Just because in society, this is the way it is, and also because in this society, women are, in general, paid less than men to do the same job. So the income that women and men have is different. And that also affects the way that women are able to invest in certain things just because they might not have as much money as their male colleague or as a man on the other side of the world.
So these are really big problems that are a social thing. But what I think is that, okay, I cannot change that, okay, from one day to another, because this is something that has been present since human beings existed, this inequality. What we can do as women that are inside of the NFT space is try to make this specific space more friendly and more inclusive towards women.
Because if we make projects that are more representative, that are more interesting to women, where we see ourselves, where we see potential, and where we understand it and feel like we're being heard and seen, then it will be most likely that a woman will be interested in investing in girls.
Because I just think that also as a girl, when you go out with a group of men or with a friend of your husband that is into crypto, people will most likely tell you because I've been in the situation, oh, it's too complicated. It's too complicated, you don't want to get into that. It's too complex. Like it's boring stuff or like no you know, you really have to be into it to get it. Like this is not how it's supposed to be, like we have to make it so that it's easy for people to get into it and not just dismiss people from the outside, especially women, because they haven't heard of it before. Because this is exciting. And that's my two cents on the reason why.
“...we have to make it so that it's easy for people to get into it and not just dismiss people from the outside, especially women, because they haven't heard of it before.”
CR: Okay. And then why do you think it's important both for women to get more involved in both NFTs, DeFi or crypto in general and for the industry to be more diverse?
YK: Well, I think it's important because it is absolutely toxic to have a space where it is completely male dominated, and the percentage of women is almost obsolete. I just don't think that that's healthy. What's healthy is to have a balanced mix, that's what you want in order to have a healthy and friendly, evolving environment. I think that just applies to everything. Not only crypto, but if we're talking about NFTs, I think it's important because I am 100% sure that there's a lot, a lot of women around the world that if someone just sat with them and told them the possibilities that they could have by entering this space, they would be like, okay, I'm in. I'm going to try.
“What's healthy is to have a balanced mix, that's what you want in order to have a healthy and friendly, evolving environment. I think that just applies to everything.”
It's just that I feel like no one is giving us a chance. Like I heard about NFTs because we happened to have a conversation with someone that was into it, but I'm pretty sure that if it weren’t, I would have never found out about it.
CR: Yeah, there's so much to gain from being in this space early. So what kind of opportunities are you seeing specifically for women in NFTs?
YK: Well, first of all, if you're an artist, because that's what I can really talk about, because I'm not a business person, I'm not a tech person, I'm also not a crypto savvy super expert. But if we're talking about the artistic side of things, if you're a female artist, or women-identifying artist, and you want to do something with your art that doesn't depend on others completely, and where you feel like you're more in control, and you kind of decide what you want to do, I think that this is very interesting. Because of course that there's a luck factor, okay of who happened to see your tweet where you were promoting your art piece, right?
Of course, there's always a factor of luck. But there's also a factor of you putting the effort into it and growing your brand, because you're a brand. When you're an artist in the NFT space, you're making yourself a brand and your art is becoming something. And I think this is a great space for artists that are nobodies, okay, like in real life and don't have like 150 followers on Instagram and stuff like that to actually become someone that's quite known in the space and become someone that even if you're not quite known, you are managing to value your art appropriately. Because in real life, you're not going to manage to sell it like that from one day to another. It's just not possible.
“...there's always a factor of luck. But there's also a factor of you putting the effort into it and growing your brand…”
That's not how things work when you’re selling things in a gallery. There's a whole long process. You're depending on people's yeses or nos. And here, it's really you in front of your screen and connecting with people and putting yourself and your art out there. So I just think that's incredibly exciting.
Vision for NFTs Going Forward
CR: It is really empowering. And then to start wrapping up, I'm interested in your long term vision on the non-fungible token space in general going forward. Where do you see this space going? Is something like the Metaverse exciting to you? People owning their digital objects in this online world? Is it more about having digital identity? What’s your long term, big vision for this space? Where do you see it going?
YK: Well, I can say where I wish I saw it going. I guess that in my circle, and with the people that I've been in touch with or brands that I've spoken to, I am very aware that the reality is that not only us, but also big brands and big names are very interested in getting into the NFT space because they see the value there and because they see that this is a place where things are developing quite quickly and things are ever-changing really. And they also see that it's an early stage of things.
“...I am very aware that the reality is that not only us, but also big brands and big names are very interested in getting into the NFT space because they see the value there...”
So I think that in tech, when it is the early stage of something, people want to get in. And people are realizing that there's opportunity here and that there are also important things occurring. So I think that it's a matter of time before we see a lot of big people, big names, lots more people getting into it and doing things. That’s for sure. I think it's inevitable if we keep going the way that we're going, which is quite successful. I mean, things are happening really fast and a lot is happening every day.
I just hope that if things are moving this fast, and things are changing all the time, we just make this space more equal. That's all I want in the long term. But you know I definitely see this going places. I mean, but I'm biased as well, because I'm into it and I love it, and I believe in it, so I guess I'm just a nerd. But…
CR: Yeah, if you're looking at space so closely, it makes you biased but it also makes you more knowledgeable than people from the outside. And for World of Women like 10 years from now, where is the project?
YK: Impossible, impossible to know. We cannot know. No, impossible, never know.
CR: A year then?
YK: A year, gosh, also impossible. You know, we started this on the 27th of July, and it feels like World of Women is a year old, and it's not at all. It’s been two months. But my dream is that next year this time, I don't know, Rihanna would be a huge fan of World of Women. And like these strong, amazing personalities would be endorsing it, and putting the word out there, and just that the NFT space has become this amazing equal place. That would be amazing.
I mean, of course, I would love for a major female figure that is doing something to make the world better. I mean, not necessarily Rihanna, but like, just a strong, important woman would have seen us and understood what we want to do and just support it. That would be great. Because I mean, you don't want to depend on celebrities at all. That's not the objective. But it is true that if a powerful figure comes in and promotes this movement for this space, it can be huge, it can change everything.
“....you don't want to depend on celebrities at all. That's not the objective. But it is true that if a powerful figure comes in and promotes this movement for this space, it can be huge, it can change everything.”
CR: Right. It can inspire her followers to look at oh, like what is this thing, and then it can lead them to then learn about non-fungible tokens and maybe they will be able to take advantage of all the opportunities that this space has to offer. So I agree. It’s not depending on celebrities, but celebrities are just an amplifier of ideas.
YK: That's exactly right. And celebrities have it in their hands to choose what kind of message and projects they want to endorse or support. So it's always nice to see someone that's big supporting something that has a meaning behind it. So that would be great. Honestly, the biggest thing that I'm hoping is that next year this time, absolutely everyone in the community is like head over heels happy, and just super enjoying the whole thing, that everything is perfect and smooth, and everyone is rich, and just loving being part of World of Women and that we're having a huge real life celebration with everybody.
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