Artist takes on digital world with 'non-fungible token' creation

Cromer-based artist Liz James, with her non-fungible token (NFT) artwork titled Sunday Sunrise in the background. 

Cromer-based artist Liz James, with her non-fungible token (NFT) artwork titled Sunday Sunrise in the background. - Credit: Liz James

It's art, but not as we know it. 

Cromer-based painter Liz James has issued an artwork that can be bought and sold as a non-fungible token (NFT).

Ms James, 58, said she made the work by combining a painting of the north Norfolk coast with the original source photo she used to paint it, to create a unique digital image she calls Sunday Sunrise.

She said: "I get my inspiration from walks on the local beach, taking reference photographs to produce a range of watercolour and mixed media paintings once I am back in the studio.

"When I heard about NFTs I came up with the idea of digitally fusing the two elements together and this is the result."

NFTs do not exist in a physical form - they are one-of-a-kind digital assets that can be bought and sold.

Liz James' non-fungible token (NFT) artwork Sunday Sunrise.

Liz James' non-fungible token (NFT) artwork Sunday Sunrise. - Credit: Liz James

NFTs are one of the fastest growing trends in the art world, and they have even been produced by the likes of Damien Hirst and Paris Hilton.

Most Read

They are sometimes compared to buying an autographed print, and some NFTs have sold for millions of pounds. 

They can only be traded using the cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH), and Sunday Sunrise is now on sale for 0.25, which is around £770.

Ms James said finding out how they worked was a steep learning curve.

She said: "The first thing was to get my head around what it is - something unique that cannot be copied – it’s a ‘token’ created on the blockchain - basically a piece of code that is a one off.

"When you sell an NFT you are selling the token not the actual image.

"In my research I found out that an NFT has to be something completely unique. I could scan in a painting but then I would still have the painting so it would not be unique.

"Then I came up with the idea of blending the painting with my original source photo – to create a unique digital image."

Ms James, who has been working as a full-time artist for about 12 years, said she hoped to get a "positive reaction" from the NFT community, and she planned to create more of the tokens in the future.