TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — We first featured Arizona artist J. Pierce last March after Samuel L. Jackson gave him a shout-out on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.
The popularity of his artwork has taken off. So too has his recently released NFT collection.
"It's a whole different avenue with my artwork," said J. Pierce.
That avenue is NFTs, Non-Fungible Tokens. Simply put, NFTs transform digital works of art into one-of-a-kind, verifiable assets that are easy to trade on the blockchain.
J. Pierce just finished selling out his first collection of NFTs. He went back to his roots to create 4,000 unique versions of the same character.
"We ended up using the characters that I do on all my paintings, custom shoes, I do it on my custom shoes a lot, murals, products, all of that stuff," explained Pierce. "You'll see my weird, goofy cartoon characters in all that. That's where it all tied in from when I first started creating art."
NFTs are the latest cryptocurrency phenomenon to go mainstream. Evene Christie's sells NFTs at auction for millions of dollars.
Not quite at that level, the J. Pierce collection of 4,000 NFTs sold out at $150 each.
"I didn't realize too that NFTs were kind of like stocks," Pierce said. "The prices go up and down. It's just all brand new for me."
Some of his NFTs have already increased in value to nearly $3,000 a piece.
He has a manager, a marketing person and a cryptocurrency person to help grow the brand.
Pierce has also been able to take some of his earnings and donate a large sum to charity.
While some look to make a quick buck on the NFT market, Pierce looks at the digital art differently.
"I do art everyday for a living," said Pierce. "I paint everyday. I look at it as people owning a piece of my collection and art and my life."
Since the first collection of J. Pierce NFTs sold out so quickly, he and his team are already making plans for a second collection.
"In the beginning when I wasn't doing NFTs people were like you need to be doing NFTs, you need to be doing NFTs," Pierce said. "Now, I finally found the right team and everybody to help me do it, yeah dude it's been awesome."
Something else awesome for J. Pierceis his new 4-year deal with LL Cool J to design his own line of clothes under the LL Cool J Rock the Bells brand.
Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. His father, Jack Parris, is a former general manager of the station. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.