#legendchats: Digital Art Fair co-founder Gillian Howard on NFT art

On a mission to advance art and culture through technology is co-founder and fair director of the Digital Art Fair Gillian Howard. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Howard has had extensive experience in the field of fine galleries and museum management, as well as consulting art institutions and international organisations on activating art and culture

Gillian Howard

Having studied Global Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, she has curated a vast pool of knowledge on digital art that she now uses to create a brand-new art experience that brings together contemporary art and technology.

What is your earliest memory of art?

The pocket art book that I kept in my bed with the 100 Most Important Paintings in History.

What is happiness to you?

Being able to enjoy art, culture and the company of my family.

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Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do with passion. I love what I do. I love art.

How are you currently approaching your art?

Art is seeing beauty in everything.

What occupation would you have chosen if you didn’t choose the one you have now?


Where do you find your creative inspiration?

By going to the theatre, concert, exhibitions, comedy shows, improv, dance, etc.

What is your greatest achievement?

Launching the Digital Art Fair and having my two children.

Greatest regret?

Returning the camera I bought with my red pocket money when I was eight.

I advocate for fine art moving into the digital art space, so I think the challenge is to ensure great art and artists are being promoted in the digital NFT art world

Gillian Howard

What is your most treasured possession?

My children.

What do you think is your biggest flaw?

The yearning for beauty and perfection.

What themes or messages are important to you as an artist and why?

I’m not an artist but an art curator mostly. I think the world needs more art and beauty so we don’t only focus on material things.

What led you down the path of NFT art?

My understanding of human communications and the wish to promote art and culture to the younger generation.

What is the biggest difference you find between NFT art and other art?

Digital/NFT art includes the use of technologies, particularly blockchain. Traditional art is less likely to incorporate technologies.

Before and after joining the NFT art scene, how has your perception of the medium changed?

I sold my first piece of digital art in 2014 to Carrie Fisher, the princess from Star Wars. Since then I had a seed planted in me to understand the medium better and better. I think digital art has evolved and has a long way to go. NFT is just one element.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when you were getting started with NFTs?

I advocate for fine art moving into the digital art space, so I think the challenge is to ensure great art and artists are being promoted in the digital NFT art world.

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What do you value most in an artist?

The unique way artists see the world, the love for art and beauty.

What makes an artist successful in the NFT space?

The perseverance of art-making, no matter if you are in a traditional or digital art space.

What quality do you like the most in people?

People who have passion for everything they decide to do.

What quality do you dislike the most in people?

People who don’t have drive or passion. People who don’t keep their word.

What are you bringing to the NFT art world?

The Digital Art Fair focuses on a fully immersive art experience through digital art technology beyond art collecting.

What is the most important thing to you now as an artist?

Though I’m not an artist, the beauty of art.

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Which artist do you most identify with?

Refik Anadol, Jacky Tsai, Derry Ainsworth, Yang Yongliang, Tracey Emin.

What is your greatest artistic achievement?

As an art curator, creating the Digital Art Fair as a platform.

What is your greatest influence?

Showing my children how amazing art and culture is.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change anything about myself.

Your favourite NFT artist?

Refik Anadol.

Any advice for those starting out in NFT art?

Be educated, and get as much information as you can. Do your research.

What are you most proud of with your NFTs?

I’m proud of the artists who venture into the space. It takes courage to try something new!

What excites you most about the future of NFT art and the space?

The innovative, quality art by real artists.

What are you working on right now and any upcoming exciting projects?

The Digital Art Fair Hong Kong 2022 and Digital Art International expansion.

What is your artistic outlook on life?

Live life with art, there is no better way to live.

What does art mean to you?

Art is everything to me – my passion, my profession, something I can’t live without, something I find comfort in. Art is music, paintings, movies, theatre, comedy and the list continues.

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In this Story: #art & design