Interview: Derry Ainsworth translates city adventures into local NFT art

After arriving in Hong Kong in 2014, British-born architecture graduate Derry Ainsworth decided to pursue his passion for photography. While experimenting and perfecting his craft and technique, he developed his own unique style that captures new perspectives of the city and takes viewers on a visual adventure between concrete and nature

The creative director of the Digital Art Fair, Derry Ainsworth, takes the skills and expertise he has honed over the years into the metaverse where he is now recognised as one of the pioneers in the local NFT fine art space.

Derry Ainsworth

What is your earliest memory of art?

Winning a Sonic the Hedgehog drawing competition when I was a kid.

What is happiness to you?

Travelling, getting lost somewhere new with my camera.

Why do you do what you do?

I want to share and capture the beauty of the world as I see it today, from unique perspectives.

How are you currently approaching your art?

I have always loved photography and video and the NFT space has caused me to rethink how I can create my art pieces in a new and exciting way. In my Collected Memories series, I take my favourite images from my seven years of shooting, cut elements out, recompose them and animate them into these dynamic collage pieces.

What occupation would you have chosen if you didn’t choose art?

Probably pizza chef.

Where do you find your creative inspiration?

Music and travel.

What is your greatest achievement?

I just sold one of my digital artworks on Sotheby’s as part of their spring contemporary auction.

Greatest regret?

Not getting into art sooner.

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What is your most treasured possession?

Definitely my camera.

What do you think is your biggest flaw?

I’m a workaholic.

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

I really value originality and artists who put their own unique spin on things.

What led you down the path of NFT art?

My friend Sean Foley told me about it last year and I had no idea what he was talking about. From there it was curiosity.

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

The main difference is the way in which you create, collect and experience it. These days tech is becoming a huge part of an artist’s workflow and is enabling artists to push new boundaries with their work. And with everybody having a screen in their pocket, artists are recognising the user experience of collecting and experiencing art in digital formats.

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

As time has gone on and the market has matured, you find that people who were in the scene to make quick money have been filtered out. Real artists and projects keep creating.

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

In the beginning, it’s about getting the exposure. It can take time to find a collector. Being on the right platform and using social media can help to get your marketing off the ground.

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What do you value most in an artist?

Creating thought-provoking, captivating work.

What makes an artist successful in the NFT space?

Authenticity over everything. I think the space rewards real artists, people who put in a lot of work and think about how they can curate a collection.

What quality do you like the most in people?

I like to surround myself with genuine honest people who are simply themselves.

What quality do you dislike the most in people?

People with a false sense of entitlement.

What are you bringing to the NFT art world?

My own spin on photo/video manipulation, bringing together seven years of photographs to make animated art pieces from my memories!

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

To keep creating and to keep up-to-date with the latest technology in the industry. And to remember to enjoy the process!

Which artist do you most identify with?

I don’t really aim to identify with other artists.

What is your greatest artistic achievement?

Definitely the Sotheby’s auction or having my work on the M+ building facade as the official 2021 NYE countdown art.

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

It would be learning how to switch off and relax.

Your favourite NFT artist?

Sean Foley.

Any advice for those starting out in NFT art?

Find what you love doing and try to think about curating a series with a common theme throughout.

What are you most proud of with your NFTs?

It’s great to see them at shows where people spend time pointing out all the details as they discover them.

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

The space is still very [young], and the tech and the usage are rapidly evolving and improving.

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

I’m working on some collage collaboration pieces with some brands currently, have some small NFT shows coming up and am also designing the new Digital Art Fair launching later this year.

What is your artistic outlook on life?

Always take time from your busy life to try to see the beauty in things.

What does art mean to you?

Art is your own way of visually interpreting experiences, messages, feelings and emotions to others.

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In this Story: #metaverse / #art & design