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32-Year-Old Artist Elise Swopes Earns Over $200K Selling NFTs, Supports Women of Color in NFT Community

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
32-Year-Old Artist Elise Swopes Earns Over $200K Selling NFTs, Supports Women of Color in NFT Community
Photo: Elise Swopes / Facebook

Following the launch of such a successful art career selling NFTs, Elise Swopes is looking to level the playing field in the NFT community.

Elise Swopes, a Brooklyn-based photographer and graphic designer, has made more than $200K in 10 months from selling her art as NFTs. Swopes features her art, which depicts photographed animations of cityscapes, on NFT marketplaces, including Nifty Gateway and SuperRare. In addition, she often incorporates personally-rendered digitally-designed elements of nature to these art pieces. Swopes is currently one of the very few Black women, in particular, to carve out a successful niche in the NFT community.

Due to the increasing success and popularity of her art pieces, Swopes earns royalty from 10% to 15%. Speaking to CNBC, Swopes said she thought “Oh my god, my life is going to change”, following the sale of her first piece in March for more than $17,600. She added:

”And it has ever since then. It’s definitely brought me a lot of opportunities.”

Swopes’ art career and the accompanying brand began about 11 years ago in 2010, soon after joining Instagram. The 32-year-old Chicago native has also collected NFTs created by other artists, including photographer Brittany Pierre and visual artist Lana Denina. Furthermore, according to Swopes, she has a digital gallery, dubbed CryptoVoxels, within the metaverse where she exhibits her collection. She estimates the value to be around $10K.

Elise Swopes Is Actively Trying to Level the Playing Field Within the NFT Community

Swopes is also particularly fond of the Black NFT Art collective, which looks to promote Black artists within the NFT sector. The initiative is the brainchild of Iris Nevins, and operates under the creative agency she co-founded Umba Daima. Speaking on the need to support the Black NFT community, and the scarcity that currently defines it, Swopes explained:

“When I make a sale, I make sure that I’m giving back to the community that’s giving back as well, because there’s a cycle [of support]. But I have also found quite a bit of difficulty with the [NFT] community as far as representation of people of color and Black women specifically.”

Swopes further stated that white men continue to see far more opportunities within the NFT space. This is compared to women, who hardly registered any sales in almost two years. In fact, a Bloomberg report seems to also buttress Swopes assertion – citing a November report by research firm ArtTactic. According to the information provider, female artists who made NFT sales in the last 21 months were just 5%.

Swopes says that her current position and status as a leading Black woman in the NFT space also comes with added responsibility.

“I find myself having a lot of responsibility as not just a woman, but a woman of color in this community, who understands perspective and can put myself in different people’s shoes,” said she.

In her inaugural Nifty Gateway Collection, she created several works incorporating photographs of multiple cities in the US. She also blended these with giraffes and other elements peculiar to the jungle. As a tribute to the giraffes, Swopes donated some of the collection proceeds to the Somali Giraffe Project.

The promising artist calls for continued support for her works saying she is actually trying to make a change. Elise Swopes stated that next year, she plans to launch a new collection of NFTs called the Sunrise Art Club. Its primary objective would be to support women of color through various programs and fund various NFT projects.

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