Josh Pierce is a renowned NFT artist who has worked with Adobe, the NFL and the NBA and who has produced the cover piece for the album of Grammy winning artists Rodrigo y Gabriela.
NIRVANA by Josh Pierce
Can you start by introducing yourself? Where are you from and what mediums do you work with?
My name is Josh Pierce. I’m a visual artist from the US and I grew up in Philadelphia but currently, I’ve been living in Los Angeles for the last 10 years. I started art school and went to upstate New York Rochester Institute of Technology, not too far from Toronto, so I lived there for four years. The school I attended has an incredible art and photography program. I learned Cinema 4D very early around 2000. That’s when I was in school and there weren’t a lot of artists using Cinema 4D yet, but it was sort of on the rise. I ended up getting into that and I just fell in love with 3D because you can become a sculptor, a painter, a photographer and a set designer all in one. I ended up getting a master’s degree in broadcast design from Savannah College of Art and Design and now, during my time in California, I have been mainly doing broadcast design and motion graphics for television, mostly for the NFL network, and a lot of sport related works. It was around 2013 or 2014 that I started doing more personal art and it wasn’t until 2016 and 2017 that I started growing a social media presence.
Was creativity was encouraged by your surrounding and family while growing up?
I’m really grateful about having incredibly supportive parents. They saw that traditional academics was not really what I was cut out for. My mom found the program at Rochester Institute of Technology for me. I found that it would be a really good fit because I didn’t have the best grades. They were very loving, progressive and supportive through everything. I can say without a doubt that my family was not an obstacle in my life. I’ve had other obstacles and challenges but my family didn’t hold me back. They always supported me and pushed me forward. My parents even put me into lessons for piano and saxophone and insisted that I participate in various creative activities.
Did you go through any obstacles that you had to overcome?
For most of my twenties, I really struggled with addiction, for instance with alcohol and drugs. I want to be a resource, I want people to know that they’re not alone and If they’re out there struggling with these kinds of things, this is not something that they need to hide in the shadows, it’s something they need to talk about. Mental health issues are really serious. The ways a lot of us, myself included, try to self-medicate works for a little while, and then it stops working. I went through a treatment program in 2009, and I was introduced to the concept of art therapy. I was able to talk to this therapist and learn how to take my creative outlets and use them to channel my emotional turmoil I was going through at the time. I’ve been clean and sober for over eight years now. I’m living the life that I wished I could have lived 10 years ago. A little bit of a late start, but I feel great!
Can you talk about your experience with the pandemic?
The pandemic was difficult since everything was virtual but I pretty much stick to my routine though. I’m not much of a routine oriented person, but I like to do day-in day-out activities that keep me centred and grounded and a part of it is to do my art every day. In some ways it really helped me focus. Last summer, during the heart of the pandemic, I started working on this cloud series that I really connected with, because my work is all about spiritual growth, raising conscious awareness and connecting to something bigger than ourselves. I got down this rabbit hole by solely doing this cloud series and it’s probably some of my strongest work as an artist that came directly out of being isolated in the pandemic.
When did you learn about the NFT market and when did you join this space?
In all honesty, I wasn’t really aware of NFTs getting into crypto. I got into crypto in 2017 when it got really popular and I started investing some money back then but I never sold anything. I was interested to see all the new projects that were coming out and I just followed it. I was never terribly invested in the technology, but I’m kind of a revolutionary type of thinker. I like things that disrupt the system and I am in a way skeptical of corporations and government power. So to see this decentralized technology giving power back to the people I follow is a really cool thing. I think crypto is going to be the future. I was always invested in it and I always saw the potential of it. Then of course, in November of last year, it was really other people who brought the NFT technology to my attention. One day, Tommy from nifty gateway reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to do a drop with them and I accepted. So once I discovered the potential of this technology, I was really amazed. I jumped on SuperRare immediately and I sold my first piece right away. The piece was called “Pristine” from my cloud series. Going forward, I want to be in the centre of the NFT community.
Do you want to give one last big piece of advice to new artists and digital artists who are joining the community?
When I do my work, it’s one day at a time. I do my work day in and day out which allows me to learn and grow every day despite not knowing where it’s taking me. Three years ago, when I started posting art online every day, I had no idea what was coming. Even last year, at this time, very few of us, in this community, had any idea that this was coming. So you never know what’s going to happen. Just sit down and do your art without any excuses. Then, put it out there and see what happens. You just have to keep going, never give up and always create for yourself. You will notice that people connect with that.