Interview with Alan Bolton
13 June 2022
Alan Bolton is a 3D digital artist who specializes in sci-fi works. He has worked with brands such as JUST Water and Sour Strips and top DJs like Tiësto and Deadmau5.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us about your background?
I'm a digital artist from Ireland currently living in Madeira, Portugal. I specialize in 3D art, both with animated and still-image pieces. I went to college in Ireland and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business & Management. After college, I decided to pursue a creative career. I gained some experience by living in LA as the head of content for a YouTube channel which led me to open my own creative agency in Ireland. I built a portfolio of worldwide clients from creating marketing campaigns for JUST Water to traveling on tour with DJs like Tiësto. This allowed me to experiment creatively and use a number of mediums from photography/videography to graphic design and AR. Finally, I've been in the NFT space since 2020.
What influenced you to pursue a creative path? What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I've always been very creative. My favorite subject in school was art and I still remember the first time I discovered Photoshop. When social media started around 2006, I would create graphics for all my friends and family. Every day, I was on Photoshop after school creating new designs for everyone. I still have a lot of the work I created from about 2006 to 2008. It's very funny to look back on. Unfortunately, I never felt I could pursue art as a career.
Coming from a tiny town in Ireland didn't help as the idea of working in a creative career wasn't really a popular option. I decided to go to college to study business. I don't regret this decision though as I feel what I learned in college has helped massively in both running my own agency and my art career. All artists are their own brand and business. Having knowledge in accounting, marketing and such is very important for anyone who's self-employed.
How and when did you get involved with NFTs and the crypto art space?
It was around September 2020 that I got involved with NFTs and crypto at the same time. At the time, I had lost the majority of my client work due to Covid so I spent a lot of 2020 focusing on my own art and I was also selling my work on print on demand websites. It was very difficult to make a living off this so I was researching where the top print on demand artists were selling their work.
This is where I found Rarible and my mind was blown. I didn't even know what Ethereum was but I was so excited about the concept of NFTs and being able to sell digital artworks. I'm the type of person who likes to fully understand a topic so I spent about 4-5 weeks learning everything I could about NFTs and crypto. I read books on Bitcoin and watch every YouTube video on digital wallets and how to open an exchange account. In November 2020, I felt confident enough to get started in this space and I minted my first NFT on Rarible.
What is your favorite NFT of all time, and by which artist?
Four artists come straight to mind as inspirations to me which are all 3D artists: Six N. Five, Alessio De Vecchi, Maskarade, and Hannes Hummel. I feel that their renders are at such a high level that it really sets them apart. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes with 3D art that very few people will notice. It takes years of experience to master lighting, texturing, and camera work like these artists have achieved.
Do you have any advice for artists joining the digital art sphere or the NFT space?
I think the main thing artists need to do is have a plan and ignore the noise. It's very important for artists to have a strategy for how to navigate the NFT/crypto space. Everything moves so fast. It can become extremely overwhelming to try and keep up with all the news and announcements online. You need to find a good balance between working on your art and being online to engage with the community. Within a matter of hours, the whole market could turn from positive to negative. If you are living online it can become hard to focus on your work. Have a plan for what you need to achieve and stick to it.