“Creating is what makes me truly happy

With the explosion of NFTs, I enjoy connecting with artists from around the world, and highlighted my favourites in my NFT artist post. Recently, I was fortunate to cross paths with a young artist from Latvia. It is heartening to see how blockchain tech is changing the lives of artists, exposing them to the world through NFT. This is her journey……

Q : Can you tell me about @Darta.art?

I am Dārta Katrīna (Darta Katrina), a 19 year old digital illustrator based in Latvia. As of now, I am just finishing high-school and planning to head on to art university next year. I have always seen myself as an artist. Initially, I got into drawing thanks to my childhood hobby, horseback riding. As a small child I was already able to draw quite an advanced picture of a horse, which went on to develop my interest for art, an activity I continued to actively pursue, though I went digital only 2 years ago. It started off with my mom getting me quite a big smartphone, and as most 17 year olds, I used to spend a lot of time on Snapchat. It had a very basic drawing feature, which I found to be quite a good source of entertainment. I bought myself a stylus and started making small, abstract sketches (they can still be seen on my Instagram account). I like to think of that as the moment I started developing my art style. I sent them to my friends, who turned out to really like them. I kept making more, and after a while created an Instagram art-account. I continued to create only that kind of art for about a year. The pieces were rather fast and conceptual, and the platform (Snapchat) really didn’t make them meet any standards of “quality” which could be applied to digital art. I started getting serious about being an illustrator about a year ago when I got a computer and a Wacom tablet. I was finally able to explore the Adobe programs which made my art appear a lot nicer. Since then, I have been working consistently on building my style and brand. Though it was still something I did purely for my own enjoyment, and for the sake of creative expression. 

Q : What and who inspires you? 

My main source of inspiration are real life events and experiences. I enjoy encoding them into symbols of the metaphysical reality, archetypes and abstract shapes, in a way “amplifying” them. I try to find meaning, purpose and connection between absolutely everything. I strive to incorporate that sense of unity and harmony in every piece I make, from colour coordinations, to composition and finally the concept. For example, my last 4 piece series has been about death. As I’ve recently experienced some major changes in my personal life and many things have gone away, I’ve decided to translate them into a metaphor of the Grim Reaper, showing it in an unconventional way, meaning to embrace, welcome and even celebrate endings. Offering an alternative outlook on them, and reminding that death has no fixed image. Everything is a matter of perception.


Q : What made you step into NFT art?

 I’ve been in this space only for a few months. I first heard of NFTs in January 2021, though I actually joined the craze a few months later. I started seeing NFTs all around me! People were repetitively and randomly bringing them up. I wasn’t keen on NFTs, since everything crypto related was completely new and unknown to me. My interest sparked when I saw fellow Latvian artists stepping into the world of NFTs too! Since I had already decided on pursuing a career in art, NFTs became a space that offered creative freedom and autonomy.

Q : How has it changed your life?

Things have been changing light-speed since I’ve joined the space. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people in the NFT Twitter community. I am actively starting to explore everything that new technologies have to offer, by meeting so many creators with different backgrounds and skills. It really can expand one’s outlook on art and give so many new ideas!  I am already working on my second collaborative piece with Artur (@dippyartu) who has designed an algorithm that allows creating digital doppelgängers of people. It takes motion data from a video of the subject (in this case- me) sitting in front of a camera and turns it into a motion signature, which then is used to create a 3d object. I will be redrawing that object in my own style, it will be paired with an interview and sold as a NFT. It’s a very exciting project. I have also made the very frightening, though exciting choice to leave my day job and create NFTs full time! 

Q: What are your plans for the future?

Seeing where my current circumstances take me, and trying to make the best out of what is given to me, enjoying and appreciating every step of the process as much as I can! I will continue to develop and refine my illustration style, as well as connect with other artists. Learning animation is a big dream of mine too. If all works out well, I would love to work on bigger scale multimedia projects in the future. It has always been my dream to get into freelance work as soon as possible. I enjoy marketing, and the process of building an online brand very much too, and am considering studying that on top of art. I plan to stick around in the NFT scene for the long run. Of course, I hope to have a physical exhibition one day as well. To sum everything up, creating is what makes me truly happy and complete, and I’ll try to go as far as I can!

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