As the digital art market grows and becomes mainstream, established artists are seeing how it can bring their work to a larger and more diverse audience. Victoria West, an award-winning Canadian photographer is one such artist.
Part 1 Biography
Who are you? Where are you from?
I’m a portrait photographer, an artist and an animal rights activist. I live just outside of Fredericton, NB, Canada with my 5 dogs and 1 husband.
A lot of my work centers around my activism and my commitment to making this world a better place than I left it. I care deeply about justice and respect for all beings, and that includes non human animals as well.
What is your background?
I’m a portrait photographer by profession and I have run my own business for 13 years. I have a Professional Photographers of Canada Master of Photographic Arts.
In my career have collected awards that I am very proud of. These include;
2021, 2020, 2019 Portrait Photographer of the Year- Professional Photographers of Canada
2021, 2020, 2019 Team Canada, World Photographic Cup
2020 First Place, Gold Award. -2020 Wppi Second Half
2019 Bronze Medal Portrait – World Photographic Cup
What type of Digital Art/NFTs do you create?
I’m a photographic composite artist meaning that I take many photographs and piece them together in Photoshop.
All my images are created entirely by me, no stock photography is used in any of them. This is important for competitions which I regularly enter.
What motivates you to create Digital Art?
Different things. Sometimes it’s to raise awareness for social justice issues that I care about. Other times it’s an outlet for what I’m experiencing, my thoughts and feelings. And occasionally I just want to make something that looks cool.
What made you get into creating NFT Art and enter digital art market?
I’ve never tried to sell my creative work, because I’ve always created for me, not for clients (since that is what I do in my day job). Much of the work that I create is not exactly marketable in the traditional art spaces, or at least not in my area of the world.
So up until April, the only places my pieces were being seen was in competitions. Then, when I came across NFT’s, I thought that it might be a good fit for me, and could maybe allow me to spend more time creating the art that I want to make, and a little less time taking pretty pictures for other people.
Part 2. Focus on Artwork
What makes your NFT Art unique?
Everything. I’m a unique individual (as we all are), and my ideas and inspiration for my work come from my life, what’s important to me, and then are put together in an original way that that is a little piece of me.
I think my unapologetic personality comes through in my story telling and shows that I’m not afraid to take risks.
What skills and techniques do you use?
I like to have precise control over my light so almost all of my work is shot in the studio, at least my models are.
First, I always come into the shoot with 3 different poses/plans to execute.
I’ll photograph any props I can in studio that could be used in the image. I have a library of stock images that I’ve shot when traveling around that I may want to use later on for backgrounds and such that I’ll often pull from.
Then I piece everything into photoshop and blend it all together. It can take anywhere from 10 – 40 hours of editing depending on how complicated the composite is.
It’s a labour of love.
For #Meat Too, I photographed the model while my assistant poured fake blood over her, and then I had my brother bring in a piece of cow flesh (aka steak) from his fridge for me to photograph.
This was so I could work it into her skin in Photoshop.
I wanted to make it appear that pieces of flesh had been stripped from her.
How do you want people to feel when they view your digital Art?
I hope it stops people in their tracks and makes them think.
I hope they question their beliefs and actions, which can be uncomfortable and challenging.
So I hate to say that I want people to have negative feelings about it, but I suppose it’s kind of true.
Part 3. Market your digital art
What does the future hold for you and your Digital Art?
I’m so excited about this space and it’s potential to change the world and my path. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen all about it (sorry friends! haha).
Additionally, I am scheduled to speak to the Professional Photographers of Canada about NFT’s in the Fall. I expect I’ll be an expert by the time I get there, since my obsession is next level.
I’ll continue making the art I want to make and continue learning, growing and helping support this amazing community.
Where can people buy your Digital Art? Have you had any interesting sales on any digital art market?
Foundation, Kalamint & HEN at the moment. However, I am hoping to be accepted by Ephimera.
As for interesting sales, I had an image on Kalamint sell for a significant amount of tezos, 385 tez, and then was relisted the following day on the secondary market and sold for 666 tez. So that was definitely interesting!
On top of that, Shantell Martin, an amazing artist, collected my Genesis piece on Foundation. So, I was extremely thrilled to have my work in her collection.
Anybody wishing to view my art can follow any of the links below.
Ethereum 3D gallery : https://oncyber.io/victoriawest
Foundation : https://foundation.app/@victoriawestportrait
How can people contact you directly?
I can be reached via the following:
The diversity on the NFT scene is phenomenal and Victoria West is another amazing artist who adds to this by creating thought provoking photography. View the rest of her work by following her links. You will not be disappointed.