When people think of Cardano NFTs, PFP projects come to mind. At least a few people generally run them, and their focus is expanding the utility of a project.  There is, however another side of the Cardano art scene that I think is in jeopardy of being overlooked by most of us. Jason Matias has taken a different approach to producing, and selling artwork.

Jason Matias is an artist and photographer, and he is one of the most prolific fine art style producers on the Cardano blockchain. Instead of building a 1000 collection with auto-generated traits, and digital utility, he’s built a digital and physical brand that is 100% about the artwork.

May The Fourth By Jason Matias
May The Fourth By Jason Matias

The Most Unemployable Person In The Room

Matias’ path could have taken a different trajectory.  From New York City, the USAF Veteran never even took photography seriously until his stint at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska in 2006.  Matias told me, “the art developed separately from my experiences. But the things I learned while studying psychology influence the aesthetic I call Comfortable Isolation.”  He completed his Masters’ degree in organizational leadership before making the decision to make art his career. 

In Matias’ TEDx speech in 2019, he talked about being “the most unemployable person in the room”, so I asked him about that.  He told me “I’ve literally never held a full-time job since leaving the military, despite scores of resumes sent and the skills I’ve accumulated over time.”  Thank goodness Jason Matias decided to make art his career.

Jason Matias’ Art

There are a few non-photography-related works in his portfolio, but photography is his bread and butter.

His use of lighting is phenomenal. Matias will spend hours in one spot waiting on the lighting to be perfect. He never rushes a shot, and he seems to always find the perfect subject.

Matias and his work have been published in several digital and print publications, including ABC News, Entrepreneur.com, Space.com, The Weather Channel, and National Geographic.  He also hosted a TEDx talk about his life and photographs of things that are now gone.  This is a TED talk, I think you’ll want to watch.

Matias also received a commission from the Hawaii Presidential Foundation in 2014 to create “Hero Image”, which was presented to President Obama in 2014.

Avendasora By Jason Matias
Avendasora By Jason Matias

The Art Of Selling Art

Jason Matias is also an entrepreneur and teacher.  He offers an online membership service that helps other artists market their work with tutorials and strategy guides, called “The Art Of Selling Art”.  Members of the program hear a successful artist talk about finding their voice, marketing, “The business of art”, and even a section for question and answers.

Included in the service, there are also 12+ hours of content dedicated to NFT-related content.  Matias himself hosts 1 round table each week with members to share their work and business strategies.

You can find out more about The Art Of Selling Art On discord

Matias On Cardano, And The Future Of Art On The Blockchain

Jason Matias is an early adopter of blockchain for fine art.  He is a fan of the technology Cardano specifically telling me that “Cardano had always been my biggest holding and I believed in the tech.”  Although he is probably best known for physical work, he has a number of NFTs available on Cardano.  Instead of 10,000 PFPs, his offerings include only a few of each piece.  This gives his customers a more personal connection with the art and the artist.

Some of his NFT collections blend the digital and photography universe like the Guardians series, while others are 100% film derived like the Skyward set of 3. He’s even developed the Gambit Pass, an NFT that gives holders real-world utility. Holders receive a discount on “IRL” artwork, airdrops, white lists, event tickets, and more.

Twilight Angel By Jason Matias
Twilight Angel By Jason Matias
The Future Of Art On The Chain

This brings us to our next subject, which is the future of art on the chain.  Matias agrees that “the way we certify art will change and art history will begin to reference blockchain, in time.”  He thinks it might be a decade or two.  But technology moves fast.  I don’t see a reason every piece of new art isn’t accompanied by an NFT that proves ownership right now.

We may be on the precipice of a revolution that will change the way we buy, authenticate and sell art. Jason Matias is a trailblazer that’s seen this change coming far quicker than most. Even if it takes a decade, he’s positioned himself to help lead the industry into the shift.

Trees Of Peace

Matias’ upcoming project, Trees of Peace shows the artists pushing the boundaries between digital and physical.    The art was built using a combination of Artificial intelligence and more traditional techniques.  The trees of peace are growing out of stone or other mediums and are accompanied by a number of natural-looking environments.  None of the ones I’ve seen look even similar, but they follow the same theme.

The release will include a collection of one-of-one pieces and will include physical art, auctions, and more.  The release date is TBA but, Matias expects it to mint Trees Of Peace around the end of November.

The world is changing fast, and that does not exclude art.  As more digital artwork is being minted as NFTs and proof of authenticity moves into web 3, people like Jason are getting a leg up by making the move to blockchain now.  It’s people like Jason Matias that will show the rest of the art world the future of the industry.

For more on Matias, visit his website or follow him on twitter

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