The artist specializing in NFT took part in a Talk Kering this Friday, May 27, organized as part of the Cannes Film Festival 2022.
She started her career as a graphic designer for major film studios. Emily Yang, who took part in a Talk Kering Women In Motion on Friday, May 27, as part of the Cannes Film Festival, has since changed direction. The young woman thus became an artist specializing in NFTs.
A blessing in disguise”
In particular, she returned to the origins of her atypical career. “I’ve loved art and drawing since I was little,” she explained. When I was in college I watched Wall-E (from Andrew Stanton, 2008, editor’s note) For the first time. I was so moved by this film, that when I looked at the credits and the names of the people who had worked on it from a technical point of view, I told myself I wanted to be part of one of these teams.” Before continuing: ” Then I looked at how to make animation and graphics, and I started my career.”
A few years later, Emily Yang has a chance at a job at Apple. But the Covid-19 pandemic is deciding differently. “It was a complicated period, I was unemployed for more than a year, the artist recalls. Looking back, of course, I see it as a blessing in disguise, but at the time it was particularly stressful because I lived in New York and had to pay my rent. I got benefits because I lost my job. I think what saved my sanity at the time was creating an Instagram account.”
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Surf the NFT wave
To feel ‘more productive’, Emily Yang decides to place her artwork there. “It was the first time I did it for fun, because before that I made art for others, for Hollywood studios,” she specifies. At the moment, the young woman is looking for new ways to generate income. “In the summer of 2020, I discovered decentralized finance, a subsector of cryptocurrencies. (…) I started making animations to promote decentralized finance and thanks to word of mouth I was approached more. I thought it could be a real job.
His Twitter account, @Pplpleasr, now has more than 72,000 subscribers. It is in 2020 that the young woman turns to the NFT sector. “When I started creating animations for decentralized finance, they didn’t always sell because few people followed me,” she says. Entering the world of NFTs was intentional.” Before adding: “In 2021 the NFTs started to get known and the big celebrities like The Weeknd and Grimes started producing them. So I realized there was a huge wave of interest, more mainstream† I was wondering how to position myself to surf this wave.
“Being a Celebrity Isn’t Enough to Succeed in NFTs”
At the time, Emily Yang already had a large “crypto spending” community that could help her succeed in the NFT industry. “Just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean you’ll be successful in NFTs,” she says. Because your millions of subscribers are probably not using cryptocurrency.” However, this is the case in itself fan base† She also works, for neophytes, to “try to make NFTs accessible through her art and her platform”. “I think art is easier for people to understand because it’s a very visual medium,” she adds.
‘People didn’t discriminate against me’
When asked about the sexism she has suffered in this sector, the young woman gives a clear answer. “I think the crypto community is not sexist,” she says. It’s pretty obvious as there are a lot of very influential anonymous accounts. Yet the artist admits “gender differences”. “But I think they’re due to the fact that the world of technology is more masculine,” she continues. With her work she wants to “inspire more women to join this world”. “My own success also stems from the fact that people didn’t discriminate against me,” she adds.
She is also working to ensure that NFTs have a positive impact in the film world. “Thanks to a partnership with Brut and Cannes, I have created NFTs that help raise money to fund scholarships for female directors and film students,” she says. Last summer she used NFTs for crowdfunding, to fund a documentary. “In 48 hours we raised 2 million dollars and almost a year later the documentary was filmed,” she welcomes.
As for the crypto communities, Emily Yang declares herself proud to see “increasing efforts on their part to educate women”. “I think there are a lot of online communities, even cryptocentric ones, that are girl friendly (…), she says enthusiastically. I really encourage girls to consult them, to discover this field in an unusual and interesting way.” And thus to ensure the succession of an artist like no other.