In this interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Joanne Hollings, an NFT artist, photographer, and model. Originally from New Zealand, Joanne moved to the United States to study engineering and play tennis, but soon discovered her passion for the creative arts. She began creating stunning, emotional pieces, often featuring self-portraits in natural settings, and in 2021, she delved into the world of NFTs. In our conversation, Joanne shares her creative process, her upcoming NFT drop, and her hopes for the future of the art world. Read on to learn more about Joanne Hazel and her unique perspective on NFT art.
Can you tell us about your background and how you got into creating NFT art?
So just a little bit about myself. I grew up in New Zealand but took a leap of faith and moved to the United States to study engineering and play tennis. I always had a creative side though growing up. I got into modelling while I was in college and I realised how much I love the whole creative process so in 2019 I picked up a camera and started documenting moments. When the pandemic hit in 2020 I ended up going back to New Zealand and I lost my potential engineering job, I felt so lost and ended up finishing my degree online in New Zealand whilst doing photography and tennis coaching on the side. I discovered NFTS in august 2021 when New Zealand was in a lock down, I met so many cool creatives and after a couple months of figuring out the space I decided to mint my first nft collection.
Who are favorite artists, both in the traditional and NFT space?
That’s a hard one because there’s so much talent. Id say I really look up to artists like Cath Simard, Reuben Wu, Summer Wagner, Jason Charles Hill and Chelsea Kauai
What themes or subjects do you find yourself drawn to in your artwork?
I really enjoy provoking emotion in my work, I think that’s why I’ve found myself drawn to shooting more self portraiture in nature where I can tell more of a story. Being outdoors makes me happy so I will always be drawn to landscapes and how I can create a scene out of my surroundings.
Can you talk about a specific piece of NFT art that you created that you are particularly proud of?
Warrior is a standout favourite for me due to the amount of emotional energy it took to even bring out. It is a story of a woman overcoming shame and insecurity to embrace all that she is.
How do you stay inspired and keep coming up with new ideas for your art?
I never let myself stay stagnant and let my creativity sit in a box. Always trying to expand and find ways to challenge my mind. I find writing notes really helps me put ideas and visions to life.
Can you tell us about your creative process and how you go about bringing your ideas to life?
my creative process is pretty simple for the most part, I start with an idea or a feeling I want to bring to life. From there ill come up with ideas by writing in my journal and creating a moodboard. Then I’ll come up with the look I want, how I want to shoot it and a location. Some shoots are very impromptu and in the moment, and some I have methodical steps put in place to achieving an idea.
How do you think NFTs have changed the art world and what impact do you think it will have in the long term?
NFTS have given artists a voice and opportunity to really showcase who they are. NFTS eliminate the middle man for artists and allows artists to sell their art on their terms rather than through an art dealer or agent. I hope long term this allows artists to truly be able to make a living off their own art.
Where do you see yourself and your work headed in the future and what goals do you have for your NFT art career?
As a full time photographer I just want to keep building towards working with my dream clients, such as tourism companies and outdoor brands. I also want to start doing little short films during my travels and take my self portraiture to the next level. I think where I can stand out is my ability to both model in my photos and photograph them. Not enough credit is given to models as there is such an art to it.
Can you give us a sneak peek into your upcoming NFT drop?
Currently working on building on my current series “Beauty in pain”. “Beauty in Pain” is a phrase that can refer to the idea that there is beauty to be found even in difficult or painful experiences. The phrase suggests that there can be a certain allure or aesthetic to the scars, struggles, and hardships that people face in life, and that these experiences can shape and strengthen a person in ways that ultimately add to their overall beauty and value. The next piece to follow on from Warrior will be a piece quite fiery and dramatic, I can’t say too much yet but its amazing.
What was the inspiration behind the concept for this drop?
This series was born from my own experience with struggling to meet societal standards of beauty and battling with the effects of athletes triad. But, I have realised that my body is a work of art, a testament to my strength and resilience, and a source of pride. This series is not just about me, but also for all the women out there who have been made to feel inadequate in their own skin. It’s time for me to embrace who I am and celebrate my body, scars, and all. Through this series, I hope to inspire and encourage others to do the same.
How do you think this drop stands out from your previous work or other NFT drops in the market?
It is truly unique in that I am combining my love for conceptual art with landscape photography. Previously I mainly focused on landscapes but soon realised that there is so much more to me that just landscape photos. My ability to create thought provoking imagery through my modelling is where I think i’ll stand out moving forward.
We want to extend our sincerest thanks to Joanne Hazel for taking the time to share her insights and creative process with us. Her ability to combine landscape photography with conceptual art and modelling is truly unique and inspiring, and we can’t wait to see where her NFT art career takes her next. Thank you, Joanne, for your generosity and for sharing your passion for creating thought-provoking and emotional art.