Digital Wavemakers: Interview with Hueman NTR
Interview by Ify Obi
Since exploring 3D modeling more indepthly following the lockdown in 2020, Congolese Architect and designer, knowns as Hueman NTR, has carved out a unique space for himself in the NFT scene. His projects convey futuristic reimaginations of African realites, often including architectural visualizations as well as pieces that give credence to African spirituality.
For the first edition of our Digital Wavemakers series, we spoke to the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) born, and formerly South African-based artist to uncover his journey in the NFT space, the evolution of his style and the impact of community.
MU: How would you describe your creative style?
Hueman NTR: There isn’t yet a proper term for the art style that I’m creating. Many people use the word afro-futuristic, but that term seems to be a little vague. My art focuses on historical events in Africa to tell science fiction stories.
MU: Would you say your style has evolved over the years? If so, what inspired that evolution
Hueman NTR: Yes it has. I started out trying to copy a lot of the successful Sci-fi artists out there, but the style felt too foreign to me. Seeing that I had moved back to Kinshasa as I started my art career, a lot of my current surroundings have really influenced my art style and message.
MU: What Inspired you to create NFTs and when did that journey begin?
Hueman NTR: I initially jumped into the NFT world in 2021 at the beginning of the hype. I was inspired to start after having watched Beeple sell one of his works for $69 million. The initial reason was purely monetary, since this was a new way of selling my art at a higher value than common markets.
MU: How did you build visibility around your NFT?
Hueman NTR: To build visibility around my NFT collections, I collaborated with some influential people that I knew from the art world to help promote and market my work. But the most crucial part was getting involved in NFT communities. I had to be on Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse rooms for most of the day, in order to be known in specific NFT communities.
MU: How do you find community in the NFT space?
Hueman NTR: The experience varies between different NFT communities. My personal experience with the African NFT Community was quite positive. There are a lot of helpful people trying to help newbies get on their feet. This can help to avoid a lot of mistakes, scams, and losses in the crypto space.
MU: How do you determine the value of your drops?
Hueman NTR: Value is still something I am working out. I initially sold my pieces at around 0.075 ETH, which were bought thanks to the hype created on social media, but now that the NFT hype is starting to die down, artists have had to start to rethink the value of their art, because most investors just aren’t looking to buy a JPEG for $1000. They want to see the value and access that the NFT will bring them, apart from the visuals.
MU: Who are some of your favorite creators?
MU: What advice would you give aspiring NFT creators?
Hueman NTR: Plan Plan Plan! It takes a lot of planning to release a successful NFT project. You need to have a roadmap, and a few people to spread the word. You’re not selling NFT’s to the entire world. It’s just about creating NFTs that you know your fans or investors would be interested in buying. Design for the niche.
MU: In the long run, what do you think the future holds for artists in the NFT space?
Hueman NTR: As the NFT space becomes more about functionality than hype, many artists will move away from the NFT space, probably just developing visuals for other people’s projects. Because NFT’s aren’t just about the art, it’s about what the NFT gives you access to (merchandise, early access, concert tickets, backstage passes and such)
MU: Do you have any upcoming or current drops you’d like to share?
Hueman NTR: Yes, I am currently developing my own Metaverse. A Melanin powered universe called the NTRverse which is an open world African Play-to-Earn life simulator, where African people can access historical data and events in game form. It is a game meant to reward people for discovering various African histories from different African cultures in the metaverse