EXCLUSIVE: Ad Astra – Using NFTs to Bridge The Worlds of Art & Technology
“The possibilities of the NFT world are endless, and yet, many artists, galleries and traditional art collectors are holding back from entering this space”, said Ad Astra CEO and Founder
Non fungible tokens gained meteoric attention in 2021. As more time has passed, the NFT community has developed into a strong force, slowly inserting itself into the dialogue of the mainstream media. Despite some individuals feeling that NFTs have reached their ceiling, new startup Ad Astra is providing a platform for NFTs to revolutionise the space between artists and technology.
Ad Astra is the UK’s first NFT agency that specialises in connecting artists, art collectors and galleries with end-to-end NFT services, removing the entry barriers for many artists who have the desire, but not the resources, to create and sell innovative NFTs that fully utilise the potential of the medium. And it’s no surprise that artists want to partake within this medium, since overall, collectors have sent over $37 billion to NFT marketplaces in 2022 as of May 1, putting them on pace to beat the total of $40 billion sent in 2021.
So what does Ad Astra do? Under a commission-based, one contract model with no upfront costs, Ad Astra provides education, creative direction, digital artistry, mining services, legal contracts and marketing/sales services to artists for their own specific circumstances.
As aforementioned, Ad Astra is the UK’s first NFT agency, but it also is different to established NFT marketplaces like that of OpenSea, which established itself as the dominant provider. This is because Ad Astra works in a way to support the artists, instead of focusing on just being an auction house.
The NFT space can no doubt help with branding. Why shouldn’t artists use the forum? Traditionally, companies that sell luxury items viewed the digital world as a channel that merely emphasises physical experiences. Nowadays though, they are beginning to treat the digital as a marketplace in its own right. For instance,
- Dolce & Gabbana made $5.7 million, selling 9 NFTs of a digital high-design video and a rare physical item.
- Nike purchased the digital fashion company, RTFKT, who partnered with Fewocious to launch 3 new trainer designs. Over 600 were sold in 7 minutes, each priced from $3,000 to $10,000.
- Gucci sold a limited edition digital version of their Gucci Dionysus handbag for just $4.75 in Roblox. Not a lot, right? It resold for $4,000 in the secondary market
The space clearly exists for artists to benefit from.
With Ad Astra, every account is serviced by a multi-generational team that has years of experience with both web3 and the traditional art world. This includes Emily Wigoder, Ad Astra’s CEO and founder, who has a rich background in art publishing, web3 and NFTs.
Also on the senior leadership team and advisory board is Simon Davenport QC, a top commercial silk and trustee of the Contemporary Arts Society, Ray Kelvin, the former founder and CEO of Ted Baker, and Philip Hoffman, the founder of The Fine Art Group.The company has plans to expand internationally once more funding is held and secured.
Emily Wigoder, CEO and Founder of Ad Astra, commented that “upon investigation, we found that the costs, complications and perceived risks with the NFT space were stopping initially interested artists and art enthusiasts from benefiting from the many opportunities that are available.
“This is exactly why we created Ad Astra – a turn-key NFT creation agency that has a passion for both traditional art and NFTs, and believes that the art world and its artists belong in the art and technology of the future. We hope to facilitate the dismantling of these boundaries to allow traditional artists and galleries to flourish in web3 and create NFTs that hold long-term value.”