Art by Kyle Gold. Above left to right: Fireflies, Open Mind, Lime Melody

California Dreaming

San Francisco-based artist Kyle Gold creates brilliant dream-like illustrations, evoking 60s-era psychedelia, that explore contemporary themes including mental health and sexuality.

Kyle enhances many of his artworks with simple eye-catching animations (view gallery) which helps them to stand out in the crowded online marketplace. We spoke to Kyle about his motivations, selling his art as NFTs and their wider environmental impact.

Why do you create? What drives you?

I get so much joy out of creating, and from watching my art grow and improve. Sometimes I compare it to meditation. These days I mostly draw digitally on an iPad using the Procreate application. I get really focused on what I'm drawing and my worries and problems seem to melt away. I love being able to bring ideas from my imagination to life.

Rose Petal Kisses

How do you promote yourself and your art?

I think in terms of promoting NFTs, it's all about Twitter. I came over from Instagram and the power of promoting NFTs on Twitter vs. Instagram is really night and day. Having the ability to add a clickable link to available works makes it really convenient for people to collect.

Where did you sell your first NFT?

I minted my first NFT on Rarible. At the time I didn't really know what I was doing nor did I fully understand the technology, but I just wanted to try it out. It was an old black and white drawing. I minted it right before the boom happened; and it only cost me $16 to mint. At the time I felt like $16 was too expensive! It's funny how fast things move in the NFT space.

Do you worry about the environmental impact of NFTs?

Yes, I absolutely worry about the environmental impact of NFTs. I believe that the market is just getting started, and we really have no idea how much energy crypto in general will be using in 5 or 10 years from now, as more widespread adoption occurs. Minting on POS chains is a really good option because they use a small fraction of the energy that POW chains use. Most of my earliest NFTs were minted on Waves, and most of my newer NFTs are minted on Tezos; so I'm a big supporter of the lower energy options out there.

Do you have a preferred way to sell your NFTs?

I've been all in on Tezos lately. I like the technology, and I like the platforms: H=N and Kalamint. I think both of them are really pushing boundaries in the NFT space and I look forward to seeing what things will look like in a year or two from now. Despite ETH being full of potential, in its current state it is not very friendly to newer artists that are not able to afford all the transaction fees.

Blockchain Honey

Do you have any advice for younger artists?

The best advice I can give is to be consistent with practice and effort. Making art is often frustrating, and it can be easy to get discouraged when your ability does not match up with your vision for your art. Something that keeps me from getting too discouraged is looking back at my art from 6 months ago. Seeing how far I've come always pushes me forward, and I think that's a really useful practice for younger artists as well.

What are your future ambitions?

Getting my work shown in physical galleries is definitely a dream of mine. I'd also like to travel to France and see everything in the Louvre, and visit Monet's garden.

Huge thanks to Kyle Gold for answering our questions. You can buy Kyle's amazing NFT artworks on H=N and Kalamint, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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