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1/1 Artist Spotlight: highdemand

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highdemand

ONE37pm's 1/1 Artist Spotlight is a series that focuses on giving love to 1 of 1 NFT Artists. Whether they're from the traditional art world or just got started in art through web3, we want to highlight and help you get to know those who are up and coming.

A 1/1 NFT is a unique, one-of-a-kind digital collectible where no other exists other than the piece itself.  Each 1/1 collection has a limited amount of editions available, with the number dictated by the artist. We hope to introduce you to talented and incredible people in the NFT space and the reasons they love doing what they do.

Jon Anderson, also known as Highdemand, is an NFT artist based in Tennessee best known for his expressionist style.

"I'm always trying to convey a feeling in my works, but still leave room for the viewer to interpret their own idea of what they think the story behind the piece is," Anderson told ONE37pm. "Even when I paint a piece like "Before the Crucifixion" where everybody knows the story behind it, I'm always trying to convey the emotion & intensity of the moment the image is set in. It's always been about the expression for me."

You can view his work on Superrare.

Before the Crucifixion
Before the Crucifixion / highdemand

How has your artist journey changed since joining NFTs? How did you start?

Oh man, it's changed tremendously. Before NFTs I was working with Musicians on things like Album Artwork and Merch Rollouts. I've worked at a screen printing facility for the last 3-4 years as Lead Designer & Production Manager, so for a while I was really leaning heavily on Merch Design. But as most of us know, commission work can be so demoralizing. Even when you're working with some of your favorite artists. So when I first saw some of my friends like Etiene Crauss & Loopify getting into the NFT scene I was incredibly interested in the fact that we could monetize our ORIGINAL works & ideas. This was around September 2020, I sold my first piece on my birthday that month for 1 Ethereum, which wildly enough was only $286 at that time. The feeling of selling one of my original concepts for upwards of $300 was incredible to me. I was so beyond excited, it felt like I finally opened a door to a new career, even though none of us had any idea that the NFT Scene would blow up into what it is today. So that's how I got my foot into the door that is the NFT Space. The rest is history.

Do you prefer physical or digital art?

As far as my own works, I definitely prefer the Traditional Route. My first few handfuls of work in the Scene were all digital, but the moment I got into studying painting I knew that was the route for me. There's nothing like the feeling of starting a new canvas, wrestling with it to bring your idea to life, the changes that happen throughout the process and then the final product. It might be exactly what you initially planned on painting, or turn out to be an entirely new idea all together. That feeling of laying down that last brush stroke & taking a step back, saying "That's it, it's finished" is better than any other feeling I can think of.

Who or what are some of your biggest inspirations?

I definitely feel like it shows in my work, but my biggest inspiration visually is Francis Bacon. The way that he created such emotional, expressive and sometimes grotesque imagery, while still leaving room for you to see the beauty in it. That has always stuck with me, and has inspired most of my work.

Some of my other inspirations are: George Condo, Zoran Music, Van Gogh, Lucien Freud, Pablo Picasso, David Lynch, Rembrandt. Too many to name, to be honest.

What is your favorite piece?

My personal favorite of my own works would be "The Housefire". Being based on the house fire my family experienced in 2011, It really felt relieving to express that event in my life in such a way. In a weird way it almost gave some closure to finally face that situation head-on. I just really love that piece & feel like I really nailed the intensity of that moment.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?

For me, it always has & always will be about pushing myself to new heights artistically. I'm a guy who is never satisfied with my skill level, I want to get better with every single canvas. I hope to just keep improving this year, hold my solo exhibition at some point, get into an ACTUAL studio space, and really just continue to reach new heights as far as my name as an artist in the scene. 

When do you feel most inspired to create?

Really for me, when it hits me, I know. I'm not one of those people who like.. don't sleep because I'm "grinding". I have 3 children & a Fiance that I have to divide my time with. Sometimes I will go weeks without even picking up a brush. But to me, I feel like every aspect that goes into a piece, is considered creating. Whether it's just sitting & trying to find inspiration, calculating my next stroke, studying. It's all a part of the process for me. The work goes further than actually laying paint down, you know? So basically just when I FEEL it, I get down to it. I don't really have another way to explain it. I just don't force it. 

Who are 3 artists you have your eyes on at the moment?

Oh man, only 3? That's tough.I'd say that the 3 that I (and most people) have their eyes on at all times are: Tjo, Omentejovem and Karisma. One of my favorite things about these artists and just art in general, is how distinct one's work can be. I can't think of 3 artists whose work you recognize immediately more than them. Truly masters of their craft.

But I want to give you 3 UNDERRATED Artists in the space if I may. People I think folks should keep an eye on (more). Bhareboy, Baire, Freebac. What these guys are doing is incredible & honestly, only a matter of time before they break their ceiling. 

What advice would you give to an artist starting in the space right now?

If you're just starting, just please stay true to yourself and to your art. Try to get better with every piece you create. And when you DO find success, even if only a little, harness that & push yourself forward. 

I've been here for over 2 years now, there are highs & lows, if someone told me back then that "you might go a year without a sale after hitting a major all time high", I might've not grown complacent. When the numbers are down, focus on your craft. You might just fuck around & produce work that can't be overlooked. 

And when the success comes, don't regurgitate what was successful, always try to push yourself. You can always be better.

Would you rather be relatable or aspirational to your audience?

I would like to be both. I want people to aspire to have the amount of success that I've had as of late, but I ALSO want them to know that I'm just another guy who lives in small-town Tennessee & likes to paint. I want to be relatable, but also inspire them to put in the work needed to get somewhere in this space. 

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