Ovie Faruq, better known as OSF is a former Wall Street trader who transitioned into a crypto artist. In addition to being a successful crypto artist he is the co-founder of the NFT investment fund Canary Labs and the NFT research platform DegenzNFT. He entered the crypto and NFT space in 2021 and in July 2022 OSF reached an all-time-high selling his piece ‘professional degen 4’ for 59.69 ETH on SuperRare.
Could you tell us about your story and how you got introduced to the NFT space?
Having been crypto-skeptic for many years, in 2021 I had a top-down view on low rates and rising inflation and finally bought some Bitcoin. My friend Mando was looking at NFTs and though I was skeptical at first, I eventually made the plunge.
What inspired you to start creating NFTs?
I used to draw/paint a lot as a kid and created a lot of digital art as a teenager. When I started collecting NFTs, it only felt natural to start creating again.
What was the first NFT you created?
The first one I created was actually a piece called ‘Just a Token’ which is in a totally different style to what I have now, but something I did as a test.
Which tools do you use to create?
iPad + Procreate, sometimes Photoshop.
What are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Can you speak to the community and fan engagement aspect of your art and how it plays a role in your creative process?
Community is everything as you probably know. I don't view myself as having fans, but I believe I have supporters and I want to reward people who support me and believe in the vision. I believe in winning together as a team.
What advice would they give someone starting out as a creator in the NFT field?
Understand that NFTs and traditional art are not the same thing. Spend some time identifying why some artists/NFT projects have failed and why some have succeeded. Learn from other people's mistakes to help you make the right decisions and TAKE YOUR TIME.
Could you tell us about DegenzNFT and what led you to start your own NFT project?
Degenz was originally one pfp project that failed because we weren't good at managing a community or building its IP. In January 2022 we decided to pivot to an NFT research platform and have spent the last year building that out; you can view it on degenz.finance.
What has been the most rewarding part of being involved in the NFT space?
Meeting people I never would have met in any other aspect of my life - lots of interesting people.
What do you think are the most important things for founders of NFT projects to keep in mind?
Put your holders first.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities within the NFT space in the coming 5 years? Culturally, artistically and financially?
Collecting pieces that are both culturally and historically significant. We're just 5-6 years into what is a digital renaissance; it's the opportunity of a lifetime.
As both a founder and creator, is there something that you feel is missing in the current NFT space?
People understanding what NFTs are supposed to be. They're supposed to be fun...about art...culture...possibly gaming. They're not necessarily an avenue to monetize consumers and I think people who buy NFTs are wise to that.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
Play the long game and never give up.
What is your favorite meme?
I love the bear market Pepe memes.