Lana Denina is a Canadian based painter and the creator of The Mona Lana collection. Her art centres around the representation of people of colour while exploring body movements and sexual freedom. Lana found NFTs early 2021 and reached an all-time high selling her piece ‘Yīnyáng’ in February 2022 for 4 ETH.
Could you tell us about your story and how you got introduced to the NFT space?
I got introduced to NFTs at the beginning of 2021, I’ve been told about NFTs and how great it would be for me as an artist. I had no knowledge about web3 nor even cryptocurrency, but it intrigued me. Knowing that there was something in crypto that could be beneficial for me as a digital artist made me curious about NFTs.
What inspired you to start creating NFTs?
Seeing other artists like Fewocious and Beeple motivated me a lot, I found it so beautiful to see digital artists being able to express themselves 100% digitally and also being able to sell their art all over the world through NFTs.
What was the first NFT you created?
The very first NFTs I’ve made was a kind of test I did on faribole when I had no idea what I was doing, it was actually a super nice animated portraits, however, I burned it as soon as I understood how to promote my NFTs. I then officially minted my first NFT on KnownOrigin called 'Wet Dream', the portrait of a man.
Which tools do you use to create?
My iPad Pro is my main tool since I make digital paintings.
What are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Art all across Africa and Asia, fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gauthier, painters such as Kerry James Marshall and Frida Kahlo, singers such as Dalida and Sade, black women.
What has been the most rewarding part of being involved in the NFT space?
Being able to meet artists and collectors from across the world and exhibit my art.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as a creator within the NFT space?
Explore the many possibilities there are and start when you are ready without ever putting too much pressure on yourself.
How do you cultivate a relationship with collectors?
By engaging with them and exchanging about art and life.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities within the NFT space in the coming 5 years? Culturally, artistically and financially?
Being one of the first artists in the space, having enough experience to teach others, using NFTs to create interesting buying experiences, giving back power to creators.
As a creator, is there something that you feel is missing in the current NFT space?
Missing a lot of diversity in the space overall such as collectors, builders, consumers, leaders.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
Focus on your craft.