In 2021, a new creator economy was born on the blockchain. Since NFTs took center stage, artists have achieved NFT superstardom, billion-dollar brands have been forged in just a few months, and lives have been utterly transformed time and again. Yet, the most inspiring thing about the NFT space is the number of artists of all creeds and mediums who have found community and support by embracing this technology.
In keeping with our mission to empower creators, we present Next Up — our monthly franchise dedicated to showcasing rising artists. Although the NFT space has changed significantly over the last few years, one thing has remained true: the sheer volume of creative talent in Web3 only continues to grow. In our April edition, we’ve curated a list of five ascendant talents who have been making significant waves throughout Web3.
Jude Abu Zaineh
Jude Abu Zaineh is a Palestinian-Canadian interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her art spans multiple mediums, with her photography and neon glass installations remaining some of the most identifiable facets of her extensive catalog. She employs art, food, and technology to investigate the meanings of culture, displacement, diaspora, and belonging. Through these works, she examines ideals of home and community while working to develop aesthetics rooted in her childhood and upbringing in the Middle East.
Parin Heidari is an Italy-based, ambidextrous, multidisciplinary artist who uses single lines to deconstruct, interpret and explore ideas. She aims to simplify complex problems by highlighting basic elements and colors to convey her own visualization of the deepest emotions humans can feel. Although Heidari worked as a creative director and graphic designer around the world for over a decade prior to venturing into a solo art career, she seems to have truly hit stride in the NFT space where she has received numerous accolades and become a featured TimePieces artist.
Rae Isla is an independent, Seattle-based singer-songwriter and Web3 music pioneer. Classically trained in cello, she studied voice and business at Berklee College of Music before launching her career as an indie musician while living in Brooklyn, NY. Since self-producing and releasing her first EP, she’s been featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Complex, sold over 1,000 NFTs, and set off on a Web3-powered tour, speaking on panels, showcasing her music, and releasing digital collectibles along the way.
Rodrigo Rezende, better known in the NFT space as RWR2, is an accomplished Brazilian artist based in Toronto, Canada. His unique works, which span a variety of mediums — including images, videos, and 3D sculptures — delve into contemporary culture, behavior, and the human experience. In addition to working as Art Director for the animation, VFX, and digital innovation studio Tendril, RWR2 has become revered in Web3 as a creator and curator of odd, beautiful, and sometimes uncomfortable NFTs.
Rosalvo Melo is a London-based motion designer and musician whose client work includes names like Adele, The Rolling Stones, A$AP Rocky, and London Grammar. Having honed his craft professionally for over a decade, Melo entered the NFT space in 2021, making a splash with his colorful, fantastical, and often space/alien-themed works. Many of his pieces (his SuperRare genesis Hover, in particular) have led to him becoming a sensation on social media and receiving accolades and endorsements from numerous prominent names in Web3.