Bita Emami, an artist hailing from Iran, has carved a niche for herself in the realm of collage art. Her captivating works, characterized by a moody, layered, and reflective nature, often draw inspiration from historical motifs and themes, creating a bridge between past and present. In the vibrant and evolving community surrounding the Tezos blockchain, Bita’s art has not only been widely collected but has also garnered the admiration and respect of both collectors and fellow artists. Her artistic journey, which we delve into in this focused interview, reveals a blend of innate talent and relentless self-improvement. Bita’s early inclination towards the arts was nurtured through her youth, leading to a distinctive style that seamlessly combines a deep sense of self-belief, with a commitment to continuous skill refinement.
Equally noteworthy is Bita’s approach to the various digital art platforms she chooses to showcase and allow others to view, and collect, her art on. While her work is highly regarded in the Tezos blockchain ecosystem, she doesn’t limit herself to it alone. Her egalitarian stance on the use of various blockchains also reflects a broader vision of accessibility in the art world; a perspective that’s particularly significant in the digital art landscape, where the choice of blockchain can have a major impact on an artist’s reach and the audience’s access to their work. Throughout our conversation, Bita sheds light on her own artistic evolution, her philosophical approach to her medium, and her views on the ever-changing dynamics of blockchain technology in the digital art, and collage, communities.
Could you share some insights into your upbringing and its relationship with the arts? What initially attracted you to visual culture?
From a very young age, I was immersed in the world of art, largely thanks to my father who was deeply involved in the performing arts. He would often share his passion for art with me, igniting a spark of interest that has stayed with me ever since. My serious journey into the arts began in 2018 when I delved into photography. This initial exploration was quickly followed by a fascination with Photoshop, and gradually, my interest expanded into the realm of collage. This broadening of my artistic skills marked a significant turning point in my creative journey.
Did you receive any formal arts training in your youth? If so, could you describe what that training involved?
Regrettably, I never had the opportunity to attend an art university due to personal circumstances. However, I firmly believe that an artist is born with inherent talent, which can be honed and refined through diligent practice. Despite the absence of formal art education, I have continuously worked to enhance my skills by observing, learning, and practicing on my own, proving that education isn’t the only path to artistic mastery.
You distribute and allow others to collect your work as NFTs. Can you discuss your initial experiences with using blockchain for distributing your work? Additionally, could you reflect on your artistic journey before you began minting NFTs? How has this method of showcasing and allowing your work to be collected influenced your creative process?
The advent of NFTs dramatically transformed my life. In 2021, I ventured into publishing my artworks for the first time. Prior to this, I was employed in advertising, working as a photographer and graphic artist. However, this line of work didn’t quite fulfill me creatively. Embracing NFTs allowed me to fully express my feelings and showcase my art to a global audience. Previously, my collage works were more of a casual pursuit and I often doubted their quality. NFTs provided the distribution and the confidence I needed to take my work more seriously.
Speaking of your process, you are known in the Tezos community for your collages. Could you delve into how you approach digital and physical, in your work?
I make it a point to share the creative process behind my artworks, as I find this aspect quite fascinating. Most of my creations are digital, but I also indulge in crafting handmade pieces. These are something I’m considering showcasing in the future, adding another dimension to my artistic expression.
Your works span a wide range, from pop culture figures of the past to motifs from old master paintings. Could you talk about the specific historical periods that inspire you and how you incorporate these elements into your work?
My artistic influences are a blend of Renaissance masterpieces and the vibrant energy of pop art, notably the works of Andy Warhol. Living in Iran, I find myself at the intersection of these two contrasting artistic eras. We have a modern lifestyle, yet our thoughts and interests often hark back to earlier times. This dichotomy is possibly why I resonate with and simultaneously incorporate elements from both these artistic movements in my work. It’s as if our art speaks volumes without us even realizing it, bridging the old and the new.
Is there a particular type of material you prefer for creating your collages? Where do you source your materials?
I find a unique allure in everyday materials that others might overlook, such as old magazines and various types of paper usually considered as junk. These materials often capture my attention, drawing me to their interesting textures and potential for artistic transformation. I habitually collect anything that strikes me as visually intriguing, seeing artistic value in the mundane.
You stand out as an artist who operates across multiple blockchain platforms, extending beyond Ethereum, Tezos, and Solana. Could you discuss your reasons for embracing this multi-chain approach? How did you decide to mint on various chains?
I believe in not confining myself to a single location when it comes to my art. Working in diverse environments allows me to meet new people who can contribute to my growth as an artist. While Tezos is my primary blockchain, I’m open to exploring others as opportunities arise.
There’s a fun new development on the horizon: a new blockchain created by Nik Kalyani, which is called Viruveo. This technology promises a unique approach where artists won’t need to heavily focus on self-promotion. Instead, it encourages them to concentrate more on their artistic work and creativity, which is a refreshing change in the digital art space.
Is there any advice or insight, gained from your own experience as an artist, that you’d like to pass on to other artists?
I am truly grateful for being selected for this interview; and to all my fellow artists out there, I want to convey that although the journey toward the future may be fraught with challenges and unexpected twists. Though, if you have belief in yourself and your art, you will navigate any obstacle you face. So, my advice, is to stay true to your own vision, and maintain your perseverance—because it will lead you to success.