You may have read the news story on Lana Denina and her successful collection ‘The Mona Lana” that garnered over $1m in sales. But what you may not know, is that Lana is no flash in the pan. She is a serious artist who has been honing her craft for some time. In this week’s artist feature, Lana discussed the impact of having a successful collection, her new collection and where she’s headed.
What has your journey to NFTs been like?
I’ve started my journey 1 year ago. At this time I didn’t know anything about crypto and Web3. I had to learn everything so I could know exactly what NFTs were. From the point I understood the technology of NFTs and all the possibilities with it, I fell in love. I’ll say that since then there’s not one day when I haven’t learned something new and interesting. My journey has been incredible as an artist and I’ve been able to achieve so much for my career in just 1 year.
What is it like being a woman of color in the NFT space for you?
It’s a bit hard since we are only a few. However It is encouraging to see other women of color entering the space more and more. It is a big responsibility in my opinion, because you become a reference [for others].
Why is it important for women to be represented in NFTs?
So other women can feel seen and a part of the movement.
Tell us about your most recent collection, what was the motivation for that work?
My recent collection called The Mona Lana a collection of 500 portraits of diverse futuristic women randomly generated using 114 different traits. It is inspired of The Mona Lisa, 3-D printing and fashion design. I wanted to create a collection that would be easily accessible to a lot of collectors at the same time but where each collector will be owning a prestigious piece of art.
Were you surprised by its success?
I have been very surprised by its success and how it reached so many different types of people. I feel like this collection is really inclusive.
A lot has been said about the $ you’ve made but what else does the success of the collection mean to you?
It means so much more, I feel like my art has been seen and appreciated in a whole new level –which is incredible.
Can you describe your technique?
My paintings are mainly digital paintings made on digital canvas.
You’ve seen great success with your collection. Can you talk about the mechanics of creating a collection?
Creating a collection is like creating any project, you need a good structure, theme and strategy around the collection.
What has the success of the project and your work in NFTs been able to do for you? How has it changed your life?
I have been able to focus so much more on my art and evolve at a very rapid pace. It gave me strength and confidence to elevate my art.
You are using a very specific color palette in your work. What inspires the colors that you use?
I love neutral and deep colors such as beige, red and grey. They are colors that blend well with the skintones I’m painting and that always look elegant.
You received a bit of backlash from other artists speaking about how successful you’ve been in the space. How do you respond to the criticism?
I think ignorant criticism is a secret admiration, I never absorb any kind of negativity, only positivity.
Your work is sensual and somatic, is the body something you always explore in your work?
The subjects of my paintings are always the people I paint and then I create a universe around them. Thus, I use bodies a lot as an aesthetic element of my pieces.
How did you get involved with Cyber BAAT?
I met Linda a few months before creating the Mona Lana, she told me about her goals and dreams. When she launched Cyber Baat I knew how passionate and hard working she would be for this project. She reached out to me to be part of the DAO and I accepted immediately.
What was your inspiration to create Alla Prima?
Alla Prima was my first ever digital exhibition in the metaverse. It was a collection of 10 paintings around growth and intimate relationships. I’ve painted these paintings during a time of self-reflection where I’ve been observing human’s behaviours while going through traumatic experiences, anger, extreme sadness and healing. It is the second chapter of my painting’s story.
Connections and relationships seem to be a large theme in your work. Expressed both literally in the depictions of couples or moments of intimacy but also metaphorically with the use of thread. What is it about connection or about relationships that draws you to explore them in your art?
Humans are nothing without each other. That is why I always portray relationships in my paintings. Sometimes it will be relationships with themselves but it will always be linked to an emotional connection. I think humans are fascinating and this is why I paint them.
Tattoos coming soon? Using a literal body as the canvas perhaps?
Not for the moment! But I will definitely start tattoos again when I’m ready.