As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about NFT women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Woods.
Many thanks for doing this for us; please let our users know about yourself and your NFT Arts?
So I have created pixelated art from some photographs I took of clubbing over the years in Ibiza. One that I have on OpenSea is a picture taken from the DJ decks at a party which I was working at in Space Ibiza in 2012. Space Ibiza has now closed and it was a very iconic club, so I thought it would be cool to experiment and make my first art NFT using that as the inspiration.
I don’t really consider myself an NFT artist though, I just wanted to go through the whole process myself and experiment so I can better explain the process to others.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
From 2018 I was working in various Blockchain startups for 2 years doing marketing and PR and creating content about the benefits and use cases of the tech.
I was writing articles about NFTs in the wake of the CryptoKitties phenomenon, 3 years later it’s exciting to see how far NFTs have come and how many people are now interacting with Blockchain tech. Prior to 2018 I worked in electronic music and events for 8 years, in A&R, promotions and marketing.
I got to work with some amazing artists such as Nile Rodgers, Avicii and Fatboy Slim. I was also Marketing Manager for SW4, which was London’s biggest electronic music festival at the time, so it was a lot of fun working with great artists and events and I began to really miss this during the pandemic.
With my years of experience in Blockchain I am now returning to electronic music to help share my knowledge and to help artists, brands and collectives to utilise NFTs and navigate Web3. I am currently mentoring some artists interested in releasing Music NFTs and I am really passionate about what is being called ‘Music3’, Web3 for music. I think the current business model for music is broken, it is skewed in the favour of big corporations and middlemen while the artist gets a paltry cut of the revenue of their own creation. I am very hopeful that Web3 can bring about a revolution in this area and I want to help advocate for this, share information and get as many people involved as possible, especially women.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?
There have been a few! When I set up my Metamask and Coinbase wallets (which you need to purchase NFTs) I was adding funds into there in order to be able to buy NFTs. I thought the funds had been hacked or stolen somehow but because I had switched to a different network, they were only visible when I switched back to that network. Took me a while to figure that out which was a bit embarrassing.
Do you think NFTs, which are open to virtual reality, could adversely impact our health due to increased screen time?
Potentially yes, if we are spending too much time there. But you could say exactly the same for gaming and social media or using your phone, it’s addictive and you get the dopamine hit from getting likes and messages that keep you checking back. It’s so important to take screen breaks and while VR, AR & the Metaverse is exciting it’s important to still be grounded in reality for our long term mental health. Spending time moving and being in nature as much as possible too can help rejuvenate us and mitigate the effect of the time we’re spending on screens, in VR etc.
What do you think could be the future of NFT? How useful can they be for everyone?
I think NFTs will be a huge part of businesses in the future. We are already seeing big companies and brands like Disney are rumoured to be buying NFT infrastructure so they can implement them into their business offerings. I think offering NFTs for many products sold online will simply become the norm. What I find most exciting about NFTs for the future is the revolution in ownership that they bring and also the power of the community connected to it. I have already mentioned a bit about musicians in particular and how NFTs can give them greater control over the revenue of their creation as well as what they put out to the public. It is hard enough to make a living as a creative as it is and for example with Spotify an artist will receive as little as $0.0084 per play of their music and the lion’s share of the revenue will go to the label/Spotify. That doesn’t really seem fair.
With NFTs, musicians have the opportunity to build really close connections to their community and reward their loyalty by offering them exclusive content and access. As a fan, this is exciting because you are closer than ever before to your favourite artist.
As an artist, you have a committed tribe behind you who are in many ways, investors. Some artists have taken this literally and offered NFTs which give holders a percentage of the royalties of their music.
In this scenario, fans are even more committed to your success because they have invested in your NFTs. It’s really powerful. I think it frees the artist to be their most creative, authentic self and give even more value to their fans which I think then circles back around and engenders greater excitement and loyalty.
How do you hope to guide the users through the NFT encyclopedia?
Some of the concepts of blockchain and NFTs can be quite tricky to explain to people who are completely new to it. So I read a lot and am always looking for easier ways to explain things so more people can see the benefits and get involved. I think a great place to start is the NFTs For Dummies book, it does a great job of breaking down the key ideas but also gives step by step guides to creating an account on OpenSea for example all the way to deploying your own Smart Contract.
It takes time to fully understand everything and things are evolving and changing at a fast pace, but it’s important to remember these are still the early days and it’s going to take time to understand everything if you’re new to it. I have been in the space since 2018 and I am still always learning and discovering new things! It’s an ongoing process.
The future of the digital world might be ruled by blockchain and cryptocurrency. Do you think it would be challenging for all age groups to gain knowledge about the same? How can we educate them?
Hopefully, we won’t need to educate everyone on the intricacies of it in order for them to use and interact with it. For example, if you think of the internet. At first people didn’t really understand what it was or how it worked, some people still don’t know exactly how it works now but we are interacting with it everyday because we access key services that we need via the internet, such as banking, shopping etc.
Blockchain will be like the internet. It is the technology that will underpin services that we will use on a day to day basis so we won’t really need to know how it’s working in order to interact with it, unless we are building DApps or minting our own NFTs. DApps will essentially be the new websites and buying NFTs will just be like buying digital products.
What are some upcoming programs you hope to launch this year?
This year I will be working with musicians, brands and events to advise and help them to launch their own NFTs and Web3 projects, which is exciting. I am also a Publicist and will be helping tech and music companies to promote their offerings. It is definitely an exciting time to be in this space and the intersection of blockchain and music is very exciting to me.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I would really like to have been able to have helped a lot of musicians to launch their own Web3 and NFTs projects and give them greater control over their IP. I want to have helped people and been a part of driving music on Web3 forward and shining a light on amazing talents and initiatives. If I can do that in some capacity, I’ll be happy.
Mention your top 5 NFT collections?
Any female entrepreneur who inspires you the most in the Metaverse field and in the blockchain industry?
My friend Sophie Donkin has just been made COO of RDX Works, which is a scalable DeFi network that is easy for developers to build on. I have known Sophie for years and worked closely with her so I am really proud and happy to see her in a driving position in one of the most exciting projects in the DeFi according to a recent Coin Telegraph Report.
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?