For more than a decade, Diana “Didi” Contreras has made a name for herself in the street art game with her colorful, bright portraits of women donning walls from Miami to Boynton Beach. Now she’s taking things digital with NFTs. Also known as “non-fungible tokens,” these digital assets allow artists to monetize their digital art and protect themselves from dupes. Like a physical copy, the original can only be owned by one person; artists can also earn royalties. Funded by the Miami Lit Podcast, Contreras’ first NFT (dubbed Smoke Show) sold earlier this year for $1,000—and she’s hooked.
“I’m getting a lot of new people who are interested in my art,” she says. “Then the people who are already collectors are interested in investing in my work through NFTs.” One collector even showed Contreras where he “hung” one of her art pieces in a digital house he purchased. (The art can be viewed via a virtual reality headset.) While the new crypto world is an exciting venture for Contreras, she says she doesn’t think she could leave behind canvas and spray paint. “I love making art using my hands. I love painting and textures.”