Nyla Hayes was just a normal teenager. Until a year ago. When she started selling her art on an NFT platform, everything suddenly changed. Now the 13-year-old is not only famous, but also a multi-millionaire. This is their secret to success…
Never heard of NFT? Nyla Hayes also didn’t know what to do when her uncles encouraged her to monetize her digital images in 2021. Because the principle of so-called NFTs is very simple: NFT stands for “non-fungible token”. “Non-fungible” means that a file is unique, such as an original song, video, or drawing, and each portrait of Hayes is unique in its own way.
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Nyla Hayes draws women with long necks
The teenager’s drawings feature iconic women – from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Lucille Ball – as well as ordinary women. And when she’s done, Hayes posts her artwork on an NFT website where people can buy it with cryptocurrency.
“I love drawing women from all over the world because I really love different cultures and different backgrounds,” says the digital artist.
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And there’s one detail that makes Hayes’ designs stand out – a stretched neck. Hayes draws her sitters with an elongated neck, a trait common to the 3,000 portraits in her collection, and she explains that the distinctive trait stems from her childhood.
When she was younger, Hayes was fascinated by the Bronto dinosaurs. They are still her inspiration today – and the namesake of her art, which she needed to turn her artwork into masterpieces.
Nyla Hayes earns several thousand euros per NFT image
“At first, I just wanted to bring together two things that I love, and that was a brontosaurus and women,” she says. “I wanted to show how beautiful and strong women are, and that’s how I thought of Brontosaurus.”
The young artist now earns several thousand euros per photo. But how did Hayes start making NFTs?
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Hayes’ mother, Latoya, says she bought her daughter a smartphone when she was nine because she was “really into art.” “I could see how passionate she was about her art and I just thought I wanted to support her somehow. That’s exactly what I did,” says Latoya.
Before Hayes started making big money, she drew her portraits on her smartphone and only showed them to family and friends. She was “nervous that people didn’t like it or find it weird”.
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Family supports Nyla Hayes with her NFT art
But with a little encouragement from their uncles, Hayes and his mother decided to look into NFTs to see if it could be a lucrative market for them.
“Honestly, when I first heard about NFTs, I honestly didn’t know anything about it. But I’ve wanted to publish my art for a while, so it was a good platform to do that,” says Hayes retrospectively.
When she started selling NFTs, she never imagined her business would be so successful. “I just thought it would be cool to show my art and see how people react,” Hayes says. “I didn’t expect it to explode like that.”
Hayes says none of this would have happened without her mother’s support. “I need it,” she laughs. “It’s like my right hand because I’m left-handed.”