How Is Twitter Helping Latinas in NFT?

Photo courtesy of Twitter Belatina latinx
Photo courtesy of Twitter

Did you know that women make up only 32 percent of the NFTs even though they are constantly on top of what is going on in the world of NFTs? There is interest, but some barriers exist, so Twitter is stepping up to the plate. 

Now, before we get into it, let’s unpack NFTs. 

NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – are all the hype right now. It seems as though they took over the art world in a blink of an eye, but their presence has, in fact, been growing since 2017. 

The uniqueness of NFTs is what differentiates them from traditional art. Though they are digital, it is sold with rights, and as we wrote in a recent article, it is also recorded on the blockchain of a cryptocurrency – and we all know by now that crypto isn’t going anywhere.

After NFTs started gaining popularity, especially after one sold for $69 million, everyone started to dig deeper into what this could mean for artists, buyers, collectors, or even regular folks like you and me. 

Many people speculate this is yet another venue where the mega-rich can continue to inflate their already (unnecessarily) large egos. However, this could also be an opportunity for people from underserved communities, such as women — particularly Latinas—to thrive. 

Twitter understands this and has used its platform to be a resource for women interested in NFTs. Due to this, it has launched its first-ever women-led NFT community: Women in NFTs.

As Twitter cultivates their platform into a place where women can learn about the NFT market, they also take bold moves through initiatives such as NFT Profile Pictures, which provides a way for people to display their unique, verified NFTs and for the public to clearly recognize that a customer owns the NFT in their profile picture. 

Since then, thousands of creators have shared their art; Twitter selected and purchased multiple projects from up-and-coming women artists, among others, and set them as the handle’s NFT Profile Picture, exposing them and their art to 60M people globally. 

Without missing too much of a beat, plenty of Latinas are starting to jump to the plate and using NFTs to express themselves and benefit from the financial winnings this industry can bring.  

This month, we spoke to two Latinas in NFT,  Jimena Buena Vida and Alyssia Aguilar, to get their special perspectives about how Twitter is helping them in their NFT venture and what it means to be Latinas involved in this industry, among other things. 

The interview has been edited and condensed

First, we learned a bit about them.

Jimena: I am an abstract artist and mother based in the United States, born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. As an introvert, I’m inspired by regaining our voices and truly tapping back into our creative expressions through exploration and creativity. I believe each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.

Alyssia: I am known as “The Lofty Mom” on social media. I am married to my soulmate, Mark Aguilar, and together we have two little girls aged 4 and 5 years old. I am a born and raised Texan and proud Latina! I have always been creative and first came to love fashion and grew it into wanting to be a fashion designer. I graduated at 17, went into a small trade school for a fashion degree, and didn’t even walk the stage for my associates. I landed an internship in NYC and moved to be in the city and live out my dream! After returning to Texas, I started my career in retail management and then met my husband. We instantly fell in love, and he changed my life forever. Motherhood quickly re-routed my life and goals and turned them into being a full-time mommy. 

In 2017, our lives would completely change after the loss of our son, Mark Anthony II. During that time, I relied on my art to truly help me heal and cope with his loss. I found that my art was valuable and a great way for me to give back and honor my son’s life. Fast forward to February 2020, I learned about the NFT space through Clubhouse and knew this was a true game-changer. 

Then, we dived into their inspiration behind entering the world of NFTs. 

Jimena: I entered the space because I was excited to be able to sell my art online. I decided to stay because I connected with talented individuals that inspired me (still do) daily, and we started forming a community; I became passionate about the idea that art and technology are a way to create deep human connections.  

Alyssia: After learning about NFTs and how they were an incredible opportunity for creatives to share what they love. It was a no-brainer. I love finding ways to put myself out there. To take a risk and see where it leads me. I had been stuck on Instagram posting work that would sit and not be “for sale.” So I was so eager to create and start posting my NFTs. My opportunity to not only share my work but share who I was as a wife, mother, woman, and Latina. Sharing my story through my art inspires me to truly not hold back and to be authentic and create organic content.

Because we are all curious – how can NFTs be life-changing for the Latine community?

Jimena: NFTs offer a way for diverse and underrepresented artists to get more eyes on their art and connect with collectors, which allows them to sell their work. There is still a huge imbalance, and the space needs much more representation of diverse communities, which is why I often say that this journey isn’t easy – it requires a lot of courage and bravery. But with patience and consistent actions, I firmly believe any artist can find their place and make sales in the NFT space.  

Alyssia:  Having a cryptocurrency alone allows anyone a new way of income. And sharing your talents can help break generational debts. Aside from that, I believe the Latine community needs to share our abilities and show up for our culture. Right now, this is all “new,” and we have the opportunity to show that we are part of the growth and formation of web3 as a community. Having our voices heard and our representation seen will only force web3 to give us the same opportunities others have.

Let’s talk about challenges.

Jimena: As an independent artist, mother, and partner, it has been challenging to try to be everywhere. In the beginning, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I was and still am learning about my art and business (being the marketer, the strategist, the spokeswoman, the creator, the podcaster, the website developer, the social media manager, etc.) while also running my household. I quickly experienced ‘burnout’ which led me to many learnings. Some of these lessons include better communication with my partner, effective time management, and learning to say “no.”

Alyssia:   When I first entered the space, I would always introduce myself as a Latina NFT Artist and would be proud of that. I then would have the room of men not only ignore my story and voice but also send me offers below my asking price. I have had men tell me that my art is “cute” or reminds them of their “kids’ art.” These words weren’t helping me feel valued. They were looking to tear me down and hurt my ego. I knew then that this would only make me louder and prouder. The value I have is because of those labels; they defined me as a woman, mother, and Latina. Those labels do not define me but show the true value of who I am. My daughters both have autism, meaning this could yet be another label they had to deal with in the future – and I didn’t want that. So, I am standing proud now to show them that no label will ever hold me (or them)  back. If I can inspire my two little Latinas to do the same, that alone will be my biggest success.

Usually, after overcoming challenges, oftentimes success follows. What are some of yours? 

Jimena: My NFTs are now in over 400 wallets and have been physically displayed in art galleries via digital screens and projectors in Beijing, China, Medellin, Colombia, Brooklyn, NY, and NYC, USA. My NFT art is in seven different NFT market places where collectors can purchase in Ethereum, Tezos, and USD. I’m excited to be selected as one of the launching artists and partners for the Coinbase NFT platform in Q3-Q4 2022. I love to experiment with the cultural and technological opportunities brought by NFTs and connect with the different members of the community! I find this journey very empowering and healing.

Alyssia:  My greatest accomplishment is that I have been able to grow organically on my own. I see the connections being made, and I am thrilled that it has all come to fruition through my daily efforts of just being me. I’ll always consider staying true to who I am in this space and always standing for what I believe is my success. Each and every NFT is a true piece of me and my journey.

How about some tips for other Latinas looking to get into NFTs?

Jimena: Educate yourself. Google and YouTube are wonderful resources to start understanding the main concepts. The journey is overwhelming if you expect to learn it all at once. Dissect it in small pieces and know only you can take action towards your own goals. Be patient and expect to feel frustrated. Take small little consistent actions. Connect with like-minded NFT community members via Twitter, Twitter Spaces, and Twitter Communities – like the Women in NFTs Community recently launched to provide women in the space with a safe place to connect and share insights. The Latinx community is growing fast with the hard work of many generous and talented artists sharing their wisdom and onboarding their community via Twitter Spaces and other apps. Connect with them, form your tribe.

Alyssia:  My tip would be to jump into Twitter’s Women In NFTs Community. This is a great tool that not only counts with a list of incredible members – both men and women – but also has a feed of Spaces to check out, other artists and creatives to connect with, and a safe space to ask questions. Plus, you will find me there daily! I am always open to helping answer questions and bridging new connections between people. I was the first to use the hashtag “#LatinaNFTArtist,” and now I see so many Latinas in the space, so many more amazing #’s to show for it.

Anything else you’d like to share with the BELatina News audience? 

Jimena: Together, with my friends Diana Pelenur and Daniel Urichoea, we host a series of LIVE talks on Twitter Spaces to give a voice to artists and educate the community on topics like web 3, security, community, technology, and any topic related to crypto art. These conversations can be accessed via podcast.

Alyssia:  NFTs are a great opportunity to shine your art and talents. If you choose to jump in, it’ll be a roller coaster filled with ups and downs, but you will find your tribe and great support in this space. If you choose to wait, just learn first and really test the waters. Remember to invite a friend to join you, and you both can learn and support each other while figuring it out. Stay true to who you are, and never be afraid to take a leap or risk for a bigger opportunity! You got this.