How Beeple Turned His Hobby Into A multimillion-dollar Business

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Introduction

Beeple is the pseudonym of Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Wisconsin. Beeple started making digital art when he was 13 years old. He paid $500 for a copy of Maya to create 3D art. In college, he studied graphic design and made money by selling NFTs on OpenSea (an NFT marketplace). Every day since May 1, 2007, Beeple has created a new work of art and posted it on his website. Beeple has made artwork for corporations and brands like Disney and Louis Vuitton for upwards of $50,000 per commission. In 2020, Beeple made $3.5 million from selling his NFTs. When asked about why he chooses to do an art project every day even though (presumably) only some of them are commissioned pieces with monetary value assigned to them, he said “I think how I approach it is that I never do work on spec because that just leads to an incredibly exploitative relationship with yourself.” While many artists who don’t focus on digital art have apparently been critical of NFTs as a kind of novelty or gimmick (although some have created NFTs themselves), Beeple says that digital art has always been undervalued by the creative industry at large and so this new art platform feels like validation to him

Beeple is the pseudonym of Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Wisconsin.

Beeple is the pseudonym of Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Wisconsin. His real name is Michael Winkelmann.

Mike was born in 1977 and grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he majored in communication arts and design. After graduating college, Mike moved to Chicago for a time before returning home to Appleton and starting his own design business there called Beeple Creative (originally named “Beeple” until someone else took it).

Beeple started making digital art when he was 13 years old.

Beeple started making digital art when he was 13 years old. His first NFT was a painting of a pyramid made in the style of M. C. Escher, and it sold for $20 on OpenSea.

After that, Beeple continued to make more paintings throughout his teenage years and into adulthood. He uploads images to his website regularly, but also sells them through other digital marketplaces like Rare Bits and CryptoPunks (now called EtherBots).

The majority of Beeple’s work is inspired by nature: trees, oceans—he even has an entire

series named “The Deep Blue Sea.” In fact, he told us that these pieces are actually his favorite to create!

As a teen, Beeple paid $500 for a copy of Maya to create 3D art.

Beeple started making digital art when he was 13 years old. He paid $500 for a copy of Maya to create 3D art, which makes him one of the first artists to use this software.

Maya is a 3D modeling software that’s used by many artists and game developers to create movies such as Avatar and video games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

In college, he studied graphic design.

Beeple studied graphic design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he learned about digital art from his professors and 3D modeling from a book he bought. In college, Beeple’s friend and fellow artist, Cryptograffiti (who later became an NFT artist as well), introduced him to Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their use in gaming.

Every day, since May 1, 2007, Beeple has created a new work of art and posted it on his website.

  • Beeple is the pseudonym of Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Wisconsin. As a teenager he used to spend hours in front of his computer breaking down images from popular culture and recreating them in 3D. It was when he was 13 years old that the artist decided to begin working with Maya, spending $500 for a copy of the software package. The name “Beeple” comes from an early nickname given by his friends: “You should be called Beeple because you make all these cool beeps and boops.”
  • Since May 1, 2007, every day since then has brought us another new work of art by Mr. Winkelmann on his website (which is also known as Beeple). His creations are inspired by sci-fi movies like Star Wars or 2001: A Space Odyssey but also classic horror flicks such as Alien or Phantasm II

Beeple has made artwork for corporations and brands like Disney and Louis Vuitton for upwards of $50,000 per commission.

Beeple has made artwork for corporations and brands like Disney and Louis Vuitton for upwards of $50,000 per commission, including one that was recently featured in the New York Times.

He’s also been commissioned by the likes of The New Yorker, Nike and Coca Cola. In addition to his commercial work, Beeple also teaches workshops about his “artistic process” which helps make him a multimillionaire.

In 2020, Beeple made $3.5 million from selling his NFTs.

In 2020, Beeple made $3.5 million from selling his NFTs. He sold NFTs of his artwork to collectors and investors around the world.

NFTs are digital artworks that can be bought, sold and traded on the blockchain. They’re like little digital pieces of art that you can own forever—you don’t have to worry about them being lost or destroyed because they live in a computer system!

When asked about why he chooses to do an art project every day even though (presumably) only some of them are commissioned pieces with monetary value assigned to them, he said “I think how I approach it is that I never do work on spec because that just leads to an incredibly exploitative relationship with yourself.”

When asked about why he chooses to do an art project every day even though (presumably) only some of them are commissioned pieces with monetary value assigned to them, he said “I think how I approach it is that I never do work on spec because that just leads to an incredibly exploitative relationship with yourself.”

The point here is not that you should stop creating your art or stop working towards making a living doing what you love. But if we’re going to call out people who make money off their passion, let’s also talk about how we can be more thoughtful and intentional about the ways in which we do so.

While many artists who don’t focus on digital art have apparently been critical of NFTs as a kind of novelty or gimmick (although some have created NFTs themselves), Beeple says that digital art has always been undervalued by the creative industry at large and so this new art platform feels like validation to him.

“I think people who don’t make digital art have the idea that it’s kind of a novelty, or it’s not valuable,” he says. “But I think the truth is digital artists have been undervalued by the creative industry at large for a long time.”

NFTs are an opportunity to change that. As Beeple puts it: “It feels like validation because [NFTs] are going to be seen as real art by people who otherwise wouldn’t look at my work.”

A digital artist’s perspective on the NFT market

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a digital item that’s unique and cannot be replicated. It’s similar to how you can’t replicate an artist’s painting or a rare baseball card—it’s one of a kind.

The next question is: why would you want this type of token? NFTs are more valuable than regular cryptocurrency because they can’t be copied or faked. In other words, the value lies in their scarcity and uniqueness—and so does your own personal valuation of them! Your collection represents your taste in art and music if you’re using them for collecting purposes or just for funzies on Beeple Island. If a company wants to create an NFT as part of their marketing strategy (like Cryptokitties did), it could potentially help them stand out from competitors within their industry.

Conclusion

When asked about why he chooses to do an art project every day even though (presumably) only some of them are commissioned pieces with monetary value assigned to them, he said “I think how I approach it is that I never do work on spec because that just leads to an incredibly exploitative relationship with yourself.”

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