NFTs, cars and how a vehicle designer’s combining the two + WIN your own NFT

Before about a year ago, the term ‘NFT’ had almost never been head before.

But combine the highest recorded price of Bitcoin ever, the emergence of countless trading platforms for Crypto and the emergence of equally as countless artists and designers discovering what it means to create and sell NFTs, there’s been a BOOM in activity in the space. But what is it and why should you care?

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are pieces of digital collateral that can really be anything (such as drawings, music, your brain downloaded and turned into an AI), but a lot of the current excitement is around using the tech to sell digital art. The Verge explains what they are and how they work really well.

They matter because of a few different reasons, but none so much as that they’re fast becoming a new store of value and collectible item, namely in art.

Which is where Mike Turner comes into it. He’s the designer we’re referring to in the headline and his speciality is cars – or we should say Crypto-Carz specifically.

A vehicle designer with over 25 years’ experience, Mike has started producing clunky-but-cute stylised CAD versions of iconic road and race cars – inspired by early Low Poly (low polygon count) video game graphics from his youth.

His work is light-hearted Automotive escapism – but harnesses the same professional skills and techniques he uses daily as a professional designer and digital image creator.

What he create comes from the heart – inspired by vehicles, eras and legends that bring back vivid personal memories.

His Crypto-Carz artwork has found immediate appeal on social media – which has encouraged him to develop a series of limited edition digital images released exclusively in NFT format – alongside this, he’s also enjoying doing bespoke commissions and personalised images in the same style.

We had a chat with him and got a bit of a feel for him and his Crypto-Carz work:

When you’re creating your Crypto Carz, how do you settle on the final look, colour scheme and feel for the image/s?

It very much depends on each car. I try to go as minimal as possible with the details so that the finished result is stylised – but I always want to ensure each vehicle recognisable at a glance, so add back in details until I’m satisfied.

As I’m tapping into really iconic vehicles and liveries, in many cases the colour-scheme of the original is very much driving the overall look and palette of the final image. I rework and stylise the livery elements – so that I’m not showing actual sponsor decals etc – just hinting at the design as it originally would have been.

Many of my early images were on very vivid backgrounds to match the colour and extreme character of each car – but now I’m experimenting with subtler, more subdued lighting and colour balances – as not everyone wants big shouty artworks on their walls.

What’s the future of Crypto Carz specifically and NFTs in general. Hard to say, or do you have predictions? 

The Crypto-Carz series was originally rooted in cars that are personal to me – exotic and sometimes unusual vehicles that I’ve admired most of my life. Some come from when I was a small boy, others from my years spent playing race games. As such, the collection will inevitably be finite . .there’s plenty of cool classic and race cars I still want to do (probably more than 150 in total) but I’m not going to start doing cars which don’t excite or interest me just for the sake of it.

However – I have done a number of commissioned artworks based on visualising a Client’s favourite vehicle – and I get a great deal of satisfaction from working with fellow enthusiasts to successfully capture the character of their particular pride and joy . . .

As for NFTs in general – I like the idea behind them: being able to share ideas and content exclusively and guarantee the provenance of it.

At the moment, I feel the crypto currency aspect is off-putting to the majority – people are perhaps just interested in the art, and aren’t wanting to get to grips with strange new currencies.

I suspect buying options will soon emerge where you can pay with regular bank cards, and the currency conversion will be dealt with as a small admin fee.

Once we get to that point, I’m sure the appeal and use of NFTs will increase considerably – in any context where digital assets need to be shared in a controlled, exclusive way.

To see more of Mike’s work and buy some yourself, head to OpenSea or NFTb

How to win your own Crypto Carz NFT

To celebrate Mike Turner and his Crypto-Carz skillz, we’ve partnered with the designer to offer you, one lucky reader, the opportunity to win your own, bespoke Crypto-Carz NFT.

All you need to do is:

  1. Enter your information into the form below
  2. upload a good photo of the car you want made into a Crypto-Carz design (could be any)
  3. and tell us in 25 words or less the most creative back story of the car

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