“When you see what web3 allows, it felt like a very clear path forward that we want to build something more honest, something more transparent, that’s better for creators.”
Ev Tchebotarev is committed to shaping the future of the NFT space. As a photographer with almost 20 years of building photo-related services and tools for artists, Ev now has a platform for artists and collectors where he is building a future that works for everyone operating in it.
Ev got into crypto around 2013 but abandoned it, picking it up again some years later. He started thinking about an NFT platform for photographers seriously in 2017. The COVID lockdown was the catalyst. “I saw the massive opportunity to fix the inequalities that I saw were happening in web2’s photography space, such as the photo stock market.”
He co-founded a marketplace for creatives and collectors of photographic material in 2021, along with the first developer at 500px, Arseniy Ivanov. Sloika gives photographers complete creative control, sets limited edition runs, and allows photographers to choose royalty fees and usage rights. “When you see what web3 allows, it felt like a very clear path forward that we want to build something more honest, something more transparent, that’s better for creators,” he says passionately.
Sloika is not just a marketplace, but also a curated experience where they consult with creators to establish what they need to become successful in the NFT space and bring them value. Ev also speaks to collectors, as without collectors, there is no marketplace. “It’s very important to talk to them to understand why they collect, whether it’s on the Sloika platform or any other, where they’re coming from, and what it is that we can do to give them a better experience.”
Collectors today want to be sure that they are sustainably spending their money, supporting artists that make a difference in their community or with their art. Those are the types of creatives that Sloika seeks out. In January 2023, the platform had over 730 collectors and around 500 photographers.
Nevertheless, Ev remains skeptical about NFTs.
So where does he think the space is headed in the short term? “Creatively, we’re going to see projects where memes and culture really start to seep into the photo community. We’ll start seeing works that are very crypto-native that resonate with the collectors. Commercially, I think this path we’re seeing will let us reinvent NFTs and make it more interesting for everyone.”
Ev Tchebotarev’s vision for an NFT marketplace is helping to raise photo NFTs and help photographers monetize their work. A rising tide lifts all boats.