Jake Fried is an exceptional artist. He lives and breathes art. His art stands apart from others by way of its creation and recreation process. Using ink and white-out to generate hallucinatory scenes, Jake Fried creates mind-bending animations through repeated modifications to his art pieces. His films have been exhibited at the Tate Modern and Sundance Film Festival, and he’s been commissioned by Adult Swim, Netflix, and numerous art galleries around the world.
“I make my art through a process of reworking one drawing over and over again for up to a year. I have realized I’m more interested in the way a painting evolves and transforms over time than in just making any single image. For me, art-making is a discovery process.”
In 2006, just as internet streaming appeared, he started recording his paintings as they evolved over time. He became excited about this direction, and he took it. The rest, as they say, is history.
His journey to web3 seems an obvious next step for this artist. Just as internet streaming presented opportunities for his art to evolve, so too has web3. “I’m extremely passionate about my art, and art in general and the history of it, so I got my degree in art history and started teaching at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I eventually became an animation professor, and I was putting my art online for free and then getting lots of commissions and licensing deals from that – and that’s how I made my living. When COVID-19 hit, I was teaching full-time from home and working on my art for 8+ hours a day. My process is extremely time-consuming and laborious. I began rethinking my priorities. That’s when web3 really hit, and NFTs kind of popped up.”
He’s since fallen down the rabbit hole of web3. He’s joined and fostered strong communities online and found friendships, supporters, and collectors that propel his art and creativity to greater heights. His success is extraordinary – and totally deserving.
He shares advice for budding artists: “If you’re trying to pay your day-to-day bills with your art, you’re fucked. Don’t rely on your art to get by at first; your art gets really confused about what it’s about. And when it’s not going well, you’re conflating making money versus growing as a creative person. Create a clear separation between the financial aspects of your career and why you make art.”