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I’m that kid who didn’t give up playing with toys: Artist Amrit Pal Singh

The most well-known Indian name in NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) having earned around 3.9ETH when he minted his first NFT ‘Frida Toy Face’ in February 2021, artist Amrit Pal Singh smiles and says that he is the kid who did not give up playing with toys.

“I am as fascinated by them as I was when I was five. I played and appreciated everything. Some of my favourites include GI Joes, Lego, Puzzles, Board Games, and Arcade Games. I got into 3D because I was drawn towards cartoons and illustrations,” Singh tells IANS, adding that he started quite early on and even made doodles for the school magazine.

Singh evoked nostalgia worldwide with his collection of Toy Faces & Toy Rooms, resulting in over 94 NFTs and 384+ ETH in primary sales.

Even as his three-city tour exhibition presented by Method and Hefty.Art will conclude its journey at Bangalore in Church Street Social (July 23), after a successful run in Delhi and Mumbai, Singh says after two years of being active online and doing group shows all around the world, he was looking to do a solo show when he met Method’s Sahil Arora at the India Art Fair. “We ended up with the idea of doing a travelling solo art show. The main reason behind it was to give my audience a tangible experience, and to increase the reach of my work in the traditional art world,” he recalls.

Excited to see people interact with his creations, and have conversations about his work, Singh stresses that while there are perks to communicating online, physical shows leave a very long-lasting impression.

“The feedback was incredible! Some said they had never seen something like this before with huge smiles on their faces. Others appreciated the volume of my work and it fascinated them what all can be done with digital art.”

Talking about his NFT journey ever since he minted your first one — ‘Frida Toy Face’, the artist recalls ‘Toy Faces’ as NFTs started with a bang as he already had a great community from its first year. He went all in after his first few NFT sales and there were several wins and great stories including one of his biggest sales of Daft Punk Toy Faces and a collaboration with a senior artist who worked on the original Transformer Comics and Toys.

“There were also struggles and unpredictability due to the association of the crypto market with NFTs but overall this has been an incredible tool for me to push my creative pursuits on a global level.”

For Singh, an idea starts taking shape by creating a lot of mood boards capturing the vibe and energy of the subject. After that, he defines things that make the subject iconic. “I love using a lot of symbols that represent the likeness of the subject so there needs to be a lot of thought around it. Toy Faces is like a canvas now with its basic shape and structure and with each portrait I keep it the same and build upon it,” he says.

As a person of colour and a religious minority, diversity, and representation is definitely important to him. The entire Toy Face idea came with an interesting illustration style that has a lot of diversity and representation. “That was the first thing that was appreciated about my series back in 2020 when I launched them.”

Talking about his ‘Avatar’ pack that enjoyed immense popularity, Singh smiles that it feels dreamlike that so many people use Toy Faces in their design and feel well represented owing to them. “The Avatar pack worked as a big marketing tool as well because people would see Toy Faces in VC Pitch Decks, Behind Auto Rickshaws or Mobile apps. The recall value became immense as more and more people used it.”

Adding that he loves making art and that constant push does not come from just one thing but a mix of wanting to be better, being appreciated, making money, and leaving something inspirational behind, the artist says, “ I am soon going to be working on some exciting– collaborations and personal projects. I am always open to new things.”

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