Ioannis (greekdx) is the curator at the Museum of NFT Art (M0NA) and is one of the most widely beloved collectors in the digital NFT space. After a handful of months dipping his toes in the vast NFT ocean, Ioannis has supported hundreds of artists, collected over 1,200 NFTs, and is working on multiple projects to support the digital NFT art space.
How did you get into collecting crypto (NFT) art?
I started my NFT journey back in 2018 when I first bought some GEN 0 packs from Gods Unchained. The concept of a gaming project like Hearthstone where every card you got was tradable blew my mind. That’s how the gaming world should be! Player owned assets that are tradable and limited. I got into a few more NFT related projects like 0x Protocol and Marble cards but halted any NFT activity for 2 years after that.
In the summer of 2020 I started trading altcoins again and stumbled upon a low cap gem called $RARI. I managed to buy very low and make good profits. I decided to start moving some of those profits into the platform and I bought a few of my first pieces. I set a budget for myself that I kept breaking every week. And that’s how the addiction began haha!
What are some of your current favorite artworks in your collection?
This is one the hardest questions for me. I love and cherish every NFT in my collection which is over 1200 NFTs at the moment. I tend to check on my OpenSea profile everyday and look at all my NFTs.
There are some NFTs that hold a special place in my heart:
- SuperRare: https://superrare.co/artwork-v2/rejuvenate---15269
- Artist: https://twitter.com/fvckrender
- Collector: https://twitter.com/Ioannis_AG
My biggest purchase on SuperRare that gave me the opportunity to form a great relationship with FVCKRENDER, an artist I admire and an amazing human being. It’s of a great importance for me as it is his genesis piece on SR and NFTs in general!
TetrHaCKitty (async art layer)
- async art: https://async.art/art/layer/0xb6dae651468e9593e4581705a09c10a76ac1e0c8-772
- Artist: https://twitter.com/Hackatao
- Collector: https://twitter.com/Ioannis_AG
My first ever async art piece (layer) that combines one of the most famous projects in NFTs—CryptoKitties—with one of the OG artists in NFTs—Hackatao.
I won’t let go
- SuperRare: https://superrare.co/artwork-v2/i-won't-let-go-14771
- Artist: https://twitter.com/Loopifyyy
- Artist: https://twitter.com/todayodious
- Collector: https://twitter.com/Ioannis_AG
This piece is one of my favorite pieces! It speaks to me for some reason. From the moment I saw it I really wanted to acquire it. odious was an artist I had stumbled upon before NFTs and I loved his art style. Also through this piece I met Loop which resulted in a great friendship and a “partnership” through which Loop Boxes were born (and it’s just the start).
LOTUS ONI: GIGA
- MakersPlace: https://makersplace.com/greekdx/lotus-oni-giga-1-of-1-34789/
- Artist: https://twitter.com/iamleeaux
- Collector: https://twitter.com/Ioannis_AG
I have an obsession with Japanese culture, so when I came across Leeayx’s MakesPlace profile I knew I had to start collecting some of his pieces. This was my third buy and a “steal” considering most of his 1/1s now go for over 3-5 ETH. I managed to connect personally with Leeaux and found out how much of an amazing person he is. We talk regularly since then about NFTs and so much more!
lady with a fox
- SuperRare: https://superrare.co/artwork-v2/lady-with-a-fox-14196
- Artist: https://twitter.com/fabielloart
- Collector: https://twitter.com/Ioannis_AG
lady with a fox was one of my first buys on Super Rare and my biggest purchase at the time. It was a crazy bidding war for me at the time! I was mesmerized by his unique style, re-imagining of classical paintings and crypto themes! Definitely an under-rated artist in NFTs right now!
How would you describe your collecting taste? Are there particular artistic styles that call out to you more than others?
I know many collectors have a distinct style they prefer collecting, like Goltra (gltr / gold tree), but I would describe my collection as “more chaotic”. I love collecting all kinds of different art styles! If a piece speaks to me emotionally or it’s funny, I will collect it. I really think satire/meme art is a legit section of crypto art and I am definitely a fan!
Some styles I love are sci-fi, Japanese culture related, “traditional”, surreal and satire.
Do you stick to any “collecting” rules (eg. monthly budget, only 1/1s, must have social media presence)?
My “current tactic” always depends on my current liquidity. If my budget is big at the time I tend to forget about rules I set and I mainly go for 1/1s and genesis pieces.
Right now I am focused on building a budget again by trading so I have focused on collecting more upcoming or newer artists and collecting multiple edition works from the OGs. I hope I can get back into the “high” 1/1 game soon though—without hindering support for the “smaller” artists which I love doing!
One of the best feelings is having collected an artist on Rarible or their genesis platform and seeing them evolve, grow and become widely appreciated!
Do you have a framework to valuing cryptoart? How does that framework apply when you’re looking to be an artist’s “first” collector?
I tend to research all of my potential NFT acquisitions. I first go on all platforms they have minted or sold their work and try to find trends and patterns in pricing. I try to take into account their past work outside NFTs but many times this is not something that collectors look at or value.
I will never ask for a better price from artists on their pieces as I truly believe many set their pricing based on what they think they deserve, and I respect that. If I don’t agree I will just not purchase a piece from them and wait for a piece or pricing I feel more comfortable with.
I might start bidding low sometimes to gauge demand but I aim to provide what artists ask most of the times.
For “virgin” artists it’s pretty complicated. Even established artists sometimes struggle to get higher prices on their NFTs in the beginning. It seems that many collectors don’t really do due diligence on the past of traditional artists except for checking their Instagram following…
So if I want a genesis piece from an artist I might overpay which is not bad for me. Genesis pieces might be valued higher so it might pay off in the future.
You have a prolific NFT collection of over 1,200 pieces. What’s your take on all of the different platforms that are popping up? How do you keep track of your collection inventory?
I believe in collecting on all major platforms. All have their positives and negatives. For example, SuperRare has quality due to the scarcity in terms of artists and 1/1s but also due to the curation. It might be a bit too expensive for many collectors though. I don’t see platforms as competitors as they all work towards the evolution of the space. I love surfing MakersPlace and KnownOrigin due to the “cheaper” NFT opportunities and “undervalued” artists on there. So many gems on those platforms!
That’s why my first goal is to acquire at least 100 pieces on a few major platforms including SuperRare, Rarible, MakersPlace and KnownOrigin. I have managed to collect more than 200 pieces on Rarible, more than 100 pieces on MakersPlace, over 100 pieces on KnownOrigin and currently at 35 on SuperRare.
It is completely logical for more new platforms to be popping up due to the NFT market growing extremely fast but I don’t really care for them to be honest. If some platform brings new innovation to the space of course I will be one of the first to use it—like Art Blocks with on-chain generative art which I am a huge fan—but most are just the same old with nothing new or exciting to offer so I stay away.
I prefer to use OpenSea to look and manage my NFT collection. I think it’s the go to place for trading and inspecting NFTs. I have tried to display my collection through Collectorshub's Gallerist app but it still needs improvements like integrating with more platforms.
A reason for establishing and building Museum of NFT Art (M0NA) is to showcase my collection in a more interactive and elegant way. By the end of Q1 2021 two museums should be functional in two different metaverses—"Narcissus Gallery" in Decentraland with a partnership with Akira and M0NA in Cryptovoxels.
As a follow up, that means you’ve done a lot of bidding on artworks. We’ve heard the term “bidding etiquette” thrown around quite a bit. What does “proper” bidding etiquette look like in your book?
Bidding styles vary across all NFT collectors but for me some basic “rules” should apply. I hate seeing bids like 0.05 on artists pieces that go for multiple ETH for example or bid sniping (bidding the last few seconds) with an increment of 0.01 ETH—you don’t really want or can’t afford a piece if your next bid is $1-$100 dollars on a current bid of $10,000 for example (depending on the artist, piece and platform).
Can you describe the most wonderful experience that you’ve had since you started collecting cryptoart?
I can’t point to a single moment but every time I acquire a piece from an artists I am happy they are finally getting compensated fairly for their work. So many struggling artists have found their home in cryptoart and have been able to repay loans, pay rent or live on crypto art! Crypto has changed the lives of countless people in so many ways, including me!
Also the ability to be able to connect with so many artists and have a personal relationship with them that transcends just art is incredible for me! Same goes for collectors and builders in the scene.
How about the worst experience to date? What went wrong?
Probably getting demolished by bigger collectors in bidding wars. My first big let down was when I lost my first Kristy Glass auction on MakersPlace. That was the moment that made me go in harder in NFTs.
Also some of my worst moments were bidding lower than the “buy now” price on amazing pieces I really wanted and having big collectors like Moderats swoop in and buy them. That often resulted in rage buying sprees from my side haha!
We see that you receive quite a bit of love through NFT donations. How do these happen? And do you feel that artists have specific goals in mind when they make donations? Would you ever turn down an NFT donation?
I have received some donations yes, mostly from smaller artists and not 1/1s usually. Most are random donations that come in and I just find when I look at my OpenSea. Some other donations were from artists DMing me and asking if they could donate a piece to M0NA. Most of the times I will try to not accept but they never listen! A few times I have gone and bought the piece they were trying to donate like recently with "Chibaku Tensei" by Nos3Darmus.
My biggest surprise was receiving "Typographic Data City: Athens" by Brendan Dawes. I remember asking him to make an Athens version and seeing it minted a few days later. It was put on sale for 3 ETH but I was extremely dry at the time. A few days later it appeared in my wallet and I almost cried. I am extremely thankful and proud for this NFT. It is one of my most prized possessions but definitely not my last Brendan Dawes piece.
I would lie if I said I would turn down a donation 100% but I always try to. If the artist insists too much I usually cave in haha!
Sometimes NFTs get paired with physical art as well. Do you view the combination as amplificative? Are there any instances where you’d turn down the physical pairing? If you were to sell the NFT, would you mail the physical to the new collector?
I am a big fan of 1/1 NFTs and physical combos! I have around 15-20 in my collection at the moment (ran out of space in my house haha)! I am definitely more interested if a physical is involved in a sale of an NFT. It gives you an extra reason to collect it and sometimes the deal is just too good to pass (price wise).
I love the procedure of waiting for the parcel to arrive with the artwork but physicals have their issues. They can get lost, delayed and damaged which always has me anxious.
I have never and will never turn down a physical counterpart to an NFT, ever. I have paid a lot on import taxes already haha!
The last question is a bit tricky. I for now have no intention to sell, if not all, 99% of my NFTs. If in a hypothetical scenario I was going to sell an NFT I would really have to think hard if I would be willing to part ways with the physical. Depends on the deal offered by the other collector of course.
Let’s talk about the Museum of NFT Art (M0NA). We know you’re doing an incubator program to help cryptoartists gain more exposure. Can you tell us more about that initiative?
After M0NA was conceived, the second initiative that was born was the Incubator program—a program that onboards “virgin” existing artists or relatively new artists in digital NFT art scene and aids them on various ways. I realized that it was of paramount importance that all artists that entered the scene understood cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Many artists struggled to grasp how things worked. I think it’s a great initiative to be able to help those artists. Also another important pillar of the initiative is to give those artists more exposure and help them promote themselves.
We are planning to have incubator specific initiatives soon too! Hopefully the first batch of both “virgin” and newer artists happens mid Q1 2021.
What are some other initiatives that you’re working on (eg. Loop Box)? Anything else you have planned?
We are thinking on expanding on multiple fronts! Some may say it might be too much but we don’t think so. We are in NFTs for the long haul and we want to be an active part of the NFT ecosystem that propels the scene forward! This will be only achieved by collaborating with artists, platforms, devs and collectors.
Some of the initiatives I can disclose at the moment:
- Museums and Galleries in the metaverse. We have two planned that will be ready (at least partially by mid Q1 2021).
- M0NA Merch and NFTs
- M0NA Incubator Program
- Loop Boxes. Our version of loot boxes that include NFTs!
- Physical exhibitions by partnering up with galleries and museums
- Curated Art Drops. Artist curated or collector curated NFT drops through the M0NA Infinft smart contract.
- Subscription Service
- And so much more
All these initiatives have as a main goal to help and promote artists in NFTs.
In 5-10 years, what would success with M0NA look like to you? How can we help you get there?
Any progress that accelerates the space and helps out artists will be a success for me. I would love to see M0NA partnering up with renowned artists from traditional art and NFTs, museums, galleries, curators and collectors for all its initiatives! Also onboarding at least 100 artists on to the incubator program! Hopefully M0NA can have a physical location too in the future!
Anyone willing to aid in any way or collaborate on any initiative is welcome!
At what point would you consider selling or relinquishing some of your collection? What does that depend on? And what would you do with the proceeds from the sale?
Right now as I have mentioned I have no plans to sell any of my NFTs. I really do love all the NFTs that I have collected and ideally I would love to hold 1 piece from all artists in my collections forever.
If some big collector offers an insane amount for one of my pieces, over 100k for example, I might think it over as it will give me the opportunity to support more great artists that I haven’t done yet! But some pieces like the ones mentioned in the question about some of my favorite pieces I would probably never sell.
I would lie if I said that I didn’t think of NFTs as an investment too so in 5-10 years minimum I would look into selling some pieces in my collection depending on how much they have appreciated. It’s still a blurry subject as we are in uncharted waters when it comes to cryptocurrencies, their value, how NFTs are valued and how collectors/artists price their works.
What’s the best way for a cryptoartist to make you aware of their work? Any tips?
Like Eric Young (@etyoung) once said, “Allow me to discover you myself”. I might acquire a piece from some artist that tagged me or DM’d me but it rarely happens.
Promotion is key but don’t do it in an intrusive and rude manner. Tagging big collectors under your post will likely result in you irritating them with many notifications and not them collecting your work. NFTs require patience and many collectors have mentioned they do not like seeing “desperate” artists. Do it for your love for art and not the money. Everything will come naturally!
Twitter is your number 1 weapon as an artist so utilize it wisely.
Be friendly, network with other artists and collectors, do collaborations, work on your craft and hustle 24/7.
Any shout outs?
Oh man so many people to shout out!
Thank you to collectors like:
Firstly to you (zonted) who we share so many similarities from when we started collecting art, same mindset, similar taste and more!
Goltra, Akira, Loop, bitcoinprophet1 (LandBaron555), StrawberrySith, AxieKing, Pranksy, j1mmy, Gabusch, Lander, DCLBlogger, wsavas, RogerDickerman and so many more for the amazing insights, debates and amazing talks.
Jamie Burke for organizing one of the best NFT communities and collector clubs, 100xARt.
Thank you to artists like:
Leeaux, FVCKRENDER, Kristy Glas, Billelis, Brendan Dawes, Kitty Bast, Fabiello, Hackatao, Coldie, Jonathan Wolfe, Carlos Marcial, Pascal Boyart and so many more that were open to chatting with me about NFTs, art, collecting, their work and so much more!
Special thanks to Trevor Jones for being one of the most amazing and humble people in the scene and being my first ever art acquisition (physical) opening up the way for this magical journey.
Thank you to platforms like:
Lastly thank you to the team behind NFT42 who have educated me and opened my eyes on the future potential of NFTs. Can’t wait to work closer on upcoming projects!
Sorry if I am forgetting anyone but love you all and can’t wait to see what the future holds for NFTs!
Learn more about the collector:
- Twitter (personal): https://twitter.com/Ioannis_AG
- Twitter (M0NA): https://twitter.com/MuseumOfNFTArt
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/museumofnftart/
- Visit the M0NA in Cryptovoxels: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/parcels/4015
- OpenSea: https://opensea.io/collection/museum-of-nft-art
- Rarible: https://app.rarible.com/museumofnftart/created