Meta Masquerade

Alum Finds Success in NFTs and Looks to Support Diverse Emerging Artists

Raven Trammell PhotoIn the past year, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) popularity have increased immensely with thousands of artists using these tokens to sell their digital artwork. Raven Trammell ’14, started looking into NFTs in December 2020, after hearing about it in a clubhouse room. Their curiosity was peaked about this exciting way to deliver digital content. Raven went on to mint their first piece in February 2021 and has since sold over 75 NFTs.

So what exactly are NFTs, according to Reuters, “An NFT is a digital asset that exists on a blockchain, a record of transactions kept on networked computers. The blockchain serves as a public ledger, allowing anyone to verify the NFT’s authenticity and who owns it. So unlike most digital items which can be endlessly reproduced, each NFT has a unique digital signature, meaning it is one of a kind. NFTs are usually bought with cryptocurrencies or in dollars and the blockchain keeps a record of transactions. While anyone can view the NFT, only the buyer has the status of being the official owner.”

This past August, Raven founded the 50mm Collective, an initiative to support diverse emerging NFT artists, and to create change with art and community. They noticed that NFT events they attended were not diverse, especially for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and queer artists. With the help of their partner Chelsea and their friend Leann, the 50mm Collective hosted their first experience, The Meta Masquerade on November 19 in Los Angeles, CA. The experience showcased 110 diverse artists from all over the world. For the experience, they created an infinity ticket which grants the holder access for life to attend all future Meta Masquerade’s. According to Raven, the plan is to hold the event once a year and to host it all over the world.

For those looking to get into the NFT space Raven offered up some advice, “Don’t be discouraged, it’s a grind and takes time. There is lots of noise, lots of learning and will require your due diligence before minting your first artwork…The friends you make in the space will be your first sells. Stay hungry.”

Outside of NFTs, Raven is a visual artist currently located in L.A. From documenting protests to capturing some of the biggest artists in the world on stage, their portfolio varies in subjects and compositions.. They originally became interested in photography while taking John Shibley’s Introduction to Photography class while attending LSSU. “He was the first person who recognized my talent,” said Raven. They went on to work for John as a student worker in the public relations office, and graduated with a degree in communication in 2014.

After a family friend let them know they were looking for a roommate in L.A., Raven put in their two week notice at their server job in Ann Arbor and drove across country with their dog to L.A. to explore their career passions in 2015. They would eventually land their first major photography assignment, taking concert photos for Machine Gun Kelly. They have gone on to photograph concerts for Blueface, G-Eazy, Miguel, and A$AP Ferg. In addition to these concert shoots, they also photograph families, individuals, and groups on location.

Click here to view Raven’s Praying for Change collection.