PETALING JAYA, Oct 28 ― Munira Hamzah has been an ardent fan of Linkin Park and lead vocalist Mike Shinoda ever since she was a teenager.
A former creative lead staying in Kuala Lumpur, the 32-year-old had always been a fan since he’s a visual artist and her favourite album of the group as a teen was Reanimation.
When the tragic news of lead vocalist Chester Bennington passed away in 2017, she stopped listening to the album altogether as she was devastated.
“The news of Bennington's death really saddened me.
“And two years later, I was diagnosed with depression, started therapy sessions and found a connection with Shinoda’s 2018 Post Traumatic music album.
“I also went for their concert that same year in Taiwan and fell in love with their music all over again,”
She then connected with more fans, called Stans, and that was how she created her own pixel art GIFs and goes by the pseudonym Mumu The Stan.
Shinoda would create drawings on live-streaming platform,Twitch and post them on Instagram and fans like Munira would colour them.
And one of the days this year, Shinoda who stumbled upon one of her artwork praised her and suggested that she create and sell NFTs ― Non Fungible Tokens (NFT)
NFTs are tokens that one can use to represent ownership of unique items that allow users to tokenise items like art or even one’s collectibles.
Researching NFTs and creating her own account
Munira started an NFT account this year after being encouraged by Shinoda who told her that it was a good platform for her to mint (process of validating her artwork) and then sell her artworks.
The Linkin Park band member who had been impressed by one of Munira's pixel GIF art even bought that artwork on one of the NFT marketplace for RM7,400.
Her other art pieces are digital paintings and drawings that are sold from as low as RM5.
“I had to work full-time during the day and at night I would work on my pixel GIFs and mint them on my blockchain account.
“Initially, I was worried as to whether I could belong to the NFT scene so I made sure I researched on clean NFTs and made sure to look up safety guides such as ways to prevent my account from being hacked.
“For instance, I had to make sure that I didn’t just save my seed phrase (password) anywhere or in my phone and wrote it somewhere safe so that only I had access to it,” she said.
Having researched about the NFTs, she then opened an Ethereum account (a type of blockchain account with its own cryptocurrency), a digital wallet and started minting her artwork.
How NFTs can help creatives and creators
Having sold 1,800 NFT artworks consisting of pixel art GIFs, digital paintings, and other drawings, Munira believes that through cryptocurrency creatives have the power to mint their artwork and sell them online.
“For creatives like me, NFTs gives us the opportunity to create whatever art we want and sell them online unlike a typical job where we have to follow clients’ demands or do commission work.
“That liberty that we have as creatives and creators is something that I get to enjoy on a daily basis.
“Also, at times, artists like me get royalties from the resales of our artwork in the secondary market.”
She then decided to go full-time into the cryptocurrency journey in June to explore something new.
Asked her as to whether selling her NFT art pieces can keep her afloat and sustain her income in the long run, she said yes.
“It’s been five months since I ventured into the NFT journey and I've earned almost the same as what I used to earn in my previous job as a creative lead.
“I can focus solely on my artworks and have time to explore something new.
“But I have hopes for the future of cryptocurrencies and helping create a safer place for creatives like me,” she said.
She is also working on making an artwork from the pill foils of her anti-depressant pills to create awareness on mental health issues and for fans to support purchasing her prescriptions.