[0:53 – 3:26] Sabretooth starts by asking Kaled how he started with NFTs. Kaled explains that it was last year when he received a direct message from a collector who introduced him to NFTs and SuperRare. After a month of deliberating, he applied and sold his first piece of art on SuperRare. Sabretooth believes that collectors or fans encouraging an artist to go into NFTs will become increasingly popular. Khaled explains that his biggest concern was selling the copyright to his artwork. Once he understood the technology though, he believed there was no harm in trying.
[3:27 – 7:46] Kizu asks Khaled about his background of playing and developing video games. Khaled answers how in 2016 he created video games at the Ludum Dare Video Jam. Through his frustration of not being able to create the video game the way he envisioned it, he decided to learn pixel art. He does not focus on game development much anymore because he enjoys expressing himself and creating an attachment to the artwork. After Kizu inquires about how Khaled’s work came first and then the NFT medium being secondary, Khaled agrees. He is able to create his artwork from an idea that he is interested in.
[7:47 – 8:25] Pixel art is one of the most popular mediums with CryptoPunk being one of the most well known NFTs. Ethereum is an NFT collection that holds a large number of varying styles of pixel art that were inspired by the early 70s and 80s video games. Sabretooth wonders what pixel art is to Khaled personally.
[8:27 – 11:29 ] Khaled explains how you draw with a grid. Each square of the grid is a color and he creates a mosaic type of artwork. Through technology any drawing software can be used, but each line is very crisp and pixelated. Following tradition that began due to limited technology, pixel art has a very limited color palette and canvas size. Khaled works on a large canvas with few colors. It is these limiting factors that give pixel art a unique look. Sabretooth points out with how Pixel art is one of the dominant forms in NFTs and inquires if pixel artis in NFTs and those who are not are progressing in different directions.
[11:29 – 15:26 ] Khaled agrees that in NFTs there are people who represent various scenes that come from the larger pixel art scene. Creating collectables is currently popular right now, but there is a divide occurring in the pixel art scene unfortunately. Sabretooth clarifies if you can not create art and create art for NFTs. Khaled expands his explanation saying that it wasn’t specifically pixel art, but social media artists. In March people were so hesitant about NFTs being a scam and the environmental concern that they did not complete NFT art. Khaled sold some of his pieces though and knew it was not. Kizu states how people were unfamiliar with the technology and used the environmental concern as a negative to speak up about.
[15:27 – 20:26 ] Khaled finds satisfaction in creating his art. It took time for him to become profitable from his artwork though. He discusses the balance of exploring the art that interests him and making a career out of it. He started with commissions and even though they are stressful for him, it is a grounding challenge. Today with NFTs, he is able to be more selective about the commissions he takes on. His approach is difficult as he balances creating art or creating art to become a NFT. Sabretooth wonders where the dangers of that lie. Khaled says it is not dangerous, but something to think about and balance.
[20:27 – 24:26 ] Sabretooth advances on Khaled’s thoughts on balance, wondering about those artists that create constant art due to the boom happening currently. Sabretooth discovers how Khaled is not thinking that way. Khaled explains that NFTs are elastic and if the artist can create work and amend it, then it works for that artist. Personally, Khaled does not want to create work with the sole purpose being to create a NFT. NFTs allowed him to be more relaxed because it took off the unneeded pressure to find clients.
[24:27 – 31:29] Kizu asks Khaled if there are any preconceptions about Saudi artists. Khaled explains that there are some flourishing scenes happening, but it is in a more traditional sense. Digital art is rising though and within that pixel art. Those who are uneducated about art relate pixel art to Atari. Khaled acknowledges how he has been influenced by a lot of things and creates artwork that is more cosmopolitan that traditional Saudi art. Kizu adds to this how in his experience an artist will try to be a spokesperson for their culture and address preconceptions or they choose to deliberately not address the local culture because their audience is global. Especially in pixel art where it is a worldwide culture and would identify with the art being created. Khaled agrees with Kizu and does not want to call his artwork westernized because it is who he is.
[32:09 – 34:38] Sabretooth asks Khaled who his favorite artists are, NFT or otherwise. Khaled picks those who inspired him to go into pixel art. His favorites consist of Ella from Russia, Jubilee from the United States, and Gutty Kreum. He recommends an account called Pixel Art NFT Week that focuses on Pixel art.