Who is Josie Bellini?
Crypto artist Josie Bellini is most famously identified by her iconic Bitcoin gas mask from Filter. She has become one of the most prominent NFT artists, being featured at Christie’s and on just about every NFT marketplace platform available, including SuperRare, ASync Art and Nifty Gateway.
Born and raised in Chicago, Bellini always had a passion for art. But growing up in poverty, she wanted to live a life of plenty, leading her to major in finance at college and take a job at a TradFi company.
Weirdly enough, her desire to learn more about finance led her to crypto… which led back to art… which led to making money.
“Growing up in poverty, you don’t hear about stocks and investing,” she says. “I was thinking, ‘I have all these clients that were investing, and they were making money, while they were asleep.’ I kept thinking, ‘How can I do this?’”
She didn’t have enough money to invest in half the things she recommended for clients, as she wasn’t an accredited investor. A spark reignited about a paper she’d written in college about Bitcoin, and she fell down the rabbit hole of Ethereum in 2017.
“I started to think deeper about crypto and how this could potentially be my breakthrough. I got obsessed,” she says. “I’d ask myself questions of why Bitcoin was invented, why Ethereum came along, and what the differences between the two were.”
Bellini would attend Bitcoin meetups in her hometown, and before long, she quit her job to work in crypto, aiming to become a full stack developer by attending a coding bootcamp, “but I absolutely hated it, I don’t remember any of it. What I did love was the design side of it.”
“I started making websites, logos and materials for blockchain conferences around the world and also crypto companies. That was my foot in the door to getting work in the industry.”
“By the end of 2017 is when I made my first personal crypto artwork; that piece was called “Genesis,” and it blew up on Reddit. At the time, the term ‘crypto art’ wasn’t really a thing, and I wasn’t using it then myself. What I was doing was creating themed art to spread awareness of cryptocurrencies.”
Crypto art to NFTs
It was nearly two years between Bellini making her first piece of crypto art (“Genesis”) to minting her first NFT as an artist…
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