With the art world in flux as new technologies push the boundaries of art, alumna Ilgi Evecan '21, shares her thoughts on the NFT revolution.
Ilgi Evecan received her MA in Art Business and Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2021 after completing a BA at Koç University and studying Innovation & Strategy at Harvard University. Evecan is currently heading the Metaverse & NFTs unit at PictureThis.art, a company founded in 2021 by the same founders of Fotografiska (the world’s largest photography museum. According to Evecan, the aim of her work with Picture This is to “show the world what NFT photography could be with their bold photographers’ community, global technology partners, border-line-crazy creative team and investors group including Sandbox and TrueGlobalVentures fueling their growth”. In addition to Picture This, Evecan is a creative strategist and business innovator who has helped grow new businesses and global brands while developing strategic partnerships programs and impactful communities throughout her career. Recently, she headed up beverage manufacturer Pernod Ricard’s innovation lab in Stockholm. Evecan is an active supporter of global female leadership through a women’s network she established in 2019 that mentors the female leaders of tomorrow.
Evecan’s interest in art stems from childhood dreams of becoming an artist. That dream, influenced by her family of entrepreneurs, ended up in her becoming what she coined a “business artist”. Her curiosity and joy for creating new things and exploring new technologies has naturally led her into the art and tech space. There are two things Evecan claims are critical to success in the art and tech market. First, is having an open mind and willingness to innovate – the “tech world is changing so fast so my rule of thumb is not designing the business by only looking at what’s technologically available today” instead “understand what value you are trying to create… [the] tech part needs to follow”. Evecan emphasizes the importance of a value proposition in a world where technology is constantly evolving to meet value needs. In other words, technology should never be a limiting factor in the development of a business. The second key to success, Evecan says, is having strong networking skills. Networking has always been crucial to success in the art industry, and it is no different in the art and tech space.
Looking at the NFT revolution, Evecan provides a few important insights. She believes “the potential of NFTs in general is immense not just in art but [she’s] convinced that they will be in many integral parts of [people’s] lives”. She stresses the importance of creating a genuine NFT community without artificial hype from speculation and celebrities. Like other experts in the field, Evecan observes the shift of NFTs towards mainstream culture as increasing numbers of traditional collectors, auction houses, and museums are gravitating towards NFTs. Recent blockchain technology has “opened new possibilities by bringing in the concept of scarcity and with verifiable ownership recognized universally” – this has contributed to the legitimacy and acceptance of NFTs as a digital asset. However, despite the positive growth, Evencan cautions against con artists who are taking advantage of the technological gaps within the art and tech space. She emphasizes the need for long term sustainable solutions and trust in order for digital art to continue to grow.