Behind the JPEG: Ghxsts
An unknown ghost to soldout Ghxsts.
GxngYxng (pronounced GongYang), has been infatuated by art ever since he was a child. Drawing was his escape from the world, it was his means of expression, where his words could not express. From being known as the shy kid that scribbled on paper during class, to selling his work for hundreds of thousands of dollars. GY’s life has completely changed since entering the NFT space and he has set the bar for art collections with his work propelling to new heights each day. So, where did the collection begin and where can we learn more about it? Tune in below.
Ghxsts brought something different to the table, a hand-drawn non-generative art collection that succeeded in encapsulating the collectors of the NFT world. With a dream of sharing his stories to the world, he initially sold the Ghxsts for 0.001 ETH each, around 3$ at the time with the hope of making his work accessible to everyone. The initial collection of 102 designs portrayed what appears to be dejected mortals, each character exhibits a sense of loneliness and fear as displayed in their facial expressions. Simultaneously, his work juxtaposes vibrance and colour, perfectly balancing the sinister representations found within his drawings. This combination is what makes his work so unique and one of the reasons why the collection has received such success! From 0.001 ETH in the beginning, the Gxhsts are now selling for millions of dollars. There is only one reason for this, and that is the creator himself!
But what was it that inspired this unique form of art? GY always had a passion for portraits, he would often substitute the school books for his journal and draw these creatures with any spare moment that he could find. His imagination ran wild, entering fictional worlds and capturing feelings that he couldn’t find in his own reality. The sense of pain and loneliness that he felt was similarly captured in his artwork. The soulless beings that stare forwards bring with them an emotional attachment, and perhaps this is why they have gathered so much success. Despite not believing in himself when he was younger, since his entry into the NFT space, he has ascended to stardom with his work inspiring many others around him.
Within just four months, Ghxsts have surpassed over 30,000 Twitter followers, minted over 260 hand drawn pieces and traded over 6,350 ETH. The collection is comprised of over 1000 pieces of art with a core focus on NFT mythology. For instance, there are designs including the original Ghxsts, as well as Demxns, Alixns, Sirxns, Immxrtals, Mythicxls, Divine Zxdiacs, Creatxrs and Gxds. With each genre and style he has been able to showcase his creative flair, dipping into different styles, such as abstraction. Previously working in the animation industry, GY has utilised his experience to help illuminate the stories throughout his work, and we have also seen this with the methods that he uses to engage his supporters through drop mechanics and puzzles!
How has he achieved such success? Community and utility are the two fundamental reasons whereby long-term holders have been rewarded for their loyalty to the collection. Over a time span of 12 months, holders with two Zxdiacs will receive one Ghxst in their wallet, every month. Furthermore, Ghxsts have remained innovative and creative throughout their journey, with the new Mythxcal series starting soon. Here holders will be able to combine their Ghxst with a Demxn or Alixn or Sirxn to create an entirely new 1/1 creature. The roadmap for Ghxsts is intricate and in the interests of those that collect, therefore it is no surprise that we have seen the collection grow the way that it has!
A historic auction
The notion of pain was continued further by the community themselves in the early days of the discord server, here the name ‘Pxin Gxng’ was created. The origin of the name was inspired by the early gas wars that supporters had to endure for a chance to snag a Ghxst! Since then, inside jokes, memes and a collection have commemorated these early times and thus the name ‘Pxin Gxng’ has become the staple of the community! Since then, the drop style has evolved and the community has grown tremendously.
The growth of the Ghxst community can be highlighted through the recent sale of the NFT titled “Sirxn 0” which sold for over $2 million dollars to an avid NFT collector named Path. But why is this significant? The auction was matched by the PxinDAO, a collective alliance of Ghxts supporters who banded their ETH together to fund their offer. Everything that GY had intended to create with the Ghxsts collection was exemplified with this DAO, a community coming together like a family, to support the artwork and to support each other.
Despite failing to contend with Path, the community reflects on this as a win regardless of the outcome, they were able to pool an unprecedented 1.9 million dollars in 6 days. For them, this was a triumphant victory. As for the NFT community as a whole, this historic auction demonstrates the extent to which the space is growing, highlighting the remarkable shift and exponential growth that is occurring within communities.
Sewing the seeds of art
During GY’s school years, he received a mixture of feedback. In a Twitter post he referred back to a specific teacher that supported his drawings and allowed him to read comic books during class, he still keeps in touch with him to this day. On the contrary, his work was also undermined by a particular teacher, who emphasised that he would not make it anywhere in the art world until he began to draw more realistically. Nonetheless, he has decided to give back to the same high school that he grew up with, and he is in the works of creating a scholarship fund for the art students there. Could we see a future GY? Imagine the potential of an artist that is supported and encouraged by the Ghxsts creator himself, this is an awesome initiative and it speaks volumes about GY and his love for art!
Ghxsts have already cxllaborated with a number of collections including the popular Cool Cats, Birdguys, and Davidzhorvath. In addition to this, they are preparing for a future Halloween collab with Deadfellaz so expect some more spooky vibes!
Ghxsts have also broken the record for the highest sale on OpenSea on several occasions, confirming that there are no signs that they will be slowing down anytime soon. The collection is building up momentum quickly, and it will be interesting to see where the collection goes next. With an army of diamond hand supporters and an artist that loves his work, the community, and a passion for NFTs- the opportunities are limitless. Ghxsts reached their 4-month milestone yesterday, can the brain compute their progress in 12 months’ time? We will find out!
Check out the interview below with Ghxsts where we discussed his inspirations, his journey, and what the future holds for the collection!
What was your childhood like, have you always been infatuated by art and was this something you always planned on pursuing?
I always wanted to be an artist and an animator since I was a kid, I would watch the commentaries on Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, always getting butterflies in my stomach imagining making my own projects. Being able to be involved in creative work has been the pursuit of my entire life.
Can you tell us more about your career in animation and your transition into the NFT scene?
I loved working as an animator, it was very fulfilling to bring life into the characters, but at the end of the day it was always someone else’s story. NFTs interested me because I realized it would be possible to tell my own story. I took a risk on myself, and promptly quit to pursue this dream.
What is the creative story behind Ghxsts, where does your artwork and it’s creation stem from?
It’s been something that has been growing in my mind for as long as I can remember. I’m currently working on a manga series to tell the story, I can’t wait for people to enter the world I’ve been imagining for so long.
What does your roadmap entail of? Can you outline your other collections to those who may not know?
Combinations are a major part of the Ghxsts collection, allowing collectors to combine their pieces into entire new 1/1 creatures as a reward.
If you had one piece of advice for an emerging artist what would you say?
I would say to create something that you would be making if nobody was watching. Don’t try to make something you think will be popular, being original and telling a personal story will build something that lasts.
I first heard about Ghxsts from my brother around last May, we both agreed that his art was exceptional. It has been awesome to see such an explosion of success for such a humble and passionate artist. If you want to find out more about GY, check out his Twitter here @ghxsts, and make sure to follow me for more behind the scenes interviews! Have a great rest of your week friends!