SHILLR

VAULT3D: Nicole Sales - The Fusion of Fine Art and Digital Frontiers

March 07, 2024 SHILLR
SHILLR
VAULT3D: Nicole Sales - The Fusion of Fine Art and Digital Frontiers
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Step inside the realm of digital art as we chat with Nicole Sales, VP & Director of Digital Art at Christie's, whose career took an adventurous twist following the groundbreaking Beeple sale. As the traditional art world collides with the digital frontier, Nicole regales us with tales from the epicenter of this transformation. From navigating her way through the esteemed corridors of Christie's to charting the auction house's bold venture into NFTs, her narrative is a veritable masterclass in bridging the gap between timeless classics and the pixelated promise of tomorrow.

Within this episode, we dive into her journey that led her from the art studio to industry expertise, demonstrating that a passion for art, coupled with a strategic economic mindset, unlocked doors to unforeseen opportunities in her current role. Nicole and I discuss the seismic shift in societal appreciation for digital creators, illuminating how NFTs are not only reshaping the valuation of artistry but also empowering artists with the tools to forge their own destinies.

We dissect the significance of Web3 savviness in today's business strategies, touching on the intricacies of roles like the Chief Metaverse Officer. Nicole offers a treasure trove of wisdom for women navigating the NFT space, advocating for community and adaptability as cornerstones of success. Tune in for a rich tapestry of insight and inspiration, and find out how to keep a finger on the pulse of Christie's pioneering NFT ventures, where art and innovation dance in a web-free world.

Nicole links:
X (Twitter): https://x.com/nicoleasales
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-sales-giles-2b44012a/

Christies, Inc. links:
X (Twitter): https://x.com/christiesinc
Website: https://nft.christies.com//

SHILLR:

Website: https://www.shillr.xyz
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/shillrxyz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shillrxyz
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@shillrxyz

Music by 800DB

Twitter: https://twitter.com/800dbmusic

Speaker 1:

GM. This is Boone and you're listening to Vaulted, a Web3 podcast series from the Schiller Archives. This episode was originally recorded on March 11, 2022 and features Nicole Sales, vice President and Director of Digital Art at Christie's Auction House. In this episode, we discuss the behind-the-scenes stories from Bevel's historic $69 million everyday sale, the adoption of NFTs in a historic and well-known brand, defining what it means to onboard traditional art collectors and much more. As always, this podcast is for entertainment purposes only and should not be relied upon for financial advice. Boone and guest may own NFTs discussed. Now. Let's grab some coffee and dive into this conversation with Nicole. Good morning, nicole. How are you?

Speaker 2:

Hi, thank you for having me. I'm good. How are you doing? I'm doing well.

Speaker 1:

I'm located here in Austin, texas, and on Monday it was 30 degrees and now it's going to be 75 or 80 degrees. Welcome to Mark. Yeah, I'm from Texas, so I shouldn't be too surprised. It's my birthday month and my family always didn't know how to plan for my birthday as a kid, because sometimes it was like torrential downpour, sometimes it was 28 degrees, sometimes it was like bright and sunny. And so you, just in March, especially in Texas, I'm sure in the rest of the world as well, you just never know what to expect here.

Speaker 2:

Never know, never know. It's bright and sunny today in New York, but cold.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I've only been in New York twice. I got to go see. I got to do the Statue of the Fairy. I got to do the touristy things. I got to walk by 30 Rock. I got to walk by the memorials. I got to. It was a very. I'll tell you, as I said, I'm from Houston. I'm used to aggressive driving and super big, broad highways, but I'll tell you I was nervous in New York. I don't know how people drive in that city. There's no way you'd catch me dead driving there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's rough. It's pretty much taxi drivers, uber drivers, exclusively now.

Speaker 1:

It's insane and I understood why the public transit is actually the best way to go in that city.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Unbelievable. Are you originally from there?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was born in the Bronx, grew up in New Jersey and I went to schools out in North Carolina and now I'm back in New York for the past 10 years.

Speaker 1:

Rock on Hell, yeah, well, so to give people an intro to who you are, nicole, tell us who you are, what you do here.

Speaker 2:

Sure, I am the NFT business director at Christie's. I am responsible for all of our business development for operational initiatives, financial initiatives, some artist relationships, really focusing on operationalizing what we're doing internally and working on our sales strategy. And then, before my NFT role, I was the business manager and I oversaw our online sales division as well as our private sales division, and it was in that capacity the online sales division where the Beeple's every day is sold back in March, almost a year ago today. So that really spurred my NFT focused life as it currently stands.

Speaker 1:

You know that's a that I and I want to unpack that, that that journey, a little bit, because so how? So question how long have you been at Christie's?

Speaker 2:

10 years.

Speaker 1:

It'd be 10 years, wow. So tell me, you know, when you know, from what you did before to NFTs, like like really was, it was in the same capacity, like were you working in the same capacity now as you were then? Just, it was just a different, I guess, medium of expression or different, like you know, like what was kind of what was like the day to day before NFTs happened, before this weird thing happened?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, totally, so it's a little bit different.

Speaker 2:

So throughout my 10 years I about seven of those 10, I've been in the contemporary art department.

Speaker 2:

So in various positions I oversaw our client strategy team for about three years, five years in total started as an analyst there and then managed the team and in that role it was a lot of client development work, market analytics, so you know, looking into where our clients are, where we should be, looking at post sale trends, artist market trends, and trying to make sense of a lot of this data to put into actual strategies for you know one of our sales team. And then after that, that's when I moved into the business manager role which I just mentioned, where I oversaw our online sale division and our private sale division for contemporary art and in that role it was very like day to day. You know tangible workings of the department. So overseeing the finances, overseeing the operations, a lot of team management. You know structuring the deals, so you know figuring out what we charge sellers, how we make money on the buyer side, working through the yeah, just working through the deals creatively and then working alongside our specialists to basically implement a lot of the and make shit happen.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a, that's a, that's a good way to put it like you just like and I'm sure people understand, because it sounds like it sounds like your role was really complex. There was like boost on the ground and then there was managing people, and then there was probably a mix of that. I'll tell you that's that's got to be really challenging. So my hat's off to you. And it makes sense why you're perfect for the NFT business director, because this, in this industry, there's so much zooming in to like figuring out the direct needs of people and then having to zoom out to like think about, okay, where the hell are we even going with this, you know, and making sure those pieces are put together and that and that they both make sense.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so I gotta, I want to go back even further. You know what got you excited about, like, what made you want to work at Christie's, what, like I guess even in general, what, what is it about the art industry that wanted to get you involved like that you wanted to be involved in?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I've actually, so we're really going back to time now, when I was younger.

Speaker 2:

I should do more. Now I miss it, but I was. I've always probably been my own artists, like you know, never published anything or sold anything, and but you know I painted, I drew as a kid and into college and a little bit after, and in my spare time, I guess. So that really is what initially got me interested in just learning about our history in general. So you know, I took some of our history classes back in high school and then majored in college along with economics. But majoring in college, you know, learned a lot. I worked in our, I went to Duke.

Speaker 2:

So I went to. I yes, I worked at the Nasher Museum of Art, which is a great museum at the university, so that was really fun. There was a gallery also in Durham, the Durham Art Guild, which I worked all three years of my three out of the four years that I went to school down there, which was amazing and really like. I got to see the inner workings of the art industry on a small scale, at a regional basis, and I loved it. So I really always wanted to work with Christie's and I was fortunate enough to get a job straight out of college here and I never thought I would be here since then, but here I am.

Speaker 1:

That's incredible. I got, I got to ask you know, since you majored in art and you majored in economics, correct? Okay, so what was the conversation like with your parents when you said I want to major in art?

Speaker 2:

Well, both my parents are doctors actually, so they've always been very supportive, but it was definitely a well. What are you going to do with that type of question? I was well. I promise I'll major in economics Got it.

Speaker 2:

I always like. I always loved business and I was. I always loved math Like I honestly like. If Duke wasn't such a like engineering school, I got scared of me to join the engineers math classes. I definitely would have taken more math classes and undergrad, but so I've always kind of had a right brain, left brain type thing. But I quelled my parents' fears by adding tacking on that economics and in the end, you know, in the long tail it benefited you.

Speaker 1:

You know it puts you in a good position, Because I reason I asked that is that you know I'm turning 30 tomorrow and like thank you.

Speaker 1:

I feel like a. You know, this decade has been a. This has been a very wild decade, but back when I even when I was a kid like when I was a kid, even just like when we were starting to talk about college it was always in. It was always this conversation of like. You know, art and history and art history or any anything that had to do with like, the like, the like, the fine arts was like you're like that's great, but you can't like. What the hell are you going to do with that? You know, and it's also the same thing and we chat a little bit about this offline is that?

Speaker 1:

You know, I also really enjoy video games and video games are always deemed as a waste of time. You know, it's like it was not. It it wasn't looked at as a creative expression, it was looked at as a hobby that you just kind of like did in your mom's basement. And, you know, eventually you like grew out of it. So it's, it's a fascinating world we live in, because one of the things I think that excites me most about NFTs is that, or just Web three and just the whole package together, is that that conversation doesn't have to happen anymore, if that makes sense, does that? Is that something that you read, like when you started learning about NFTs? Was that something that resonated with you? And if like, if there's anything more, I'd love to hear that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely, I mean. I mean, yeah, I think NFTs are giving creators of any type, whether it's art or, as you said, you know, in the gaming industry. You're a player, or really giving creators a sense that what you're doing with your life is can gain more respect than it ever had in the past.

Speaker 2:

Financial gain, yes, but with that comes respect and I think the major thing that people are experiencing and I loved that about, definitely loved that about NFTs I mean it's so different at Christie's from what we used to do. I mean, usually we sell art on behalf of an owner to another owner and here we're actually selling it for the first time. For the most, for most cases, we're trying to sell, so we're actually working directly with the creators, which is different. I mean it's, you know, we're still, you know, working to get the best price for the owner and we're still helping, you know, you know marketed and tell the best story. But it's just a different kind of relationship and it's a different kind of mentality.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that was that was something I was really curious about, because when we briefly met on that Connect Club stage, that was that was like the first question. But one of the first questions that popped into my mind was, like, when it comes to the traditional art world now that now that you guys kind of have a foot in both, where it's it's a very like there's a digital footprint, there's still the physical footprint you all are still doing what you continue to do. This is just in addition to, not in replacement of, what has been. I guess what's been the biggest challenge, like towing that line. Has there been any? Like brash, like feedback from the opposite side of like what the hell are you guys doing? And like like, has there been any of that?

Speaker 2:

You know people are skeptical and there've definitely been, you know, random articles written about what.

Speaker 2:

What's going on, what's going on. But you know for them. For them, like most cases, people are just interested, even if they don't understand it. They're like, okay, you do your thing on the side and like I don't want to know about it. But like in general, even if people don't partake, they still want to learn and they're. You know it's hard right now to turn a blind eye to what's going on. You know you really can't be an educated collector of anything and not have some inkling of an interest to just have a five minute conversation.

Speaker 1:

That. No, and that's that's really interesting that you say that, because, like my, there's a couple industries that this is being affected where there is just like this really emotionally charged negative reaction to it. You know, and like I noticed it in the gaming community, I noticed it in some of the music community, I noticed it like basically any spot where this is, I guess, rearing, I guess it's just entering into the space, like there is just so much defense against it, and so I was very curious to see if like because, like you know, nothing at Christie's probably like is that cheap, and so when people are spending a lot of money on this, typically people will have a lot of strong opinions on if this is, like you know, taking away from our current market, if this is taking away from anyone's ability to eat or make money. You know that was like that's been my. I'm just like, wow, that's insane, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I think, yes, I mean, if you go back to a year ago when we sold this $10 million people yes, we got a lot of people within our company got calls from their clients saying you know why are you selling a JPEG for this much money? Or you was fraud, like, what are you doing? And you know. So it took some literacy internally to be able to explain what this technology was, but you know that was a year ago, which is a million years ago, light year time. So I think we're, you know we're definitely past that now. And you know there's mainstream media bigger brands have gotten involved that have helped elevate this technology as something that you can't ignore. And then, in addition, you know a lot of collectors of traditional art. Yeah, I think, hopefully, and what we think, and I hope that people understand it you know NFT artists.

Speaker 2:

You know this technology is not replacing, you know, is not replacing traditional art forms. It's just the way I think about it is just a different medium. You know there's painting, there's drawing, there's sculpture, there's digital art. You know you're making something on, whether it's Photoshop or something more. You know experienced or you know intricate than that. You're doing this digitally and that's just a different way to create art. It's not. It's not going to replace me. Entire art industry, right.

Speaker 1:

Now, if you talk to a couple of maximalists in on Twitter, like they're going to tell you that, though you know, and I'll be I would be lying if I said that I did, that thought didn't pass through my mind at a certain point in time, because I'll tell you my from my perspective. I call it, call it age, call it maturity, call it whatever you want to call it, but the there was something that happened, though. I think the one of the biggest things that sparked my excitement was the fact that number one, I also live in an apartment, so, collecting physical art, I only have so much space, and so this idea of being able to express ownership of something digital and to have that be accepted and adopted is really what made me excited. And I, and all of a sudden, I said, wow, I want to collect all of this digital art and I want a place to display it. I don't even care if I don't have a place to display it yet, because it just felt like such a strong momentum that there will be like there's two. This is this train is moving too fast to stop it at this point in time.

Speaker 1:

That's my take, but all of a sudden, I wanted to collect art and I didn't really know I wanted to be it's like this new era of like a digital collector, and so it's kind of strange to say that, but it this is what slammed the door open for me, you know, in that, in that realm, so I think that's really cool that you all are continue to do that as like as an NFT business director, do you all have, like you mentioned education and one of the things that, like I am super like, one of the whole reasons I have this podcast, is to like bring trustworthy people on, to like provide a safe on ramp, to like get curious. Do you all have any sort of department like that at Christie's where it's like y'all are like creating content to educate both buyers, sellers and everyone in between?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, well, we have a Christie's education arm that you know puts on continuing education classes and things like that. But in terms of educating and we did it in an FT or that group did an NFT kind of series, like it was last summer, with a bunch of different, it was really well, well run, several different players in the space, big names, you know, talked and gave gave watches about different, different facets of the this industry, how it pertained to the artwork, it, um. But yeah, I mean we are, we don't have this particular department, but like we are very active and proactively creating um engagement, engagement opportunities for crypto native clients and for our traditional clients. So it's, it's a. It's a different kind of um, a different kind of product that we're, that we're trying to produce. But but yeah, I mean it's educating.

Speaker 2:

Honestly, it's a lot of educating crypto clients about the traditional art market and educating your traditional clients. Um, you know, just onboarding in general is from the 101, but then once you kind of get that, you know even further than what? After the 101, it's like we really see ourselves as bringing the thought leaders together to discuss how this will work in the future for the art market, how, you know, bringing in web three creators or three developers like the best minds and and we we are. We are the leaders in that space. In terms of bringing people together from an art, art market, yeah, no.

Speaker 1:

I, I love that. And one question that I that came up as you were, as you were talking about that is you know I I've interviewed a couple of episodes ago I interviewed the founding team of, like the, the Super Rare platform. Um, you know, do y'all like when it comes like business development, do you guys do business development with some of these platforms? Is there any sort of like relationships that are being formed um with some of these like higher, like highly curated, because like that was like my first, like you know, step into, like high end, highly curated art was, you know, through Super Rare, so is, is there any of that going on? Is there? Is it still kind of gray or like? If you can tell me you know, or tell the audience, what does that look like?

Speaker 2:

um, well, I I love Super Rare. They're great um. You know, as, as you may know, we collaborated with OpenSea back in December. We curated a sale. It was hosted on their site, so everything was on chain in terms of, you know, buyers got the benefit of, you know, automatic transactions, seamless registration and bidding. That was all on chain and native to how you know, most of these clients you know like to interact with this, with assets, um, but then you also got the benefit of Christie's curating it, so you have a bit of a cut through the noise. Um, as we talked about earlier, you know there's so much out there, so you have the Christie's um brand and, um, yeah, curation attached to it. So that was a really nice collaboration that we did.

Speaker 2:

Um, and we're doing a similar thing in the end of March, which we just recently announced. We are doing a sale um of the frenzies, uh, mitt from Friends with you, where it's really, really exciting. So we're pumped to be um working with them. Salventory are great, jordan, their manager, is great. We're doing an awesome exhibition at Christie's at the end of March. Um, the sale, it will take place on OpenSea, so the sale will be March 26 through 28th and then their physical exhibition, um, the week leading leading up to that at their at Rock Center, christie's.

Speaker 2:

So we're collaborating with kind of on-chain platforms like that. But we're open to, we're open to every partnership. I think the space there's room for everyone. Honestly, and I think you know, christie, we see ourselves our value at is like really the best and the best and like the highest and stuff. And you know, similar to how we collaborate with other auction houses regionally around the world. For you know traditional arts, you know what. We have a major collection. Maybe we sell a couple of the paintings and then another auction house sells, you know, um, a lot of the furniture, something like that. You know we've we've done that in the past.

Speaker 1:

So you know we're always open to talking to everyone yeah, and I think that's a that's a really strong sentiment because it's it. That's, in my, in my opinion, that's what has changed, and correct me if I'm wrong, but that's like what's changing a lot of like the way people are doing business these days is that there's not like, there's this idea and you have to have a little bit of an imagination to like make it work, right, uh, but it seems like this is very much a conversation of and versus or and and I think with the. I actually was watching an interview one of my favorite singers, maynard, and he was talking about the of Tool, uh, the, the polar, like the polarization of picking sides, that social media is created and you know there's, it's, it's very much this mentality of like this or this, even though between 80 and 90 percent of the people are are in the middle and typically tend to lean on both sides at any given day. Um, whether it's like I that was in a political setting, but even outside of a political setting, it's there is, no, there is such a binary way of thinking that I think social media has caused.

Speaker 1:

And so this to me, what I'm trying to to to share with people, is like, you don't have to think like that anymore. I, we did, and and it's not to any fault of our own we're just we're. We're imperfect humans, we're flawed humans, doing what the best that we think we can with new technology, and this is, quite frankly, the best that we have so far, and so we have a long way to go. Uh, but this is that was, that's something that I've always tried to drive home. Um, now, when I want to go back a little bit again, because I'm really curious, as it was my onboarding moment when it came to getting in contact with people, how did that, like walk me through that journey of like how that even happened?

Speaker 2:

yeah, so I mean we saw, back in October of 2020 we sold Robert Alice, a physical painting by Robert Alice, in our contemporary art day sale. That we sold with an NFT attached like and it was that was more of a. This is registered in the blockchain type and empty.

Speaker 2:

And so makers place saw that we did that and reached out to us and said wow, I see you guys did that, you know, would you be interested in selling just an NFT? We're like sure, you know we have. We have a what's called our first open online sales, which are where we put a lot of our lower value emerging experimental contemporary artists in those sales. We have them two or three times a year. Um, so, like I said, that was one of the sales that I was kind of working on in my old, my former capacity, and the head of the sale then, noah Davis, you know, agreed to take a lot in the sale and you know the rest, obviously, this history it really got us honestly well, so sorry, back to the people things.

Speaker 2:

Um, uh, makers place, you know, we worked with them to kind of pick, to pick which one we thought would be best and that's how and that's how we kind of landed, um, landed with people, which was obviously amazing. He's the greatest person. Uh, love working with him and his team is fantastic. It's been really fun. So, yeah, so we, you know, we put it, we were gonna put in first open sale. Then we realized that maybe there would be a little bit more interest. So we did kind of at the same time as first open, but like alongside also an online sale, and started the bidding at a hundred dollars.

Speaker 1:

I didn't even notice that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay yeah, and it got to a million dollars in the first eight minutes, wow, yeah, and it only stocked at a million dollars because that was where we kind of put a cap at, because, okay, it's through a million, we need to like vet these clients and you know do real KYC right you know, treat them as you know. We need to do AML and everything um. So then we obviously went through all that and then we opened up the bidding to people, like you know, individually as we cleared them, wow.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, I'm sitting here thinking about it because, like, yeah and it it corrects me wrong it went from what was the time? It went from one million to like I think it was like 60 million, Like what was that? I know there was a large jump. What point was there, that jump?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it went from. So it was at a million for a bit and honestly that's only internal like registered. So once you started clearing more people, the bidding kept going up and up and up. Over that. It was open for two weeks and that's so long in hindsight, but that was that's how we took online sales.

Speaker 2:

You know we have a lot of, you know, digital marketing kind of tools, you know SEO kind of stuff like that. So two weeks is usually an ideal timeframe to do all of that. So that kept going over two weeks, honestly. And then it was about if I remember correctly and don't quote me on this, I think it was at 14 million the morning that it was supposed to close, and then it went from 14 million to 62. Hammer that right.

Speaker 1:

Wow, yeah, tell me so. Was there. Did your team exist before the sale? Did your team form after that? And, if so, like what was like the vibe at the office? Was this like a company wide thing where everyone was like paying attention to this, or was this like a very small cohort of people that were only seeing this?

Speaker 2:

Well, there was a small cohort of people who were actually working on it, but everyone in the five for sure, I think, when it actually sold, like the day it was selling, like closing, I think, if I remember correctly, it was the highest number of, you know, digital eyes and traffic or clicks or whatever that were on our site ever, ever in Christie's history, and so, yeah, and so that was crazy. So, externally, everyone's looking at it internally and you know that makes everyone internally look at it. But, yeah, I mean everyone was super supportive. I mean our senior management is very, you know, very open to innovation, like love is a new idea.

Speaker 2:

So we're, it was honestly, pleasantly very, you know, very easy to like pitch this, get it done, honestly, even pitching, taking cryptocurrency, which was this is the first time that we did that that was a whole other thing and you know we, everyone was pretty much on board. You know we had some compliance. You know, look into it and grab what restrictions we couldn't and couldn't do. But we figured it out pretty quickly and we did it and it was, yeah, it was, it was great and then, yeah, after that. So, yes, the NFP department did not exist before that, it was the online sale group. Noah Davis was the head of the on first open sales, or online, contemporary and online sales. Like I said, I was, the one of my roles was the business manager for online sales and then we you know, the coordinator for that sale was fantastic and then so we kind of all the three of us kind of did subsequent sales just kind of see, still without not a formal team around the summer.

Speaker 2:

We were like, okay, this is like, this should be an exclusive thing. So we hired, we hired one other person. So our team is very small still, but that's.

Speaker 1:

That's really cool to see that happen, because that's been something I've always like. I'm, of course, a participant in the space and I'm. But then I'm also very curious in like how businesses are thinking about this and how they're. Now. You're in a very different position than most businesses because this is literally this is, this is the evolution of your industry. You know, and and so that's always been it's been funny to see different companies come in and try to make their mark on culture and some people do it right and then some of them just completely miss. Like it's like a complete swing and a miss.

Speaker 1:

And I feel like that has a lot to do with upper leadership. And going to our back to our conversation on connect club, one of the one of the questions was like having, I think the lady was asking, like what would be the requirements for, like a chief metaverse officer or a chief like you know what, what, what was your take on that Cause? Like I? I of course had some thoughts, but I I didn't like I'm not high up in the food chain to really see how that could function from a very high level perspective. I just had it from an employee's perspective. So I wanted to like get your take on that as well, cause that was a very that's a very like open question.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I've definitely seen that title been thrown around on occasion chief metaverse officer. I'm, you know, I think someone who is invested in this space early on to come in as either they're in an advisory role or kind of a leadership role, not specifically for the metaverse, just in general, like web three, to kind of help onboard the rest of a team. It is important to an extent, but I think in the longterm, like this is not a sole position like everyone in the company or in a brand I think the question was particularly related to brands, if I remember correctly, so like, or you know, a Gucci or something like that like you know, how did they do that? I think it's, you know it's going to have to be permeated throughout your, your, your entire marketing strategy, right? So I think I think the person who, the people who are successful in the longterm in general and leadership or in general in marketing or whatever you want this to fall under strategy, the broad term of corporate strategy. You know you have to have an understanding of this and what works and what does it and what, and just some examples of in the past what's worked well, what hasn't, and this is changing so quickly, so what works well, you know, in 21 might not work well in fine trade three and vice versa.

Speaker 2:

But I think more people need to develop expertise. But I don't personally see this being like its own position, at least within like I don't know, at least within like companies like mine. But I can't, I can't speak to everyone, but in terms of like events in the metaverse, I mean, I think that's something that it doesn't, that's not specific to NFTs, that's not specific to everybody should be doing, should be having hybrid type events. That's not just, like you know, webex and then first you know, like there's like metaverse version and then the in-person version. So I think, yeah, I think everyone just needs to bump up their literacy.

Speaker 1:

That was my. I'm glad you said that because that was exact Like I think I said something a little bit different, but now that you say that, I think my thing was like okay, if you are like I feel like there's too many buzzwords being thrown around right now, like I feel like people are so caught up in like the buzzword of everything versus like what it actually is, and I could just tell that the understanding in it and it's not like to slight or judge or do you have that but people just have no understanding on where to turn. And in my opinion and you can tell me your thoughts on this or if you you know but I feel like people are looking to try to speculate without actually participating and trying to like build something by just looking in from the outside. And that's like I think people's biggest fear is that, because I know with me when I my journey, when I first got onboarded, I did like four months of reading, you know, and watching and listening to clubhouse rooms before I even made my first crypto purchase, like not even in NFT, but just crypto in general, because it was actually a and just going through some of the personal process, it was actually like really weird to convert USD to Ethereum. It was a strange feeling and I wasn't that comfortable doing it.

Speaker 1:

So, like I did it and then I stopped, and then I researched some more and then I researched up to the point to where I'm like okay, you just got to like do it at this point, dude. Like you just have to like you've read enough. Like at this point. The only way you're going to learn is by experiencing it. But I see nobody willing to do that. And it's not that I know or have a watchful eye on people and what they're doing, but just by the questions that people ask, you can tell if they're just trying to like pluck a piece out of this for them without actually like jumping in, versus people that are like in it, have made a purchase, who have maybe cut their teeth, who have maybe been socially engineered or you know from from all the craziness that's going on here. So I I like your sentiment and I look at this more of like a this is just a a going to be an extra role within these already created divisions. Like it. Does that make sense?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I, I agree in theory. I just think the practical nature of how to jump in is is can be daunting and there are, as this market matures, even more, I think, more barriers to entry in 2022 than there were in 2021 for people to actually, as you say, jump in. So you know, I think people sometimes, I feel like sometimes it is for a lot of time, and I agree with you. Some other times it's it's people are trying, they're joining, they're just joining the wrong social media or they're just they're listening, they're following the not I mean not wrong, they're just, I don't know they're following people who maybe their opinions are in as respected as somebody else's. Currently, and I know respect can change- like that.

Speaker 2:

You know, it's not like your opinions are incorrect, it's just I think the practical nature of how to learn this and how to get involved authentically is, you know, can be daunting and can be difficult to figure out how to actually do that, even if you're genuinely interested and genuinely want to authentically be involved.

Speaker 1:

I can appreciate that. You know, like I like your take on that, because it's I come from, just a very like, I think, also what I'm learning just about myself and just learning about different like when something is new, there's like there's different, like an onboarding phase, or in the maturity of anything new, there's like you're going to get your like super duper maxi believers that like basically view this as religion and you know that they were so like they deserve to be rich on this because they believed in it before anyone else like including myself, Because back in 2013, 2014, 2015, I like I didn't have anything against crypto, but I just like I didn't see the actual. I don't, I don't get it. You know, I just don't.

Speaker 1:

I don't see how this is like actually valuable for me to like give up part of my life to understand this, and but then there's like this like interesting part of when there's a hyper, and then there's this like it's almost like a second version of a first mover. It's like just like a step up where it's like the people who are willing to like spend three, four, five, six hours a day putting their head in their screen and books, whatever the case may be, and joining these experiences to learn about it. And then there's this like next phase now that we have something here, now that it's validated and there's a lot of noise, it's almost like we need another person to like under like, be the communicator or the facilitator of like what we're doing, to like the general public to onboard the masses. It feels like there's like that's what is missing, there's like a missing link in this onboarding phase.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, great, I think, yeah, I mean Discord is incredibly overwhelming, trust me.

Speaker 1:

I really don't like it. I have a lot of people that are like when you're going to be?

Speaker 2:

able to go for майors and I don't like it, like it's. You know everyone. They join the Discord, be part of the community, and it's just it's. I mean, I'm in a rant, I'm in so many Discord, it's just like the notifications are terrible.

Speaker 1:

I can't figure out how to like leave certain Discord chats. I'm like I don't want to do this anymore, absolutely no. It's incredibly frustrating and it's there's the they. What's really interesting, nicole, is that when the CEO of teaser not even something that was in development, but like literally a photoshop picture of a Web 3 feature, like basically like you could verify, like what Twitter did, where you can verify your profile picture with the Ethereum blockchain, the amount of backlash that he got from that was like you can go back to. I'll send you the link to the tweet because it's honestly insane to see how many people were so against it, how many people, whether they did or not all the screenshots of the cancellations and all of the hate that they got for doing it. So Discord's in this like weird position of like okay, we know that these people really use our service and we need to cater to them, but also there's this huge chunk of existing revenue that is going to go out the door if we do this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I don't know. There's a really intense feedback loop of client emotions attached with this community which we've learned first hand with some of our sales and things. A positive end and most of it, yeah, but it's pretty crazy, it's nuts.

Speaker 1:

I want to touch a little bit more on this topic of, like, onboarding and education. And when it comes to the information, like, where, like, so y'all have, y'all create a bunch of resources. You help people on both ends of the spectrum, you know, on both the crypto side and the traditional side, educating both back and forth. When it comes to educating non-crypto people about this space, like, where do you go to find your information? Like, where is it that y'all, like, go to find the source of truth? Because I think there's going to be a couple people in this podcast that will just want to go to Christie's to find the information, but also there's also some people that want to go, like okay, where do they get their information? And I'd like to, like, you know, get a better picture of that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I think that. So there's two. There's two sides. There's the onboarding from a technical aspect, like how, what wallet do I pick? Or how do I connect my? You know, buy money on Coinbase and then transfer to my MetaMask and then transfer back to OpenSea so I can bid and then like how much do I need? Oh, my God, like spend a long gas fee. So there's like the technical aspect which, fortunately or unfortunately, I think the best way to do that is to have one person do it with you for the first time and then you're good, you're going to find someone, and people at Christie's can do this, you know. You know we can help, you know our clients do this, but there are several services, you know, out there that exist for this too, and you know, just finding someone on Twitter that you trust and like saying, hey, can you spend five minutes. So I think that's in the technical side. I think you really need someone to like show you.

Speaker 2:

From the like trends and market. What's going on like what are the keys are hot. Like who should I follow? Da, da, da, da. I mean I think NFT now is great. So I think they're a great aggregator. They have everything from the 101 to more in-depth stuff on their podcasts, really interviewing really top people and also kind of mainstream people too. So they're like really it's everything from like super techie people so they had to resubmit this one, I think two weeks ago, like really really runs the gamut. So I think there, if you're going to pick one and this podcast too, of course, thank you. I think NFT now is a great start.

Speaker 1:

I liked that one because I think the one I appreciate that, the one there's so many podcasts out there and I like that you mentioned that, because the one I mentioned, the one I watched, was the one on Richard, who was the creator of like Manifold, where they create their own custom smart contracts. You don't have to use OpenSea, you don't have to use anything, and I actually mentioned my very first podcast episode using Manifold's, like Creator Studio in contract and it's like it's a great process. But again, because I think that, especially in my journey of like teaching people how to do this, I've learned a lot. In the beginning it was just like diary of information, it's just like oozing a bunch of passion and people are just like running from the hills. When I'm doing that, they're like who is this dude? Stop talking about this, I don't care, but I've gotten more refined in my approach and I like that you touched on.

Speaker 1:

When it comes to the technical aspect, you just have to have someone there to do it with you. Like there's. It's hard to figure that out and if you don't know someone, go find someone. Even if you don't trust anyone on the internet, like go find someone in real life who there's probably at least one person in your life whether they're right or wrong about their marketing analysis that can teach you the technical aspects of the blockchain. Yeah, yeah, I mean, I'm not sure. I mean, I'm not sure, I mean, I'm not sure, I mean, I'm not sure, I mean, I'm not sure, I mean, I'm not sure, I mean.

Speaker 2:

I'm not sure. I mean I'm not sure I agree. I think we're still so early. I mean we don't think we're so early anymore, but we're so early that it's almost like and then someone else uses this analogy and I wish I remembered who it was so I can get right over this but it's almost like in Web 2, the people who are really invested in those early companies, they knew how the internet worked.

Speaker 2:

People don't need to know how the internet works now. So it's like we're in that stage where, if you were, if you need to buy crypto or buy, or you want to buy NFTs, black NFTs or, from a creator perspective, you want to admit NFTs you need to know how it works. You need to really understand how to read through, read through, scan. You should do your own technical diligence when you're looking through, figuring out things to buy in secondary. You really should figure out when it was minted, who was minted by, what are the reseller to use? Are people being honest when they're telling you this? Read through everything, and if you don't know how to read through that, it's hard. You have to just trust people.

Speaker 2:

But I think there are so many companies that hopefully will take off that are trying to make this user experience so much easier. I know Coinbase has been talking about launching their end of team marketplace, which I've heard them speak about it a few times and they say that they're gonna be very user friendly, taking credit cards and things like that. So yeah, so I mean we'll see. I mean I think we'll only get you there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you touched on a really good point of user experience, because it's very challenging for me to operate in both worlds because I work in legal tech and our platform is top of the line. In WebTube it's like there's not. I've officially drank in the Kool-Aid because I've gotten to experience it, but it's so wild to be and have a foot in both worlds because here the user interface is terrible and the user experience is awful, but it is so much more innovative. In my opinion, it's introducing a new behavior that we've never been used to before, and so it's fascinating to operate in both worlds. And I gotta ask you, on a personal note do you ever feel challenged, like when you're so heads down in what you're doing and then like going out just even going outside and watching people operate? Do you ever feel strange, like you're in a completely alternate reality, existing amongst people and they don't even know it?

Speaker 2:

Correct, I wouldn't go that far as like alternate reality, but I do feel sometimes, like on a Friday after I've had like a very, very long week, like deep in my web, three selves and team here, and not just like our small team, but like our lawyer is fantastic, like our compliance person that's all we're thinking about like all day. And so I'll go out of my office on a Saturday like, oh, people are not talking about crypto. Like people are not talking about blockchain. Like what do you mean? Like there's like draw line in another industry that doesn't it like involves like the blockchain? Like I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I found myself. I love that because, like I found myself in the beginning even going to the grocery store after like doing like 12 hours of research, like I feel like it's like I feel like I just entered into a different. I feel like I'm living in two. Like my apartment is one world and then there's like an entirely another world out there and I just remember like looking at things in USD and thinking this is strange and like watching people stress out about grocery lists and I'm like I don't even know how to compute this right now. I don't know how to like digest this information. What's happening around me?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I don't know. There's a. Is it El Salvador? Or are you saying, or Brazil, or trying to make like even the bodegas take Bitcoin? So there you go. You can be, you know, working on your grocery list and not worrying about how much inflation for your milk. You're like. There you go.

Speaker 1:

That's right, you know. Yeah, it's a fascinating world and I wanna circle back before we start wrapping things up here. I wanna circle back to again your personal side of the story. Is that, like you mentioned that you're an artist by nature? Like that's how you got into this, is how you were fascinated by it, like when Nicole sales NFT drop. Like when are we gonna like? Do you see, like, do you see yourself creating in this space in the future?

Speaker 2:

No, I mean, I never really made I don't know, I never really made like my own like collection of art. I would say like I would just like draw some of them, also a dancer, so I used to like always draw and paint like dancers and you know, like the body and like things like that. But yeah, it's really just a hobby and my own kind of like catharsis when I need to like chill and I'll just like draw on my own. But you know, maybe one day I never say never, I guess but that's right.

Speaker 1:

I mean, if you were gonna say never, I was gonna challenge you on that because I'll tell you, like there's a lot of amazing female artists in the NFT space. However, there is still a lot of like bros in the NFT space, and so you know, almost as a catalyst, but also a public push, you know we need more.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, yeah, they're great. There are great women in space. You know, and you know, chrissy's obviously worked with the world of women team last week or that was this week. That was Tuesday wow, I know that's a time here, but that was Tuesday. That was two days ago. We sold the world of women and so it was really great. Working with Dan and her team is awesome to work with her. And, yeah, I spoke to Betty from Deadfellas also about this. We had a little panel events last week.

Speaker 2:

That was last week about empowering women in the web-free world. So you know, it's just great to hear other people's opinions and be able to promote women-led projects.

Speaker 1:

It really is, and I think that there's an overwhelm, like it's still not, of course, like directly proportionate, but like there's a lot of female talent that I'm seeing here, that I got interviewed a couple on the show and it's been super incredible to hear their stories. And you know, the funny thing about world of women is that that was like my second project that I bought into I meant to two of them. Wow, it was so early that I flipped them both for a total of 1.4 Ethereum, which, in my mind, was like that was insane, because I'm like, oh my God, this is nuts. And it happened in like two weeks and then, you know, I waited another month and then there was maximum cope. It was like there was like a four or five Ethereum floor and I'm just sitting there like only in this world can you actually get mad over a hundred X on your investment and say, man, like I really fucked up here, only in this space.

Speaker 1:

Love that project. It was one of my first, like I didn't know what I was doing, but it was an incredible thing to look at. But, nicole, it's been an absolute treat to have you on. I want to start like wrapping things up. If you're like, I wanna give you the stage to like give like one piece of advice for someone who I'll let you choose whether they're coming from the crypto side or from the traditional art market side. What would be like your one piece of advice that you would give and you get to pick whichever one you wanna give advice to.

Speaker 2:

Sure, I guess I'll take traditional, because I guess that's where I come from originally. I think, yeah, I mean, just be open to hearing people and say yes to everybody who wants to talk to you. I think that's a big thing. You know, I think everybody there's a very. In the traditional art market or art world, there's a very standard way that people communicate and who they're a part of and they're from this gallery or they have you know they're from this town, or they have a house here, or they know this collector. Through this way and like that, how you get introduced to people. But in this space anybody can be important, and not just important but really interesting and contribute to the way that you think and the way that you four opinions about this space. So I would just say, like the biggest, my biggest advice to people who wanna learn more about this space or get involved is just to listen to everyone and say yes.

Speaker 1:

I love that, yeah, and then you can make a determination like whether that was like if it's or not. I love that. So, again, and versus, or Nicole, where can people find you, like if you could point someone to a direction, whether they wanna get in contact with you, or if you have anything on the Christie's website, where do you wanna point them?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I'm on Instagram and Twitter at NicoleASales on both, and then yeah, and Christie's. You know Christie'scom. You can check out anything that we're doing for NFT stuff going forward. I'll also tweet about it or end Instagram about it if you wanna follow new things that are coming up at Christie's. But, like I said, the next thing for Christie's is our friends with you sale at the end of March.

Speaker 1:

Love it, I love it. I'll put a lot of it in the show notes in the description below, so that way people can have a good point to see that. But, nicole, thank you so much for coming on. It's been an absolute treat.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're welcome. Thank you so much, it's great.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to the Schiller Vaulted Podcast. We hope you enjoyed the conversation. As we close out today's episode, don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite audio platform and leave a five star review to ensure you never miss an episode and to help others discover the Vaulted Podcast as well. To stay updated on upcoming episodes, as well as our weekly Twitter space schedule, be sure to follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at Schiller XYZ. Once again, thank you for tuning in and remember if you're looking for it. Art is everywhere and it's up to us to appreciate and explore the emotions it brings to our lives. Until next time, this is Boona signing off. She's crazy.

Behind the Scenes With Nicole Sales
Exploring Careers in Art and Economics
Navigating Traditional and Digital Art Markets
Evolution of NFTs in Business
Navigating the Role of Metaverse Officer
Navigating the World of Web 3
Empowering Women in the Web-Free World