While exploring the NFT scene in India, we couldn’t miss Karan Kalra, one of the leading artists in India’s NFT scene. Karan’s artworks immediately caught our eye with their unique ability to tell a story and their imaginative use of animation. Karan is no stranger to other forms of art and skills, and recently, we got to ask him about his journey into the NFT space, his inspiration, and even talk about his advice for those who are just getting started in the world of NFTs.
Can you tell us more about yourself? What is your story?
My name is Karan Kalra, and I am a multidisciplinary visual artist based in New Delhi. At an early age, I knew I wasn’t meant to be in any other field but art, so I spent the last 15 years learning and practicing a plethora of creative skills including 2D and 3D animation, filmmaking, illustration, writing, sculpture, painting, carpentry, stagecraft, model making and many, many more.
How did you get into NFTs?
I have been in the crypto space since 2016 and have seen all its ups and downs. When NFTs appeared on my radar, I observed for a long time to try to understand how it all worked. I finally started my NFT journey in June 2021 and have since fallen in love with the immense potential this new frontier holds for artists, the amazing community I’ve found, something I’ve always looked for in the Indian art scene, as well as finally getting appreciated and valued for my work after years of dealing with clients who underpaid and overworked me for their own gain.
What is your inspiration for creating art?
I’m a storyteller at heart, using any medium I can to tell the tales swirling around in my head.
I am heavily influenced by science fiction in my work, with a deep-seated fascination for interstellar space, but I also love to visualise the curious world we live in from my lens. Creation for creation’s sake is my life goal. Creo, ergo sum.
How do you feel about being one of the first Indian artists on the NFT scene?
I don't think I can claim to be one of the first. I knew so many artists who were there before me, but I guess I was fortunate to be amongst the first wave… and was luckier to find a slew of supporters who liked the work I put out. After years of creating into a void, I finally had a community with whom I could share my work and get support as well as constructive critique. For my artistic journey, this community support has been huge. And doing my part to help others in the community grow has been one of the most rewarding experiences, as well.
What advice would you share with someone who is just starting as an NFT artist?
Don’t focus on sales, focus on your craft.
Sales won’t happen right away or even consistently, but we as artists must strive to create consistently and not create to sell but create the content that inspires us, that makes us happy. This kind of work is usually the best-selling because collectors can feel the passion. Also, don’t worry if you don’t make a sale for a long time, at first or even after a few. Keep creating; your collector will find you eventually. This is just the beginning.
Is there anyone in the NFT world who you look up to, who inspires you?
There are so many—I could write pages of just names. The entire community is full of inspiring artists, collectors, builders, dreamers, and more, and I am truly inspired by all of them each and every day.
Where can collectors buy your work or know more about it?
While initially, my work was on WazirX, I will now mainly be focusing on minting work on Foundation and KnownOrigin. I have spent months refocusing and rethinking a few of my popular series, and this year I will be dropping some truly mind-blowing stuff in a much more organised (yet chaotic) form. The future is bright indeed.