How First Mint Fund’s AJ Dimarucot Discovered Art and NFT

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By Nath Cajuday

“… walang value yung ginagawa natin sa computer digitally until NFTs came along. So that’s when, it really, parang the epiphany came to me and it became a mind-blowing concept that, ‘what?’, digital pa lang pwede mo na siyang bigyan ng value and you can actually sell the digital file.”

[…our digital works in computers have no value until NFTs came along. So that’s when, it really, it’s like the epiphany came to me and it became a mind-blowing concept that, ‘what?’, the art is just digital and yet you can give that art a value and you can actually sell the digital file.]

This is the statement of AJ Dimarucot of First Mint Fund when asked about how he got into Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) during the BitPinas Webcast 09 – CryptoArtPH, First Mint Fund, and National Arts Month last February 3, 2022.

Sharing a brief background about his experience, Dimarucot shared that he, someone doing digital work since the 1990s, realized the potential of making NFT Art.

“I am a kid who grew up in the 80s and the 90s, and I discovered a software called Photoshop and decided then that you know, ‘how do I put a picture of somebody on my own face?’ And that was my first artwork, kumbaga. And that’s how I basically said, ‘I’m a graphic designer because I know how to use Photoshop,’” he said.

AJ added that after learning Photoshop, he then learned to create websites, and then found a job related to these.

“I designed websites at the time and nobody knew what it was. I was hired in an ad agency and then started their digital department and then left that world in 2008 and freelance for the last twelve to 13 years. And then got to work with big brands, mostly in the apparel space. Big brands like Nike, Jordan brand, you name it, the favorite brands of a lot of people,” he added.

However, the plot twist happened when the graphic designer discovered Clubhouse—a social audio app where you can discover and talk to different people—and learned about NFTs last year, 2021.

“So, nakiki-go lang ako everyday sa Clubhouse. And then, people started talking about NFTs, ano ba yun, NFTs are cool. I think, I even remember nung NFT craze, nung nagstart pa lang yung mga Bored Apes, kinekwento nila, ‘You should buy these apes.’ And I’m like, ‘Huh? why should I buy them anyway?” he stressed.

[So, I just go everyday in the Clubhouse. And then, people started talking about NFTs, what are those?, NFTs are cool. I think I even remember the NFT craze, when Bored Apes were just starting, they were telling me, ‘You should buy these apes.’ And I’m like, ‘Huh? Why should I buy them anyway?]

The First Mint Fund manager then emphasized his realization that what he had been creating since the 1990s can have value; his art can be sold even if it is just a digital file.

Dimarucot then shared his experience in meeting the crypto “OGs”, highlighting that Yield Guild Games’ Gabby Dizon promised to buy his first three NFTs.

“It took me two weeks to study. Nag-aral-aral ako sa Clubhouse, and then, he (Dizon) said, ‘AJ, walang mangyayari sa’yo kung panay kinig ka lang dyan sa Clubhouse, gumawa ka na ng NFT mo,” he concluded.

BitPinas Webcast 09 – CryptoArtPH, First Mint Fund, and National Arts Month aired live on BitPinas’ Facebook Page, hosted by BitPinas’ Senior Editor Michael Mislos, and co-hosted by Chin Gandia, Associate Consultant of Emfarsis, together with Jopet Arias of Crypto Art Philippines and AJ Dimarucot of First Mint Fund.

The BitPinas Webcast is a #CryptoPH Weekly Show. Click here to visit BitPinas Webcast Clips.

Watch BitPinas Webcasts every Thursday, at 5:00 pm, PH time.

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