CEO of Tech Talk Media & Impossible Media, and Co-Host of Amazon Prime’s Hit TV Series ‘TechTalk,’ Jonny Caplan is an award-winning British entrepreneur, innovator, and filmmaker that is deeply entrenched in the world of technology, innovation, and major lifestyle shifts. Caplan is also a NFT artist, collector, architect, and multidisciplinary artist with a passion for abstract expressionism and pointillism. He was recently featured in NFTs.Tips 2021 Miami Exhibition and his art can even be found in Portion's Decentraland Museum.
Jonny's latest project, NFTme, is a new documentary television series aimed at educating the mass market on the mind-blowing innovation, creativity, support and collaboration inside the fast-evolving NFT industry. One can participate in this vital and highly impactful TV Production by collecting 1 of the 52 Utility NFTs which are directly linked to a 5 year profit share in the production, DAO for content steering and feature, bonuses, exclusive Collectors Club, events, and more. Due for release in late 2021, it will broadcast in more than 80 countries around the world on Tier 1 Broadcast Channels. By enabling community participation, he is certainly creating a production in the spirit of the industry it will be spotlighting.
In the interview below, Jonny discusses his plan to bring NFTs to the masses via television, his predictions on where we are headed with truly immersive virtual experiences, and the power of breaking down barriers between creators and their communities.
Hi Jonny! Tell us a bit about your background and how you found yourself falling down the crypto rabbit hole.
"So I came across NFTs in 2017 whilst interviewing the CEO of NIIO.com who pioneered NFT screens early on and a dedicated platform, but I honestly didn’t start to believe or see the future, until I was awoken by Elon Musk’s $1bn investment in Bitcoin through Tesla, and PayPal, Ebay & Binance moving into the NFT game. At first glance NFTs were super interesting to me personally, the culmination of all my creative skills from fine art, to photography and film, to 3D, music, animation and more. It was exciting, new and so innovative which is right up my street. But honestly, after meeting some of the most incredible humans in my life, seeing the insurmountable positive energy, love, support, education coming out of the space, I was blown away and realised I had found my home."
Can you share more about your NFT artwork? Where do you find inspiration and what is your creative process like?
"I studied Art Foundation and Architecture at University and have had a passion for abstract expressionism and pointillism for many years. Inspired by great impressionists such as Mark Rothko, I always use powerful color sets that generate a strong emotion. My collection is a mix of my unique Abstract Fine Art, often coming with an animated artwork as a counterpart to the physical piece, along with a collection of pointillism pieces, using a variety of innovative techniques."
As I understand, you're currently working on a creating a brand-new documentary TV series highlighting the emerging NFT industry, showcasing various NFT artists, pioneers, entrepreneurs, and influencers. What are your goals with NFTme? How can people get involved?
"NFTme was created to take NFTs to the masses via Television. The immense surge in metrics, demand and interest over the last few months proves that this is a creative revolution and one of the next big changes of our lifetime. Having said that, there is no clear channel of information, reporting on brands, creators, financiers, etc. The information is badly splintered and more so, 95% of the mainstream market does not get or understand what is happening here, there is a wealth of new resources, jargon, social changes, etc. All which needs to be addressed, people need to be educated and informed so that they can get involved and benefit from these incredible developments and opportunities.
There is a mind blowing spirit of good, positivity, support and unity that I personally have witnessed inside the NFT community, something I have never ever seen replicated anywhere else before. The pure fact that the innovators and creatives have joined forces to make things better and innovate, has spawned an incredible spirit of unity and brotherhood, which has not been replicated elsewhere and we need to showcase this, propel it forwards and help to create more positive impact in this way. Bottom line is, we must create this educational and world-changing channel of information that will help others to join and benefit from this creative NFT revolution. It will also provide the NFT industry and creators with a powerful platform and voice via broadcast media.
We also enabled the community to get involved directly by collecting one of the 52 Utility NFTs that are linked to the production, to enable them to share in our success and help to steer the content and direction."
For more information and to get involved visit: www.NFTme.tv
What has your entry into the NFT space been like? What's one of your main takeaways from being part of the NFT community?
"Eventful! Exciting every day, learning new things, meeting new people, innovating and creating. One of the most exciting industries I ever came across. I was lucky to come in through NFTs.Tips, the largest and the fastest growing NFT community, they have helped 1000s to learn about NFTs and get tooled up. I am now giving back by sitting on the NFTs.Tips Advisory Team and assisting with their growth.
[On my main takeaway] Love will change the world! As corny as it may sound, I had lost a lot of faith in humanity after covid, some bad business partners, and some romantic rollercoasters, but after seeing the sheer level of support, encouragement, guidance, love and sheer goodwill in this space. I am totally enlightened and excited to bring this to the rest of the world."
What inspires and surprises you about the emerging world of NFTs? How do you see them impacting the way artists make work and the relationship they have to the market?
"The speed of innovation, the constant evolution, the level playing field, the beautiful characteristics and unity of the community.
[On the impact of NFTs] Game Changer! No middle men, no barriers, no delays, no access problems, no excuses. You create, you mint and post it, shill and market and if it’s in demand, you have the ability to do the entire process alone. Yes, we had the internet before and sites like Artsy, but the demand was never truly there, and now with the rise of NFT, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, the market is changing and the world is adapting."
What’s a concept that is missing right now from the language of how we talk about NFTs, and how would you define it?
"Honestly after advising some of the biggest brands on their strategy, the whole industry missed the boat on terminology and branding. NFTs is not the sexiest name, non-fungible tokens aren't clear in layman's terms, crypto and blockchain certainly aren't exciting words. The power and impact of the technology however is ground breaking, I just wish I could have gone back and come up with some better descriptive names to make it more attractive and quicker to understand for newbies and others outside of this space."
What does the idea of the Metaverse mean to you? Where do you think we are heading technologically (with regards to creating and connecting)?
"Another world, immersed somewhere! I created and pioneered AR (Augmented Reality) technology for many years. I am super bullish on the technology and concept long term. We are heading to the Black Mirror type scenarios, much more Metaverses. They are popping up everywhere. Virtual land prices are rising, galleries, properties, venues and being built. I own several properties, and have my work featured in several Metaverses, including in Portion’s Museum in Decentraland. I think Metaverses are incredible, I love to paint, sculpt and create there. Also viewing art, dancing, meeting people, and enjoying social experiences is just so cool, especially if you are using an Oculus or similar. Love Metaverses, I do wish the tech would advance and be super high resolution.
[On where we're headed] Screens, screens, screens, all over the walls, buildings, more head-up displays, digital contact lenses maybe. Our walls will be made of display materials, our windows also, projectors and hologram devices. We have a guest featuring on NFTme who is creating art that will be featured on a space shuttle. We're in discussions with a number of firms on various outdoor display solutions for digital art. Also more immersive Metaverses and worlds, wearables and sensors."
Community seems like an important element of your work. How do you go about building those relationships? Why is increasing visibility and uplifting underrepresented artists in this space so important to you?
"Community is vital to achieving success certainly at this point in the NFT space. With the lack of ‘Google-like’ search facilities across NFT platforms, filters, analytical and display tools, an artist will find it hard alone to get known and meet like-minded creators. I discovered this clearly through my own path, coming in learning from others, then to helping others, and following on with leading and pioneering in the space. Community is everything, a way to get known, have a following and understanding for your art, be inspired and encouraged, supported through the hard times. It's very hard to have been able to achieve alone. Even with my busy schedule, I ensure to find time and initiatives to drive and help others, as I am clear on what's needed and blessed to have the skills to teach and guide others."
On top of everything, you're also quite an active NFT art collector. Can you tell us a story about one of your favorite works in your collection? What about the work resonated with you?
"Yes, I have a piece called ”Llorando por el Mundo” by ST Rivera of a woman crying immense tears pouring off her face. I remember first meeting ST and hearing her description of the piece and seeing the incredible detail and emotion that was put into the work. It's a beautiful piece that resonated with me very strongly and I cherish it dearly today."
What have been your greatest lessons learned thus far in your career?
"Embrace change, try new things, don’t be afraid of failure, failure is often the very key we need to achieve success and earn our wisdom and experience. Believe in yourself and your own abilities, support others and you can achieve literally anything in life with the following three things: passion, determination & resilience."
Do you have any tips for emerging artists or for creators who want to dip their toes into the crypto space for the first time?
"Be innovative, unique, passionate, determined and resilient. Be friendly, cooperative, supportive, respectful and creative, but most importantly be yourself and don't feel obliged to conform or adapt. Never be afraid to make mistakes and don't be afraid to ask others for help."
About Jonny Caplan
Award-Winning Filmmaker, Architect & Multidisciplinary Artist, Serial Entrepreneur, Technologist, NFT Artist & Collector, Cannabis Activist, Sustainability & Impact Leader
→ CEO @ Tech Talk Media & Impossible Media
→ Co-Host of Amazon Prime’s Hit TV Series ‘TechTalk’
→ Winner of 15 International Film Festival Awards in 2020
→ Duke of Edinburgh Award Winner
→ Part of PwC’s “TechSheCan” Charter propelling Women in Tech & Innovation
→ Technology Expert on CNBC & CNBC Africa