A crypto whiz kid! 13-year-old artist becomes a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE in just one year by selling dinosaur-inspired NFT portraits of women like Jackie O and Beyonce for thousands
- Nyla Hayes’ art has been sold for nearly $7 million, with portraits going for thousands of dollars each
- She started drawing at age four, and got a smartphone for digital art at age nine
- Nyla is known for her portraits of women with elongated necks, which were inspired by the Brontosaurus – a dinosaur she has liked since she was little
- Her uncle encouraged her to sell her art as NFTs, which she has done with the help of her parents and brother
- Her most expensive NFT – a ‘hand drawn, computer generated collectible out of 3,333 diverse females’ – sold for 4 ETH, or about $11,737, last August
- She has signed to Los Angeles-based talent agency CAA and was named Time Magazine’s first ‘Artist-in-Residence’ last year
A 13-year-old artist has become a multi-millionaire by selling her portraits of long-necked women as NFTs.
Nyla Hayes has been drawing since she was little, but recently began producing works of women — including celebrities like Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Lucille Ball — with elongated necks.
With some encouragement from her uncle and help from her mom, she started selling some of her 3,000 portraits as NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, earning thousands of dollars for each piece.
Her most expensive NFT — a ‘hand drawn, computer generated collectible out of 3,333 diverse females’ — sold for 4 ETH, or about $11,737, last August, and in total her art has been sold for nearly $7 million.
Nyla has been drawing since she was four, and at nine, her parents bought her a smartphone to encourage her to pursue digital art.
‘I could see how passionate she was about her art and I just thought like, if I could support her in any way. That’s exactly what I’m going to do,’ her mother, Latoya, told NBC News Now.
Her portraits feature women with different skin tones, hairstyles, makeup, and accessories, but each has her signature extra-long neck.
Those necks were inspired by another thing Nyla likes: Brontosaurus dinosaurs.
When she was little, she became fascinated with them, calling them ‘long neckies’ — and she managed to incorporate that into her portraits of women.
‘At first I just wanted to put two things that I love together, and that was a Brontosaurus and women. I wanted to show how beautiful and strong women were, and I thought of the brontosaurus as that as well,’ she said.
While she draws everyday women, she also does renderings of famous women, past and present — including Virginia Woolf, Virginia Hall, Greta Thunberg, Oprah Winfrey, Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth II, Coco Chanel, and Aretha Franklin.
‘I love drawing women from all around the world because I really like different cultures and different backgrounds,’ she said.
‘I try to get inspiration from almost, like, anything, but usually I can get it from certain colors, or I get most of my inspiration off of Google or Pinterest,’ she added to Insider. ‘But I do want to travel the world so I can actually see it in person. And I can have some inspiration from that too.’
At first, she only showed the portraits to her family and friends, and was ‘nervous that people wouldn’t like it or think it was weird.’
But her uncle encouraged her to sell them as NFTs, and her parents and brother helped her figure out how to make it happen.
Still, she never imagined they’d be such a success.
‘I just thought it would be cool to put my art out there and show people that but to see how people react to it. I was never expecting it to blow up like this,’ she said.
In January, she sold a portrait of Frida Kahlo for $4,922.92. In February, Long Neckie Lady #578 was bought for $3,020.36, and another went for $6,621.70 in March.
This week, a piece called World of Women Galaxy #21245 sold for $6,783.92.
‘My Long Neckies stand for diversity and women from all around the world. It’s meant to make people comfortable in their own skin and it’s meant to make young girls feel powerful about being themselves,’ she told Tom’s Guide.
In addition to bringing in cash, Nyla is racking up accolades. In 2021, she was named Time Magazine’s first ‘Artist-in-Residence,’ and recreated the magazine’s cover portraits of their ‘Women of the Year.’
In March, she was signed with Creative Arts Agency,
To date, her artwork has earned 1,394 ETH in primary and secondary sales, or about $5.8 million based on ether’s trading price on Monday, according to transaction records on the OpenSea and KnownOrigin marketplaces. Hayes has earned 382 ETH ($1.61 million) in primary sales before expenses like developer pay and gas fees.