September 27, 2023

Creating Non-Fungible Toys with Amrit Pal Singh

min read

Ten years ago, Amrit Pal Singh graduated from Vancouver Film School and started his design career.

NFTs were a foreign concept, and if you had asked him what "fungible" meant during those days, he probably would have given you a puzzled stare of utter confusion.

Fast forward to February 2021, and things were about to change for Amrit and his artistic career. He was on the cusp of launching his debut NFT project and beginning his ascent as one of the most famous NFT artists in the Metaverse.

Now, one year later, apart from pioneering numerous projects and collaborating with some of the most inventive artists in the world, Amrit has netted over $1 million in NFT sales.

It was not an overnight journey for Amrit to get to where he is now. We sat down with him to learn more about his trip through the Metaverse and discuss his career as an NFT artist on the rise.

The early days of design

After finishing film school, Amrit moved to New York City and got his first full-time job as a motion designer. He began developing a knack for micro-interactions and designing animations for UI.

After moving back to India, he continued developing his skills in different fields of design. NFTs still hadn't entered the picture, but Amrit was doing big things and working with splashy clients like Snapchat, Google, Adobe, and Netflix.

Even though work was moving in the right direction, he started to get an itch for a different type of project, "[In] 2019 I kind of got tired with the whole startup ecosystem and wanted to do something on my own."

Amrit began working on Toy Faces, a library of 3D avatars with his signature style. These one-of-one portraits were a massive hit and came out at an ideal moment, "A lot of people wanted one of these portraits, especially when the pandemic kicked in and companies kind of wanted to reward their employees with a digital avatar for working at home."

A lineup of Amrit's signature Toy Faces.

Even though PFP madness still hadn't surfaced, people were connecting with Amrit's digital portraits, "I wanted to create characters where people could find themselves. I think that's what kind of resonated with a lot of people, especially when the pandemic kind of kicked in and they saw this new way of representing themselves online."

With Toy Faces, Amrit was laying the groundwork for his future as an NFT artist. It was just a matter of time and the right moment for things to start taking off.

The jump to NFTs

As Toy Faces began to rise and popularity around the product community, NFTs were also starting to catch fire in the mainstream media. It didn't take too long for Amrit to receive Twitter DMs urging him to get in on the NFT action.

Daft Punk Toy Face by Amrit Pal Singh

"I started getting these DMs from like well-intentioned people that wanted me to start making NFTs of Toy Faces. Back then, I didn't even know what NFT stood for. Even after Googling, I had no idea what non-fungible meant! Plus, I had zero clue about blockchain."

Despite facing the typical learning curve with crypto and NFT terminology, Amrit began a new journey as a digital artist.

Toy faces hit the NFT market

In February of 2021, Amrit officially joined the crypto art movement by minting the ever-iconic Frida Kahlo Toy Face. It didn't take long for Amrit to see the incredible potential of Toy Faces in the NFT space, and almost immediately, he got to work on creating more.

Frida Kahlo Toy Face by Amrit Pal Singh

With more Toy Faces freshly minted and his community eager to get their hands on these, bids started rolling in, "Toy Faces was already kind of famous in the product community, so I got some initial bids which was very exciting. Eventually, there was a bidding war on one of the pieces, and it ended up selling for quite a lot of money, which was very exciting. I was totally shocked."

The ETH was starting to stack up, and people were popping serious tags to get their hands on a one-of-one Toy Faces NFT. But this was just the beginning of Amrit's success.

Non-fungible Toys as a means of self-expression

With Toy Faces still exhibiting bullish tendencies, Amrit decided to expand his NFT collection by dropping Toy Rooms, a series of iconic rooms illustrated during quarantine and the height of the pandemic. In his own words, creating these rooms was like opening gateways "to a world of possibilities and childlike wonder during the pandemic."

Amrit's iconic Toy Rooms.

It was becoming clear that NFTs were an artistic awakening for Amrit. His design background and work for clients gave him the tools to become the artist he is today, but they weren't helping him unleash his creative potential.

"Design was not as self-expressive as art because you have to cater to the client. When I started in NFTs, I could create and mint projects based on people who inspire me. Toy faces, for example, are quite personal to me, and they allowed me to express myself."

This authentic passion fueled even more demand for his projects. But apart from unveiling a new form of self-expression, NFTs were starting to open doors to exciting new collaborations.

Collaborations and creating communities

With some hype building up around his name, artists started reaching out to get Amrit to put his signature touch on a collaborative piece. But for Amrit to commit to collaborations, projects must meet specific criteria.

To get a real sense of how Amrit finds the right match with collaborations, one Tweet sums up his sentiments perfectly, "If the art is not there, I just can't get behind the project, no matter how fast its floor is rising or whatever. Also, not into projects that are too complex to understand."

When it comes to collaborations, there's quality over quantity. Teaming up with Robotos, for example, proved that the right partnership produces authentic and collectible pieces.

Robotos X Amrit

One project that quickly became a hit with fans and Amrit's personal favorites was his signature rendition of an angelic Roboto Cyborgo. Having netted over 30 ETH in sales, this digital collectible created serious FOMO once it hit the OpenSea market.

Amrit created his version of a Roboto Cyborgo in the Toy Face style.

Aside from raking in tons of crypto, the project was an example of two styles meshing together seamlessly. For Amrit, this is a vital part of a quality collaboration.

"It's important to find people who complement your work, and I was excited to work with Pablo Stanley and Robotos. Both of the styles worked well together to create something people would love to collect.”

Of course, much of a project's success boils down to is the community and their response. This type of care and genuine desire to make digital art that his community loves is part of what makes Amrit's NFTs unique and valuable.

An artist and collector

It's not all about making digital art but also collecting it. Amrit is just as avid about having awesome NFTs in his wallet as he is about making them.

Collecting NFTs started two months after he began selling his work. Similar to his passion for creating digital art, collecting it opened his eyes to a new side of the Metaverse, "The NFT community is so wonderful, and you get to see so much passion. Collecting helped me make tons of friends and be part of their artistic journey."

Through his collection, Amrit is dedicated to promoting NFTs as a form of digital art and not just a means to make a quick chunk of change. His collection isn't stored away in his wallet either. Amrit purchased digital land and a virtual gallery to display his growing gallery of collectibles.

This virtual gallery was no small project either; Amrit spent over 2 ETH purchasing the space for his gallery and over 40 ETH for the digital art. The aptly named Toy Cafe showcases his art and some of the most in-demand PFPs on the market and has already hosted thousands of visitors.

Amrit's virtual NFT gallery called Toy Cafe.

While he has experienced financial success from selling pieces of his collection, Toy Cafe and Amrit’s collection embody the WGMI spirit of NFTs and the Metaverse.

On the horizon of the Metaverse

By all accounts, 2021 was a trademark year for Amrit and his career. Luckily for his fans and community, it's still just the beginning, and there are more exciting projects and collaborations coming down the pipeline.

From more iconic Toy Faces to concepts still unknown to all, expect to see big things from this one-of-a-kind artist.

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