The pioneering world of NFT art has found its first true Gen Z success in the form of teenage artist Victor Langlois, aka FEWOCiOUS. After making a name for himself across the online NFT space, particularly as part of the growing number of queer crypto artists, Langlois became the youngest artist ever to be featured by legendary action house Christie’s, and on June 23rd 2021, was the first ever to crash their website. The online auction, which went ahead two days late, closed with a sale total of $2,162,500, a staggering amount for any artist, let alone a then 18-year-old living alone in Seattle. The deeply personal series, titled Hello, i’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life, detailed the transgender artist’s struggle growing up with his grandparents who never accepted his identity as Victor, and the road to self-acceptance paved by his creative outlet in the form of art. The young upstart also successfully participated last November in Long Beach’s Complex Con music festival, where large-scale art pieces of his were on full display.
Now a global success with an enormous future ahead of him, Victor is a mainstay in the crypto art scene, with a prescient presence on Twitter promoting the work of his friends and fellow artists, all while continuing his own work with newfound freedom.
We got all the details on FEWOCiOUS’ overnight success, how he got his start, and why he was attracted to the world of NFTs. Read the full interview from The Untitled Magazine‘s latest print edition, The “INNOVATE” Issue, out now.
Tell us about how you got started as an artist. What have been the main mediums you preferred or themes you have addressed in your work prior to making NFTs?
In middle school I sat by myself at lunch every day. To distract myself from my loneliness I’d draw on the back of my homework and create my own world and friends. I honestly don’t have a preferred medium, it varies all the time depending on what I want to express.
What is the background for your nickname FEWOCiOUS?
When I was 11, I’d play Minecraft all the time with my older friends. I was terrible at the game, so they’d call me “Fewocious” to make fun of how often I’d lose in game. I made the Twitter account I have now to enter a computer giveaway and I chose the username Fewocious just because it was the first thing that came to mind.
How/when did you start making NFTs and what is the inspiration behind the works you make?
April 2020, I sold a physical painting for $90 on my website. I was so excited because that was my highest painting sale at the time! After the collector received it, he loved it so much he wanted to collect more from me. He emailed me inquiring about more art, instead of paintings however, he wanted NFT art! Ever since then, all my art has been linked to NFTs! I still do both physical art in addition to the digital NFTs.
All my art is inspired by living. Moments I have with friends inspire me, when I’m alone in my room I can be inspired. I try to be inspired by everything and do my best to capture what being alive feels like for me.
How do you go about the process of translating your journal entries from words into the visuals of your art?
I start with writing a journal entry, I paint how I feel over the journal entry, then I write about how I feel about the paint – and repeat the process until I feel I’ve properly expressed myself! It takes a long time, but I feel it’s the best way to exercise my brain and gather my emotions in art
What advice would you give other young artists hoping to make a name for themselves in the NFT and digital art world?
Make the art you want to make and what you feel in your heart. It’s scary to enter a community of people when you’re not experienced. If you don’t know much about crypto its okay! You will learn just by interacting and seeing tweets on your twitter. I was so shy when I first joined, but I promise you the space is so sweet and you will find amazingly kind and adventurous people who will accept you. Making art is so important and we are still so early in the NFT space. Go for it!!
Can you talk a little bit about the process of putting together the auction with Christie’s? How did it come about?
I had talked about doing an auction before and soon after, Christie’s emailed me and said they were interested in doing an auction together! I was super excited and nervous because this was something I had dreamed about since I was a little kid. It was important to me because it gave me such a big platform to share my story and the things I’ve been through in my life. When I was a little kid, seeing other trans people who were able to share their stories gave me so much hope. I could not have been more honored for me to do the same.
In light of your beginnings in shirt designs, and your more recent collaboration with RTFKT Studios, do you have any further aspirations in the worlds of fashion and streetwear?
YES! ABSOLUTELY! I am ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAAAYS thinking about fashion and how much it means to me. I really want to dive deep into fashion and figure out ways to express myself in other mediums.
How was the experience of being part of Christie’s’ Pride celebrations in regard to not only your own identity, but also the content of the artwork?
It was beautiful! I probably cried a million times of happiness when I was in NYC for Christie’s. It was such a magical experience to feel so validated as a person and artist after being told my way of life and who I am was wrong for so long. It truly was the best moment of my life and I’m so happy with how everything turned out.
What was it that prompted you to offer a personal meeting along with your works in the auction?
This collection is too personal for me to not meet the people who won the auctions! I am alive at the same time as my collectors and through the NFT space I haven’t had the chance to meet many people. I want to see as many people as I can. People inspire me a lot, and I know after meeting the collectors who believe in me, I’ll feel very inspired!
What do you find are some of the key differences between your digital and your physical art?
Honestly, not much for me. I treat both the same as much as I can. Of course, for physical art I have to wait for paint to dry and clean my brushes. Sometimes paint runs out and I have to run to the store before it closes. Artistically and in terms of the inspiration and expression, I treat both the same!
In the process of Hello, I’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS), did you find yourself coming to terms with some of the more difficult aspects of your upbringing and your transition?
Working on the art for my collection was really tough for me. Exploring my worst memories while in the happiest moments of my life was super haunting. I had plenty of nights where I had to stop working because I couldn’t stop crying or bring myself to hold a paint brush anymore. I wanted the art to feel as authentic as I could make it, so I really channeled the same emotional zones I went through when I was younger.
Can you elaborate more on your development of a piece, particularly how you treat it like a film, detailing dialogue and set-ups in order to flesh out the visual story?
I like thinking of my paintings as all the scenes from a movie collaged into one still image that’s blurred and smudged over [laughs]. I think establishing location & writing dialogue helps it feel more real. Treating the upper left part of the canvas as Act 1, the center as Act 2, has helped me too. My art has so much too it that having basic rules or guidelines to guide my intense feelings has helped me lots!
What can we look forward to next from FEWOCiOUS?
I am expressing my heart to the world though my art. To me, art can be anything and I want to explore it all. There is definitely more coming later, so you will have to wait and see!