Best recognized for her prized role as Maxine Shaw on Living Single, Erika Alexander has successfully transitioned into a new season of her career. She now channels her attention toward promoting Black culture and excellence.
Taking a leap of faith, Erika Alexander ventured into comic books having little to no experience in the arena which she reveals is distinct from writing for film and television. “We did it because we’re trying to move a mountain when we couldn’t move the mountain, we decided to make our own,” Alexander said in an exclusive interview with AfroTech.
Launching Concrete Park in 2013 -written in conjunction with Tony Puryear (screenwriter of Eraser)- the comic explores themes of race, exile, and poverty through a dark tale where the protagonists do not aim to rebuild society, but they are fighting to create a new infrastructure. The comic series received massive success receiving recognition as The Best American Comics upon its release in 2013 and Forbes Magazine credited the comic as a stand-out indie project.
Let’s take a look at what the multi-faceted actress and entrepreneur said about this Brave New World of art — and why she thinks the future is here, and now, in the crypto space.
A New Future
In a push to shift the paradigm towards the future Alexander hopes to create a new bridge between the artist and consumer. The answer would be found in non-fungible tokens.
As an advocate for NFT’s Alexander believes the venture allows artists to take ownership of their craft while finding creative ways to connect with fans.
Digital art is the gateway for creating a transactional and permanent record that can be stored in the form of cryptocurrencies, or digital counts as Alexander calls it. Artists of all calibers are venturing into the race contributing to a new renaissance for arts and commerce.
“It’s our natural evolution to commerce, ownership, and compensation. It’s frictionless, it’s permanent and it’s the future,” Alexander told AfroTech.
Erika Alexander Taps Into Digital Collections
Alexander was introduced to the fungible world three years ago by Ben Arnon, a co-founder of their company Color Farm Media. The process was relatively easy for Alexander who encourages early learners to allow curiosity to guide them through their journey.
Taking her own advice, Alexander released NFTs to accompany her award-winning sci-fi graphic novel this year. The Concrete Park Bangers first NFT collection was launched on September 15 on the crypto platform Curio. The debut collection featuring 7000 unique tokens marked a milestone for the platform as the world’s first generative art project.
Following the success of her first collection, she released her second collection on September 28 with 7000 unique tokens. The newest launch partners with Black Girls Code-a nonprofit to teach African American girls to code, as AfroTech previously reported- to not only dedicate a portion of funds to the non-profit organization but will provide them the opportunity to co-create a unique Concrete Park NFT Banger character.
The Art Renaissance Is Here
The collection is a push to keep up with the industry trends and compete with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Her formula worked as her first collection sold out in only 60 seconds.
“You have to find cutting edge engagement opportunities where you build your brand and enhance your relationship with your audience. As a maverick, I try to find different ways to be relevant and not be held hostage by the galleries of race or gender or any of those other things that are placed on me,” Alexander reveals.
Whether artists choose to divulge themselves into the NFT marketplace, Alexander is convinced the venture will not be in vain.
“Every generation, you have the fault of people who won’t be able to cross over to the bridge in the next century. I think what an artist ultimately needs is to find a way to express themselves and you’ll feel proficient in it. The marketplace, if they choose to engage, there are some people who just work for themselves, they’re not interested in people really buying. They go to places and people that’s comfortable for them and they do very well. But I do think that if you want to be relevant in the next decades, then this is a marketplace it’s not going to waste,” Alexander told AfroTech.