At 10 when many kids would be trying to tell the difference between Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, US-based Teresa Melvin, who is originally from Kerala, had already figured out the mood, nature and looks of Ava – her first NFT series character.
Teresa (13) has minted over 100 NFTs and three of her major collections are already sold out. She is now immersed in the creation of a storyline out of a blend of her two characters Ava and Ramona and calls it AvaRamona. Her parents Nimmy Melvin and Melvin Thambi are professional artists from Kerala. The trio now live in Houston, Texas, US. The family shifted base to the US a decade ago, for work.
Three years into her creative journey, Teresa has carved a niche for herself in the American NFT spaces. In 2021, Teresa’s work has been exhibited at Art Basel Miami, NFT NYC, Dubai Exp. This year, Teresa’s work was shown at the SuperMint NFY in Los Angeles 2022. She has also exhibited her work in SCAA gallery in Rhode island in March 2022. Teresa also designed the logo for the NFT Kids magazine. She is the youngest-ever designer for the magazine.
“AvaRamona is a storyline where I bring together my two creations Ava and Ramona to start a new narrative. The two characters are separately sold on Foundation and Opensea. Ava loves donuts, and she is a go-getter! I created her when I was 10 because I wanted a character that reflected my personality. Her best friend, Ramona, is a bold, confident, and very active person who is crazy about skateboarding. She chose to follow the beat of her own drum, and she was born a year later because I decided to create a character which was similar to how I was at that time,” Teresa tells Business Today.
Melvin Thambi, her father who is an NFT creator and founder of the NFT Malayali global community says, “Teresa was inspired to create digital art from the start and took to the iPad Pro like most kids would take to crayons and paper.” NFT Malayali has helped multiple traditional artists onboard the NFT space to collaborate and co-create.
Nimmi Melvin says that the creative environment at home had a lot to do with her artistic nurture. “Partially because at home we are all artists, she took to creating original work so fast, but it was also her reading habit that inspired her to create characters.”
While she began creating at a time when the crypto market was booming, the slump in the market has not affected her passion.
“It is time for all artists to create as the possibilities for experimentation in the NFT space has increased more than ever. It is specially a great time for child creators like Teresa to explore digital art because this is where art is heading, eventually,” Thambi said.
For Teresa, despite hitting a 100 NFT milestone, the journey may have just begun. She is currently working on exclusive traits for her characters and working illustrations for her website. Through this project, she wishes to inspire and support other child artists.
She works to a plan. “My schedule is tightly organised with digital tools like Google calendar and Trello that allows me to split time between studies and creating art.”
And when not studying or minting NFTs, she does other things. “I love music, writing stories, and doing comic doodles. I am also learning Indian classical music and the violin,” shares the quiet teenager.
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