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TIME Names 12-Year-Old Who’s Sold Nearly $4M In NFTs As First Artist-In-Residence

Twelve-year-old Nyla Hayes’ inspirational story in the NFT world has garnered her a cover on TIME for Kids and the title of TIMEPiece’s first Artist-in-Residence.

On Thursday, TIMEPiece shared the big news online and helped introduce the middle schooler to the world.

Hayes made $3.4 million in digital currency with her Long Neckie Collection, a series of NFT pieces depicting diverse women with elongated necks inspired by her favorite dinosaur, the Brontosaurus, People of Color in Tech reports.

At just 12 years old, Hayes is breaking ground and making history for Black girls in tech. She helps educate youths on NFT (non-fungible token) and even launched NFT Children’s Day to help other kids launch careers in the emerging tech space.

“I started drawing at 4. When I was 9, my parents got me a smartphone to make digital art,” she told TIME for Kids. “I made drawings of people with long necks, which I call Long Neckies.”

“This past March, my uncle told my mom about NFTs. We watched YouTube to learn how to create and sell them,” she explained. “Soon, people were buying NFTs of my Long Neckies. I have made more than 960 ETH. (That’s digital currency worth about $3.4 million.) Being part of the NFT community is amazing!”

Now, as TIMEPiece’s first Artist-in-Residence, Hayes will help develop “an intimate, focused collection of art” and work toward other initiatives featured in its Build a Better Future Genesis Collection.

“These Artist-in-Residence collections will continue to allow TIME to bring art on to the blockchain that marries the artist’s signature style with a renowned TIME franchise,” the company said in a statement. “This extends TIME’s nearly 100-year tradition of highlighting great artists and photographers of a given era while leading the brand into new innovative spaces—in this case NFT’s and Web3.”

Hayes’ collection will be released on Nov. 17, 2021, to TIMEPieces and TIMECats holders.

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