Benyamin Ahmed taught himself how to create pixellated artwork by watching video tutorials.
A 12-year-old boy has made around £290,000 selling whale art non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Benyamin Ahmed created and sold the digital artworks, which are called Weird Whales, after teaching himself how to create pixels by watching video tutorials during the summer holidays.
“I made them to auction them off originally. It started as a learning experience but then just went viral on Twitter,” he told ITV News.
The north London schoolboy has created 3,350 of the digital whale drawings, which are inspired by their common usage as memes in Minecraft and on YouTube.
NFTs act as a digital certificate of authenticity and ownership for artworks and online assets.
They are bought and sold using cryptocurrency and the details of ownership are kept on blockchain.
Benyamin, who has never had a conventional bank account, is keeping his earnings in Ethereum, the type of cryptocurrency they were sold in.
When asked what he would say to people who didn’t understand the unique nature of this form of digital art, Benyamin told ITV News: “People think you can just right click and press save image as, however there’s only one of that image and that can be verified via the blockchain. It’s like going to the Mona Lisa, getting your camera out, taking a picture and then sticking it up at home and saying, I own the Mona Lisa.”
Benyamin, whose father taught him to code from the age of five, has already started working on his third body of digital art – a superhero themed collection.
Photo: Benyamin Ahmed