HomeTrending NewsHow HUG Is Empowering Artists Through Discovery, Opportunity, and Education

How HUG Is Empowering Artists Through Discovery, Opportunity, and Education


In an period the place expertise is driving the evolution of every little thing, together with artwork, at an unprecedented tempo, artists are in quest of platforms the place they cannot solely exist however thrive regardless of ever-changing algorithms.

One such platform, born amidst the tumultuous backdrop of a worldwide pandemic is HUG, which has proven itself to be a beacon for equal illustration and alternative for all – a platform that gives a platform.

To totally perceive the gravity of what HUG is doing for artists in and out of doors of the Web3 house, we caught up with its co-founders, Randi Zuckerberg and Debbie Quickly, and like all story price listening to we thought it greatest to start out at first.

One Message and One Mission

Whereas HUG could have been shaped in 2022, it actually began a number of years earlier because the world confronted a worldwide pandemic that may carry forth modifications within the lives of almost everybody on Earth, together with Zuckerberg and Quickly.

“Many may not know this… but after Facebook and before NFTs, I was a Broadway actress, and then producer,” shared Zuckerberg, including “Covid shut down many of the shows that I was working on, and that resulted in me immersing myself in NFTs as a way to marry my passions for both arts and technology.”

She additional defined “Before I knew it, I ended up becoming a mentor to many digital creators. All of them were struggling with the same thing – feeling challenged by the algorithm, and in general feeling unseen and at times lost on how to scale their artistic business.”

Desirous to scale the prevailing assist she was providing to creators, Zuckerberg set out on a seek for a co-founder with a imaginative and prescient for making a “thriving and sustainable ecosystem that would allow artists and art lovers to support each other.”

As destiny would have it, Quickly was additionally on that exact same search. Having fallen in love with Web3 when navigating a mid-pandemic transfer from Singapore to LA, she determined to place her background within the finance and start-up sector to the aspect for a second and sought out kickstarting a profession within the NFT house.

“I put a wish out in the Meta Angels Discord,” she defined, including “To my surprise, Randi found and responded to my message there one whole week later! We both are passionate about leveling the playing field for anyone to succeed in arts and technology, so this really was a match made in heaven.”

Sharing her aspect of the story, Zuckerberg defined how Quickly was nonetheless going by an anon identification once they first met but when you understand something about early Web3, that was usually seen as a plus! “We got onto a Zoom call a few days later, and immediately hit it off,” Zuckerberg shared, including “As I was getting to know Debbie, I was blown away by all of her thought leadership pieces that she was putting out on Twitter, and knew that there could not be a better person to embark on this journey with.”

Embark on a journey they did. Zuckerberg expressed, “In a nutshell, HUG’s mission is to help all artists become creative entrepreneurs, and we are doing that through discovery, opportunity, and education.”

What began as two like-minded people with a shared imaginative and prescient finally grew into 200 individuals with a shared trigger, and from these 200 passionate people, has emerged a various group of over 3,000 artists from over 85 completely different nations.

Quickly defined that “We’ve intentionally flown under the radar and avoided being surrounded by moments of hype. Instead, we’ve been consistent with our mission from day one, and have adopted a really intentional and inclusive approach to building our community.”

Group Sources

In an area the place almost every little thing of worth is hidden in secret alpha teams or housed behind a token gated membership, HUG has dared to do one thing radically completely different, offering free assets for each artists and collectors alike.

These assets aren’t fast threads on X that it is best to bookmark for later or a halfway-finished hook to get you to purchase into one thing on the finish. As an alternative, HUG has devoted a big period of time and assets to offer full-length guides and paperwork put collectively by its analysis group.

Explaining why this was and is essential, Zuckerberg shared that “I have always been a firm believer that trust has to be earned, not given. We never want to extract value before we provide it, and offering these free resources is one of our ways of building trust within our artist and collector community.”

Additional driving the importance of this choice dwelling, Quickly shared that “Accessible education has always been a core belief of ours. Particularly in Web3, where the technology is evolving faster than the average person can keep up with, we believe it is our responsibility to demystify these trends and make them easy for everyone to understand.”

On the time of writing, HUG has seven full-length guides and workbooks up on its website underneath the Sources tab. These vary from “The Ultimate Artist Marketing Handbook Vol 1.” to  “The Art Collector’s Companion: An Interactive Workbook” – once more, accessible freed from cost, as HUG believes anybody constructing within the house needs to be stewards and never gatekeepers.

To this finish, the platform has lately had the chance to accomplice with TransientLabs, considered one of its many like-minded companions, and ran a six-week-long Innovation Lab program that launched over 200 artists to dynamic NFTs by way of Transient’s no-code tooling.

Following the discharge, Quickly shared “We saw several artists landing their first-ever commissions through HUG. The outcome of that was many happy artists, and even happier collectors, who were delighted to acquire a personalized, one-of-a-kind artwork” – which incorporates Quickly herself, as she commissioned a hand-painted soccer from artist and Ladies and Weapons founder, Sara Baumann.

Energy in Profiles

Whereas discoverability can usually be used as a buzzword within the Web3 artwork realm, HUG has seemingly embraced each side of the phrase and made it a part of its core mission. This has been accomplished not in a broad method however fairly by means of a really particular and thought-out strategy.

“From day one, we set out to build the inclusiverse.” 

-Randi Zuckerberg

“From day one, we set out to build the inclusiverse, which was really our way of describing a universe… or metaverse if you will? Where everyone feels included,” shared Zuckerberg, including “I’m proud that at the top of the HUG homepage, you will see a banner calling for us to celebrate diverse creators from all walks of life. These communities should be celebrated and feel supported 24/7, 365 days a year, and not just in specific months.”

This mission additionally strikes a chord near dwelling for Quickly, who shared that “As a recent transplant to America and a woman of color, this is deeply personal as well.”

She additional expressed “I know many people like to say that Web3 doesn’t care about race, gender, etc., but the reality is that many unconscious biases still carry on from the traditional arts and technology worlds. By acknowledging that from day one, we can be intentional about the way we design HUG, both from a product and community standpoint.”

This has been exemplified because the inception of HUG, because it continues to function as a community-curated platform. Quickly defined that this has been achieved by means of a thesis of community-driven and decentralized curation during which the members vote for which artists needs to be onboarded to the platform and which artists needs to be chosen for numerous sourced alternatives.

Early on, HUG acknowledged the necessity for a platform that gives a platform. Because of this, it has developed complete profile instruments that assist artists to get eyes on and in addition profit collectors trying to sustain with their favourite creators.

“We are biased, but we definitely believe that [artist profiles] are an artist’s best tool to getting seen, shared, and celebrated,” stated Zuckerberg, including “Not only can you collect the most amazing, thoughtful reviews from appreciators of your work, you can also showcase your entire portfolio of work, both within and outside Web3. We can’t wait to keep upgrading these Artist Profiles, and bring additional functionality and interactivity there.”

Along with this, HUG boasts an “Artist Updates” tab, which Quickly “Allows artists to share important updates directly to the email inboxes of their followers.”

She joked “While we love the gm vibes and community discourse on X, sometimes artists and collectors just want a dedicated place to share and discover art for sale. Today, hundreds of artists are posting their updates to HUG every day.”

Highlighting one of the vital vital points of the Updates device, Quickly known as out {that a} majority of NFT marketplaces are likely to showcase creators which are trending primarily based on buying and selling quantity, which in flip unfairly disadvantages rising artists.

“What we have built allows art to be appreciated for how it emotionally resonates, as opposed to simply its monetary value,” 

-Debbie Quickly

Past the Digital

With the royalties side of NFTs being but once more in danger as a result of shifts in stance from quite a lot of main marketplaces and loopholes created by aggregators, we requested HUG what they’re doing to arrange their artists for this modification and to our shock, it’s one thing they’ve virtually anticipated in a way, from inception.

“Artists didn’t wake up one morning because of NFTs and decided that they were artists,” stated Zuckerberg, including “Instead, they have been artists for years, even decades, before NFTs existed! As such, our view has always been that NFTs should be one of many ways that artists should look to monetize their artwork and that it is completely okay to shift priorities from one way to another depending on the market or even what inspires and excites them.”

She additional defined, that in assist of this, not solely has HUG printed quite a lot of assets on the subject but it surely has additionally launched mechanisms like its fee characteristic, the place artists can opt-in to obtain fee requests by means of their HUG profile.

Different initiatives embrace merchandising alternatives in addition to Open Name alternatives for each bodily and digital exhibitions, like its most up-to-date and ongoing name in partnership with the Seattle NFT Museum.

A Brilliant Future

As thrilling as all the expansion detailed above is, Zuckerberg and Quickly have shared that HUG is simply getting began. Actually, because of a $5 million USD seed spherical led by Ohhsiny’s VC fund with participation from OKX and L’Oréal, HUG is now positioned to speed up its progress.

“These funds help us build out our product further, and to really turn HUG from a place of discovery to one of social commerce,” defined Zuckerberg, including, “We already feel like we are helping artists and collectors connect on an emotional level like never before, and these funds will help us extend that relationship from one of appreciation to one of patronage, and help artists build sustainable businesses out of their work!”

Trying ahead, Quickly described HUG as “the Facebook meets Etsy for a new generation of creators who are curious about blockchain and emerging technology,” joking that, how might they not be with Randi of their nook?

Quickly additional defined that as creators shift into an period the place they’re not promoting their work in a single single medium however fairly in a variety of mediums, on-chain or in any other case, HUG needs to assist them discover these choices and supply a one-stop store.

“Similarly, we believe the consumers of the new generation will also purchase art across multiple mediums,” shared Zuckerberg, including that “Purchasers of NFTs still buy prints for their wall, and similarly, we hope that by allowing artists to express themselves through multiple mediums, we can convince every single art lover to also become art collectors and curators on the blockchain.”

Encouraging phrases from the “Mother Hugger”

“First off, I will say that bear markets come and go. When I was at the frontlines of Web2, there was the same amount of uncertainty and extremes of euphoria and despair. Being in the world of emerging tech is always scary and overwhelming, but it is also an incredible opportunity to learn. My advice is to keep exploring, keep learning, keep creating, and more importantly, remember to have fun.” Zuckerberg continued.


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