Austin Swisher: The Cat Enthusiast with a Photographer's Eye
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Austin Swisher: The Cat Enthusiast with a Photographer's Eye

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Date: September 7

By: Pam Voth

Listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts.

View Austin Swisher’s NFTs on Sloika, Montage: A SuperRare Space, and Foundation.

In the world of wildlife and pet photography, capturing the essence of a subject is often considered the ultimate achievement. For Austin Swisher, a passionate cat lover and photographer, this challenge has become a rewarding and innovative journey into the world of NFTs. With a deep appreciation for feline majesty and a background in music, Austin's story is as unique as the subjects he captures. In our 1/1 Conversations with Artist podcast episode, we delve into Austin's experiences, from his early days caring for cats to his success in the world of digital art and blockchain technology.

A Passion for Cats and Photography

Austin's journey begins with a profound love for cats. His connection with these graceful creatures is evident in every photograph he takes. His journey into wildlife and cat photography started in 2020 when the world was grappling with the challenges of the pandemic. Job loss led Austin to discover his passion for photography, a hobby he had always yearned to explore.

Austin recalls that the art of photography provided an escape and a sense of purpose during those uncertain times. As he picked up his camera, he began photographing the cats he cared for, not just as subjects but as companions. Austin's ability to capture the true essence of these feline friends quickly caught the eye of others.

From Instagram to Twitter: The Road to NFTs

Initially, Austin shared his cat photography on Instagram, but the platform's changing algorithms and challenges with engagement left him seeking a new avenue. In 2021, he discovered Twitter, where he came across discussions about NFTs and blockchain technology. Austin's prior experience with cryptocurrency and his interest in the possibilities of digital ownership made NFTs a natural fit.

Austin's introduction to NFTs was marked by a sense of hesitancy. He considered exploring other genres of photography, such as landscapes, before finally deciding to embrace his passion for capturing cats. Encouraged by a friend, Ethan, who believed in Austin's unique talent, he embarked on his NFT journey, minting his first collection on OpenSea. To his surprise, it sold out in a mere three to four months.

The Core Concepts of NFTs and Digital Ownership

Beyond the monetary aspect of NFTs, Austin is deeply intrigued by the core concepts they represent. He believes in the potential of digital collectibles and digital ownership to revolutionize the art world. In an industry where artists often struggle to receive due credit and compensation, NFTs provide a promising solution. The concept of permanence and traceability inherent in blockchain technology resonates with Austin's values.

Austin's journey in the NFT space is not solely about financial gain but also about showcasing the beauty of his cat subjects and creating a lasting impact on their lives. Many of the cats he photographs have overcome hardships, and his ability to capture them at their most majestic moments reflects the care and dedication he provides as their caregiver.

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Beyond Photography: Music and a Love for Jazz

Austin's talents extend beyond photography. As a musician, he plays the guitar, and his musical journey is intertwined with his passion for jazz. His love for jazz music, inspired by greats like Pat Metheny and bands like Spyro Gyra, showcases his eclectic taste and deep appreciation for the arts. He believes that the world of jazz is experiencing a resurgence, especially in the realm of guitar music, and he intends to contribute to it.

Intriguingly, Austin's connection with jazz doesn't just end with his appreciation; he plans to integrate his passion for jazz into his NFT creations, exploring multimedia art that combines photography, music, and more.

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