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February 20, 2023

The NFT Collector | Ida Belle

A leading collector of generative art shares her favorite pieces with Danielle King
Credit: Zancan, Landscape with Carbon Capture #6527 (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist
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The NFT Collector | Ida Belle

I first became aware of Ida Belle following her acquisition of a number of incredible works of generative art. All of a sudden, her name was popping up in the fxhash sales feed, and her taste was impeccable. Because there are so few female collectors in the NFT space, I immediately felt a kinship with her, and I had the privilege of meeting her in person at Art Basel Miami Beach. In this interview, she shares her experience of finding community in Web3, offering insight into the artists she’s excited about right now in the gen art scene.

Erfan Hoseini, Boxes #139, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

Danielle King: How did you find your way into Web3 and collecting generative art?

Ida Belle: I was fascinated by the idea of decentralization and digital art finally getting the attention it deserves. I was introduced to generative art through my membership of GEN.ART and a group of friends I met on Clubhouse.

As a computer engineer who is passionate about art, I found generative art to be my ideal playground. 
ChistAi, The Simurgh #12, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

DK: Could you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into coding?

IB: I learned how to code in AmigaBASIC and QBasic when I was very young. I also have a BSc in Computer Engineering and have completed courses in different programming languages, including Pascal, C++, and Java. However, I don’t do much coding these days because I have to manage the day-to-day business of my company in the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) industry.

Piter Pasma, GEOMORPHISM #110, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

DK: I met you through the Tezos collector space, specifically the fxhash and Tender communities. What drew you to Tezos, and do you also collect art on other blockchains?

IB: I used to collect art on Ethereum, but I now focus most of my attention on Tezos.

Having experienced both blockchains, I find Tezos safer, more predictable, and more dynamic.

Fxhash also has one of the best Web3 communities I have seen, and I am grateful for all the amazing artists I have met and the friends I have made. I do not see myself going anywhere else anytime soon!

Rich Poole and ThePaperCrane, Acequia #274, 2022. Courtesy of the artists

DK: How would you describe your approach to collecting and how has it developed over time?

IB: My most important criterion has always been how I feel about an artwork. Some excellent recent examples of this are Rich Poole and ThePaperCrane’s project, Acequia (2022), Piter Pasma’s GEOMORPHISM (2022), and Jacek Markusiewicz’s 7.356 degrees (2023). When I discovered them, my feeling was love at first sight and I had no higher priority than to collect them. But, over time, other factors have also affected my collecting decisions such as the quality of the code (in the case of generative art) and whether I know the artist and their history.

Jacek Markusiewicz, 7.356 degrees, 2023. Courtesy of the artist

DK: As women collectors, we are in the minority in Web3. How do you experience this, and do you have any thoughts about how we can onboard more women?

IB: Before I started collecting generative art, I felt that there was a stereotypically masculine culture and few NFT communities, such as World of Women, where women felt welcome. Of course, the situation is far better in the generative art community and, in particular, on fxhash. 

In my opinion, we need to familiarize more women with decentralization, blockchain technology, smart contracts, and, last but not least, coding.  
Zancan, Landscape with Carbon Capture #6527, 2022. Courtesy of the artist
Ida Belle’s Top 10 (in no particular order)
Zancan’s Landscape with Carbon Capture #6527 (2022) is a gorgeous work that I love, as it is one of my first pink Zancan pieces.
(kinder)Garden, Monuments #105 (2022) by Yazid and Zancan together is a good demonstration of what these two maestros are capable of. I even designed a dress based on this one!
Speaking of gardens, how can I not add CCDDBB’s gorgeous Noisy Gardens #214 (2022)? This is one of only three tokens in this magical collection that comprise Tetris blocks. Zancan owns one of the other two.  
CCDDBB, Noisy Gardens #214, 2022. Courtesy of the artist
Acequia #274 by Rich Poole and ThePaperCrane is truly spectacular and always has a special place in my heart. If I am not mistaken, it has the longest animation in the entire collection and is Poole’s own favorite. Rich has generously sent me a signed physical copy of this piece, and I plan to hang it in the living room of my new house in Montreal. 
GEOMORPHISM #110 by Piter Pasma is also truly breathtaking. Piter’s magic is beyond anything I thought was achievable in generative art.
7.356 degrees #12 by Jacek Markusiewicz is another groundbreaking piece in my collection. It is also one of the few narrow vertical pieces.
ykxotkx, Flower Arrangement #168, 2022. Courtesy of the artist
Flower Arrangement #168 (2022) by ykxotkx is one of the pieces that shows what YK has achieved through his absolutely brilliant code. 
Chrysalis #360 (2023) by Monotau and Arsiliath is a masterpiece, which I had been anticipating for months, having read every one of Monotau’s Twitter posts to ensure I wouldn’t miss the primary sale. As usual, I missed it anyway, but I was lucky to collect #360 and a few others on the secondary market.
Perpendicular Inhabitation #63 (2023) by Studio Yorktown is one of my most recent pieces. Bruce’s incredible art resembles where I lived for many years in China and Hong Kong. 
Last but not least is DisruptedStar’s Cables and Clouds #40 (2022). It literally took my breath away.
DisruptedStar, Cables and Clouds #40, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

DK: Which artists — emerging or more established — do you currently have your eye on? 

IB: In addition to the artists I’ve mentioned, I am also closely following the works of Jeres, Mark Ludgatex, and Iskra Velitchkova. I am also intrigued by some lesser-known artists such as {protocell:labs}, who have done a truly incredible job and whose works are among my all-time favorites. Their collection, OBSCVRVM (2022), is one of the most incredible projects on fxhash and has not got the attention it deserves yet. But there are also many other amazing artists, such as ChistAi, Erfan Hoseini, Yi-Wen Lin, Rhaegar, and Shayesteh who I will continue to follow and whose work I will keep collecting. 

{protocell labs}, OBSCVRVM #468, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

DK: And finally, what advice would you give to new collectors entering the NFT space?

IB: The best decision to make at the outset is to join well-established communities of artists and collectors, like Tender or the Blind Gallery on Tezos. Hanging out with your community on Twitter and Discord is also the best way to get to know artists and their work, which will help you make better decisions.

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Ida Belle is an art collector and entrepreneur with a background in computer engineering and business management. She has a passion for generative art and combines her love of beauty and technology with that of her family, which is at the center of her life.

Danielle King is the CFO/COO of ClubNFT, and the former manager of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.