Nyla Hayes, the creator of the Long Neckies collection, sold her work as a non-fungible token (NFT) valued at $3.4 million in digital currency. The 12-year-old was also named TimePieces' first artist-in-residence. TimePieces is a web3 community initiative established by Time, Because Of Them We Can reports.  

Hayes started drawing at the age of 4, and by the time she was 9, her parents gifted her with a smartphone so she could experiment with digital art. She began drawing people with long necks and called them Long Neckies, capturing inspiration from her favorite dinosaur, the brontosaurus.

At the urging of her uncle, Hayes sold her artwork as NFTs — a choice that turned out to be a wise decision that changed the trajectory of her life.  

“This past March, my uncle told my mom about NFTs. We watched YouTube to learn how to create and sell them. 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),” Hayes said. 

TimePieces' new initiative aims to provide artists with an outlet and resources to develop their careers by selling their work as NFTs.  

“These artist-in-residence collections will continue to allow Time to bring art into the blockchain that marries the artist’s signature style with a renowned Time franchise. 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,” the magazine stated, according to Because of Them We Can.

NFTs are digital assets that cannot be replaced — they are exchanged through blockchain technology and authenticated with a certificate, CNBC reports. They can also be utilized in various forms, like digital artwork, website domains, music and other creative capital.

In the third quarter of 2021, the NFT sector grew to $10 billion in business transactions, according to Because of Them We Can. 

As a participant of the TimePieces enterprise, Hayes has the freedom to present her work to a community of collectors and to continue relationships with them. She will also have the ability to connect with other creators in the NFT and conventional art space.

“Since launching Long Neckie Ladies, Nyla has inspired many individuals within the NFT community and established herself as a leader amongst the next generation of emerging artists. We are thrilled to announce her as our first Artist-in-Residence for TimePieces and are excited to see how she applies her talent to our band,” Time President Keith Grossman said of the pre-teen. 

Hayes' new collection became available on Nov. 17, 2021, for TimePieces and TimeCats holders.