NFTs are taking the world by storm, we’ve said it time and time again. But some projects — especially ones that were early to the scene — have taken the lead, cementing their position as leaders in the space. World of Women (WoW), a first-of-its-kind collection featuring 10,000 artworks of diverse and powerful women, is one such project.
Yam Karkai is the incredibly talented founder and artist behind the collection. In March 2022, she further expanded the idea “to a new dimension” with the launch of World of Women Galaxy — 22,222 WoWs from the first collection, who “traveled through a portal to join the Galaxy,” transforming and multiplying along the way.
As one of the foremost women-led projects in the space, the work Karkai is doing is important for bringing women into the Web3 community, as well as diversifying the space and pushing it forward. This representation matters. Fans all over the world have found themselves in her artwork, including Reese Witherspoon, Thalia, Eva Mendez, and countless others.
We were able to sit down with Karkai to chat about the World of Women universe and what’s next.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
Before launching World of Women, I was already in the NFT and Web3 space, creating 1:1 NFT art. From the very beginning, I’ve always focused on creating colorful, vibrant pieces that celebrate women and diversity. It’s always been what I enjoy drawing the most (and really the only thing I draw about).
How did you decide to get into Web3?
I heard about NFTs for the very first time randomly! It was through a job interview my partner Raph had. He had no clue what it was and I immediately got super interested in figuring it out. So I started digging deep into NFT [and Web3] Twitter and soaked up all the information I could find. I was so excited to find such a new and unique opportunity and path for artists to showcase their work, promote themselves, and actually get paid for their craft!
What kind of response did you think World of Women would generate?
I knew that I wasn’t the only one feeling and seeing that women and minorities were under-represented in this space, so I was hopeful that it would attract people like me and people that share the same thoughts and values.
With the co-founding team, we already had great ambitions from the start, but we never expected it to grow this fast and become such a major collection and company. Even though you dream it, and you hope for it, there’s always a part of you that tones it down. It has been an incredible journey to witness the growth of World of Women. Very excited to keep on building.
You’ve gained a lot of prominence in the space and have a lot of celebrity holders. What has it been like to have that kind of interest and support?
Shocking, mind-blowing, and incredible! Women I’ve looked up to, or grown up watching on the screen buying my art… I still have to pinch myself sometimes to realize that this is really happening.
Has anyone responded negatively to the project? Any detractors?
Whatever you do, when you gain visibility, you also get haters. We’re lucky to have an incredibly benevolent community, so we don’t get many detractors, but from time to time they do remind us that they exist. We don’t have anything major to point out though.
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for the art itself and how you came up with the traits and the lore.
As I said previously, I’ve always enjoyed creating colorful pieces centered around women. I’ve also always known I wanted to make a difference.
Seeing the underrepresentation in the NFT space and Web3, and seeing how this super new industry was already mimicking the inequality and the same issues we face in the world, just made it obvious to me that a collection of powerful and diverse women was the way to go in order to have an impact. And it seems like it did!
What do you hope people will take away from your work?
I hope that World of Women will keep bringing more diversity to the space, make minorities, women and non-binary people feel comfortable and welcome, and put the spotlight and bring forward more incredible artists and creators from this space.
What has been one of your favorite things about being involved with the project?
I wish people to feel connected to it, see themselves (or a loved one) in it, and see the values they stand for in it. I try to tell a story, show and celebrate things that are important to me or that I love and cherish. I hope people can feel that. I want my work to matter and to keep on making a difference.
How do you plan on continuing to evolve the WoW universe, any exciting secrets you can reveal?
Oh, there are so many things…
Making a change through diverse art and the charities we’ve been able to support and partner with has been unbelievable. It is an indescribable feeling to be able to help on such a scale and witness that what you are doing is improving and changing lives around the world. Giving visibility and the spotlight to so many amazing artists has been wonderful, meeting our community members, getting to know people I’ve admired for a long time, working with a fantastic team of fun and talented members, and I could go on!