Earlier this year in June, I did a profile of Hulio Draws – a young Zimbabwean digital artist. Things are still really looking out for him as he continues to shine. His full name is Nyasha Warambwa but he is affectionately known by his trade name Hulio Draws. One of the attributes that make him stand out is his age – he is only 19 years of age. He has established a solid place in the global NFTs space. He has done and continues to do justice to proudly representing Zimbabwe in the global digital art and NFTs domain.

Hulio Draws’ Growing Relationship With Drake

Hulio Draws has been doing some Drake-inspired digital art pieces for a while now. One of his first major pieces was the one he did following Drake’s studio album release of CLB (Certified Lover Boy). Drake went on to post it on his Instagram page sharing it with his over 90 million followers. Recently he did a digital art piece depicting Drake’s son, Adonis, in celebration of his 4th birthday. Again, Drake shared it with his Instagram followers – this time he made it his profile picture (it still is as of now). It is remarkable how Hulio Draws now casually chats with Drake like it is nothing. It is a remarkable feat for a 19-year-old from Zimbabwe.

Hulio Draws’ Digital Art was posted by an impostor

The internet is not always a rosy place to pursue your craft. One of the biggest challenges social media personalities face is impersonations. Social media platforms are awash with people who impersonate notable social media personalities. That is why account verification goes a long way in making the real accounts stand out.

Anyways, Hulio Draws once experienced a somewhat similar incident. Someone edited an image of his digital art by cropping out his trademark. That person then posted it on their Instagram page as theirs. The digital art featured the American rapper Souljah Boy. The funny thing though is that the culprit did not realize there was the Zimbabwean flag incorporated into the art piece. The Zimbabwean flag has always been a signature feature of all of Hulio Draws’ digital art pieces.

Regardless, this was not a big deal as Hulio Draws’ authorship could be proven. He had tweeted the piece before so it simply took him or people directing people to that tweet to prove it. Besides, he could still mint an NFT of it which proved again it was his since he did and had the original piece. Then of course the unique features on the art piece itself. Zimbabweans from all over the world even made noise about it on social media exposing the culprit who had plagiarised the piece. Suffice to say, at the end of the day the whole experience enhanced his popularity.

Being Impersonated Shows You Are Influential

The moment people start plagiarizing your stuff or creating accounts to impersonate you it means you now have formidable influence. Some few days ago, someone created an account on Twitter to impersonate Hulio Draws. He quickly got wind of it and shared it with his followers to report the account. A day later, the fake account was gone. So clearly Hulio Draws’ influence and value is now a force of reckon with. This brings me to another thing that Hulio Draws is doing exceptionally well:

Building A Community Around His Brand

About a year or so ago, Hulio Draws was little known – virtually unknown actually. Yet in less than a year he has managed to grow his social media following. On Twitter he now has over 12300 followers. This is commendable given how hard it is to grow your follower base on Twitter. On Instagram he now has over 27400 followers. The smart thing about him is that he regularly posts. Not only that, he takes time to engage as much as possible with his followers. He does so by responding to as many comments as possible. This comes in to add more value to the already valuable digital art that he puts out. Even in some of the battles he has had to deal with e.g. the ones I mentioned earlier, it is his community that has fought for and with him.

NFTs still remain largely a little known subject in Zimbabwe. However, they wield limitless prospects for talented Zimbabweans who are into art. I have seen countless young Zimbabwean artists who I feel should explore the NFTs space. They have lots of inspiration to draw from Hulio Draws and lots to learn from him. Overall, NFTs have the potency to open up some great avenues in every industry which makes the future exciting.

Given how that cryptocurrency is not yet officially allowed in Zimbabwe, what Hulio Draws has achieved so far is remarkable. It is refreshing that recently the finance minister highlighted that cryptocurrency could not be ignored. Hopefully that will make the field smoother moving forward with friendly policies in place. If you want to stay updated on what Hulio Draws is up to or releasing, kindly follow him on Instagram and Twitter. You can also email him on huliodraws@gmail.com.