Sue Anna Joe’s love for art became her strength, enabling her to have an established career both locally and internationally. She was at the top of her game when challenges caught her off guard. Her thoughts became her biggest enemy, pushing her to her limits. However, she became stronger than ever by finding a space where she could enjoy art and life simultaneously.
“I really hope that I can continue my journey doing NFTs full-time and earn a comfortable living with it help raising my kids,” Sue Anna Joe said. “I quit my 9-5 job, so I can be with my kids. NFTs allow me to do this.”
NFTs, also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are digital assets that allow creators and artists to publish their works on the blockchain and earn a living. But Sue didn’t start out as an NFT artist. She discovered the technology later on as she went through multiple struggles, making her living proof that NFTs can indeed change the lives of artists.
How Greatness Began with Small Steps
Intan Suhana Juhari started with a small step, and it was about creating her new name: Sue Anna Joe. Although her true identity is along the lines, Sue Anna Joe was easier to pronounce and be remembered by many. It was also the same name she used in DeviantArt, where she started her career with self-portrait photography.
As years passed, Sue’s skills and experiences paid off. She was recognized by big local companies in Malaysia, where abundant opportunities came. One of her contributions to the movie industry, Susuk, won the Best Poster Award at the 21st Malaysian Film Festival. Her excellence did not end there as she dominated event after event: doing various workshops, traveling to different countries to share insights, participating in local exhibitions, and attending features for magazines and television. With each small step, she went through significant milestones in her career, improving each year and trying to become the best version of herself daily. She became successful and had nothing to prove.
If only things went that way forever, but life doesn’t move in one trajectory. What happened next would take any human, especially an artist, off guard.
Escaping Her Worst Struggles
The success of Sue Anna Joe continued for a while, enabling her to establish a design and photography studio while expecting her first child. As she was taking the time to build her business and support her family, problems caught up in a blink of an eye.
She was diagnosed with psychomotor retardation, a depressive condition where mental and physical activities hinder or slow down. It prevents most people from completing tasks, even the simplest ones. She frequently suffered from mental blocks that not only made it extremely difficult to do commissions but also made her studies and nearly every aspect of her life a struggle. She started questioning her capabilities, significantly losing confidence along the way.
Sue Anna Joe was not able to escape her fate so she had to refuse commission offers even though she had the skills. Her illness became so severe that she had to quickly withdraw from the arts. The problems only grew when financial difficulties forced her to close down her studio.
Everything fell apart for Sue, her career, her passion, and even her marriage.
As a mother of a three-year-old who just lost her husband, she knew that she needed to be strong despite everything life was throwing at her. She had to pick herself up, but in order to make that happen, she had to detach herself from the world. Her fame as an artist didn’t help much and only made her weary. As a last resort, she deleted all her online accounts and dropped off the grid.
Everyone wondered where Sue went and what happened to her as she was always active on social media. They started making their own assumptions about her, and that is when she knew she needed to keep her life private.
A shed of light came when Sue Anna Joe met her new partner, now her husband. She came back online a few years later, carrying the lessons she learned from the past. Art gave her renewed strength, but that only lasted for a short time. As she started doing commissions again, her illness came back stronger.
Sue Anna Joe’s NFT Discovery
Problems could have dimmed Sue’s life again, but her newly-found hope came brighter when she joined an NFT marketplace called Pentas, which changed everything for her. The space allowed her to become a full-time artist, and this time, she didn’t need to do commissions anymore. Her very first acrylic abstract piece, Rusuk Emas, was sold for 22 BNB last December 12, 2021, which was worth roughly $12,354.54 at the time.
Sue Anna Joe went on to sell more NFT-based art and it became her primary source of income. Everything was doing well up until the bear market came, then everything slowed down again, including her revenue. She became worried that she wouldn’t “make it”. Thankfully, she discovered Formfunction, a Solana NFT marketplace for independent artists and creators, which became her saving grace.
Despite the uncertainties and hurdles, Sue was hell-bent on advancing her career in digital art. She is both a mother and an artist but choosing between the two was never an option. With NFTs, she could work at her own pace to spend time with her child and create art for her own sake, which is more than what she could say for her first profession as a non-NFT artist.
The New Beginning
Sue Anna Joe minted her first piece on Formfunction, the Root of Life, which drew inspiration from her personal experience. Its message revolves around striving to get back up until everything becomes okay. She fought for that glimmer daily and the art was a reflection of that.
She acknowledged her weaknesses, but also realized her strengths thanks to the boost of confidence from Root of Life’s sale. From there, her other pieces got minted as people in the web3 world started to notice her talent. She also learned to communicate with the community, which only strengthened her relationships with fans.
Surpassing Limits through Art and NFTs
Sue Anna Joe encountered many conceived limitations in her career, one of which was creating a wide variety of art styles instead of focusing on one niche. She tried limiting her work by concentrating on a particular design so it would fit a particular niche as she was advised. But she realized the need to let her ideas flow consistently. She simply wasn’t wired to stick to one style.
But the once identified weakness became an embraced strength, transforming it to her advantage. The NFTs she present are unique and diverse, which make them suitable for various types of collectors.
Sue’s life was never easy, but her determination allowed her to surpass her limits. The noises in her head never left but the voice of hope helps drown them, enabling her to find the freedom she needed through art and NFTs.
Sue Anna Joe’s Advice for Aspiring Artists
The struggles and wins of Sue Anna Joe formed her into a person who can make a simple yet significant impact on everyone’s lives. With this, she imparts her experience and knowledge to artists and the NFT community in order to bring value.
Sue advises aspiring artists who want to make it in the NFT world to prioritize their art above all. Profits should never become the first reason they explore this space, especially if they’re 1/1 artists. When money becomes the prime concern, one will quickly become drained and experience burnout. Artists should remember that art is about self-expression, and money will only ruin its beauty. The NFT market is also volatile and earning a stable income is challenging but never impossible, so one should be aware before going all in.
Sue also herself a piece of advice that everyone could relate to:
And advice for myself as well is to be patient and sincere. Sometimes it’s hard when you got no bids or sales or you see a fellow mutual [artist] hitting huge sales. You will start questioning your art worth and even worse your self-worth. Just don’t give up, and keep creating.Sue Anna Joe
Lastly, Sue emphasizes that the beauty of NFTs is found within the community relationship. She encourages everyone to support one another as the entire community is all in this together.
So what’s next for Sue? Nothing is set in stone but it seems like she will be continuing her career in the NFT world. If you’re interested to learn more about her art, give her a follow on Twitter and Instagram.
Join our newsletter as we build a community of AI and web3 pioneers.
The next 3-5 years is when new industry titans will emerge, and we want you to be one of them.
- Receive updates on the most significant trends
- Receive crucial insights that will help you stay ahead in the tech world
- The chance to be part of our OG community, which will have exclusive membership perks