We made £450,000 'overnight' through our side hustle which started as a way to have fun… here's how we did it | The Sun

We made £450,000 'overnight' through our side hustle which started as a way to have fun… here's how we did it | The Sun

June 5, 2023

TWO pals said they made £450,000 overnight through a side hustle which started off as just a way to have fun.

Ashley Crossland spent his evenings over the last two years drawing stags from his home in Cardigan, Wales.

The dad-of-one, who is a graphic designer specialising in print and websites, said he "always had a passion" for sketching and started off doing it as a "way to relax".

The hobby eventually saw him build up a number of online collectables known as NFTs (non-fungible token) – which can sell for thousands of pounds, sometimes millions.

In order to make the stags a success, Ashley then decided to draft in childhood friend Jimmi Sandham to help.

Tasked with writing a backstory for the project, Jimmi said he made the stags transform by magic into a human-type form.


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The collection of digital pictures of stags with human-like features – named Stag Alliance – went on sale in March making them £450k.

They sold at an average of £63 each and some have since been resold for up to the equivalent of £6,500 in cryptocurrency.

While it may seem silly to pay hefty amounts for art which can just been screenshotted, Ashley explains the uniqueness of each piece means they're protected on a database called blockchain.

He told WalesOnline: "I was doing more drawing and looking at more NFTs, buying and selling them on this Cardano blockchain, and I realised I had the skills to do this and the passion to give it a go.

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"I see NFTs as a modern future way of collectability.

"You've had collectables since the beginning of time. People collect rocks, stamps, Pokemon cards, all these kinds of things.

"If you go to an art gallery and buy a poster of the Mona Lisa from the gift shop, it doesn't mean you suddenly own the Mona Lisa because there's only one original copy, and similarly there's only one [of each NFT] on the blockchain."

Jimmi added: "I started writing the lore and we published the first part, it went down really well so a bit of time passed and Ashley asked me for another.

"At that point the project was clearly accelerating extremely quickly and we partnered so we could run the project in a structured way."

What are NFTs?

An NFT provides something different as it digitises a piece of work such as art or music and turns it into a non-fungible token that is stored on the blockchain.

That means it cannot be replicated and is unique to whoever owns it.

Crypto commentator Jonathan Marriott said NFTs provide a legitimate way of verifying ownership and tracking the origins of an item.

He said: "An NFT lets you record where and when something is made and track the whole process to verify that it is legitimate.

"The public blockchain element makes it irrefutbale. No-one can fake it."

How risky are NFTs?

Despite seeming like a good way to make money, NFTs canbe incredibly risky.

Buying an NFT, like any collectable, is a risky bet on the value going up.

If there is no demand for the NFT you buy then you could end up paying a large amount for something that declines in value or that you cannot sell.

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NFTs are still a new market so there is unlikely to be the same demand you will find for other physical items such as trading cards, art or classic cars.

You could also create your own NFT but there is no guarantee of a buyer and you could end up wasting your time and money.

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