Getting to know Jim Wheat – the mind behind Dollarsandart

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In a few short days we will be unveiling Jim Wheat’s (a.k.a Dollarsandart) first NFT art collection - Heroes and Villains - and we are incredibly stoked to have Jim join the Terra Virtua family.

Lots of people feel the creative pull from a young age and know that a career in the arts is what they’re destined for. But for Jim Wheat, things went a bit differently. Unlike many artists he fell into the creative space largely by chance, and we are so excited about this happy accident!

From engineering to art

Back in the early 90’s Jim started on what he thought was his lifelong career path when he began a degree in civil engineering. As part of his masters degree he jumped at the chance to undergo a yearlong placement in the USA, kickstarting Jim’s love for travel and exploration. This was also when he signed his first dollar bill, which he gave to his mum, and still proudly hangs on her notice board at home! Little did he know that this seemingly insignificant moment would become the catalyst for artistic revolution. 

Having completed his education, he went from strength to strength in the civil engineering field, and eventually found himself living ‘the life’ in Dubai, in a high-powered career, enjoying golfing meetings, and champagne events. His life seemed to be on an unstoppable upward trajectory.

But as Jim quickly learned, what goes up, must come down, and in 2008 his dream life came crashing down around him as he was made redundant from his job and the debts began piling up. With nothing to his name, and being unable to leave the country until he paid his debts, Jim began exploring a new way of living. 

And this is where it all changed for Jim Wheat. 

Living the dream in a whole new way

Because, as a result of that life altering period, Jim founded Dollarsandart – a creative outlet that allowed him to express his own experiences. But its role was also much larger, as Jim aimed to bring to light the complexity and curious value we place on different things such as the Dollar and Sand, arguably two of the most iconic symbols of the Middle East ‘dream lifestyle’. 

As Jim explains, “The universal symbol of the $ seemed to impact and influence so many decisions, providing the motivation for and the limitation of many of our decisions in life. I decided that the dollar for all its pros and cons along with grains of sand in nature and in industry would be a central feature of my work as Dollarsandart was born.”

And just like his career in civil engineering, Jim put his all into this new endeavour, taking chances and utilising every opportunity to build an artistic career that no one, not even Jim, had ever seen coming. 

In his pursuit of creative exploration Jim has met people from all walks of life, including a number of famous faces such as the 45th President of the USA, Donald Trump (although he wasn’t president when they met), Jordan Belfort (of Wolf of Wall Street fame), and Alice Cooper to name just a few. As well as many ordinary people, just trying to make their way in life, and with almost everyone he meets, Jim asks them to sign a dollar bill, and become a part of the Dollarsandart story. 

There is so much more to this incredible story, and we are going to be exploring Jim’s journey in more detail over the coming weeks and months in upcoming blogs and interviews. 

But if you want to hear from the man himself, join us on Twitch/Facebook/YouTube on 14th June when Jim is joining us for a live exhibition and Q&A, before he drops his first awesome collection of NFT art. Jim has a truly inspirational story to share, so be there on 14th June as he talks candidly about his life, career, the ups and downs of ‘the dream life’ and his intense and incredible journey into the art world and now the cryptoart space. 

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