Facts About Beeple (Mike Winkelmann)

Beeple is digital artist, best-known for his NFT Everydays: the First 5000 Days.

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Beeple Facts

  • Beeple was born as Micahel Joseph Winkelmann in 1981 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, US.
  • He attended Purdue University in 2003, graduating with a degree in Computer Science.
  • In 2007, Beeple started the Everdays project. Beginning on May 1, he created a piece of art every day. He didn’t ever miss a day, and even produced work on his wedding day and on the days that his children were born.
  • The Everydays project was inspired by Tom Judd who did a drawing every day for a year.

If I only posted the things that I felt were really good, I guarantee you I would not post 90% of the time.

Beeple on his Everydays project.
  • In 2012, Beeple focused on improving his Adobe Illustrator skills, and in 2015 he concentrated on getting better with the Cinema 4D software tools.
  • Beeple’s digital artwork is often satirical and frequently features well-known figures and famous people. His art usually has a dystopian theme, and it sometimes includes grotesque elements designed to shock, disturb or frighten the viewer.

If I have any agenda, it’s to make people on both sides question their beliefs. My goal is to make something that is so weird and so out-there that it makes you just think of questions instead of answers.

Beeple (2020)
  • The Everdays project has now reached more than 5400 consecutive days. You can keep track on Beeple’s website.
  • In 2019, some of Beeple’s works were used in the Louis Vitton Spring/Summer fashion collection.
  • Beeple started to sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in 2020. One of his first NFTs was Crossroad. This work would change depending on the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential Election. It sold for $66,666.66 on Nifty Gateway and was quickly resold for more than $6 million.
  • In December 2020, he sold more than $500,000 of NFTs in just 5 minutes.
  • Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days. It featured the art he produced during the first 5000 days of his ongoing project, and it was sold on February 25 2021 at Christie’s auction house. It achieved a price of $69.4 million.
  • Everydays: the First 5000 Days was the first NFT to be sold by a legacy auction house.
  • In November 2021 Beeple’s HUMAN ONE, a digital sculpture, sold for just under $26 million.
  • Digital artist Pak gave him advice on creating and selling NFTs.
  • Beeple says he is ‘obsessed with CNN’, and much of the art for his Everydays project is inspired by the news cycle.

I wouldn’t consider myself a highly motivated, disciplined person. I would actually consider myself very lazy, but I figured out this way to hold myself accountable. The momentum of this project carries me forward and pushes me to try much harder than I normally would.

Beeple on his Everydays project.
  • His art style was described by GQ as being a mix of Banksy and the Wachowskis’ vision of the future in The Matrix after you’ve taken the red pill.
  • Before making NFTs, Beeple was already a very successful digital artist. He worked with numerous different clients, including MTV, Nike, the NFL, Apple, and Elon Musk.
  • The name Beeple comes from a 1990s plush soft toy made by the company Carousel. The toys are about the size of a pet cat, and look a bit like yetis.
  • At the time (2021), Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days was the third most expensive piece of art ever sold from a living artist.
  • Beeple is very popular on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Beeple’s wife is called Jen. She is a former schoolteacher. They have two children.

In general, art is a numbers game. People don’t have a lack of ideas; they have a lack of deadlines. When you have a deadline every single day, you will have no choice but to come up with an idea. I think everybody has way more ideas inside them than they realize.

Beeple (2020)
  • In 2022, Beeple and Madonna collaborated on three NFTs, Mother of Nature, Mother of Evolution, and Mother of Technology. They feature animated clips of Madonna accompanied by Madonna’s poems and the poems of Jaladdin Rumi.
  • In early 2022, Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) had his first-ever solo gallery show at the Jack Hanley gallery in New York. It was called Beeple: Uncertain Future, and featured 13 physical works (paintings and prints). Mike Winkelmann didn’t paint any of the works himself, they were all produced by his studio.
  • Beeple’s younger brother Scott Winkelmann quit his job at Boeing to run Beeple’s day-to-day operation, including his studio which employs more than fifteen people.