Metaverse characters created by 13-year-old have become talk of the town

Ava and Ramona are no longer Teresa’s playmates

71-Teresa-Melvin Young genius: Teresa Melvin has minted over 100 non-fungible tokens.

Teresa Melvin, 13, has two avatars. In one, she is an ordinary eighth-grader who is punctual when it comes to completing homework and prefers doodling during her free time in school. But, in her other avatar, she creates amazing digital art and is admired by thousands.

The personalities of my characters are not stuck in one state. ―Teresa Melvin, NFT artist

Teresa, who lives in Texas, with her Indian-origin parents, is a visual artist and a storyteller who has minted over 100 non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Born in Kochi to Melvin Thambi and Nimmy Melvin, Teresa was accustomed to colours and canvases from her childhood.

In 2016, Teresa and her parents migrated to the US. When she was in fifth grade, Teresa’s work was selected for the cover of her school yearbook. But, it was in 2018 that Teresa made her debut in the digital space. With encouragement from and under the supervision of her parents, she uploaded her artwork on Instagram. This was when she created the character, Ava―a girl Teresa imagined as someone who “loves doughnuts” and is a “go-getter”. “I also love doughnuts,” says Teresa, “I created Ava because I wanted a character that reflects my personality.” Soon, Teresa brought in a few extra traits to Ava, and gave her a “BFF”―Ramona―a “bold, confident and active person who is crazy about skateboarding”.

In her blog, Teresa said her exposure to Instagram helped her come out of her shell. “I did not have any siblings, so I created two bubbly characters to play with―Ava and Ramona,” she says.

Ava and Ramona are no longer Teresa’s playmates; both have matured and have come out in different themes and looks. “The personalities of my characters are not stuck in one state,” says Teresa. “When I created Ava, I was nine, and I perceived her in a certain way. But, now, as I grow, I am learning new things. So, Ava’s and Ramona’s personalities are getting developed.”

Melvin, Teresa’s father, is also an NFT creator. He is working with a data management firm. “The NFT space is something that Gen Z artists need to explore,” he says.

Teresa’s works were exhibited at Art Basel Miami, NFT NYC, Dubai Expo, the Supermen NFT in Los Angeles 2022, and the SCAA Gallery in Rhode Island. She was also invited as speaker at major events like NFT London, NFT NYC, Miami NFT Week, Evenness Metaverse and Cryptoconnect Expo.

Teresa is using tools like Trello and Google Calendar in her work. “They are helpful in sorting things out, which I have to do,” she says. “In Trello, I get all the tasks that I need to do, or [about] events to go to. And, in Google Calendar, I get exact time of events or meetings.”

Teresa’s new collection, AvaRamona, which features her bubbly characters with a storyline, is a work in progress. The young celebrity wishes to be an art practitioner. She also dreams of a day when she teaches children art in the Metaverse.