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Exploring the NFT Space as an Artist

21 Jul
2022
4
MIN READ
By
Ryan Hall, Alyze Sam, Adam Alonzi & BRIAN WONG
Exploring the NFT Space as an Artist

Photo by Firos nv on Unsplash

The traditional art world poses several challenges; gatekeepers determining esteem and hierarchical concentrations of wealth. As an artist, you may long for your work to reach a wider audience. NFTs can give you the avenue to directly impact a much larger amount of people.

If you're unfamiliar with the term; NFT.

The term NFT refers to non-fungible tokens. In other words, they are digital files that are stored on a blockchain. Having the opportunity to sell their work at scale can be completely new for most artists. Through this article, we hope to guide new artists in exploring the space.

A Growing Market for Artists

The NFT market is rapidly growing.

Sales for artistic NFTs reached $2.57 Billion dollars by the end of 2021. The previous year reached approximately $20 million. dollars. That is a 12,850% growth in the span of a year! Mike Winkelmann — the famous digital artist known as Beeple wasn’t a known physical artist; his highest physical work sold for only $100. But, he sold an NFT for over $69 million at Christie’s. According to the auction house, the sale noted him “among the top three most valuable living artists,”.

Understanding the technology

When someone says: “my art will live on a blockchain forever” what does that actually mean? They are talking about ownership and storage.

Let’s first look at ownership followed by IPFS, we will also explain how NFTs are minted.

Proof of Ownership

The artwork itself is not embedded on the blockchain. The unique transaction hash of each NFT makes it non-replicable. All transactional data is collected and eventually forms a blockchain. Everyone can view and verify this information indefinitely.

Often, people believe that investing in an NFT also means purchasing the underlying asset. Legally and technically, you don't. You simply own the code on the blockchain that identifies who, what, and when your NFTs were created. The NFT proves ownership of the token itself. The NFT still authenticates the creator, and that could be considered valuable in and of itself.

IPFS (InterPlanetary File System)

The artwork itself is usually stored on website servers or most commonly known in the web 3 space as an IPFS.

IPFS stands for InterPlanetary File System, it is a peer-to-peer network that securely stores file data across computing devices. At its core, IPFS is a versioned file system that can store content while tracking various versions over time. It also controls how files/data are moved around the network. IPFS pushes for decentralization by supporting a resilient internet, subverting content censorship, and improving web connectivity and speed for those in remote or otherwise disconnected places.

IPFS vision is to construct a permanent and distributed web using a content-addressed system instead of HTTP's location-based system. Distribution is achieved by assigning a cryptographic hash as the address for each stored file.

Minting

If you are looking to enter the NFT space, you have to learn the basics of minting NFTs. Fortunately, there are a variety of NFT platforms that make it easy for people without technical skills to mint NFTs. Gas fees are a big part of the minting process, every NFT artist is looking for the cheapest way to mint NFTs or how to make significant returns from creating an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain but what does it mean to mint an NFT?

The process of mining NFT simply entails transforming digital content into a digital asset on NFT exchanges. Digital files are permanently stored on an IFPS, where they cannot be edited, modified, or deleted. It is possible for creators to set up fixed royalty payments from every subsequent sale, which they can receive when their work is sold to another party better known as a secondary market.

The different NFT exchanges

NFT exchanges are online marketplace used to buy, trade and sell digital assets, they’re intermediaries between the buyer and sellers. If you are new to cryptocurrency you will need to sign up for an account with a cryptocurrency exchange of your choice. Here are some options to consider; Binance, Coinbase, or Gemini.

With cryptocurrency exchanges, you can pay the fees associated with minting your NFT. Exchanges are also how you cash out after selling your NFTs. Most platforms charge under three percent per transaction.

Our favorite NFT Marketplaces

  1. Crypto.com is rated among the best Crypto Exchanges that include an NFT Marketplace.
  2. OpenSea – They are the 1st NFT Marketplace and have the highest trading volume. They are building tools that allow consumers to trade items freely, creators to launch new digital works, and developers to build rich, integrated marketplaces for digital items.
  3. Binance – Binance is also another top platform in terms of volume, their vision is to increase the freedom of money globally. They believe that by spreading this freedom, they can significantly improve lives all around the world.
  4. SuperRare – SuperRare is the best marketplace for unique digital collectibles, SuperRare's mission is to empower the next generation of artists through technology, enabling beauty and inspiration for the world to enjoy.
  5. Rarible - They are an Ethereum-based platform though it supports transactions on three different blockchains and is widely considered an ideal marketplace for serious collectors.
  6. Foundation – Foundation is an NFT Marketplace that boasts a community of millions of artists, collectors, and curators, it is also considered generally the best place for artists to find an audience when they are still coming from a place of relative obscurity.

There are an abundant amount of new NFT marketplaces springing up as the space continues to exponentially expand. Being new to the space, it is prudent to choose a popular platform that best suits your niche.

We encourage you to explore the marketplaces mentioned in this article and find which one feels right for your purposes.

Launching your first drop?

So, you're convinced that NFT is right for you? There are still things you should consider before dropping your first collection.

  1. You need a community of supportive fans.

What are your plans for attracting buyers? Do you have a community?

Community is a big thing in the Web 3 (NFT) space. Many NFT artists start building their community even before creating their art. They understand without them, the first drop may not be as successful as they want it to be. Work hard to build a community on a platform like Geneva or Discord. Being highly engaged with your audience and always providing prompt responses and timely information is key to community growth.

  1. Be clear on what your buyer is getting

Allow buyers to see why they should invest in your project; show them the potential to rise in price rather than fall. Are they buying just to support you? What utilities would the NFT bring to them? These are some questions to ponder and the value you placed on your NFTs can influence this. Others will be willing to join your community if they see your audience's long-term value.

Having a white paper that explains an NFT collection is the industry standard.

  1. Is your marketplace accessible?

Some NFT marketplaces aren't accessible to all countries, knowing where your audience is can also affect the choice of your marketplace. Always choose a reputable and simple-to-understand marketplace and blockchain. These are crucial early decisions for the success of your drops.

What’s next?

NFTs are a fantastic technology that enables genuine digital originality, and this technology can liberate a whole creative class of people. However, there are many pitfalls that an emerging NFT artist should be aware of in terms of; branding, rights to their work, and career sustainability that reach far beyond their art.

Learn how you can get paid to learn here.