Suppose you’ve already heard of NFT art or NFT, good. If you haven’t, it’s high time you change your WiFi connection with all due respect. There’s virtually no other way to miss all the buzz about NFT that’s been going on for the last few years!
Jokes aside, that’s what we’re here to help you with.
We’ll be starting with what NFT art means, the differences between NFT art and digital art, and the reasons behind the recent NFT art boom.
After that, we’ll check out some of the top NFT artists in the sphere.
And last but not least, the guide on becoming an NFT artist in 8 easy steps covers everything you need to know to not miss out on the NFT art hype!
What Is NFT Art in Layman’s Terms?
NFT stands for a non-fungible token, which is basically a unique digital representation of an asset. It also acts as the certificate of ownership of the said asset and is stored on the blockchain.
That was the textbook definition of NFT.
As for what NFT art means: When an NFT represents any sort of digital art, it’s called an NFT art, or in other words, any digital art stored on the blockchain in the form of a non-fungible token can be considered NFT art.
For the sake of simplicity, that’s the definition we’ll be using in this article. If you haven’t had a proper introduction to the crypto and NFT world yet, you might want to read this article first.
But Why Should We Even Bother Creating NFT Art, When We Can Just Create Digital Art?
First off, let’s get this straight.
NFT art and digital art are NOT two totally different things. NFT art is essentially digital art that comes with a non-fungible token.
To answer the original question, the problem with digital art is they’ve been undervalued for a long time. Since digital art can be freely distributed anywhere with the help of the internet, it doesn’t really make sense for people to purchase a digital painting when they can just screenshot and save their own copy.
After all, even if you did purchase the painting, what difference would that make? Digital art – or anything digital actually – can be copied infinitely. If all you get is just another copy of the painting, what are you even paying for?
Since there’s no scarcity, it’s next to impossible for digital artists to create financial value for their art.
That’s what NFT brings to the table. They don’t prevent people from making copies, but they can help you differentiate the “original” one from the copies.
Additionally, if you purchase an NFT art, it would set you apart from everyone else who is “screenshotting” the art as the token is the proof that you’re the legitimate owner – not someone who just downloaded the picture of the art.
Collectors pay millions for original paintings drawn by renowned artists like van Gogh, even though there’s a good chance you’ll find printed copies on eBay for a few dollars. The same goes for people buying NFT arts; they’re willing to pay for digital art as long as they can truly own what they’ve bought – which is made possible by NFTs.
Top 5 NFT Artists Who Are Making a Killing Selling NFTS
Beeple is a digital artist known for selling the most expensive NFT in history at a staggering $69 million. According to Christie’s, the auction house behind the sale, he is currently one of the top three most valuable living artists.
The visual artist has been using the latest innovations like Augmented Reality, cryptocurrency, and NFTs to bridge the gap between art and technology for a long time. Jones has collaborated with many famous names in the NFT space and sold more than 5000 NFT artworks so far, averaging $3,400 each. His highest bid art is Genesis, which was sold for about $800,000 as this writing time.
Having sold over 3000 NFT artworks with an average price of $5,800, Fewocious is one of the youngest NFT artists globally with such success. The 19-year old artist is quite influential in the industry, with over 160,000 followers combined on Twitter and Instagram.
Previously known as Murat Pak, Pak is an anonymous NFT artist. He’s recently become the most expensive living artist with an NFT sale that brought in $91.8 million last December. The artist is also recognized by many famous people from the tech industry, including Elon Musk.
So far, he’s known to sell over 1,600 NFT artworks, averaging $9,300 each.
NFTS Are Surely Fueling an Art Boom, but Why?
It all began in 2017 with the launch of a Blockchain-based game named CryptoKitties. It was one of the first times Blockchain technology was used to create something for recreation. Something people could have fun with. The players of the game have spent more than $32 million on the images of its unique cartoon cats – collecting, trading, and even “breeding” those characters.
Meanwhile, video gamers like Fortnite (a massively popular battle royale game) players have also spent a fortune on in-game purchases – further popularizing the idea of acquiring digital assets in exchange for real-world cash.
Interestingly, that was around the same time cryptocurrencies were gaining traction among early technology adopters, including but not limited to hotshot entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban. For example, Bitcoin’s value has increased by almost 1,000% over the last few years.
While each of these events may seem insignificant on its own, together, they’re believed to be the core reason why NFT art is a huge success now.
In the Finance jargon, there’s a term called “bull market,” which denotes a period of time in a market when the price of an asset keeps rising continuously. If the price of buildings started increasing rapidly, we could say the real estate market is acting bullish.
The thing with bull markets is that the price of the said asset isn’t the only thing that gets affected. The prices of everything that is a part of the market start increasing.
And that’s why it’s the market that acts bullish, not a particular asset, even though it might be the one that fueled the boom in the first place.
What we’re getting at is the cryptocurrency boom is the one that originally fuelled the NFT art boom. When cryptocurrencies’ values started going through the roof, so did the prices of everything that was even remotely connected to the crypto industry – including but not limited to NFT art.
And the video gamers further paved the path for NFTarts by normalizing purchasing digital goods and considering them as digital assets.
The Supreme Creator’s Guide to NFT Artwork: How to Become an NFT Artist in 8 Steps
Before you start, we’re assuming that you already have a crypto wallet and know how to make crypto transactions.
Pick a Niche and Stick To That
In other words, determine what kind of digital art you want to create and be consistent with that. It’s great if you’re a versatilist and capable of creating many different kinds of art. However, in the beginning, at least, we strongly recommend you stick to a particular niche so you can leverage the power of hyper-targeting while building up your brand.
Hyper targeting is a promotional strategy that delivers extremely personalized messages to a narrow audience. It might sound counter-intuitive at first, as you would be deliberately only picking a specific group of people instead of promoting your art to everyone you come across.
But what makes this strategy so effective is you wouldn’t be advertising to just any group of people, but a small group that’s looking for exactly what you sell. It’s always easier to sell your NFT art to a laser-focused, small audience than a multifaceted, big audience. Not to mention, it’s also far more realistic to aspire to be somebody in one niche than to be nobody in ten niches.
Since your goal is to sell NFT arts, you better have the sales mindset from day one.
Choosing your niche is a pretty straightforward process, and chances are good you already have one that you like. The best part about NFT art is that almost every form of conventional digital art can be turned into a non-fungible token.
For instance, if you’re not one for creating paintings or music, but you do like making GIFs or taking photos – they can be turned into NFTs too! The sky is truly the limit when it comes to picking your NFT art niche.
If you don’t enjoy your niche, it will be very hard for you to commit for the long term, let alone find success. Hence, we suggest you take some time and try to come up with something you really like.
Get Familiar With Some Common Software Used to Create NFT Artwork
If you have no prior experience with creating digital art, you can tinker with some common software and try your hand at it. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll be discussing only graphic design software used to create digital visual art like paintings, pixel images, and GIFs below.
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom
This combination is widely regarded as an NFT artist’s holy trinity – one that lets you do basically everything you’ll ever need for creating visual NFT artworks.
As the name suggests, Illustrator is used for creating digital illustrations. Lightroom is used to edit and process your digital visuals (tweak the brightness, colors, and whatnot). Photoshop lies in the grey area, allowing you to create digital paintings image manipulations and also do necessary enhancements to your artwork.
Together, they’ll make you unbeatable as an NFT artist as long as you can utilize them fully. The only problem is the trio comes with a somewhat steep learning curve and can be quite heavy on your pocket.
GIMP is an open-source graphic designing software that’s totally free to use. It’s the open-source equivalent of Adobe Photoshop, although some limitations can be an issue for complex projects. However, if all you want is to create pixel art, it’s more than enough.
GIMP is not beginner-friendly and comes with a similar learning curve as the Adobe software. But get the hang of it. It’ll be easier for you to migrate to Adobe Photoshop afterward since both the programs have a very similar user interface.
Canva is one of the most popular tools among NFT creators since making digital art using it is simply a piece of cake. It comes with a plethora of templates that you can use as inspiration. Unlike other graphic designing software, the user interface won’t dazzle the hell out of you.
If you don’t want to spend hours learning how to use Adobe Illustrator or GIMP tools, you can get started in minutes with Canva. That’s why we highly recommend it for beginners who have no previous experience with creating digital art.
While Canva offers a premium version, the free version is enough to create basic digital art.
Ethereum vs. Polygon: Which Blockchain You Should Mint Your NFT on and Why
Although there is a gazillion of blockchain networks out there, Ethereum and Polygon are two of the most popular and, arguably, the best choices for minting NFT arts. That being said, each of them come with their own set of pros and cons.
Let’s check them out below so that you may determine which one will be the right fit for you.
Ethereum – Most Popular Option but Expensive
Given that about 97% of NFT sales happen on the Ethereum blockchain, there’s no doubt about its popularity among NFT artists and collectors.
Being the pioneer blockchain network to adopt NFT, Ethereum has consistently been ranking second in market capitalization for the last few years. The NFT-ready blockchain technology boasts many standards for pretty much all kinds of smart contracts. It’s the platform of choice for many celebrities, including Beeple and Eminem.
If you want to sell your NFT art to a large audience, Ethereum should be your first choice. However, unless you’re selling your art for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the hefty gas fee might make your profit margin razor-thin.
Hence, we suggest that newcomers try out other blockchain networks with lower gas fees. When you think you’re ready for a larger audience and the investment in high gas fees would be worth it, feel free to give Ethereum a shot.
Polygon – More Beginner-Friendly
Polygon, formerly known as MATIC, is another great choice for minting NFT artworks. It’s especially more beginner-friendly because you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your NFT minted, and not even a penny if no one ever buys your NFT.
We mean that transaction fees and gas fees are not deducted until someone has bought your NFT artwork. The platform charges a 2.5% service fee, which is steep. But again, that is also deducted from your artwork’s selling price after the first sale. Not to mention, the gas fees are much lower than Ethereum too.
You only have to pay the platform its fees if you manage to make money – or cryptocurrency for that matter – through your NFT sales. So if you’re worried about paying too much in gas fees before even seeing a dime in sales, Polygon is the blockchain you should go with.
However, while OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace globally, supports Polygon blockchain, there aren’t as many buyers for Polygon NFTs as you would have for Ethereum NFTs. That’s the only real problem Polygon has, which we expect to get solved soon as the platform is getting more and more famous.
To wrap things up, Polygon would be the best choice for publishing NFT artwork for the first time. Not only it’s far more economical than other blockchain networks, but also a risk-free platform in general.
Decide Where You Want to Sell
The most convenient way to sell NFT arts is through an NFT marketplace. The NFT marketplace acts as an escrow that ensures the security of the transactions.
Or in other words, an NFT marketplace makes sure the buyer is getting the NFT, and the seller is getting the money, which is cryptocurrency in this case.
While you’ll find a lot of NFT marketplaces on the internet, you should start with OpenSea, which is the most popular NFT marketplace in the world. It’s very user-friendly and supports a lot of asset classes, making it ideal for almost all kinds of NFT art niches.
Some other notable mentions would be Rarible and Mintable.
Deposit Necessary Funds to Your Crypto Wallet
If you decide to mint your NFT on the Ethereum blockchain, you’re going to need some cryptocurrency in your wallet to pay for the gas fees. We would love to give you an estimate about how much it might cost, but the amount varies widely from NFT to NFT.
To be on the safe side, you should have at least a couple hundred dollars worth of cryptocurrency in your wallet to pay for the gas fee.
However, since there are no upfront gas fees on the Polygon blockchain, you won’t need to deposit funds beforehand if you use that.
Pay the Gas Fees and Mint the NFT
Minting is a pretty straightforward process. If you’re selling on OpenSea, hit the “Create” button on your profile. You’ll be asked to enter information about your artwork like its title, description, etc. Fill those fields up, and you’re good to go.
Set the Price, Wisely
Price is an often overlooked make-or-break aspect of NFT art. There are so many different ways to go with this.
Beginners often use a penetration pricing strategy, selling at a lower price than others to attract people. It’s a good pricing strategy if many sellers saturate your niche.
Regardless of what approach you take, keep in mind that the key of thumb is to focus on how much people want to pay, not how much you want to charge for it. It can be found easily by researching your competitors and checking the prices of similar tokens sold by other artists.
People only pay for the perceived value of your NFT art. So if you want to sell at a higher price, find a way to make your NFT art look more premium. If you have a decent following built around your brand, make sure to leverage that as well.
Build a Community Around Your NFT Collection
A rookie mistake budding NFT artists make is focusing only on the art, not how to market it. Without marketing, it doesn’t matter whether your NFT art is out of the world – people simply won’t know about it.
That’s one reason why having a community will give you a huge advantage in promoting the NFT.
The second reason is; authenticity and goodwill are two crucial factors to the success of your NFT art. As you can guess already, a community will help you in that too.
That’s why you should start building it from the very beginning – preferably before you even launch your first NFT. Not only does an engaged community give your customers more confidence in their purchases, but it can also attract additional traffic to your profile and generate buzz about your art.
Start with establishing a presence on the major social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram. There are a lot of existing NFT & crypto communities on Discord, Twitter, and Reddit that you should be active in.
Take the time to talk to your following personally (reply to their comments and Tweet individually), make them feel good about following you, and never, ever stop nurturing your community.
At this moment, NFT technology is holding the pivotal position in monetizing digital art, which has never been successful before.
While it has already unlocked so many potentials in the art industry, experts say that this is just the tip of the iceberg – we can expect to see more revolutionary innovations and use cases enabled by NFT as the technology gets more mature.
But one thing is for sure, the traditional art world and the NFT space are only going to be moving closer to each other as time goes by.