The rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has changed the game for artists forever by introducing a new attribute in art: programmability. This has triggered a renewed interest in the subject, especially digitally native artworks, both from traditional and new aspirant collectors alike.
This guide will illustrate the benefits of NFTs and why digital artists should seriously consider incorporating them in their works.
NFTs Allow You to Sell Your Art to a Global Market
Art is not the easiest nor the most straightforward career path. Most artists are forced to sacrifice their material well-being in pursuit of their craft, hence, the phrase “starving artist” was coined. While the barrier to entry is low, only a few artists are able to make it big while the rest can’t even make a decent living.
It is incredibly difficult to put up your art in exhibits and museums that are visited by people who could possibly want your product. This is why even the art industry itself exhibits perhaps one of the biggest problems we have with the traditional economy—concentration of wealth.
Fortunately, NFTs have now provided artists with the opportunity to open up their art to the whole world and earn a real living. According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2021, we have already hit as far as $3.5 billion in NFT art sales just within the first three quarters of 2021. The projection is it’s going to be much larger in the future considering the new interest in digital art and virtual assets.
We could attribute that massive sales figure to the fact that NFT marketplaces are accessible to everyone around the world. Anyone can buy and sell a digital masterpiece through a smartphone, allowing them to collect masterpieces from talented artists who are a world away. Digital artists can benefit the most since their product requires no shipping. (Read More: NFT Philippines Guide | How to Mint NFT Art | Top NFT Marketplaces Right Now)
There is a Digital Renaissance Happening Right Now
The last Renaissance spurred massive interest in art, allowing the likes of Da Vinci and Michelangelo to break previously-conceived barriers of creativity and artistic innovation. The same thing is happening today. For the second time in human history, we are seeing a renaissance in art, only this time it is fueled by NFTs.
Many digital natives have witnessed a new wave of artistic innovation enabled by NFTs, which allow artists to explore different methods of creating artworks. Before, the majority of artists were forced to sacrifice artistic creativity to satisfy the taste of large corporations they work for. This is slowly changing.
NFTs are the springboard for the modern, digital renaissance as artists no longer need any middleman or a gallery to sell their art. They no longer have to ensure that their pieces conform with commercial designs or gallery standards. Digital artists can finally be able to work on something that they are truly passionate about knowing that they have a global market that can be easily tapped today.
The digital renaissance has opened up a new progression in the way we make art powered by the tools of modern technology. Take a look at the video of Beeple working on his digital masterpiece using Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D, and Octane.
Beeple is the same artist who sold the famous “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” collage for $69 million. According to him, the monumental sale of his piece signals the next chapter for art history. To be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
NFTs Allow Limitless Creative Freedom Like Never Before
NFTs are made of smart contracts, which can be programmed to do amazing things beyond the artwork itself. Now, artists can create an online community with perks exclusive to the holders of their NFTs alone.
They can stage online meet-ups, chat groups, bonus art drops, and many other membership perks that give even more value to their fans. The possibilities are endless. We have witnessed several artists that are heavily innovating despite the nascence of the NFT market.
Let’s take the “Replicator”, for instance, the brainchild of Mad Dog Jones. The Replicator is a digital illustration of a fax machine that will self-replicate for seven generations, possibly creating 75-300 copies depending on the number of ‘jams’ that occur. It almost seems like a living entity within the blockchain, and art aficionados love that. No wonder it sold for $4.1 million. This masterpiece was only made possible thanks to the smart contracts that power NFTs.
According to the artist, “the concept couldn’t be realized if it weren’t an NFT. It’s completely dependent on this technology to do what it’s been designed to do.” True enough, the programmability of NFTs makes almost anything possible.
Furthermore, digital artists are no longer bound to the usual 2D artworks they are used to. They can explore 3D art, create artwork assets that can be used in video games and movies, and do just about anything their minds can manifest.
NFTs Can Provide Artists With Passive Income for Life
Artists can earn a lifetime of passive income by selling their pieces as NFTs not just from the one-time sale, but for all subsequent resales. This means that the more it changes hands, the more money you make.
NFT marketplace parameters can be set to provide royalties either to the original artist or minter of a particular NFT for every single resale. Imagine if you were the original artist of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, which now have a floor price of 50 ETH (roughly ₱11-12 million). Even if the royalty is set to 3% for the original artist, that’s still ₱345,000 per resale forever!
Moreover, NFTs can also be used as collateral for a cryptocurrency loan. Digital artists can earn passive income by using the loaned cryptocurrencies for staking, earning more money the longer they hold their stake.
It doesn’t matter if you are a small-time graphic designer or a veteran digital artist, you can’t go wrong dabbling into NFTs. Even if you’re not sold on the idea initially, you should at least give it a go for art’s sake. The upside is exponential while the downsides are nearly nonexistent.
While success is not guaranteed, take the leap anyway. Even if it doesn’t pan out right away, you have your whole life ahead of you to experiment with the possibilities of your NFT art as you build a community and interest group around it.
This article is published on BitPinas: Why Digital Artists Should Try NFT Art