What is NFT art
Non-Fungible Token linked to a digital artwork
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token – a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data using blockchain technology to establish proof of ownership. The value of NFT lies in the token itself, not in the file it is linked to.
Value in the Token, not in the Art
NFT can establish the proof of ownership in anything it links to, even if the destination item later disappears. So it has to be very well digital: Memes, tweets, digital collectables, digital drawings and new media art. One of the best-known applications of NFT in art undoubtedly goes to Beeple, who sold his work “First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million.
An opportunity for artists
NFT art is considered a great opportunity for artists, but don’t be so enthusiastic just yet. Apparently, it is disrupting the actual art market and creating some new opportunities (like when social media started). But this NFT hype is created by celebrities and investors who carried out a passionate purchase.
Ship of Fools
Were Raphael or Michelangelo sellouts because they were directed and paid by the Church? Did they question the Church’s ethics? Following their leaders or prophets, artists have always benefited and constrained their times. When NFT hype came, should we take a moment to question its impact on our society, or take advantage of it for our own profits?
Art ruled by the financial economy
NFT art could be a tool for high-net-worth individuals to create wealth outside of the real economy (and dive it the financial economy) through the sophistication of blockchain without the sophistication of contemporary art discourse. The Internet was originally made to promote free access to knowledge, but what happened next was the opposite.
NFT art pros and cons
- NFT allows the artist to sell directly to the collectors
- NFT facilitates the verification of authenticity and ownership
- NFT allows artists to have passive income (via the secondary market)
- There is a strong community of supporters
- Artists can represent themselves without a gallery
- It’s trending now
- Technically complex
- High transaction fees
- Not environmental friendly
- Not energy efficient
- Unclear future under government regulations
- Based on highly volatile currencies
- Many scammers and con artists
NFT art explained in context
Our real economy (the part that produces goods and services, rather than the part that consists of the financial economy such as stock markets…) is facing great challenges on a global scale. In other words, we are in a crisis.
In this context the mechanism of the economic bubble appears, it is known at least from medieval time: When things are going south, and the economy declines, the ruling class or elites install an artificial way to create wealth, transmitting a euphoric effect.
Tulip fever example
As an example, you can check about the Tulip Fever in 1637 when the tulips value reached extraordinarily high levels. This event, becoming the first recorded speculative bubble, happened when investors were ruined by the fall in prices and Dutch commerce suffered a severe shock. The bubble lasted for a year.
“Flora’s wagon of fools” Hendrik Gerritsz 1640 (photo: Laura Blanchard)
Hiding a depressive reality
The ultra-liberalism enables the financial world to create those bubbles (the most well-known recent being GameStop) but there are many. NFT art is when the art of the financial world meets the art world in a new way, the tech way.
Because we can’t increase wealth we create value, hiding the depressive reality. But at the same time increasing the problem.
One day the bubble bursts, and in general it is again beneficial for the ones who created it and the well informed because they will know when to withdraw.
NFT art Do’s and Don’ts
When trying to sell your works, keep in mind:
- Focus on the art: don’t explain why you need the money
- Don’t pretend to be interested in the collector when you just want a sale
- On social media, don’t tag collectors if you don’t have previous contact with them. Being pushy often reduces your chances to sell.
- Don’t promote your art under another artist or collector post. It is disrespectful and makes you look bad.
- Participate in the online public talks (twitter spaces, discord)
- Promote your NFT art on posts asking to do so by artists, collectors or influencers
- Build a network with artists whose personality and art you resonate with and support them
- Promote your unsold NFTs every few days.
- Be consistent in making and posting your artwork so people know your style.
- Develop your identity as a brand. Be aware of how you are presenting yourself and what you post.
- Only mint your best artworks. Play with scarcity, you cannot afford to mint all your art. How long have these pieces gone unsold? Consider burning (opposite of minting) them if they are not sold for too long.
- Start with one platform (e.g. OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, KnownOrigin…). Learn from it and work on being active in it (Scarcity coefficient). Expand to others when one starts to work for you. Be consistent in pricing throughout platforms.
- This is about Finance and Tech. List your prices and make them available easily. Play with sales opportunities. Evaluate and show your highest and lowest price.
- Provenance: Consider a discount depending on the collector and your visibility in their collection.
13 NFT tips for artists
#1: References to crypto-currencies
Any reference to the crypto-currencies icons or celebrities, such as Nakamoto Satoshi, Bitcoin, Musk, Dorsey… Make it obvious or just suggested enough to be guessed: sophisticated content works in Contemporary art, not much for NFT art.
Example: Trevor Jones
“The Architect – Satoshi” – Oil and wax on Financial Times
#2: Certificate of Authenticity
Add a real certificate of authenticity. It increases the collector’s feeling of assurance. Put some effort into making it: it obviously has to be hard to copy.
The more steps the better: Holographic stickers, embossed stamp, serial number, limited series…
Beeple’s NFT with multiple certificates
#3: References to the World Collapse
NFT art investors often have this attraction/repulsion relation with any collapse. Consider using apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic related content (global warming, crisis, wars, bank-run…)
Many NFT Art investors are from financial economics, but also from tech. Integrate transhumanistic concepts in your art: Cryogenic suspension, mind uploading, Superintelligence, robots & Cyborgs, hive mind…
#5: 3D art
NFT art investors are sometimes… collectors. There is this need to have the feeling of owning an object. Something they could grab. Your final image can be flat but using 3D rendered objects, shadings, textures, lighting (Use libraries). VR / AR too.
#6: Depressive content
The negative bias always has worked more than the positive one on the Internet. NFT art surged after the pandemic. You can use this darkness, negativity to your own advantage.
#7: Twitter use
It gathers a bigger proportion of cultural and financial professionals than any other social media. Furthermore, NFT influencers are active there. Contact them, participate in a live group discussion on Twitter and Discord.
“NFTs made Twitter relevant”
Drop post (Twitter) for the sake of growing their account many influencers are proposing artists drop their art with a chance to be retweeted.
Contact other artists on Twitter, ask them what they’re working on, future plans for which platform they plan on minting on, how often, their thoughts on crypto.
Make your audience consider your art’s temporality. Can it last 100 years without being deteriorated? Or on the contrary, can it disappear or be destroyed at any time (especially just before being tokenized)? It makes illegal street art NFT’s friend
#9: Financial world
Add some dollars and gold elements, make reference to wealth, monetary systems and finance.
Example: Grime Monday
“The Last Stand of the Nation State”
Grime Monday on Twitter
#10: Art History
Use art history elements. Use the most iconic artworks and mash them up with our actual culture/society to create new meanings.
Example: Pascal Boyart
“The Underground Sistine Chapel – Pascal Boyart”
‘Fungible’ is a ridiculous-sounding word, play with it. Make open criticism on current affairs, anything well-known, even the NFT. It’s like being the Joker but behind the screen.
The financial world lives an adrenaline-driven life in order to keep up. Substance abuse can help with their performance. You can integrate drug elements (acid, pills…) without pointing any finger.
Use animated gifs or videos, works better with a perfect loop. Your animation has to be a part of the art, don’t make it feel it was added as an effect.
Example: AL Crego
“Visual Massage” Poetrified
See the complete animation on Al Crego’s Tumblr