This article is in no way an investment advice, but simply the presentation of a technical project around the blockchain.
NFTs, you have probably heard of them if you are interested in cryptocurrencies, but also if you are an artist looking to make a living from your art ! Indeed, at the moment, it’s a record party… As I write these lines, the inventor of the Nyan Cat has received more than 470,000 euros for the new version of his animated GIF.
The American artist Beeple meanwhile pocketed close to 70 million dollars for a digital mosaic.
These randomly generated cryptopunks are sold for the rarest, several million dollars.
But make no mistake about it, in most cases the artists pocketing these crazy sums are either already very well known or have produced a work so original that it immediately gained significant value among the art-loving community. .
Because yes, as weird as it may seem to you, the NFT market is very similar to the physical art market that we all know. Some works and some artists have the coast and others less.
But some artists manage to earn a small comfortable income by selling their works in NFT to their community every month. The NFT wave is taking everything away and if you think it’s a fad, you’re wrong. Artists who currently refuse to take an interest in NFT will soon be presented with a fait accompli and will not be able to escape it. And I will explain this to you as well.
This guide is not for…
Here, I give the keys to allow artists to get started with NFTs. But beware, this is not for you:
- If you are already familiar with the world of cryptocurrencies / NFTs
- If you are a technical expert
- If you intend to steal the works of others to sell them in NFT
- If you are looking for a way to make a lot of money easily
The definition of NFTs (Non Fungible tokens)?
NFT means “Non Fungible Token” and it is simply a digital “object” recorded in a blockchain.
Well, Bitcoin, you see what it is. If I give you 1 bitcoin, well that already means that I’m armored and generous… but the bitcoin that I give you, even if it has sentimental value for you because I gave it to you, well that’s still a bitcoin. We cannot distinguish one Bitcoin from another Bitcoin and both will have the same value.
With NFTs it’s different. Each NFT is unique and therefore it can acquire its own value.
All data from an NFT is therefore stored in a blockchain which is neither more nor less than a decentralized database that is therefore “indestructible”. Each block of the chain can contain data and this data can no longer be modified or deleted.
For example, when you are on a mobile application or a video game that sells virtual equipment for your character, if the game ends tomorrow, you lose these items (and therefore your money). Thanks to the bockchain, these virtual objects will continue to exist forever in your crypto wallet. And you will continue to have control over it.
NFTs can be art such as graphic works or music, but also 3D virtual worlds, trading cards or decentralized domain names. From the moment it’s digital, it can be put in NFT.
But how much is an nft worth?
This question is worth its weight in gold. You know it, because you are an adult: on this planet, everything that is rare is expensive.
But a digital work is by definition infinitely duplicable. Image, sound, text… copied and pasted and let’s go! So how do you make a digital work unique? With NFTs!
If a creator decides to offer in the form of an NFT, one of these digital works, well that makes this work unique, because it will be verified, timestamped and placed for eternity in the blockchain. Please note that this does not mean that the work cannot be copied. It simply means that this particular one is an authentic version proposed by the creator and that it is such person who owns it.
I know it’s conceptual.
A creator can also decide on a specific number of copies of an NFT that they allow. It’s a bit like a numbered draw. The same work will be present in several NFTs, but as they will be numbered, they will still remain unique. One can imagine that draw #1 will even have a little more value than draw #2. It’s crazy isn’t it?
Today, NFTs can sell from a few dollars to several million dollars, it’s madness.
But are there really people who buy art in NFT?
Yes, collectors. Those who have collecting fever… There are many people who collect beans, beer capsules or one-night stands. So why not digital works?
More seriously, a real collector will seek above all what is rare: a coin minted in ten copies, the first edition of an old book, a painting by a known artist, etc. The NFT thus allows him to collect THE first original edition of a digital work and no one can claim it since the title deed will be engraved in the blockchain.
NFTs therefore primarily attract lovers of traditional art… but not only since you can also collect tweets, Internet memes, virtual objects in games or “moments” such as basketball baskets in NFTs. in NBA championships and so on.
It therefore also attracts fans of certain sports or collector players.
If I wanted, I could even offer each article of korben.info site in NFT and you would become officially owner of this article or another article of my site. And then to me the wealth… or not.
Obviously, beyond the collection, there are also notions of speculation. Some buy NFTs from debuting artists hoping that one day they will become famous and their digital works will increase in value. It’s no more stupid than betting a little money in a cryptocurrency and thinking that in 5 years, it will be in the Top 5 cryptocurrencies. It’s an investment and like all investments, it’s a bet on the future.
Is it good for artists who want to create their NFT?
So there, big question. If you create an NFT, you can sell it directly to one of your fans. He or she will know that he or she has the original, that this original is verified and authenticated in the blockchain and you on your side, you pocket the money (well, the cryptocurrency) minus the percentage of the platform through which you sold the NFT.
But it can go beyond, because an original creator can continue to receive money each time his NFT is resold. Thus, a work can travel from collector to collector and the artist will receive a commission for each transfer. In addition, the creator can, if he wishes, retain the rights to his work. It is not because the original edition of your work has been sold that you cannot sell others or that you lose ownership of them. No, no, the copyrights are still yours. To use a real-world analogy, just because I buy print #1 of a collector’s book doesn’t mean the author loses the rights to it. And it’s not because I buy a piece of music in NFT that I can then offer it in streaming or resell it myself on Amazon MP3. No, no… It would be like saying: “I go to Fnac, I buy a book, I photocopy it and I resell the paper copies on Amazon”. No, no, that’s not how it works.
In short, as an artist you are not dispossessed of your work.
What are the risks of buying an NFT?
But beware, there are still risks. Some digital artists who are not in the NFT business are starting to oppose this practice, because scammers steal their works from their website or Twitter account and have fun reselling them on platforms when they don’t. don’t have the rights. It’s a nice scam and they feel robbed. But are they really?
I think the person who is really being scammed here is the one who bought a work in NFT without verifying that it was indeed the artist who sold it. Now those responsible are obviously the scammer who resells the works of others and of course the NFT platforms who turn a blind eye.
And even if a work is not immediately “tokenized” as they say, it is possible that a crook places a tweet outright in NFT (whether it contains a work or not).
But as the appearance of MP3 has forced the most reluctant artists to offer their music in digital format, there is a good chance that in the future, artists will be forced to offer NFTs of their works if they do not want give way to scammers. And I think there is also a bright future for NFT platforms that validate the identity of artists and therefore the authenticity of works, such as what the NFT SuperRare platform offers . It is a guarantee for buyers as well.
Finally, to a certain extent because sometimes, big artists like here the Wu-Tang Clan also have fun stealing the works of smaller artists to sell them in NFT. We can’t get away with it anymore.
Why should you care about crypto NFT tokens?
As an artist, you must be interested in it, because it is a new means of making known and selling your art. Whether you are for or against cryptocurrencies will not change much. As you may have seen, anyone can create an NFT from your artistic creations. And that’s super embarrassing for buyers as well as for artists who won’t get a penny.
Like the MP3 in its time, the NFT is a game changer, that is to say, it will change the rules of the game for the sale of digital art. And if you as an artist aren’t interested, others will, and your art will be sold as NFT anyway so you might as well get on with it.
It’s in a way, unfortunate, but all artists will be faced with NFTs in a few years, and I think they will have no choice but to get into it.
How to create and trade your first NFT?
If you want to create NFTs, you will need to first determine what your potential buying audience will be. And as soon as the NFT is ready, it will then be necessary to address this buyer audience directly. This will be more effective than putting an NFT online and waiting for a shopper who likes you to stumble upon it. Because remember, most people on the planet aren’t even aware that NFTs exist. Not yet.
Before creating your NFT, you must first choose the blockchain in which you will put this NFT. In 99% of cases, it will happen on the Ethereum blockchain with ERC-721 type tokens. And there will be fees related to the “mintage” of your token. The Tron, Polkadot, Tezos, Cosmos, Matic and Klaytn blockchains also allow digital objects to be deposited there. I won’t go into the details of each of these blockchains, but you should also be interested.
So what is the mintage? Well, “Minter” (I’m Frenchifying the term) means definitively registering your work in the blockchain, that is to say having it checked and timestamped. And since it’s a transaction, well, there are transaction costs when selling the NFT.
There are many platforms, but the 2 best known are:
On Opensea and Mintable, the creation experience is quite user-friendly and above all allows you to create your NFT for free and quickly. The fees will come later when you complete the sale of your NFT.
However Opensea being also an aggregator, if you put something on Mintable (or Rarible or elsewhere…), it will be visible on Opensea.
As far as I’m concerned, my preference goes to Mintable, which I find a little more fun to use, so I’ll go to this service for the rest of the explanations.
What do you need :
- Of a digital work on which you have the rights (it is ethically preferable)
- A wallet (metamask type crypto wallet , coinbase wallet or Trust wallet that supports NFTs)
I will therefore first explain to you how to install a wallet.
How to install your cryptocurrency wallet?
I will not dwell on the subject here because I have already produced a complete article on the subject: How to install Metamask?
How to sell an NFT?
Now you have everything you need to sell your NFT.
Go to Mintable and register by clicking on the “Create Account” button at the top right of the site. There will be a small code sent by email to validate your account and that’s it.
Then click on the button at the top right “Connect a Wallet” to connect your Metamask to the site.
Then click on the “Mint an Item” button in the top bar. When the pop-up window appears, choose “Create a new item”.
The next window offers you to choose between the easy method and the advanced method to create your NFT. We will start with the easy method (Easy).
Then it’s easy, just fill out the form with:
- A category
- A title
- A subtitle
- A description
- And an artwork file which can be a video, image or animated GIF. This is the thumbnail image that people will see when they browse the site.
To maximize your chances of selling your NFT, you should not neglect the time spent on writing the description. It has to inspire the potential buyer. Explain your art, give some keys, take the reader into your universe. Its very important.
But the REAL NFT, whether it’s music, a zip or a long video or even a very high definition image, it’s at the “Attach a private file” box that it happens. This will allow you to add an attachment downloadable only by the person who will own the NFT.
You can also transfer the copyright of your file to the buyer if you wish.
Then comes the “prices” part. Here it works like eBay, where you can specify a fixed price, or a starting price for auctions or buy-it-now auctions. The price can be indicated in dollars $ or in Ethereum Ξ.
Once you are ready, click on “LIST THIS ITEM”. You will then be asked to sign this transaction with Metamask. It’s totally free and as soon as it’s done, your NFT will be put up for sale on the Mintable shop.
You will then be able to view your NFT page and as soon as the moderation of the site has accepted your file, you can start sharing the URL with your potential buyers.
Congratulations, your first NFT is online and it didn’t cost you anything. All you have to do is sell it. And for that I have selected several strategies little known to artists who are nevertheless essential distribution channels.
How to promote an NFT?
Creating an NFT is not that complex. The real challenge now will be to sell it. And for that, well, you will have to make it known to your community.
You can of course apply all the classic marketing strategies, namely natural referencing, emailing, content creation, advertising, calling on influencers, or even calling on “art dealers” specializing in NFTs. …etc., but this involves first of all the expense and also that your community is familiar with the concept of NFTs.
It is therefore best to promote your works to people who already buy art via NFT: collectors .
I will assume that your NFT is a unique and interesting work and I will show you how to promote it, in particular by creating a community of loyal people who will appreciate your art, buy it and above all talk about it on the networks.
Embrace social media
For your NFT auction to be visible, you must absolutely talk about it on social networks and above all share the link to the page concerned. Twitter is currently the most popular platform for promoting and selling your digital art, because the site allows people who follow you to retweet, that is to say, reshare your initial message, to their entire community. Thus you increase the visibility of your NFT. But it also makes it easy to share image galleries, sound, video, etc. I won’t be surprised if, in the long term, Twitter proposes an integration of NFTs on its platform.
Instagram is also very important to highlight your portfolio and expose your current projects, but also your past work. Indeed, when a collector seeks to buy a work of art, he obviously inquires about the artist, his price and his evolution.
So you have to exist as an artist on the networks and show the evolution of your art, show that you are gaining popularity…etc. Also share your daily life, the way you create, special moments with your community.
It’s called personal branding and it’s super important to work on your image as an artist if one day you want to make a living from your art.
Twitter and Instagram will also allow you to aggregate a community over time and if you use hashtags (keywords) correctly you can reach a lot of people interested in NFTs in a few messages. Here is a list of keywords that you can use, but do not hesitate to find new ones, perhaps more confidential so as not to be drowned in the mass of content:
Join communities specialized in NFT
There are many Telegram and Discord server groups where NFT collectors and enthusiasts meet. Some of these groups are more or less private and you may be invited to them by other users. There are even groups that have become legendary in the world of NFT art that are exclusively reserved for major collectors. Access to them is restricted, and those who manage to enter are considered the elite.
You can also head to Reddit in communities like /r/CryptoArt to (gently) promote your NFTs or just ask for advice or respond to those who ask questions, and thus get noticed as a Crypto Artist.
Metaverses are 3D universes accessible through a browser that allow you to explore a virtual world using your avatar and perform different actions there such as creating your space and interacting with other people. In the world of NFTs, the best known are Cryptovoxels , Somnium Space and Decentraland . Here you will find buildings owned by NFT collectors and creators where their collections are displayed, and where people gather to have fun, socialize, or participate in events and exhibitions.
You’ll also find events dedicated to NFTs on sites like AltspaceVR .
Facilitate the buying process
If you already have a community, but it is not aware of NFTs, you will have to communicate both about your NFT works, but also about the method to use to buy your NFT. The best thing is to make a page or a site dedicated to the sale of the NFT explaining your approach and offering a more traditional way (payment by credit card, transfer, etc.) to buy this NFT without having to train in cryptocurrencies. Once the payment has been received, you can send a tutorial to the buyer and ask him to give you his wallet address to transfer the NFT to him.
Collaborations are a great way to reach new people. After establishing yourself as an NFT artist, offer collaborations to other artists. This will allow you to expand your communities or even sell joint works.
How to invest and buy an NFT? The crypto marketplaces (Binance, OpenSea…etc) which are authoritative on this art / finance market.
Above all, a work must touch you to want to buy it. Or as you measure its resale potential if you want to speculate. You can of course browse the platforms that I am going to give you, but also Twitter where many artists are hiding. Here is a list, but it is not exhaustive .
To buy an NFT, you will need a wallet like Metamask for example with some cryptocurrency on it. If you buy on the Ethereum blockchain, you will need to buy ETH on platforms like Bitpanda or Binance. I made a whole list of platforms where you can buy cryptocurrencies here.
And once they are purchased, you will have to transfer them to your metamask or other wallet, which will cost you a fee also called GAS.
Then, there are many platforms on which you can buy your artwork, but here is a small selection:
- Binance NFT Marketplace
- Nifty Gateway
- Axie Marketplace
- NFT ShowRoom
Which NFT crypto to buy?
Some NFTs are better investments than others because they have been released by artists with high ratings. Others by artists in the making.
Finally, some collections such as the Cryptopunks or the PancakeSwap Squad are voluntarily limited in copies and some of these NFTs have more or less rare characteristics. It is therefore difficult to tell you what to buy as there are so many parameters.
But in any case, never buy on a whim and take into account the project as a whole.
How to destroy an NFT?
So destroying an NFT is not always well documented, but it is doable to some extent. Obviously, only the owner can perform this action, so if you are an artist who has sold a work, you will no longer be able to destroy it after sending it to another address.
In cryptocurrency jargon, destroying an NFT is called “burn” and that simply means sending it to an inaccessible address. It is not possible to remove the token ID from the blockchain, so one cannot destroy it, but one can make it irretrievably inaccessible.
Why would people do such a thing?
Well unlike the traditional financial world whose value increases when money is added, the cryptocurrency world works the opposite way. There are a finite number of specific tokens available and when a portion of them are destroyed, the total number of tokens available in the market decreases and therefore the value of each individual token may increase.
To burn an NFT, simply send your NFT (for a few transaction fees) to an inaccessible address. Typically, people use this:
We can therefore always see these NFTs in the blockchain. On Opensea, for example, you can consult the list of NFTs burned at this address.
As you will have understood, becoming a crypto artist and making a living from your art is a combination of 3 inseparable factors:
- 1/ Produce art that touches people.
- 2/ Work on your personal brand
- 3/ Make your NFTs known to as many collectors as possible to expand your community.
It takes time and perseverance, but you can do it! I hope this guide has been useful to you. Do not hesitate to recommend it to other people in the same situation as you, it will help them to get started too.
I wish you good luck for the rest of your life as a crypto artist.