How do you make NFT art? If you’ve followed the hype around NFT a bit, you will have noticed that NFT art is a booming business. In March 2021, the NFT work “Everydays: The first 5000 days” by digital artist Beeple was sold for more than $69 million from Christie’s safe house. Where normally the Picassos and Rembrandts are tapped for high prices, this now concerned an artist who is mainly known for Instagram and, more recently, NFTs.
In 2021, NFT will be one of the biggest trends in the crypto world and in the art trade. NFT is in fact a new artistic medium for artists that offers opportunities not only as a revenue model but also in the creative field. And best of all, the technology and market are available to everyone.
In this article, we will look at how you can create and sell an NFT artwork. Are you a digital artist and/or just curious about how you can make an NFT? Then read on. We’ll explain exactly how to do this and why this can be a new way to sell and promote your work.
What is an NFT artwork?
Maybe you are not very familiar with crypto yet, so first a small explanation about what NFTsare. NFT is the abbreviation of Non-Fungible Token. It is a unique token of which only one exists. And for those wondering what exactly tokens are: tokens are a form of cryptocurrency that can also have another function in addition to digital payment, such as NFT.
The token works as a kind of contract that cannot be changed or counterfeited. An NFT is therefore a certificate of authenticity. It’s like a digital signature. Furthermore, the artwork also immediately has value because a token can also be used as a cryptocurrency. It’s basically like making a work of art on a banknote and the combination makes it even more valuable.
The NFT is often used for digital art, but can also represent a physical work of art. For example, the descendants of artist Wladimir Branoff-Rossiné , who lived and worked at the beginning of the 20th century, recently auctioned his entire collection as NFTs. However, NFT art is generally digital and your artwork and NFT are work that is automatically handed over to the owner after the sale.
What are successful NFT artists at the moment?
To inspire you about what is possible in the field of crypto art, we would like to introduce you to a number of successful artists of the moment.
We already talked about Beeple aka Mike Winkelmann. This is a graphic artist. His work is a bit surreal. That is, all things in his artworks are recognizable as they look in the real world, but in a situation that is not realistic. Like Trump as a mega baby sitting on the Capitol. Beeple is a graphic designer who was already popular with his work, especially on Instagram.
Hashmasks is an NFT art collective in which different artists work on a portrait series. The figures in the portraits are in the same position and the same elements are always combined, such as a monkey or a roll of toilet paper. Portraits of Hashmasks are sold and auctioned as NFT. The special thing is that the person who buys the work of art can give the work of art a new name. It is therefore a work of art that is always evolving.
Pak is an artist who creates digital art. He has many famous fans including Elon Musk. His work will also soon be auctioned at Sotheby’s, which is the largest auction house in the world next to Christie’s. Pak is, among other things, the developer of Archillect, an AI that searches the web as a curator or collector for content that touches people on an artistic level.
What are the benefits of NFT art for artists?
You see that you can use an NFT in different ways as the basis of your artwork.
What are the benefits of making NFT art as an artist? Practically speaking, NFT art offers many advantages. It makes selling your digital work easier. Many artists find their audience via Instagram, for example, and already have fans here. With NFT you can easily sell art via the digital route.
You will also come into contact with a whole new group of buyers who are interested in your art. For example, Beeple’s works have been sold to a successful crypto investor. For some, your work becomes a commercial object and that may clash a bit with your artistic ideals. But that in itself is nothing new under the sun. In commerce, art is seen as an investment. But with NFTs, the artist has a greater chance of benefiting from this.
Because a major advantage of NFTs for artists is that there is a royalty system for sales on many platforms. Normally when you sell a painting you get the amount from the buyer and that’s it. You don’t get a percentage of the net profit with a resale, like with music or the reprint of a book. As a result, artists lose a lot of money. Because often, when an artist becomes more famous, large profits are made from the resale of work that the artist does not see in return. The NFT is a contract that in principle establishes the right of the artist and when reselling the artist receives a percentage of the profit from this sale.
Your work as an NFT not only takes your art to new markets, but you also have new forms of social media to promote. Instagram is known for artists, but Discord or Reddit may be less so. Here you can also get a lot of tips and ideas on how to make and sell NFT art.
Another great thing about selling your work as an NFT is the speed of a sale. When you sell an NFT, you immediately receive the agreed amount. With a physical exhibition in a gallery, it sometimes takes a while before the sale is closed and before you actually get your money.
Counterfeiting work is also difficult or even almost impossible due to the smart contract. So no one can make money with your work unnoticed. This is a major advantage for digital artists in particular. It is also not impossible that your wallet can be hacked and you have lost your crypto art. But hacking wallets are very complex and security is generally very good.
What do you need to make an NFT artwork?
Remember Bob Ross with his luscious head of hair and his technique that allowed him to paint anyone? Just like Bob Ross’ artwork, NFT art can be made by anyone! Because what do you need besides a creative mind?
First of all, a wallet is important, in which you can store your NFTs and cryptocurrency. Most platforms also require you to have a certain amount of tokens or crypto coins to make your NFTs pay for the gas fees. This is the cost of using one of the certain blockchains to create your NFT.
Metamask is a widely used online wallet. Always keep your passwords from your wallet and keep them safe. If you have lost your password, you will also have lost your NFT art. A good hardware wallet is from Ledger. You have different platforms where you can sell your NFT artwork, these often also indicate which wallet you can use best.
As we mentioned before, you need a filled wallet for the gas fees. It differs a bit per platform which cryptocurrency you need. Usually, this is Ethereum (ETH). You can purchase cryptocurrencies at a crypto exchange. This could be Binance.
Your digital work
Furthermore, your work must be digital or you must make a digital version of physical work. This file can be uploaded in different formats, so a JPEG or PNG file for an image and an MP4 file for a video. The size of the files varies a bit per platform. But these cannot be too large files yet. It becomes difficult to turn a feature film into an NFT.
It is also worth looking at which platform you make your NFT on because what you have to look at is which token is the basis of your NFT. Ethereum is most commonly used for this. This is therefore also the easiest, but not always cheap due to the gas fees.
If you have a handy wallet filled with cryptocurrency and have found your work in a digital version and a platform where you want to create and sell your NFTs, then it is a matter of following the steps on the platform. Usually, you can create an account and upload your work there. After this, you fill in some information about the work (title, description, etc.), determine a price, and then pay a fee if necessary. Sometimes you can choose how your work is sold with, for example, an auction. With a few clicks, you have made an NFT or minted.
What are the different platforms to create and sell NFT art?
The procedure for creating, or minting, an NFT varies a bit by platform. This also depends a bit on the approach of the platform. Some are like an open exchange where anyone can create their own NFTs. Other platforms work as an online gallery where work and artists are selected. We are now going to discuss the different platforms and how to create NFTs here.
OpenSea is the largest NFT platform at the moment. In addition to art, you can also find NFTs for games and collectibles here. It provides the basis for various platforms specializing in certain NFTs such as Mintable for example. OpenSea is built on the Ethereum network. Anyone can make NFTs here, as long as you have a wallet.
The big advantage of OpenSea is that creating NFTs is free. This can be done via the Collection Manager tool. You can do this all at once by initializing your account once. With a collection manager, you can create NFTs for free, the fees are only charged when you sell. This is called slow mining. You don’t necessarily have to sell the NFTs you’ve created, nor do you have to sell them through OpenSea.
This can be done via other platforms. To make NFTs on OpenSea, you first create an account to which you link a wallet. After this, you can choose the option “create” and then follow the steps.
Mintable is an NFT platform with various NFTs and art is one of them. This is an open-source platform where you are free to add NFTs yourself. The special thing about this platform is the way the platform is controlled. Community-driven DAOs(Decentralized Automated Organizations) have been around for some time. Ideas can be put forward from the community for the development of the platform. Often, the holders of the governance tokens have the right to approve or reject proposals. Mintable is the first NFT platform that is community driven and where the holders of an NFT get voting rights on the proposals and the opportunity to make proposals. For example, if you buy an NFT, you get 2 NFT (MINTs) to vote with. You can also buy voting rights. As an artist, you therefore also have a say in how the platform is set up where you can exhibit and sell your art.
At Mintable you can choose between the Ethereum blockchain or Zilliqa (ZIL). Ethereum is the easiest in itself but is also more expensive with gas fees. To create an NFT, you go through the same steps with both blockchains. You need to create a store on Mintable for this or put the items in the Mintable store. The file size of your NFT can be up to 3GB. It all starts here too with a push of the “Start Minting Now” button.
Within the Rarible platform, you can pay with the Rarible (RARI) token. You can use these to buy NFTs, but they can also give you control over the platform. Rarible is also a DAO, a decentralized automatic organization just like Mintable above. Here, however, the participation does not work with NFTs but separate tokens.
That has a royalty system that you can set as an artist. You can create your NFT artwork, but you don’t have to sell it right away.
How to make an NFT artwork on Rarible? Also here you will find a “Create” button. You can choose to make 1 copy of your artwork or several. The price includes a service fee of 2.5% in June 2021. You can choose whether to convert the work into ECR21 tokens or into Rarible NFT.
SuperRare is an NFT marketplace specializing in art. You can see it as an NFT gallery. It really works like a gallery because here you will find a selective collection with a certain quality value. You must be selected to place your NFT art here. As a result, the threshold may be a bit higher. The effect of a free market in which gallery owners and auction houses do not determine is gone.
The other side is that it gives a certain quality mark if you can sell your art via SuperRare and perhaps more art lovers buy here too. To be selected, you will need to fill out a form with links to your site and social media. You also have to give a small motivation for why you want to sell artworks via SuperRare NFT. If you are selected, you will be given instructions on how to make your NFT now and sell it through SuperRare.
SuperRare also works on the Ethereum blockchain.
Niftygateway is also an example of a curated platform, where you are selected to literally show your skills. This is a pretty hip platform with trendy art and artists who have mostly switched from street art to digital art. Here you can also sign up with some information and examples of your work and motivation about your work and why you think your work deserves a place in this gallery. Niftygateway is part of the Gemini exchange platform. Here too, if your work is resold, you are entitled to a royalty percentage.
What are the disadvantages of NFT art for an artist?
Since 2021, NFT art has become extremely popular and that means that many artists are currently taking the leap to the crypto world. So, just as you probably were involved with NFT before you did, you will have to bring your work to the attention of sellers. Also, take into account the gas fees that you have to pay. The height of the gas fees can vary and also depends on how much use is made of a network.
Furthermore, NFT is hype at the moment, just like the entire crypto world. This means that many people are going to invest in NFT for big profits. This can of course decrease if the market changes, so that great profits are not made, also in the field of NFTs.
How do you make an NFT artwork? By now you know that you can make and sell this NFT in a few moments. The crypto world offers you new possibilities as an artist. It is a very open, accessible market. NFT art offers artists valuable opportunities, especially through the possibility of receiving royalties.