NFT Art in a Nutshell and What It Means for Designers

45, 500 years ago in Indonesia, some ancestors of ours drew three wild pigs on a wall. Art has always been a popular form of expression and decoration. Fast forward to 2022, artists now have a huge amount of tools available to them for creating, and with that comes new opportunities to make money.

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For a long time, purchasing physical copies or originals had been the only way for people to own art and for creators to be paid for their work. However, with recent developments in blockchain technology, creators can now sell their art online as non-fungible tokens or NFTs. 

In this article, we will look at the popularity of NFTs, what they are, and what this changing world means for creators.

Quick Facts 

There is currently a huge buzz around NFTs. Before we look at what an NFT is, here are some facts that might pique your interest a little: 

  • In December 2021, the most expensive NFT sold for around $92 million.
  • In quarter 3 of 2021, trading volume added up to around $11 billion.
  • Thousands of NFTs are sold every day, but most sell for $20 or less. 
  • Collectibles are still the most popular form of NFT, with art second.
  • The types of NFTs you can purchase vary greatly – music, sports memorabilia, digital art, collectibles, to name a few.
Photo by Tezos on Unsplash

What is an NFT?

Firstly, it stands for “non-fungible token.” Every bitcoin or dollar has the same value making them fungible. Each NFT has a separate value set by the highest bidder. 

You can pay, likely using a cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin, which are bought on platforms such as KuCoin Crypto exchange, for proof that you own that digital asset, whatever it may be.

(If that sounds confusing, follow this guide on buying NFTs).

The NFTs exist on a blockchain (the vast majority on the Ethereum blockchain), which is a public ledger meaning prices are set by transactions that take place within it. Simplistically, if a lot of people are purchasing Ethereum, then the value will increase and vice versa. A difference here is US dollars, where the value is set by banks and the success of the country’s economy. 

So after you have completed the process, you own a piece of art or space in the metaverse. So what next? Well, that’s up to you. You own it. It’s just like a painting. You can sell it at a higher value or put it into your collection with hopes that the price or rarity will increase over time.

Where Did They Come From?

The first NFT was created in 2014 but struggled to gain recognition or popularity. This continued until 2017 when CryptoKitties gained notoriety and became incredibly popular NFTs contributing large increases to the value of Ethereum.

In 2020, the market started to grow, and then bang, in March 2021, Beeple sold a piece of NFT art for $69.3 million, and the world went crazy for them. Soon after, the centuries-old art auctioneers Sotheby’s created their own NFT purchasing platform, “Sotheby’s Metaverse,” making it clear that NFTs were important and valuable in the creative world.

Today, you can purchase land in Snoop Dogg’s digital NFT world; video clips of LeBron James dunking; or your favorite art from the comfort of your own home. The applications and creations seem to be endless. 

So let’s talk about NFT art and what it means for creators.  

NFT and the Art Industry

In 2020, the art industry was worth around $50 billion. It is a lucrative area to be successful in. For many artists, creating is a part of their being, and they enjoy payments as a bonus. However, for others, it is their profession, and they need to be paid fairly. 

In this digital age, many artists who provide services through social media or their websites are coming across more challenging customers. Even when using conversation intelligence, some refuse to pay, expect freebies, and push for more and more alterations leaving the artist with less time and, therefore, money. 

Managing challenges when it comes to difficult customers, as well as trying to produce brilliant art, is not something that ties well together. So are NFTs the golden opportunity for artists to take back control? 

Positives For Creators – 

  1. Artists can sell their creations as exclusive or rare. Rarity is one of the defining factors when it comes to value in physical art, and this allows that trend to be applied digitally. 
  2. The popularity of NFTs is giving a lot of artists and creators work. Many businesses are trying to tap into the world, and they need artists. There are well-paid creative employment opportunities available in the world of collectibles and NFTs. The same can be said for freelance artists, but make sure you negotiate your pay effectively so you aren’t rewarded unfairly.
  3. Artists can earn royalties from their NFTs. Justin Sun, a leading tech entrepreneur, said that artists could embed contracts into sold NFTs, which pay the creator every time it’s purchased in the future. 
  4. The market is global. Selling physical art takes time, and if you sell at art events, you will only reach a certain amount of potential customers. With collectibles and NFTs, they can reach the whole world and don’t require shipping.
  5. Investing in physical copies of your art to sell comes with a huge up-front cost, and you need storage. On the other hand, NFTs can be stored on hard drives or hybrid cloud architectures. Distribution via the web has a low setup cost and allows creators to sell at scale to a wide market. 

Potential Drawbacks – 

  1. Market saturation. While this can be a positive for employment or freelance opportunities, many experts believe that the amount of NFTs available results in only a small fraction being valuable.
  2. Questions are circulating about the longevity of the NFT boom. Will they still be valuable in a decade, or will there be new technology that deems true ownership of a digital asset impossible? 
  3. The value can be volatile. They are a relatively new technology and are not understood thoroughly. This makes them hard to trade, which, in turn, has negative effects on pricing. 
Photo by OVAN from Pexels

Quick Guide – How to Start Selling NFTs As a Creator

The NFT boom is still ongoing, and currently, there are still many opportunities to make money for creators. 

If you are interested in selling your digital assets, here are a few tips that will help you. 

Your online presence is vital to how your NFT is received by the market. 

Firstly, you need to market effectively using social media or a website. When customers visit your page, you need to make sure they’re immediately engaged. Taking the time to consider SaaS landing page inspiration may give you some ideas when it comes to positive initial interactions. 

Creating a website that provides guided selling to your customers will promote engagement and completed sales. Because people still find the technology difficult to understand, giving clients direction when it comes to purchasing your NFT can have a huge impact. 

As it is a new technology, there have been many instances of “rug pulls” whereby creators use their original, highly valued assets to make a lot of money. When they sell, it leaves investors with no value in their assets whatsoever. Being an active creator, conversing with your potential client base using WebRTC shows that you’re a dedicated, customer-focused individual who is reliable. 

Then you need to choose a digital marketplace and mint your NFT. OpenSea is currently the most popular place to sell and is very much the Amazon of the collectible and NFT world. 

Once it is available on a marketplace, you need to continue promoting and marketing to maintain momentum. Changes to your digital asset may incur gas fees and cost a lot of money, so make sure you meticulously plan your entrance to the NFT world. 

Final Thoughts

NFT art is a huge world that many people are trying to tap into.

As the popularity of using decentralized blockchain technology increases, experts at Forbes predict that NFTs will become an integral part of the movement and aren’t going anywhere. Furthermore, there is research taking place on the application of NFTs when buying real-world assets, such as housing, which will increase popularity even further and cement them into the future.

For artists, it gives new opportunities to improve independence and make money at the same time. 

The bubble hasn’t burst yet, and as a creator, if you can overcome the potential drawbacks, the world of NFTs is lucrative, freeing, and full of expression, much like art itself.

Jenna Bunnell – Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad

Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. She has also written for sites such as Codemotion and nTaskManager. Check out her LinkedIn profile.



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