For artists, it looks like this: You’re working on your art for an upcoming exhibition, let’s say 6 months from now. Instead of paintings, you will be exhibiting your latest NFTs. Instead of brushes, paint, and canvas, you are drawing on your iPad. The exhibition space is a mint page, your website, or online auction. Instead of an email list, postcards, and Facebook posts, you are promoting on Instagram, Discord, and Twitter. When the day of the opening (or drop) finally comes, your audience is from all over the world, not just locals or regulars to the brick-and-mortar gallery. In the online world, having thousands of viewers looking at your new work is the norm, with the potential of millions from all over world. Just like a real opening with sales happening that day, your art could potentially sell out in minutes on drop day. It happens all the time.
In the NFT space, the possibilities are endless, the rules are not set, anything goes. The basic NFT for artists is very straightforward: mint (list) an image of your art, promote it, sell it. After that basic starting point, NFTs become more complex. 10K projects consist of 10,000 NFTs created randomly with the help of algorithms that include rarity traits. Art created with the aid of artificial intelligence is prevalent, and here to stay.
NFTs can mutate. NFTs can be characters you can play in a game, or NBA cards that play a video replay of a steal or dunk by your favorite player. Video art is not new, but never has it had such a nurturing environment to grow, become accepted, and be collected.
Music NFTs are still early, but some artists have already sold albums and songs. This creates a huge opportunity for musicians, allowing us to buy a song directly from the artists we love! NFTs are tracked, so anyone can see who owns what. The provenance is there. And when an NFT is resold for a second or third time, the artist gets royalties on the sale.
Billboard.com reports that over the past three years, music executives have shown a growing interest in blockchain because of its far-reaching application potential, “Blockchain-based NFTs, which have already been issued by 3LAU, Brandi Carlile, Snoop Dogg, Haleek Maul, and the Recording Academy, could become the de facto method for in-app purchases in the virtual world. This means the music industry has already taken a step across the next threshold of digital consumer technology.” *
What are you buying when you purchase an NFT from your favorite artists? You are buying a share in the artist’s stock; you are supporting them directly. This is another venue for an artist’s career. It’s not a gimmick. Artists have a reputation. That reputation is a powerful tool that can be used to build a community of collectors, friends, other artists, investors, all for the sake of their art. Community is huge in NFT, and the people are there to help, support, educate, and give opportunity.
Are you in? The process of minting (or purchasing) NFTs is complicated at first and may deter some people early on. Here’s a quick explanation of interacting with a blockchain. First, you will need to buy crypto. I used Coinbase.com; it’s one of the common crypto currency exchange platforms, and is easy to use. Your Coinbase account can be considered your crypto “bank”. Here you can buy, hold, and sell your different crypto currency or coins. Next you will need a wallet; the one you choose will depend on the blockchain you want to interact with. A wallet is created as a plug-in on your web browser. Now, when you browse marketplaces, you can connect your wallet to them, allowing you to spend your coin to mint or to purchase NFTs.