How to become a successful NFT artist?

NFT - Crypto Art

When they have established notoriety, artists who are rushing to embrace NFTs have to think about balancing having exposure and maintaining exclusivity. The NFTs modus operantis still has to be fully assessed and the nascent but future-facing market has some unclear rules of copyrights and ownership. An NFT artist needs a long-term strategy to ensure consistency in the desire for people to collect his present and future works. 

In the profitable NFts art marketplace as well as in the traditional art world, collectors and artists comprehend that the notion of success is relative: becoming successful as an artist stems from the judgment of a public, equally important obviously as the inherent merit of the artist or his technique. The biggest auction houses like Christie’s or Sotheby’s have successfully managed to find their place in the NFts system and they currently act as major actors and gatekeepers not to be overlooked. In that sense, they ensure the sustainability of their own system by endowing the artists they promote with legitimacy in the eyes of potential investors, as well as mastering as a way to drive up value during buzz-generating events on some new auction pieces. 

In the rise of art market speculation on the blockchain, is an established and well-known figure will most likely be of help, hence the rise of NFTs drops by celebrities with already enormous audiences like Grimes, Diplo or Damien Hirst. Social media presence is key. As such, champions of the crypto art movement are the crypto collectors but also digital artists like Beeple, who have been creating work consistently and have cultivated large followings on social media. When the $69-million sale of digital artist Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5,000 Days was the big craze, numerous forget to remember that the buyer crypto investor Metakovan had already bought his artwork in December 2020 (20 art pieces of Beeple’s for $2.2 million at the Nifty Gateway online marketplace). 

In such a competitive space artists immersed in the world of blockchains and cryptocurrency are expected to be original and set a new narrative. Hence why underground, anti-establishment artists overly use social media to build their audience in that community. In the NFts world, the only limit is your imagination, as shown by the Burning movement (@BurntBanksy) in 2021 of artists burning their canvas to sell solely the digital copy as an NFT. Recognized and acclaimed artists are now more than ever working as their own art brand. 

But what made an artist successful in the traditional market?
What is changing with NFTs?

Success can be found in the complicated mechanism of the stakeholders’ interrelated work evolving in the regular art market, with or around an artist. As an intermediary actor, the galleries’ role was to build a promotional narrative for the artists they had chosen and thus advertise their new works, showcasing it through their network of wealthy clients. The cut galleries earn from each sale (up to 50%)  is different from the auction houses’ profitable model, consisting in charging both buyers and sellers a percentage. A  major change for artists with the NFT market is that they can now benefit from their work increases in value as they are able to attach stipulations to an NFT – meaning every time art gets resold on the secondary market they get a percentage  at rates set by the artists themselves -, what is called automated resale royalties

Therefore the NFT artists use other intermediaries. Specialist online platforms (MakersPlace and Nifty Gateway) are available if they want to directly sell their work to crypto collectors. For the stockage and exposure work, platforms will take a roughly 10% commission on each sale. Those online actors can expand their role, with for instance NFT specialists working with artists on advisory regarding the blockchain and cryptocurrency muddle, or companies that feature ordinarily gallery-associated skills in the online world: selecting NFT digital artists, curating an online exhibition on a precise theme, and selling limited editions of their pieces. 

Still, NFT artists might increasingly turn to the established names of traditional auction houses to sell new work, especially as auction houses are already collaborating with online firms specialized in the technological process of minting the token on a blockchain and transferring it to the buyer’s crypto wallet after the NFT sale. 

The technology of crypto-rating allows for the development of new skills and is legitimately fascinating for artists who may already have worked digitally, and are trying to follow this new technology wave.. The blockchain-integrated structures provide a new business model, with uneven prices. Indeed NFTS should have the typical progression of a groundbreaking technological discovery. One can expect that the speculative bubble will stabilize when the new technology consolidates. What is striking however is that a majority of artists are embracing this innovative surge of creativity on the digital market and as such are not waiting for the future to happen.