An Artist's Journey Into the World of NFTs
In the metaverse, it is always gm (good morning). When I first started my NFT journey on crypt0 Twitter, I was met with a slew of gm's every hour of the day. They say gm is a mindset, an energy, a state of being, to which I can only wholeheartedly smile and agree. The international and mostly anonymous nature of Web3 obliterates time zones and traditional ways of greeting the day. The day in the metaverse is much like Times Square, constantly moving, evolving and energized.
I have been a multidisciplinary artist for over 20 years, and for the past seven years I have worked as a motion designer in the advertising space. During my many years of creating, I have had some success selling my physical work to collectors and doing group and solo exhibitions. My digital art was something I enjoyed doing, and aside from posting work on Vimeo or Giphy, it never really had a home or a way to monetize outside of freelance work.
Enter NFTs, and two months later I have had some tremendous success in being able to sell my work to a wide variety of collectors, many of whom I also have been able to send my physical work to. I was also recently awarded by the APENFT Dream Fund in partnership with Sotheby's, Christie's, and LiveArt.io—for my NFT "Superposition Nostalgia."
As I go along, I am going to highlight some key terms, and while I can't completely cover the depth of their meaning in this article, I would encourage you to DYOR on what they mean, as they are important to your Web3 crypt0 art journey.
@richerd on Twitter, who is the founder of manifold.xyx, a creator platform for creating on-chain NFT smart contracts for artists, breaks down some terms:
crypto - a math-based currency built on cryptographic principles.
blockchain - the underlying technology used to store and access data in a decentralized manner.
web3 - the concepts, ideas and applications being built on the blockchain. DAOs, NFTs, DeFi, etc.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, fall into the ever-evolving Web3 umbrella. It is a digital contract created on the blockchain assigned to an asset and that contract provides both provenance and proof of ownership for the creator and collector, along with a variety of other utilities such as in-perpetuity royalties for the artist. Trading cards on steroids and optimized for transparent efficiency and longevity of their lifespan as a collectible asset.
I had been watching the NFT space for many years, primarily through web articles and Instagram. It was a good start, but the real on-the-ground cutting-edge action is on Twitter. As a multidisciplinary artist, I had a wealth of experience as a creator, both physically and digitally. I started initially creating a pfp project on Opensea and soon I made my first sale: .5ETH (which was roughly $1,400 at the time). I was blown away. I had met the collector in my Discord, where I explained my history in a very candid way and struck up a relationship with them.
The NFT community, like life, is all about relationships—and I have been able to make some amazing new friendships with creators and collectors that I haven't experienced on other social platforms. In the short time (two months) I have been here, I have had some mind-blowing heartfelt conversations that have truly changed the course of my day, or have been inspired by listening in on the numerous Twitter Spaces where conversations are had by members of the community.
So far I have minted over 800 NFTs spread over 10 collections and different platforms (Foundation, Rarible, Opensea and Hic Et Nunc/Objkt). They range from photographs to digitally reimagined works of my oil paintings and drawings to digital assemblage and collage, digital illustration and animation.
As a creator and employee at an ad agency (shoutout to The Many), it has given me an entirely new outlet for my digital works, an outlet that is supportive and monetized, something that really isn't happening on Instagram or other platforms. There have been breakthrough moments like the first time my work sold on the secondary market. I was paid royalties for a collector reselling my work that they bought. I had never experienced that with my physical art. It was electric. An added bonus is that everything on the blockchain is transparent, so I can see where the work travels from collector to collector, collection to collection. Revolutionary.
I have been extremely fortunate in being able to sell my work to some prominent collectors in the space, and have been blown away at the financial freedom that has been provided from creating and selling NFTs. To new creators wanting to jump in, my biggest suggestion is a simple one: Be authentic in your work and your online presence. It will attract the attention of the right collectors and fans. For me personally, I am an artist for life, and the NFT experience is an extension of a lifelong practice. I don't plan on going anywhere, but rather, continuing to learn and grow in this fascinating and fast-paced new world. I hope to see you there!