All you need to know!
The market for digital collectibles is a rapidly growing opportunity. March 2021 has seen a record-breaking art sale, in which an artist under the pseudonym Beeple has sold his collection of NFT art for 69 million dollars.
Many more celebrities have jumped on the NFT train, including Grimes, Azealia Banks, and the CEO of Twitter himself.
o Why has the NFT technology combined with digital artworks become apparently successful?
o Why would you, as an artist, participate, and how to get started?
o What is the background of the dispute about the environmental impact of minting those NFT tokens?
Let us not get ahead of ourselves.
We will take you through this topic step-by-step; there is no need to rush into things.
a. Firstly, we will clarify some definitions.
b. We will explain how it works, especially for an artist.
c. We will suggest the steps you might want to take.
d. We will explain what can be expected regarding the environmental impact.
1. What is Digital Art?
It is another art medium such as painting, sculpture, collage, multimedia art, etc.
Digital art is a term used to describe art that is made by using digital technology such as computers and software, or digitally painted with a digital pen on a touchscreen.
Whether the artwork becomes physically existing or stays as a digital file depends on what the artist’s objective is.
How this digital file can stay digital but unique is explained below, by using an NFT.
So far, before NFT came into play, digital artworks have been dealt with in the following ways:
> Artists selling digital files, usually downloadable in high resolution, so the buyer can print it, frame it, and hang it. Since there is no protection from being copied, the value is as low as a commonly purchased poster in any of those offline shops.
> Instead of selling the digital file itself, you keep the file and offer a print for sale. Then you are in control, but you need to print and ship it to the buyer like any other physically existing artwork.
The art medium for that artwork should then not only be tagged Digital Art but also Printmaking.
Furthermore, in order to create value for that artwork you should define a limited edition and, after selling all of those prints, you would have the responsibility to literally delete the original file so there is no way of creating more of the limited edition artworks.
Usually there is one more, called AP (artist proof) on top of the limited edition.
2. What is an NFT?
Understanding the mechanics and the purpose of NFTs has been a challenge for most industry outsiders.
NFT (non-fungible token) is a unique digital file stored on a “digital ledger” called a blockchain.
An NFT is created by uploading a file, such as a digitally created artwork, which is then recorded as an NFT on the blockchain.
Now it is a unique file and can be sold and re-sold, while remaining a one-of-a-kind unique file.
In more simple words, your digital artwork will be a digital file which has that NFT attached to it. This makes the work “original” and therefore unique, regardless how often the image itself has been screenshotted, printed, copied, etc.
There is always only one original of that file which is unmistakably identified by that NFT.
Comparing these dealings of digital art, what it can do for an artist is, that a digital NFT artwork can be sold as a unique artwork without printing it.
3. Where can an artist create NFT’s for his digital artworks and sell it?
As mentioned earlier, I strongly suggest taking it easy.
Due to the hype of this topic right now, homepages for NFTs are popping out everywhere.
I do not want to bother you with more technical terms here. More importantly for you as an artist is, how to go from here.
As the author of this article and co-founder and CPO of ARTMO I would like to encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about NFT.
Find me here >>
Also always a good source for learning more is Wikipedia. See the article on NFT >>
At ARTMO we have been discussing this topic in depth. We do have the right platform for you.
ARTMO is the best ecosystem for this and other artforms to be presented and sold in a marketplace, rather than a shop with high commissions.
The NFT market has already provided some talented art creators with a much-needed source of income during the pandemic. It is symptomatic of the current moment that the market is overridden by speculation and con artistry.
However, with well-designed platforms providing necessary tools for curation and authentication, the NFT market has a chance to mature – and even to become a much-needed trust platform for the art world at large.
4. What is the environmental impact of minting NFT tokens?
There is an ongoing dispute about the environmental impact of minting the tokens.
On one hand, it is pretty clear that NFT generation is far from energy-efficient under the current algorithm. The carbon footprint of minting one NFT can be comparable to that of a 2-hour jet flight.
On the other hand, the share of Ethereum in the total carbon footprint is relatively low - under 0.02% of total CO2 emissions, comparable with those of YouTube.
Of course, this could increase with the greater public adaption of blockchain technologies. However, this is unlikely to happen under the current paradigm.
The currently used proof-of-work algorithm is both energy- and money-consuming, contributing not only to high emissions of CO2 but also to the exorbitant fees required of artists to generate NFTs.
The true game-changer comes with the new algorithm of Ethereum 2.0.
The switch to “proof-of-stake” authentication, expected in mid-2021, will end wasteful practices such as “crypto mining” and will decrease the network’s energy cost by orders of magnitude.
With this incomparably higher efficiency, the NFT market will soon have a chance to escape the speculative realm and become a sustainable way to promote, sell and exchange creative work.
5. This is what we at ARTMO are going to accomplish over the next couple of months.
Our take on the NFT space is going to be based on 3 principles:
a) Full embeddedness into the existing ARTMO network. If you do not wish to sell NFTs on ARTMO, everything will stay the same for you.
b) Smart curation. With all artworks on ARTMO already subject to an approval process, we are going to extend this approach to digital works.
Further on, curators and galleries will have the necessary tools to create collections on the blockchain, for example as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
c) The future is physical + digital. Digital trust on the blockchain has immense potential for authentication and transparency in physical art sales.
This could mean, for example, NFTs linked to scannable chips embedded into the physical artwork itself, thereby securing the verifiability of the artwork.
We are incredibly excited about expanding into the NFT cosmos and giving digital art in general more space and presence for artists, curators, and art institutions alike.
Stay tuned! However, for now we cannot give a clear indication when it will be possible on ARTMO, because we have to make sure first, that available minting options are working smooth. Currently there is plenty of discussions and possible issues related to blockchain technology.
So, our suggestion is, get prepared and have some patience before you hop on any NFT newcomer-page.