5 Best Practices For Artists Creating NFTs by@montyatsaatchi

5 Best Practices For Artists Creating NFTs

More artists are turning to the NFT space as a means to augment their collector base and reach in order to generate new income opportunities. NFTs utilize a new technology and new platforms different from traditional fine art galleries and sales. Only half of artists who created an NFT were able to sell it. Artists were also challenged when it came to determining which platform to use. Getting involved in the crypto ecosystem may seem daunting, but it’s an essential first step, says Saatchi Art's general manager.
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Monty Preston

Creative director behind The Other Avatars, Saatchi Arts NFT project.

Thousands of artists have created art NFTs, and have experienced the benefits that this new technology can bring. They’ve also learned a thing or two along the way.

More artists are turning to the NFT space as a means to augment their collector base and reach in order to generate new income opportunities. But NFTs utilize new technology and new platforms different from traditional fine art galleries and sales, and many artists have a steep learning curve to traverse. Jumping in without being aware of the challenges may have an artist questioning if NFTs are the right step for them.

In our latest research report, “Making a Living as an Artist,” we found that only half (54%) of artists who had created an NFT were able to sell it. This was likely due to some of the challenges they faced when creating an NFT, among them how to price it, evaluating the different platforms, and getting set up with the technology.

As the general manager of Saatchi Art, where I’ve helped onboard over 100 artists into the NFT space, and as a practising artist myself, I want to help artists interested in creating NFTs learn more about what to expect so they can have a successful and profitable experience. Here are some of the challenges artists who created NFTs say they face, and some of the best practices they discovered.

Three Biggest Challenges When Creating Art NFTs

NFTs offer new benefits for artists looking to expand their audience and generate new income streams, but the process of minting and selling work functions differently than the traditional art market. According to the artists we surveyed, here are three of the biggest challenges they found when they created their NFTs.

Accurate Pricing

According to our research, the biggest challenge for artists was accurately pricing their NFTs. Artists may be confused, given that NFTs regularly make the news for their extremely high prices (Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs regularly go for $300,000 or higher each). As with any artwork, you want to price for value, and for a number of other facets, too. Rather than get caught up in the headlines, look at similar aspects you would when pricing physical works to determine your NFT pricing (e.g. collector demand, your reputation, time spent creating, etc.)

Platform Evaluation

Artists were also challenged when it came to determining which platform to use. When first starting out, the number of platforms (there are over 50 different ones!) and the features they offer can be overwhelming to artists who don’t yet thoroughly know the space. Some platforms feature a number of different types of NFTs, like Nifty Gateway, and some just feature art NFTs, like SuperRare. Some platforms will carry a large variety of lower-priced NFTs, like OpenSea, and some platforms carry a select number of more premium NFTs, like Foundation. Different platforms work on different blockchains as well. Decide which is right for you and your work.

Wallet Set-Up

Artists who have created NFTs have also cited challenges with setting up a crypto wallet, which is how you pay for minting fees and receive payment (currently, over 350,000 active wallets are buying and selling NFTs per month, with nearly 3 million active wallets total). Getting involved in the crypto ecosystem in order to create and sell NFTs may seem daunting, but it’s an essential first step. Make it a priority to get set up with a wallet, convert fiat currency into crypto, and understand how to transact on the blockchain.

Top Five Best Practices for Artists Creating NFTs

Fortunately, for any artist starting to think about creating their first NFT, there are already artists who are successful in the space and willing to share their experiences. These best practices shared in our report can help you as you begin to mint and sell your work.

1. Be smart about copyright

As you begin creating NFTs, you'll be doing so in a new world of digital ownership and smart contracts. The opportunities this presents are vast, but artists who have created NFTs already recommend protecting your copyright. Remember that the purchase of an NFT means the buyer owns the artwork — but doesn’t necessitate transfer of copyright.

2. Get involved in the crypto community

Getting involved in the crypto community is the fastest way to get acclimated to the technical aspects of the space, and to find out who's buying and what the current trends are. If you haven't already, join Twitter and Discord and interact, as those platforms are where the conversations around NFTs with artists and collectors are happening. Remember: those people could be the next collector of your work!

3. Support other NFT creators

You can support other creators by sharing your best practices, getting the word about their work out to your audience, or even by purchasing their artwork yourself. There's a great sense of community and reciprocity among artists in the NFT space, and many artists are turning into collectors as well.

4. Choose the best platform for your work

As mentioned above, there are a number of platforms out there through which you can sell your work. You need to evaluate which platforms are going to be best for your career and will help you move forward. Look for platforms that offer advisors or curators who can inform you about the best next steps for your career, how to accurately price your work, and your best approach to marketing and promotion.

5. Safety and security are key

Finally, make sure you're putting security first when you're transacting or interacting online. Keep your personal information private and never share any information about your wallet or your passwords.

Next Steps

The NFT community is growing stronger and more dynamic by the day. Much of this is due to the openness with which artists and collectors alike approach sharing best practices, advice, and experiences with those new to the space. So, as you embark on the next steps in your art career — whether it be creating your first NFT or your hundredth — don’t go it alone.

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