NFTs represent digital assets in the form of tokens, with scarcity being the most prominent attribute. The ecosystems where NFTs thrive are still forming and relatively new, yet they are growing at an unprecedented pace.
Given the abundance of opportunities and one successful project after another, it's no surprise that so many are eager to jump into this space. And artists are no exception. In fact, digital artists are on top of the food chain regarding earnings in NFTs so far.
The Blockchain is a Gold Mine for Artists
Blockchain networks opened an entirely new avenue for artists to create, promote, and sell their artworks. For the first time in the industry's history, traditional dealers and galleries no longer run the show. Now, anyone has the tools and access to create an artwork, upload it to a decentralized network, and sell it without third-party involvement.
The benefits of this new system are undeniable: artists enjoy complete control over copyright while buyers can access rare pieces directly from their creators. But perhaps the most significant advantage of storing digital artworks on blockchains is increased transparency.
For example, all information about the transactions of a particular artwork is saved on a public ledger, making it impossible to forge sales or rob someone of their earnings or intellectual property. This innovative business model is what makes NFTs so attractive for artists worldwide.
Another huge benefit of blockchain-based art deals has to do with royalties. When someone purchases an NFT, the creator of the NFT will receive a royalty immediately distributed through the system as soon as the transaction is completed. This is programmed into the NFT and will happen in perpetuity, allowing artists and creators to benefit from the body of their work and the personal brand they build over the years.
In addition to that NFTs can have multiple owners who can share the benefit simultaneously even when they are miles apart.
Crypto art has gone mainstream thanks to artists and art collections from Beeple to CryptoPunks who've earned hundreds of millions. They inspire fellow artists and creators to earn more from one piece than what they could make by sticking with the traditional method of selling through dealers and galleries.
It's not just about rare digital art pieces either: Instagram is packed with crypto influencers and pioneers sharing valuable information and secret tips about succeeding as an artist in this industry.
Is It Too Late to Get Started?
The answer is no. In fact, NFTs are really only at the starter’s gate. Of course, some people might still think the NFT space is reserved only for pioneers who've joined this industry before it's gained widespread adoption. But you don't need to be an early adopter to be successful in this ecosystem.
Startups like the Ethereum-based R.A.R.E Art Labs offer artists a chance to sell their digital artworks on the blockchain without going through the tedious process of creating them from scratch. It's an excellent launching pad for artists who want to get in the NFT game but aren't sure where to begin.
Indeed, some artists are already finding it hard to sell their artworks as NFTs, considering the market is increasingly getting congested. Nevertheless, demand for NFT art is growing, and there's a good chance that more buyers will join the NFT ecosystem once it reaches its full potential.
Although some might argue that going digital is a step backwards in an industry where collectors covet physical pieces, blockchain technology has opened a new door for artists to approach their craft from a global perspective.
Since digital art can be minted and sold as NFTs, it is significantly easier to sell than physical pieces of artwork. At this point, you no longer need to meet or identify your buyer to find the right collector: instead, the NFT community gets to decide how valuable your art is and what it's worth.
Why Isn't Everyone Onboard?
For some artists taking a look at the market now, it may seem like it’s too late to catch up and the ship has already sailed. For insiders, crypto art is only as good as the technology it relies on. And for the art community, there's apprehension about whether digital assets can ever be as valuable as physical pieces.
It's not that the skeptics are wrong, but if you look at how fast technology in general and blockchain technology, in particular, is developing, there are many opportunities to build on, but only if you are willing to spend time learning, exploring, and taking a risk in a space you know nothing about. Whether you are an artist or a collector it’s natural in such a market to feel overwhelmed and that you are missing out.
Then there's the question of who will protect artists and collectors from scams and false claims. What if someone impersonates the artist just to sell fakes or NFTs that look nothing like the original piece?
Well, this industry isn't taking off without a fight, and both blockchain startups and notable influencers are already concerned about how to provide artists with the support they need.
The good news for artists who might still be hesitant about playing in the space is that the NFT community is mostly artist-friendly, and they are working diligently to figure out effective ways of protecting artists from fraud and scams.
In the meantime, it's mind-boggling to think that the NFT space is still in its early stages, yet we already see money in the billions. In time, digital artists will have a much easier time minting, promoting, and selling their work, in addition to relying on an established ecosystem they can actively help shape and grow.
At this point, jumping into the NFT space is pretty much like all other investments where many factors play a role in whether you falter or succeed, some are in your control, others defined by the market. But with the propensity to earn money from your artworks as you continue to produce and grow your brand, who wouldn't want to at least give this space a serious change?
There is really no point in debating whether NFTs are here to stay, the technology underpinnings are solid, innovations in the space are being introduced every day, and the potential to make a living is legit. The market will do what the market will do, go up, down, and go sideways. However, the technology, community, and paradigm shifts taking place are only going to grow.
As far as the art community goes, it's only a matter of time before we see more and more artists adopt NFTs and collaborate with crypto startups that can help them achieve this goal. Until then, we're in the early days of this movement, so it's fair to say that it's never too late to get your feet wet.