With the recent boom of NFT art some artists are betting big on blockchain markets. Since the first quarter of 2021 the NFT art market boomed as crypto gained more volatile, mainstream awareness.
With blockchain marketplaces like Superrare, founded in 2018, now raising funds from investors like Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher for $30 million a month, it is hard to be ignored.
Oh, and the biggest digital art piece was sold for $69 million dollars by artist Beeple. Sure, this is at the end of the spectrum, but some artists are making good money with their art. And rightfully so as they worked and developed their skills for a long time. Yet most artworks sold are digitally generated by computers or just amateuristic, in my honest opinion, are just not worth their value.
What is going on? With this in mind I created my own ‘shitty’ art, tried to perceive some kind of value and sell the rights for digital ownership online. Anything goes in a world where a pixel art avatar is sold for at least $20 thousand dollars per piece.
If I were to explain Blockchain, I would need to create a two hour video and it would still be confusing. I got a nanodegree as Blockchain developer early 2021, but this technology is changing rapidly. So, here’s the quick and dirty explanation of a so-called NFT.
An NFT (Non-fungible tokens) is a unique token that proves ownership of a unique digital asset. Like an artwork from your favourite artist. It provides validity and scarcity. Imagine the Blockchain as a huuuge public excel file where things can only be added or read with computerized encryption. Never to be deleted. Some things you can’t read as they are secured. Other things you can read, for example to prove you are the owner of this art piece. You can sell your art piece and it will be added as a new record on the Blockchain. Great!
But wait… Can’t I just take a screenshot of this art, print it and use it myself? Sure. You can do that with the Mona Lisa, but that does not mean you are the owner of the original work.
Art is subjective and value is based on perceived value by the market. Mix that with a market that is volatile and has seen 10X growth in the last 2 years.. You get crazy valuations. Here are some works valued over thousands of dollars. Think of it what you want. Each has their supply and demand.
THICC POKEMON – Over 400 ETH traded (more than $ 1mil). A collection of Pokémon cards with each their own rarity, value and thickness.
I believe there is a big potential for this market, for artists to get the recognition and paycheck they deserve. We’re at a super-duper early stage in the market, so trial and error will happen. It needs to happen. If you think you missed the blockchain boat right now because you still do not own a Lamborghini, don’t worry. You are still early and crypto is here to stay for a long time.
Just don’t give in to ‘fear of missing out’ and invest smartly if you do as there will be regulations by countries or other factors into play like the stock markets, value of currency, etc. Have patience. Do your own research and stay away from Twitter experts.
Branding & selling cat poop
Here’s the work you’ve all been waiting for. Les pièces de résistance. By my cat – Scottie. I’ve chosen 3 ‘art pieces’ out of a collection of 9.
Unique Collectable 9️⃣ – The Lover: Oh look, he loves you! Weight: 45.9 grams / 1.62 oz. Ate: Cat food & a rose petal. Smell: A very kinky valentine.
Unique Collectable 8️⃣ – The Golden One: a golden drop close to the golden ratio. Extremely rare. Near purrfect. Weight: 31.7 grams / 1.12 oz. Ate: Cat food & caviar. Smell: Rust & death.
Unique Collectable 5️⃣ – The Artist: scottie’s self portrait. “I’ve seen some shit in my life.” Weight: Chonker. Ate: All of it. Smell: WAP.
I’ve had these made on Upwork and bought the full rights to the art for about $50. Then I’ve added them to a NFT marketplace where they can be traded or sold. At this point, they don’t hold any value yet as I just put a price on them with no notoriety.
What did scare me a little is that non-verified artists can upload any piece of work as if they own it. Beware of what you buy and always buy directly from verified artists. Basically I could upload the Mona Lisa and claim to be Leonardo da Vinci. So only follow accounts verified by the artist. But hey, that’s another topic. Back to the cat poop.
Here’s a few things a did to create a brand around these works:
1. Created an Instagram account to showcase a story. (Automation could be added here to target certain hashtags and accounts.)
2. Created a dazzling announcement video. Story matters. (Also was a fun way to be creative with this one.)
3. Planned posts on Reddit as they’d understand my memetastic approach.
4. Reached out to NFT influencers and crypto voice. (This one I still need to do more.)
The full collection can be found on the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Each piece has a story and is diverse. One art piece is a very rare golden piece. *wow*. And we have a self portrait of the man himself. Does the story stick?
Congrats with your unique digital assets
The buying process is not optimal to buy NFT art. You have to pay a fee transferring your valuta to crypto, and another transaction fee to register the transaction on the blockchain.
Early 2021 with the big boom (this helped me gain traction), a lot of computing power was required resulting in a higher transaction fee. In the future, these will get solved by newer versions of the Ethereum coin or cryptocurrency like Cardano. But at this point you had to pay $70 for a $150 transaction. Just crazy.
Two pieces have been sold. One was bought by someone I knew, the other by a complete stranger which I find completely ridiculous. I asked why he/she bought it, and they said they just ‘found it funny’. Great! I’m sure I can sell a few more pieces should I reach out to more influencers, perhaps for a giveaway, and post on more channels.
The more buyers there are, the more these poopies rise in value. Should one get sold for a substantial amount, there might even be some PR value here. Shitty PR I might add, but these days entertainment is news. Imagine a press release. Aha. I’ll just keep dreaming.
In the world of crypto, you have to be a dreamer to venture in the unknown. You’re building on something that will shape the future of mankind. Wow, sounds important. Even if it doesn’t stick (unlikely), it’s a valuable lesson.
For now, a lot of things are happening in the crypto space and crypto still needs to find a solid foundation. Like the Gamestop internet bull-market culture pushing the market around, high transaction fees, the high computing power (Bitcoin alone in May 2021 has a bigger energy consumption than the whole of Czech Republic.) Crypto has big challenges ahead, but that’s what makes it exciting for me. How about you?