NFTs can be an important facet of an artist's creative and financial strategy. This also includes fans, patrons and collectors, who like today support creative individuals for esthetic and financial purposes. NFTs are a simple and safe way to create and sell editions of art in its myriad of forms, but with the option of receiving royalties when it resells... FOREVER. You can pass on the ownership of your NFT to your family, friends, organization, etc. potentially creating income for them... FOREVER.
NFT is the acronym for "Non-Fungible Token". "Fungibility" is relatively simple to understand: it means that two or more things are interchangeable. For example, a twenty dollar bill or two ten dollar bills have the same amount of value: they are interchangeable.
This is not the case with "non-fungible items": two works of art may both be paintings, but they are not interchangeable. Both belong to the genre "painting", but they are definitely not the same thing. The term "token" in this context means that all information about the artwork is combined in a so-called "smart contract" and exists as a "token" on a special blockchain.
In summary, an NFT is ideal for ensuring the rarity and authorship of a digital or real work which can include collectibles, GIFs, videos, metaverse avatars, and even music. This is the reason why more and more artists, celebrities and collectors are adopting NFTs.
NFTs use blockchain technology, which means that traceability to the creator of the original work is ensured. So you can think of it as a digital representation of the artist's signature that authenticates the originality of the work.
Before, it was very difficult to nearly impossible to verify authorship flawlessly, especially for digital artwork, video, music, etc. The innovation of blockchains has therefore had an enormous impact on the art world: at last it is possible to ensure unambiguous attribution of digital creations. The process of making an NFT on a blockchain is called "minting."
Connecting an NFT to a digital artwork is the assurance that it is verifiably unique, a rarity, and owned by only one person. The artwork can therefore be sold 1:1, just as it would be sold "offline."
Many artists and musicians have been very successful with NFTs. One of the most famous examples is Beeple's "Everydays: the first 5000 days" (below). It sold for around 70 million dollars at an auction at Christie's.
2020-2021 were bull market years for NFTs, but in 2022 because of the economy, Bitcoin dropped in price as well as the crypto market affecting the NFT market. It is expected to rise again in 2023.
Can physical works of art be turned into NFTs?
The short answer is that yes, physical artworks can be minted and sold online as NFTs– making this market ever more accessible to artists in all creative disciplines. Instead of the traditional route of setting up an art gallery, artists now have easier access to art as a career.
The biggest benefit of linking physical artworks to non-fungible tokens is that sellers and buyers can easily prove the art is genuine. Following the purchase, a buyer can easily prove the NFT is theirs. Whether for valuation or resale, this offers a clear advantage for everyone in the industry concerned about legal ownership of their art.
And for the artist, many NFT marketplaces (such as SuperRare ensure that every sale results in royalties, meaning they could stand to continue earning from the same piece of artwork for many years to come. Unlike physical art where the artist rarely knows where their work ends up, NFTs allow for a clear digital history as well as the perk of additional income. NFTs also cut out the middleman, so the artist can deal directly with the buyer, and enjoy the full profit of the work.
NFTs and the Environment
Lastly, there has been debate about how much Bitcoin, the crypto market and NFTs affect the environment because of the energy usage. It is extremely difficult to know the truth about how much energy is actually used, and what type of environmental impact there really is, because corporations, the banking industry and governments are driving the narrative for their own purposes. Everyone has an agenda, so I learned decades ago we must do the deep dive to find the answers.
It appears to me that the impact is not as great as we are led to believe in any of the mainstream media. There are many studies and articles putting Bitcoin's energy consumption into proper perspective. Check these out-
These last few blog posts were only an introduction to the digital world of Bitcoin, Crypto Currency and NFTs. I encourage you to do more research to familiarize yourself with the different platforms and complete your due diligence before entering the marketplace.
Stay tuned to my first NFT drop on OpenSea with singer/song writer SEAY. I will offer more instructions on how to sign up with OpenSea on the next post.