Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a relatively new prospect, disrupting the art world since their introduction. However, the art community has been hesitant to adopt this form of monetizing artwork because it differs significantly from how artwork is traditionally assigned value. But shaking up how art is valued and sold opens up opportunities that artists should take advantage of.
Artists are finding that NFTs are not just a nice way of adding some extra money to their pocket but, in some cases, a good way of making a living in its own right. With the level of demand in the NFT market for unique works of art, new artists have not only the opportunity to break in but also a great motivation to do so. The natural scarcity of NFTs drives up demand among collectors, meaning that this is an easy way for them to make money.
The other great thing about the NFT community is that it is open and inclusive. Entrance into and success in the physical art world can be significantly limited by gatekeepers and supposed “tastemakers” at galleries who determine what should be shown and have the opportunity to be sold. On the other hand, the decentralized nature of NFTs allows independent artists to tokenize and list their work themselves, which is an opportunity for artists to make money that wouldn’t be available to them with traditional mediums.
The underlying blockchain technology of NFTs helps artists protect their work. Blockchain behaves similarly to a ledger, containing records of all transactions involving a particular token. These smart contracts are a much more transparent way of conducting business in the art world than the traditional methods, which helps artists manage their endeavors much more efficiently.
One of the main draws of creating NFTs for artists is that they offer royalties to their creators. The nature of art is that it appreciates over time, but artists are often left out of the picture. Once a piece of physical artwork is sold, the artist makes a profit, but if it is later resold for a higher price, they often have no control over the transaction. On the other hand, NFTs can be coded to allow their creator to collect royalties with every transaction with that token in the future. This means that artists can reap the rewards of their creations for years.
The protections that NFTs offer to artists are also a significant draw for artists. Some argue that digital files can be duplicated to the exact quality of the original artwork. Still, on the other hand, the resale value of copies of digital files is limited. And owning an NFT does not mean that the purchaser also acquires the duplication rights. As such, an artist doesn’t have to worry about high-quality reproductions of their work being sold as prints.
This is a lot of what attracts new artists into the space. The promise of financial independence without many of the risks of selling physical artwork is an appealing prospect for many artists. That is why we see so many new artists coming into the field. And yet, it’s not a one-and-done endeavor for most artists who decide to tokenize their work. Once a new voice is introduced, and their work finds a fanbase, the value of their tokens tends to increase over time.
The NFT market is rife with opportunities for artists to make money off of their artwork in ways that didn’t seem possible before. And with the tremendous growth in the field, there are plenty of opportunities for new artists to start tokenizing their work. There is an enormous demand for these digital collectibles, so independent artists should capitalize on these opportunities.
Distanced from his family at a young age and living in another country, comics were Alvin Juano’s companion and he developed an interest in storytelling. In 2014, he started The Square Comics in his University dorm room as a hobby and it has since grown to an over 600,000 follower base on Instagram. As one of the pioneer webcomic artists in Southeast Asia, in December 2021, he decided to create and launch his own NFT collection, Squarmies. The collection sold out in less than one minute. Now he’s on a mission to share his knowledge and help onboard artists into the NFT space. He’s no stranger to fast moving innovative tech industries, having previously worked in various startups including Uber (Fortune 500).