The article you’re about to read is based on my personal experience, and it shouldn’t discourage you in the attempt to try your luck with NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Do your research, write notes, and try to develop realistic expectations before you go all-in. NFTs are not only related to artworks. Almost any digital file can be transformed into NFT. Ask Google.
No other three letters have ever hit the art scene as hard as NFT did. You’ve probably been living under a rock or deep inside of some MMORPG if you don’t know what I’m talking about. NFTs changed how we look at (digital) art and how we value artworks, forever. We shouldn’t try to describe them as good or bad, because they can be both. It’s really up to you how deep you want to get involved. If you decide to follow that route you will soon discover that requires a lot of work, like any other job.
The heading above is short for Massive Digital Art Free Money Hysteria. I really don’t know how else to call it. What’s worse, I’ve been actively involved in it, luckily, only for a few weeks (and yes, I’m still hoping). Many of us started acting like some sort of junkies who are desperately trying to break into the storage-house, where they keep our favorite drug – money. It was almost an ugly experience. I myself was nervously trying to find my way into some of the best-known NFTmarkets/galleries. I was also feeling very disappointed for not getting an invite because I had A LOT of artists-friends who were “inside” at that point. I got the invite eventually and was offered an additional one. So, the experience was far from positive, and it ended up as a disappointment. I think that many artists felt the signs of depression.
Why is it still a good thing for art(ists)?
All this has forced us to step back and analyze what we are doing, why are we doing it, and how to do it better. I’m talking about how to make a profit from doing art, more than how to do art (better). The fact that some artists made tens of thousands, hundreds, or even millions of $, is a good thing. The more such sales make the headlines, the better for anyone who is into making money from doing art. Some of my favorite artists out there did a really good job and have made records in sales. This confirms that the hard work could pay off sooner or later.
Selling NFT is hard
If you don’t already have an army of followers, you’ll probably feel a bit disappointed at first. It’s sad to watch some really bad art selling for top dollar, which is often the case. It’s doing big damage to many talented and hard-working artists out there. Of course, you can’t compare the value of different (types of) art(works) as easily as you would be able to compare the value of different brands of cars.
Many less-known artists, who are desperately trying to sell their NFTs, just can’t seem to understand that nothing is really free, in any market, and nothing will ever be. The artwork itself is not enough. You have to have a long-term strategy and work hard on improving your marketing skills. You have to invest (money and/or time) to be able to sell. Another route is to try to become the very best friend to folks who run any of the top NFT platforms. I’m not even joking.
A few months back, while I was still actively involved, I realized that 90-95% of the top-selling artists come from the US. Since the HQs of all the top platforms are based in the US, so it makes sense that those who are running them first reached out for artists who they know in person or for those who were recommended by a team member. In other words, to make it ‘inside’ among the first few you had to know a guy who knows a guy.
Be aware that NFTs are not some random artist’s idea. Just like with cryptocurrencies, someone very intelligent had a plan to make money. That someone knew that the best way to make money is to create and offer something that people will want to be a part of. That someone might have made you believe that you’re the hunter but in reality, you are the prey. The good news is that you have the power to change that with focus, dedication, and hard work.
There’s no free money in a pyramid
The Crypto economy, like any other economy in capitalism, involves those who have more and those who have less (but want to have more), those who spend, and those who never stop struggling. It’s just the way that math works. It’s basically a pyramid scheme, a legal version of it. Look at your family as an example, or any other family. You’ll realize that even the members of almost any family are not equal when it comes to money or belongings. There are many parameters why that’s how things are. That “we always shared everything” line is usually a part of a story about some poor family.
Don’t give up
You can wait for things to change OR you can check what else is out there. I plan to write at least one article focused on NFT platforms. In the meantime, I suggest you check Hic Et Nunc and Ghost Market, as alternatives to more popular platforms. Don’t give up if you are sure that you want to make a living by selling your NFTs. Like almost anything else in life, it takes time. Talk soon.