So we’ve all been creating digital art in our spare time for years with no other reason than the love for the medium or as a cathartic exercise, separate from our normal client work or day jobs.
Well, this year our creative intent might have just changed.
NFT, Non-fungible Tokens are this year's new shiny technology and a creative gold rush is well and truly underway. Every digital artist I know seems to be grabbing their metaphorical sieve and sifting through their old work to find the nuggets that might make them rich.
I’m currently asking myself, is it really worth investing my time trying to monetize my digital content or alternatively should I invest in other people’s artwork in the hope that investment will yield future profits.
What are NFTs? Simply, they are a technology that gives a creator the ability to stamp a unique code onto ANY digital asset, thereby making that coded version the TRUE version. But how does this actually give your digital assets any value? Well, it doesn’t by itself.
Most articles I’ve read all like to compare NFTS to the value of popular paintings. You, today, can download your favoUrite artist for free, print it out and put it on your wall. That wall art is worth nothing. But if you own the original then you have an asset you can not only enjoy but sell. Or if you own a signed, limited print you know this too has value but not as much as the original.
If you're into your cryptocurrencies, which I’m currently not, NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Both Bitcoin and Dogecoin I’m sure will be well on their way to creating their own version of NFTs, so people on the internet are saying! I have no idea.
What I find more exciting about NFTs is that once you have sold your artwork YOU still retain the copyright of that work and you’ll also receive a percentage of every subsequent sale. You make money every time it’s resold.
Although most of the press coverage has been around Digital Art, this isn’t exclusive to that medium, it can be anything digital for example Tweets, Sports Clips, Music. Everything digital has now become tradable. But does this really mean you can go off and get your digital art “Minted” today, leave your hard-fought creative job and stick two fingers up to those clients who never pay on time?
Currently for me and I think most people, the answer is probably not.
Beeple didn’t make $69 Million in a single NFT sale at Christie’s because he simply transitioned from one medium to the other. He has worked extremely hard to build up an audience and body of work, one digital piece of art a day for over a decade, to become one of the most famous globally recognized digital artists on the planet. He has built this huge fanbase because of the frequency and quality of his daily content. A tapestry of work that transcends any single day’s output.
Investors will only pay millions for a piece when they are sure that it should increase in value. So that means they believe that Beeple will continue to grow as an artist. His presence will increase and the value of the Art will go up. My crude comparison, Beeple is the Banksy of digital.
So if you’re considering getting into this space, like all artistic endeavours, it requires a lot of commitment and a unique voice that will stand out from the wave of stock art content that’s being minted and sold every day.
The amazing thing about our digital space was that we all created our work for the love of it and I strongly believe that will continue. For me, I’ll keep creating work I LOVE and if I can find people out there willing to support me in that endeavour by investing in my art then that’s awesome, but right now I won't be quitting my day job!