NFTs have received a lot of coverage lately. Let this be a brief guide to the fast-evolving domain for creativity.
1. What’s an NFT?
NFTs are programmable digital objects built on a common framework, Ethereum. Let’s break that down.
- Think of it as a folder on your computer’s desktop. Like a physical object, it has characteristics. The folder is blue, contains 3 files, and is named “Work Stuff”.
- Files in the folder determine the object’s features.
- When an NFT is “minted”, created, the folder and files inside become a single object, like a .zip file.
- You determine the object’s features.
- Examples of programmable features are the name of the piece, the number of copies, and your rules for resale.
- One file in the folder will be your artwork in a digital format. Once the NFT is minted your artwork and the object will be permanently linked.
Common framework, Ethereum
- A .zip file format is an example of a common framework. You can use a .zip on a Mac or PC because both provide the functionality to open, edit, and save that file type.
- Similarly, using Ethereum, anyone with a digital wallet can safely store and transfer NFTs.
2. Why is an NFT valuable for digital/physical art?
NFTs create opportunities for artists working in digital formats to give their work many of the traits enjoyed by physical pieces; scarcity, utility, and ownership.
Physical works can be digitized and given the same properties.
- You decide how many NFTs to produce.
- Each piece has a unique identifying code. Ethereum keeps a record of which wallet contains which code and ensures your work can’t be duplicated or stolen.
- Your NFT can be used in any Ethereum compatible application. It can be auctioned on our secondary market, won as a prize in a video game, or displayed in a virtual art museum.
- Similar to the Banksy shredded at Sotheby’s, where the painting, the frame, and experience all became part of the piece, your work can now be programmed to give collectors new experiences, creating value and creative opportunities.
If you were to create an AR effect onSnap or Instagram and minted it as an NFT, whoever holds that NFT in their wallet will have access to the filter. Each time the NFT is sold, the transfer will be recorded and added to the piece’s provenance.
3. Is there a collector market for NFT art?
There are a variety of collectors buying NFT art:
- Patrons – buyers purchasing a wide range of pieces to support growth in the space
- Collector/Investors – buying pieces for their visual appeal and displaying them in virtual galleries, ultimately to sell them for a higher price
- Community Collections – group funds like The Vault pool money from participants to buy pieces and are some of the largest digital art collections in the world
- Artists – The transparency of the transaction process allows you to participate as both a creator and collector – A significant amount of NFT artists also collect
- Our goal is to expand the collector community by showing the value of this medium to collectors from the traditional Art, AR/VR, and music industries.
- There are multiple primary markets, like illust, to hold an auction or initial sale of your NFT artwork, and secondary markets for collectors to buy and sell.
4. How can I view NFT artwork?
- You’ll need some kind of a screen.
- Smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions, or AR/VR glasses
Your work can be viewed through any app that supports 3D file types:
- Social media – Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
- Video games – Wallem, Axie Infinity, MyCryptoHeroes, Gods Unchained
- 3D virtual worlds – Decentraland, CryptoVoxels, Somnium Space, The Sandbox
- Augmented reality – illlust, Lightplay, and any ARkit/ARcore compatible applications
5. Appraising work
- Like physical art, monetary value is determined by auction and resale prices.
- There is minimal price history for NFT art pieces. New artists can estimate value based on factors like size of social following, scarcity of work, and utility for the collector.
6. How do I turn my art into an NFT?
- If your work is digital, you can learn the process of minting or come to us.
- If your work is physical, like a sculpture, our in-house AR artist can help you create a digital version and our expert tech team can mint it to an NFT with the features you’d like.
7. How can illust help?
- Our level of involvement varies by project. Depending on your needs, we can help you design, market, exhibit, or auction your work.
- If you’re an artist working in a digital or physical medium and are interested in turning your work into an NFT please reach out. We’d love to meet you and answer any questions you may have.