Things to Note Before Getting into NFTs
Everyone is looking at the NFTs now that it has reached the mainstream audience. It's a great new technology that could potentially revolutionize the way art is monetized, distributed, and authenticated. While it may seem like an easy one-way high end art sales and thousands of dollars in exchange for pixelated jpegs of cats, it's really not that simple.
Here's a list of things that you should take into consideration as you prepare your journey into the NFT Market!
First of all
You own and retain all of the rights to your artwork unless you state otherwise in the description. Selling an NFT does not automatically transfer all of the rights to the buyer.
Don't forget this is "CryptoArt",
art tied to the Crypto Market.
That means you will encounter many elements of the crypto world.
• The value of your NFT is attached to a cryptocurrency, so your list price may not change but it's value in USD will be constantly changing.
• Many people are Anonymous and will choose to remain anonymous and private.
• Scammers are lurking and will try to access your wallet. So don't connect your wallets to sites that seem cheap or unofficial.
• Try to verify that projects are legit before dedicating time, art, and money to it.
This is all still very new and still in somewhat of a
so things are constantly changing and being developed.
Many of these projects have small development teams and with the recent meteoric rise in NFT popularity, they may not be able to act quickly or respond to support tickets in a timely fashion. So if you have any questions, it's best to ask another artist before going to the devs.
Humble yourself, this is a new audience.
Some of your followers and supporters may follow you into the crypto space but for the most part you will be selling to artists and collectors that are already active in the community and have a decent amount of crypto accumulated. You may have a lot of bragging rights in the real world, but in the NFT world an inflated ego could potentially work against you... Unless you are pretty rich and famous. For some reason the community loves billionaires and D list celebrities.
It takes time and money to make money...
and investments can go bad.
Ethereum Gas Fees absolutely suck and if you don't know what these look like, you will find out very soon if you plan to mint NFTs on any Ethereum based platform like Rarible, Opensea, Mintable, SuperRare, Zora, or Foundation. Gas fees are network fees that have to be paid in order to put anything onto the Eth blockchain. During times of high network usage, you could be charged hundreds to get an artwork minted. When the network is less congested you can still expect to pay $40+ for the same thing. On some platforms there's a fee to mint the art, put it on auction, place a bid, accept an offer, withdraw an offer, and delete (burn) the artwork. In some cases it may cost more for you to accept an offer than the offer is even worth! And if that isn't bad enough, transactions that you have already paid for can potentially fail.
No matter how it appears to be, art is not flying off all of the virtual shelves. For the majority of artists it takes time, patience, and good 'ol fashioned networking to get your art sold and sometimes a piece may never sell. Check out this article for tips on promoting your artwork.
Don't always believe what you see
While decentralized government-free markets are awesome in many ways, they are open and prone for manipulation. Wash Trading happens and is a common practice for a few NFT creators with extra funds or crypto-wealthy friends. Wash trading is when an artist makes artificial purchases of their art from mystery wallets to bump their name to the top of the charts. Projects with wealthy partners and supporters usually end up doing a lot better in an overnight fashion compared to organic projects. Reporting these practices will get you little-to-no response from the platform developers or other community members.
Many wealthy “Collectors” wallets are full of free art.
When influential names and D list celebs first entered the scene, they released simple images and made immediate BANK instantly. Along with the free money, many artists started transferring art into their wallets with hopes of gaining a bit of recognition. (you pay a gas fee to transfer art). Some celebs do make a few purchases here and there as a promotional tool, but most of the NFTs in their possession are free donations. Transferring free NFTs isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does create an illusion that these figures are more involved in the communities than they actually are.
Plagiarism can happen with little to no consequences.
Another unfortunate reality of unregulated marketplaces is that plagiarism and knockoffs are abundant. The Pokémon Company has not released, or hinted at releasing, any NFTs yet but if you search Pokémon on Rarible you will find dozens of their trademarked characters being sold for thousands by random artists.
One of the most popular NFT artists minted a famous Michelangelo piece to the platform Makersplace and made millions by breaking it into fragments and selling each piece individually. This particular artist has been celebrated by major collectors, auction houses, and publications while the backlash from the community was ignored and downplayed. Till this day that artist can be seen in the top 5 sellers of numerous Ethereum NFT platforms.
Many not-so-popular artists have discovered copies of their art being sold by random accounts claiming to be the original creator and there is virtually nothing that can be done about it.
Do your own research on platforms and opportunities.
Since new and exciting things are happening all the time in the world of NFTs, many like to flock to new trending platforms and try them out. If presented with the opportunity, you may be able to get early access to new platforms in it's promotional stages. This is usually a good opportunity but can be risky if you don't research the app before connecting your wallet and contributing your work. There's usually an incentive for being among the first to try out a new platform or feature. You could be one of the first users to mint art and make a sale earning you a lot of time on the home page. You could score a nice air drop of free tokens that will rise in value when the project goes public. You could secure a role as some sort of “Poster Artist” for the platform when you boast about sales and purchases on social media. You could even get a taste of power and be granted limited artist invites that you can send to friends... or make the public competitively beg for on twitter.
If you aren't lucky enough to get in early don't be too desperate to gain access as FOMO is a major marketing tool in crypto. Being on a specific platform does not necessarily mean you will see an increase in activity or sales. Also new platforms pop up every few weeks and while one may seem like the best option to the majority, that same hype will be recycled and used to promote the next “big thing” in a few weeks.
It will seem like everyone is making big sales except you, but that's not the case.
Truth is very few artists are actually making big sales and the majority of the ones who are either have a large following, get a lot of public attention, or put in the work to network in the community and raise their visibility. Most of the sales that happen on a regular basis are pretty modest and don't receive much attention from platforms or the rest of the community. Realistically you will not be raking in millions your first year as an NFT artist and if you don't put in the work you may not be making a profit at all.
Ethereum is not the only NFT blockchain.
Gas fees absolutely suck and Ethereum is working on controlling them, but the upgrade is still years away from completion. Well luckily you don't have to suffer this financial headache to be involved with NFTs as an Artist or collector. There are a few really good alternatives to Ethereum that are worth exploring.
These platforms are gaining popularity and do not charge expensive gas fees. The network fees to get set up and mint on these platforms are very low. Less than $2 in most cases.
NFT Fatigue is a real thing
Dedication to this space can take a lot out of you. So much to learn, explore, invest in, think about, soak in, and talk about. This is a global movement so discord chats, telegram chats, and social media notifications can seem to never stop or slow down. On top of the storm of notifications, you dedicate so much time and effort to create art you love only for it to sit alone in your shop with no signs of appreciation or attention while your Twitter feed is full of random people shouting out the thousands of dollars they've made in an hour. This is a mental system overload! Don't let it stress you out or bring you down. Take a break from the chaos, mute your notifications, and take a few days off. All of this can wear you down.
Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Most of the community is friendly and willing to help or offer advice. You will usually get a faster response from the community before you can get in touch with a platform's support team.
Don't go broke doing this!
Again, gas fees suck and they are abundant across Ethereum. Don't feel pressured to sell on Ethereum because of all of the glamorous price tags and sales announcements you see across social media. The other blockchain marketplaces are getting a ton of attention and I believe that non Ethereum platforms is where the majority of the community will find their peace.
This is all very new and exciting stuff, but it's not as heavenly as it appears to be on the outside. If you enter the space with realistic expectations and show off your art confidently, you'll do fine. Be flexible and adventurous and you will discover so many creative levels to the world of NFTs that making sales will eventually be a secondary concern.
If you have any questions, Join my Facebook Group NFT Heaven, ask your question and I'll answer the best I can.