Artists creating NFTs can have more direct control over their artistic vision, and connect and transact with their collectors in ways they haven’t been able to before. Plus, the crypto space offers a new untapped audience for artists to convert into collectors.
Yet many artists are hesitant. As a practicing artist and the general manager of Saatchi Art who has helped to onboard over 150 artists into the NFT space to date, I’ve seen firsthand why some are eager to start minting, and why others are not. One of the biggest barriers? Artists are unsure of the value NFTs will bring to their work, and how they can harness the technology to make a positive impact on their careers.
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Here are the reasons why artists should consider creating art NFTs, and the value they can contribute to both an artist’s work and career.
Four Reasons to Create NFTs
There are a number of reasons why artists should turn to NFTs as part of their career strategy. Here are just a few of the benefits, as I see them.
Scarcity is part of what creates an artwork’s value and drives up its price. To date, creating scarcity in a digital world, where images and clips are shared over and over again, has proven to be difficult. But with an NFT, an artist has the ability to create original artwork with verifiable ownership. It may be shared or copied like the prints for sale in a museum gift shop, but there’s only one original. Creating scarcity can not only increase the value of an individual artwork but can increase the overall reputation of the artist’s oeuvre as well, motivating audiences to seek out their one-of-a-kind drops.
Attain More Autonomy
What if, as an artist, you could mint your own work and directly transact with your audience? Artists are often beholden to corporate patrons or brands who may influence or even dictate their creative vision, and digital art, animation, and performance art in particular are difficult to monetize outside of support from clients and institutions. But with NFTs, patronage shifts. By minting and selling NFTs, artists can connect with their audience outside of the realm of traditional gatekeepers, giving them more control over their artistic vision. This one-to-one interaction will also enable more overall democratization in the art space as more creators join the conversation.
Artists have traditionally been shut out from receiving any type of royalty payments on future sales of their art, much to their detriment. One jaw-dropping example of this was when David Hockney’s work Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold at Christie’s for $90 million—none of which Hockey would receive. Because NFTs live on the blockchain, artists can set up smart contracts to execute royalty rights any time their NFT is resold. This is revolutionary for emerging artists because as the value of their work increases over time, they’ll be able to directly benefit. Being able to introduce royalties into art creation and sales can also open up the possibility of more collaboration as well. For example, fine artists could establish a royalty structure around the use of their artworks by other artists, and smart contracts could enable multiple artists working on a collaborative project to receive straightforward payments on primary and secondary sales.
Find New Audiences
Because NFTs are blockchain-based and can only be purchased using cryptocurrency, many buyers are coming directly from the crypto space and not from the traditional art world. For artists looking for increased exposure, creating NFTs will put their work in front of a new audience of crypto enthusiasts, often with large caches of crypto ready to spend. (For example, sales of NFTs top $2.6 billion monthly, and CryptoPunk #5822 just sold for $23.7 Million.) Artists should welcome any opportunity to increase the exposure of their work, and selling NFTs is a great way to do so.
The New World of NFTs
NFTs aren’t a fad or a different way of doing the same things. They are a burgeoning technology that offers a radical new approach to art creation and exchange that provides a number of benefits for artists, among them creating scarcity, verifying ownership, facilitating royalties, and more. NFTs are revolutionizing the art world—and can revolutionize your art career as well.
This article is taken from a guest post by Wayne Chang, the General Manager at Saatchi Art, for HackerNoon. You can read the article on HackerNoon here.
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