Are NFTs a cryptocurrency fad? Just an extremely elaborate scam? An amazing new horizon for artists?
NFTs have been circling the digital world for 8 years now, but it was in March 2021 that their popularity exploded: Beeple, a previously little-known artist, sold a digital artwork for $69 million at auction. According to Christie’s auction house, this sale positions him “among the top three most valuable living artists”.
By now, most artists have heard of NFTs and are probably wondering how to capitalize on these digital assets. They are indeed a fantastic vehicle for artists in the digital world. If you have works available that you are the sole author of, and they are not yet licensed to any third party (gallery, publisher, etc), then you can proceed with their tokenization!
One of the most obvious benefits is to connect artists directly with their public, skipping the need for galleries that, beyond the commission charged on a sale, were in charge of deciding which art was worthy of being exhibited and which was not. Talking about democratizing art!
The other benefit is that NFTs allow creators to continue receiving benefits with each future sale of their art. Just think that in the past, if an artist sold a painting at a low price and then made a name for her or himself, he didn’t get a penny when the owner of the painting resold it at an exorbitant price.
Unfortunately, getting started can be a very complicated task: there are still many questions, even though NFTs are growing fast. The sooner you gain experience in the world of NFTs, the more likely you are to win when the trend settles down.
To learn more about this wonderful world, we consulted Mechaso, an Argentinian artist who has been experimenting with Digital Art NFTs for some time.
Interview with Mechaso
Mecha is a full-time illustrator and muralist, from La Plata, Argentina. In addition to making commissioned murals, she sells hand-painted products and decorative prints. She also facilitates group gatherings to paint, collage, and connect with creativity.
She is inspired by women, animals, and plants.
She describes herself as “vibrant like strawberries and dynamic like pop music. I like clementines and you can smell me in a pineapple. I have a gift that I use when I need it: I am like modeling clay.”
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to understand the crypto world. At the end of 2021, I began to get involved in Telegram, Twitter, and Discord communities. There is a lot of information being shared, and people are very supportive of those who are just starting out.
Besides already being an artist, what did you have to learn to get started?
I had to learn mainly about Defy, web3, and blockchain. Also, I had to start using Twitter, because until that moment I just used Instagram to show my work.
Note of the author: Many artists say that Instagram is not a very supportive social media for NFT artists. They point to Twitter and Discord instead, as great places to build a community around digital art.
What are the main benefits you have found in NFTs to monetize your art?
The main benefit I have found in developing my own NFTs versus doing other types of commissioned work is that by working with NFTs I can receive a commission every time my work is resold. Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci had sold the Mona Lisa like NFT! Also, unlike most licensing agreements, in NFTs, the artist retains full copyright of their works.
I have more freedom to create, and a broader public to offer my art. Besides, I get to know great artists. I believe that it is a great opportunity for all artists!
The main benefit I have found in developing my own NFTs versus doing other types of commissioned work is that by working with NFTs I can receive a commission every time my work is resold. Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci had sold the Mona Lisa like NFT!
What blockchain and NFT platform do you use? Why?
I started using Opensea, which runs on ETH, because it was the world’s first marketplace. And now I am testing Carnaval Art, it works with BTC and with Ibero-American artists, which gives me more chances of being seen.
What software and hardware do you use to create your art? Why do you choose them?
Generally, I use my IPad with Procreate. I also use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to make my NFTs, but the iPad is just perfect for making art wherever you are.
Feli Arrieta is a book editor and content creator from Buenos Aires. Tirelessly curious, she is passionate about traveling, living new experiences and learning different disciplines, to be shared through her writings.