14 Reasons Why NFTs are Good for Artists

What do artists and art collectors really get when they mint or buy an NFT? Here’s your complete rundown.

In March of 2021, a digital work by an artist known only as “Beeple” sold for a staggering $69.3 million, making it one of the most expensive works by a living artist. This unprecedented sale left the conventional art world bewildered. How could a JPEG file created by an obscure artist sell for millions of dollars?

What would later become apparent is the historical significance of Beeple’s sale. That’s because Everydays: The First 5000 Days was not just a typical artwork; instead, this record-breaking price was paid for a non-fungible token, or NFT—a new way to sell art that, to this day, is transforming the idea of ownership.

Historically, it has been difficult to buy and sell digital art due to problems such as counterfeits and lack of provenance (ownership history), which has also resulted in a less-than-robust market for digital work. However, NFTs effectively solve these issues by using blockchain technologies to attach transparent, verifiable proof of ownership to digital art and goods.

For artists, NFTs represent a whole new way to think about selling your work. As this new format continues to shape the future of art collecting, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of getting into NFTs, both for you, as well as your collectors. So, let’s dig in.

NFT Benefits for Collectors

1. Proof of ownership and authenticity

NFTs are a secure proof of exclusive ownership. Essentially, the NFT publicly authenticates a collector’s purchase, and proves that the item is the original piece made by the creator.

2. Transparency

The blockchain records the details of every NFT purchase—including who you bought from, who the previous owners were, and what each party paid.

3. A link to the artwork

NFTs include a link where you can download the artwork and display it in any way you want.

4. Token gating

Additional utility can be coded into an NFT, such as “token gating.” This works like a key, where collectors need to hold a designated NFT in order to unlock perks like VIP tickets or access to exclusive content.

5. A liquid asset

A collector’s NFT can be sold directly to a new buyer anytime, without the involvement of an intermediary.

NFT Benefits for Artists

6. Total control

NFTs have flipped the script. As an artist, you no longer need galleries or dealers to connect you with collectors—now you can now run the show and enjoy more control over the determination of your work’s value.

7. Royalties forever

NFTs can be minted in a way that entitles artists to royalties, meaning you’ll receive a portion of all future resales—not just the first sale. Thus, if you sell a piece of art for $10,000 and ten years later it reappears on the market with an asking price of $10 million, you will directly benefit from that increase in value.

8. A welcoming community

Art galleries (and the art world) can often feel intimidating, and can be hard to break into as a new artist. On the other hand, the crypto art community is quite welcoming. Communities built around NFTs tend to be democratically governed, structured around mutual interests, and excited to support new artists.

9. New audiences. And whales.

NFTs have attracted an entirely new audience of collectors, many of whom would never have set foot in a traditional art gallery. We are also seeing the emergence of “crypto whales,” i.e. high-value crypto buyers whose transactions move markets.

10. Keep your copyrights

Owning an NFT does not give the collector the right to make copies or profit from images of your art, unless the copyright to the object itself is transferred to the buyer.

11. Eco-friendly options

You may be aware of concerns regarding the amount of energy consumed by crypto mining and minting. Know that eco-friendly options exist, and these leave a smaller environmental footprint. Tellie mints NFTs on Polygon, a sustainable blockchain where minting uses less energy than sending two emails.

12. Community connection

The success of NFTs depends on building community through direct engagements between you and your supporters. To make this more seamless, when you sell NFTs on Tellie, your collectors can opt-in to share their contact information, enabling you to build deeper relationships with your supporters.

13. Inspiration beyond the canvas

“Digital art” no longer means only viewing a piece of art on a phone, tablet or computer. Technologies are emerging that enable NFTs to be displayed in the physical world as holograms, on projection screens, or even printed.

14. Early mover advantage

Just as the invention of printing enabled artists to reach a wider audience and the advent of computers spawned an explosion of creative possibilities, NFTs represent a huge transition in the art world. Comparing the current state of Web3 adoption to the development of the commercial internet we know, experts place us at around 1995—meaning we still have many years to go before this transition reaches mainstream saturation.

Why Not Be a Leader?

As has always been the case, it takes explorers, visionaries and inventors on the fringes to discover new ways to create and operate—even when that might be frowned upon by the status-quo art world. History is made by those who are unafraid to take risks. Even though the names “Impressionism” and “Pointillism” were coined by early critics, those movements went on to define art history as we know it.

At this point, it’s no coincidence that Sotheby’s, Christie’s and a few other leading galleries already accept cryptocurrencies as payment. NFTs don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, making now a great time to experiment with this new technology. As an artist, you don’t need to shift your practice from working with galleries, networking with curators and smooching with your existing buyers to only creating NFTs. Yet, we believe that having a comprehensive understanding of NFTs will put you in a commanding position to capitalize on opportunities as they arise.

Ready to try minting your first NFT?

Get started with Tellie Collections today. It is free to mint, and each NFT you create on Tellie can also be used to create a token gate that works with any Tellie website.

This post was contributed by Tam Gryn, co-author of How To Create And Sell NFTs - A Guide For All Artists. Learn more and buy her book here: https://www.tamgryn.com/books

Tam Gryn is an Art Curator originally from Venezuela. She is the former Director of Fine Arts at Rally.io, where she helped artistic communities create their own autonomous crypto economies. She is also Head Curator at SHOWFIELDS, contributor to the BanklessDAO and Friends With Benefits and has lectured at Harvard Business School and The New York Academy of The Arts. She is the former Head of the Curatorial Department of the Artist Pension Trust as well as Head Curator for RAW POP UP. Tam has curated multiple art exhibitions as well as charity fundraisers. Clients and collaborators include The Brooklyn Museum, The Whitney Museum, UTA, Glossier, Heineken, Evian, Mastercard, and SVA School of Visual Arts NYC. Tam studied Art History at the Sorbonne University, Politics at Reichman University and Negotiation at Tel Aviv University.

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