The hype around NFTs is real and showing consistent growth. With everyone from huge brands to independent artists hopping on board, some posting impressive results to boot — should you, too, hop on the bandwagon and start converting your digital art into NFTs?
In this post, we want to cover many of the most common pros and cons that may influence your decision and help you reach an answer that is right for you and your career as a digital artist. Check out our tips to help you understand why and how to make digital NFT art.
What Is an NFT?
If you are new to the discussion, that’s okay. If you’re already in the loop, feel free to skip this section. While most people have probably heard the term thrown around the internet a lot over the past few years, you may still be confused as to what an NFT really is. In the broadest sense, an NFT can be just about anything.
NFT stands for non-fungible token. Simply put, this means that the item in question is unique. An NFT is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain (the tech that powers cryptocurrencies). While a piece of currency like a dollar bill is fungible, you could swap dollar bills with a buddy all day with no change in value, a non-fungible item is unique, so you’d have to trade a different item, albeit hopefully one comparable in value to make a fair trade.
In practice, NFTs can be images, audio files, GIFs, videos, and more.
Will Converting My Digital Art Into NFTs Cost Money?
The short answer is yes and no. No if you know how to go about it in the right way. More on that in a moment. Personal goals and beliefs about crypto and NFTs aside, a simple profit and loss style examination of the conversion process is the best place to start. Commonly referred to as P&Ls, a profit and loss sheet is used in just about every industry and, in principle, can be really beneficial here.
Making a P&L Sheet
A good P&L is going to take into consideration every possible expense related to creating and releasing a product. This helps you have a better idea of how much money you’ll need to bring back in to make a profit. So, what types of expenses might be related to making digital NFT art?
If you have a backlog of art you want to work with, you may not have to do much work at all. You could simply convert existing art pieces. However, you may also consider doing some market research and looking at successful NFTs similar to your style of art. You may conclude that it would be better to animate your artwork and provide a GIF. In this case, perhaps you need special software to accomplish this. In that case, factor the cost of that software, or a prorated cost if it’s a subscription, into your P&L.
Quantifying Your Time
One of the most valuable expenses in the process of turning your digital art into NFTs is your time. Depending on your current experience as a digital artist, you can gauge the value of your time and decide how much that time is worth. If you could be earning, say $40 dollar per hour doing something else, and it takes you three hours to make your first digital NFT, you may consider including the value of that time in your P&L as well.
Minting or Gas Fees
Along this topic, the next most important expense to consider in the process is definitely minting fees. If you are unfamiliar with how the blockchain works, essentially, users will be charged special fees, usually referred to as gas fees. Simply put, minting an NFT is the process that establishes it on the blockchain and makes it official. The Blockchain essentially pays dues to the owners of the hardware that computes this transaction. Thus, gas fees are required to keep the system working.
Gas fees change from day to day and even hour to hour depending on demand and other factors, making it hard to predict just how much they will be until the actual moment you try to mint. If you are using a platform that requires such minting fees to make an NFT available for purchase, consider some patience and research to find the most optimal time and price to mint at.
How to Avoid Minting Fees
The smartest approach to this, however, is to simply avoid minting fees altogether. The OpenSea platform, for example, allows users to set up NFTs for free. The NFT won’t actually be minted on the blockchain until a purchase is made, thus eliminating the sometimes large expense of minting fees altogether!
If you want to take this route (we highly recommend that you do), be sure to do your research and use a platform like OpenSea that uses this approach. This is one of the easiest ways to eliminate the risk associated with creating your first NFTs. At worst, you are only giving up some of your time to create from scratch or convert existing art into an NFT.
Turning a Profit
Most likely, even if it’s just your time, creating your first NFT is going to cost you something. In the end, whether or not making your first NFT makes you money, or costs you money, will depend on how you balance the expenses with any profits you earn.
Try to keep expenses to a minimum, and start small. As you learn the ins and outs of selling NFTs of your artwork, you can consider scaling your projects with the goal of also scaling your profits.
Will Someone Purchase My NFTs?
While we can do everything we can to limit the downside and risk involved in a new business venture, there is always the possibility that nobody will purchase your NFT. While there’s still plenty of hype around NFTs, it’s important to understand why people purchase NFTs so you can decide where your work might fit in the mix and attract potential buyers.
More or less, it seems like every NFT can be boiled down to one or more of the following categories:
Collectible marketed NFTs are without a doubt some of the most sought after and highest growing NFTs on the market today. Collectibles garnish value by building a community around them and offering levels of rarity within the collection. All items in a collection usually share a common look, theme, or purpose. The most commonly known collections include the BoredApeYachtClub and CryptoPunks. Here at Daz 3D, we’ve launched our own collection, Non-Fungible People (NFP).
Metaverse-related NFT content is designed with a metaverse-specific utility in mind. This means users can use it anywhere that supports AR/VR applications. Our NFP collection is a great example of this. NFP is 8,888 generative digital avatars that can be used by their owners within the metaverse.
This also applies to digital real estate, fashion pieces, avatar accessories and items, and more.
In the most traditional sense, there are NFTs that are simply works of art. This includes anything from sketches, to paintings, to 3D renders.
As you shift your way of thinking to better understand this new digital world, it may be worth making the distinction that an NFT itself isn’t artwork; rather, it is simply a record on the blockchain identifying the art’s image.
While massive collections tend to attract the most media attention, there is evidence that pure art is a growing market among all NFT platforms.
Marketing Your NFTs
Now that you know where in the broader NFT spectrum your own digital art might lie, you should have a better idea of how to go about marketing your artwork. If you want to release a series of collectibles, putting together a collection and establishing a social media presence where your community can grow should be one of your top concerns. If you simply want to mint works of art, you may need to dig deeper to find a potential market for your work, as users may be purchasing for artistic value rather than pure monetary investment.
In the end, if all you can do right now is create and put your work out there, that is certainly a start. While there is no guarantee someone will purchase your first NFTs, you may find there is very little downside to doing so.
All You Need Is Internet and Creativity
Delving into NFTs for the first can be a little overwhelming. Hopefully this guide has helped structure your thoughts around the process, and helped you think about it in clear business terms. In the end, however, converting your digital art or making original digital art for NFTs is a creative process.
We hope you’ll have fun and not be afraid to experiment and push the boundaries of what’s possible or already been done before. If you have access to the internet, a little bit of time, and some creativity to spare, then creating your first NFTs is sure to be a worthwhile investment of your time.
If you’re a fan of Daz Studio and want to mint your first NFTs, check out our in-depth guide on how to mint NFTs using Daz!
Featured Image: “Favored” by steelrazor in the Daz Gallery