Non-fungible tokens have had a huge impact on the digital art community. Artists have never had the proper platform to sell any of their digital creations, until NFTs arrived that is. With all the hype around these digital works of art, it’s difficult resisting the urge to jump in and get a piece of the pie. But how do you actually become an NFT artist?
In order to become an NFT artist, follow these 10 steps:
Crafting digital art isn’t a new thing and has actually been in creation since the first digital art piece made in the early 1980’s — when computer engineers designed an art program which was used by the digital artist, Harold Cohen. Nowadays, creating digital art is as easy as opening up your paint program or snapping a pic with your phone and applying a filter and then simply posting it for the world to see.
You may already be a digital artist, you might just not realize it. If you take any sort of photos on your phone, or doodle on your paperwork, you are already an artist, you just need to hone your skills.
There are some basic steps you are going to have to take if you want to become an NFT artist. With that being said, becoming and NFT artist is easier than you think, however, building a following and staying consistent is where the road can get rough.
1. Choose Your Art Niche
Before you begin your long and exciting journey on becoming an NFT artist, you need to figure out what kind of artwork you are going to create. Having a consistent niche when creating your digital art can help you better your skills and will let your audience understand what type of artwork you create.
For example; if you are an artist who enjoys creating digital portraits of famous sports stars, then your audience will learn that you like sports and create sport related pieces. If one day you decide to release a digital painting of a unicorn however, you may throw your followers off and confuse them. This could potentially be good or bad, but it’s best to stay consistent in your style so people can learn to either love or hate your work.
Choosing your art niche should be fairly simple. Maybe you already have a niche you create for fun? It could be nature photography, cats, doodles — the sky is the limit when selecting your niche. My main advice for creating your niche is to choose a topic you enjoy creating. If you instead pick something that’s popular or trending, you may not experience the success you’re looking for.
The great thing about NFT art is that you can truly turn anything into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. You can make music, videos, paintings, drawings, photos, literally anything! So, stay true to who you are and what your interests are, then let your audience decide what they like and what they don’t like.
2. Decide How You’ll Create Your Art
After you have determined your art niche you need to decide how you are going to create that art. If you are a photographer who takes nature pics, you may not need to buy a photo editing program. However, if you are creating something from scratch or you need to edit your art, then you need to decide on some sort of editing software.
Of course, there is other software available that I won’t mention in this article. Ultimately, the type of software you need comes down to what your art type is and your personal goal for your art pieces.
3. Select Your Digital Art File Format
Once you decide the type of NFT art you’re going to create, you will need to choose what file format you want to create it as, for each type of art, there are different supporting file formats.
Here’s a list of potential digital art file formats you may use to create your NFT art:
|Image||GIF, JPG, PNG, WEBP|
Really, you just need to choose what type of art you want to create and go from there ensuring you choose the best file format to fit your needs. Additionally, you can always attach unlockable content to your NFT art — meaning when someone buys it, they have access to download the highest quality format you provide. That way you don’t have to create the token as such a large file which may have issues loading properly on some marketplaces.
4. Create Your Own Digital Art
Alright, now that you know your art niche, how you’ll create your art, and the file format you will save your art as, it’s time to create your first piece of NFT art!
When creating your non-fungible art, keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be perfect. The most important thing you can do is create you art, every day. Now, just because you make new art every day doesn’t mean you need to post new art everyday. The reason you should create new art everyday is for the practice and to get your creative juices flowing. Take famous NFT artist Beeple for example; he sold an art piece containing 5000 pieces of his art, which he created daily for over 13 years — for $69 million!
Creating your NFT art should be something enjoyable and something you’re passionate about doing, because becoming a successful NFT artist takes time and a whole lot of patience.
5. Sell Your NFT Art
Now things start to get exciting! When you have your first piece of NFT art ready to sell, you need to choose which marketplace is right for your collection. There are many marketplaces to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Moreover, new marketplaces will soon be appearing as the world of NFTs and NFT art advance.
These are the most common NFT marketplaces on the web as I type this article:
|NFT Marketplace||Pros and Cons|
|OpenSea.io||Pro: Good for beginners|
Con: The catch-all for NFTs
|Rarible.com||Pro: Easy to mint tokens|
Con: Art is hit or miss
|NiftyGateway.com||Pro: Premier Marketplace|
Con: Must apply to be an artist and you can only deposit Nifties from collections launched on Nifty Gateway
|SuperRare.co||Pro: High-end pieces|
Con: Slow onboarding/ must apply to be an artist
My advice when first selling your NFT is to create an account on all the sites and post your art to the easier sites such as OpenSea and Rarible. Once you have some art up and you have a few pieces, I would then apply to be an artist for the other sites which require application review (NiftGateway and SuperRare).
If you want to know how to sell your NFT art and see the additional fees involved, checkout my other post here.
NOTE: When creating you accounts on the marketplaces, make sure to input any and all of your social media links and personal websites into your profile. This allows people who discover you, to then follow you on social media, hence building your following.
Okay, this step is absolutely critical. You need to build a following or an audience. There are many ways you can build a following to help promote you NFT art, however, what are the best ways to build a following?
To build a following for your NFT artwork you need to build a brand around your art or build your personal brand up and include your NFT artwork every step of the way. Being active in the NFT community such as; forums, podcasts, and blogs will help you establish credibility and trust with your audience. As well, leveraging social media is a good idea.
The reason this step is so important is because your brand reputation is critical when it comes to the value of your art. The more that people know about you, the more they understand you and what you’re about. This makes purchasing a piece of your artwork even easier for both sides of the party. Think about it this way; would you rather buy something from someone you know and trust, or buy something from a random stranger you know nothing about? The answer is simple.
Social media in my opinion is one of the easiest ways to start building your following for your NFT art creations. In order to take advantage of social media, make sure to join every social media outlet you can and then bring the noise. Once you are up and running, post 1-2 times daily. You should be posting your artwork and requesting feedback, as well as giving feedback to other artist and helping them out where you can.
Try posting one piece of artwork per day across all your social media accounts for six months and see what happens. Using corresponding hash tags to help your media posts reach the correct audience will help you be more successful in gaining followers who engage with your posts, which is exactly what you want.
Here are some trending hashtags I’ve seen on social media which are likely to gain even more traction in the years to come.
When creating your social media account, decide if you are going to use your personal account or create an account specifically for your artwork. This is the personal branding vs product branding scenario I mentioned earlier. Regardless of what you choose, make sure to fill in your bio’s effectively; providing details that describe you as an NFT artist, what kind of art your produce, and links to your other social media accounts and personal sites you may have.
Basically, you want to create a webbed network so your are reaching people across all platforms. With that being the case, try to make sure your social media name is the same across all platforms, this helps with your brand recognition.
Social media can be a lot of work to maintain. That’s why it’s best to start slow and don’t get worked up about how many followers you have, or how many likes your post gets. Just focus on providing content and being yourself. Remember, we all start from nothing. It takes time, patience, and consistency to grow your following; but I know you can do it!
Aside from social media, you can choose the technical route and create your own website. Now, even if you decide to create your own website, it’s still wise to be active on social media and use it as a means to supplement traffic to your website, so you can get eyes on whatever it is you’re offering.
A website can benefit your NFT art tremendously if you use it right. You can display your NFT art collection on your site — offering links to your art’s marketplace, create a blog which draws traffic in organically, or even offer a service such as creating custom artwork for people or training others how to create their own art. The opportunities are endless.
Ultimately, creating your own website is a valid option for building your audience, especially if you’re decent with computer technology. Otherwise, you can hire someone to create a website for you. If you’re interested in creating your own blog site, checkout this article where I breakdown step-by-step; how to create your own site using WordPress.
It’s time to tie this all together. Once you have your social media accounts setup and your website up and running (optional), now it’s time to get active! You should be spending time in your community; answering questions, asking questions and taking polls. For example; if you’re an artist on Rarible.com or OpenSea.io, get on their forums and start scanning through the posts. Answer any questions you feel confident answering and if additional information is required, you can always send them to your blog or maybe a YouTube video you created on that subject. Help others, help you.
Also, never be afraid to ask questions. If you have a question, either figure it out through trial and error, or ask someone in the community. Surely, if you are asking the question it’s very likely someone else has the same question.
Overall, building your following comes down to passion, patience, consistency and selflessness. You need passion to begin, patience while you stay consistent, and selflessness to help others solve their problem. In fact, this reminds of the time I asked Elon Musk on Twitter; “What is one major tip you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur?” His answer was priceless.
8. Stay Consistent
Consistency is key. It doesn’t matter what you do in life, consistency is everything. If you are expecting to become a successful NFT artist overnight, I wish you the best of luck – you’re going to need it. Without consistency, you have minimal trust and without trust, no one cares.
You need to show people you are serious about what you do and about NFT art you create. Beeple is the perfect example. It took him over 13 years to see any large amount of success, but it sure did pay off. . .
If you aren’t consistent with your work then you aren’t giving yourself a fair chance. I recommend staying consistent for as long as you possibly can, but at least a minimum of 6 months. If you don’t see a positive trend after 6 months, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your strategies and head back to the drawing board, literally.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”Vincent van Gogh
9. Be True To Yourself and Your Artwork
As if staying consistent isn’t hard enough, you need to make sure you always stay true to yourself and the art you craft. The reason I mention this is because many people get caught up in the trends; completely forgetting why they started making NFT art in the first place. Trends aren’t a terrible thing by any means, but make sure regardless of the trend is that you still add your own touch to your creation.
Being true to yourself and what you create determines how people view you as an artist and as a human. If you’re always jumping on the latest trending art creations, you may be viewed as a money-hungry NFT art slanging fiend, and as a result, a lack of trust begins to settle.
Moreover, creating art that you love to create will help you stay more motivated and stay creative, hopefully on a consistent basis.
10. Don’t Give Up
Of course I saved the best for last. These 3 simple words are the make it or break it factor when it comes to your success as an NFT artist. One of the most common misconceptions with people starting a new journey is that success happens overnight. Sure, some people may have seen instant success; but as NFTs continue to advance and become more common in the world, your odds of success begin to dwindle.
For your sake, don’t give up. It may take years to gain an audience who is loyal enough to purchase your NFTs consistently, but keep in mind — all it takes is one piece of art to change your life.
If I had to leave you with one last piece of advice it would be; enjoy your journey. Your journey is the foundation of your entire art career. The fact that every decision you make and every piece of art you put out is the building blocks of your story, is absolutely amazing in my opinion. So, when you’re feeling bad because your art isn’t selling, or maybe someone said something negative about it, just keep pushing forward and keep your eyes on the prize, you can make your dreams a reality.
Being an NFT artist is an exciting journey. Understand that in general, being a successful artist takes time, consistency, and dedication. Create your art, build a following, and help others along the way and you’re on the path to becoming a successful NFT artist.