NFT artists are the newest addition to a long list of internet trends that have led us to believe that we can magically become rich.
Just like that, effortlessly. Now let’s be honest here: can you actually become rich by selling NFTs? Yes, you actually can. But is it easy? Is it guaranteed? Is it for everyone? Certainly not. However, our 7 necessary skills should help you get there!
In the past, we sadly discovered that rising stars of Youtube didn’t just “turn on a camera and speak about random stuff to earn millions of dollars.”
Instead, we learned that they spend hours and hours building a brand on social media, editing videos, analyzing the public’s response to seeing what sells best, coming up with new content, and figuring out how to declare their income.
Oh, the bubble burst. Being a YouTuber is actually… like a job? Bummer. Well, being an NFT digital artist is a job too. And unless you’re fortunate, you are going to need these skills to thrive in that job market:
On the internet you can easily find:
- Stories about people that sold one NFT and became rich overnight.
- Stories about people that invested a lot of money in creating NFTs, only to realize that no one wanted to buy them.
So who are you to believe? Are you supposed to jump into the NFT wagon and bet all on it without a thought, hoping you, too, will get rich?
Or are you supposed to dismiss that new movement completely and keep doing things traditionally?
My advice is: do none of those. Get into the NFT wagon (it is a really promising one!) but don’t do it blindly nor naively. To avoid disappointment, you need to accept that success almost always takes time and effort.
The more the NFT market grows, the more competition there will be, so you’ll have to be patient and, most of all, persistent.
You’ll have to build an audience and draw in your first buyers. The profits won’t necessarily be incredibly high at first. Your situation will become more stable in time… sounds familiar? Yes: it is exactly like trying to succeed as an artist in the real world.
But it can be done; it just takes perseverance. It takes passion for your own art and for that magical tool we call the “internet.” The digital art world may be tough to win over, but it can be extremely rewarding when you do.
You can either see each step of the way towards success as a burden and an annoyance, or you can see them as milestones and accomplishments.
Your attitude towards the process is essential for both getting positive results and for keeping your mental health. If you persevere in creating quality art and promoting it, if you don’t give up at the first negative outcome, if you keep a proactive and enthusiastic attitude, you’ll be a great NFT digital artist.
Honestly, this isn’t a skill exclusive to succeed as an NFT digital artist but to achieve anything in life. Once you’ve accepted that fame doesn’t generally come overnight, you’ll have to stay persevering and constant.
Perseverance means not giving up even after you’ve had a bad day, but consistency means having a routine, a plan of action, and the discipline to follow it.
Being consistent will also make you reliable, which will help you find and keep clients.
Each successful NFT artist has their own method that works. Still, some ways of staying consistent are: deciding on a theme for your art and sticking to it, building a large and coherent body of work, paying daily attention to your marketing strategies, doing something to promote yourself online every day, working even when you don’t particularly feel like it, etc.
People on the internet keep pointing at Beeple as an example of how NFTs can make you a multimillionaire in an instant, but he’s actually the living example of consistency.
The man has been creating literally every day, perfecting the use of specific digital tools and producing his digital art in a consistent style for longer than a decade.
If you want Beeple’s achievements, you’ll need Beeple’s consistency.
3. Understanding of (Digital) Art
I know this one’s tricky because people have been trying to develop a satisfactory definition of “art” for… well, centuries. But let’s try. Nowadays, being a successful artist is about playing both in and outside of the establishment, in and outside of the playbook.
It’s about acknowledging tradition and new trends without mimicking them. It’s about mocking the system without denying it, and it for sure is about the artist as much as about the art.
Even Banksy, the most famous anonymous artist of our era, still has a very recognizable brand. Being invisible while remaining provocative is what his character as an artist is all about.
The most known artists of our time are not necessarily the most talented, but the ones who understand the art market the most, managing to enter powerful and selective institutions such as galleries, museums, and auction houses.
And in the digital art world, the most known digital artists and NFT artists are the ones that have managed to build a coherent and recognizable brand around their artwork on the internet.
The NFT market is still quite new, and most art critics remain skeptical about considering everything that runs through it as “art.”
But most art critics also don’t know and love the internet as much as many independent young digital artists do. So what you consider to be digital art is your choice.
Understanding art is also recognizing that all through art history, artists have been changing and evolving the concept of “art” whether society liked it at the time or not.
The world of NFTs is so wide that it holds many artistic communities. It involves different art niches that appeal to different audiences.
It even allows a wide variety of files that you can offer as artworks. Whatever type of artist you want to be, there’s a place for you there if you know how to claim it.
If you want to specialize in CryptoKitties or CryptoPunks, in trading cards or character design, go for it. The future of art might as well lay there.
But whatever you do, do it proudly and do it professionally: build your brand around it, build your fan base around it, build your digital persona as an artist around it. That is understanding digital art that is belonging to the emerging crypto art movement.
You will also need a general understanding of the technical aspects associated with NFT art, and we wrote a beginners’ guide to NFT art which will help you get up to speed. Plus learning how to keep your profit margins is key so be sure your NFT minting and gas fees are minimal. These two articles will help:
4. A Sense for Digital Economy
There’s no need to be a financial genius to become an NFT artist, but if you’re planning to build your life’s income around digital currency, you should at least learn some basics.
You’ll need to know the value of Ethereum and learn to check how much it changes in a week’s range. It is a currency far more volatile than the dollar, which can play in your favor or against it, depending on when you decide to buy or sell it.
You’ll also have to figure out how to make that digital money useful to pay for your expenses in the real world.
If your artwork starts selling well in an NFT market, you’ll have to read a little about blockchain protocols to avoid scams. Collectors are willing to support beloved artists in these markets, and some speculators want to inflate the value of certain pieces to make a bigger profit.
While you may not want to play in the big leagues and talk big money, it is good for you to see this as an opportunity to monetize your digital work directly and efficiently.
If you select the right options, you’ll not only get a profit when your NFT sells for the first time but also a percentage when it is resold.
Having a sense of the digital economy also means understanding that sometimes you can get lucky and sell to a totally random person that just came across your art.
Still, most times, you’ll sell to fans of your community. So keep your audience happy! Interact with them as much as you can, create the feeling of personal connections despite the internet’s general anonymity.
If people love you as much as your art, they will want to support you and help you get recognition and economic stability.
5. Research and Creativity
Because the concept of NFTs is so new, the rules of the game are not completely defined yet. Some people are trying to take an easy path and sell art whose copyright they don’t own. It’s easy to copy NFTs and it’s a major problem.
Copyright is a major issue, and this post on NFTs and copyright will help clarify some of the important aspects.
But whether the market is new or old, plagiarism is still plagiarism and should always be avoided.
By looking into what other artists have been doing, you can find inspiration to create something new and unique.
Originality is one of the most rewarding things in this new digital art world. It is always a good idea to check what people have already been selling and what no one has thought about selling yet.
Create ways of interacting with your audience through your sales: make it fun for them to try and collect the most of your products, offer some perks to the ones that buy more.
Think of an overall theme that could provide a leitmotiv to your collections while also offering interesting variations to each individual piece (you can add the variation in the NFT itself and its description).
There are so many formats and themes you can work with while creating a new NFT that most of the limits are determined by your own imagination.
Stay true to your art but also try to be creative. Spend a little time trying to think of trends that haven’t been implemented in NFT markets yet, but have already been successful outside of it.
Pay attention to seasonal themes too.
Try visiting different NFT markets and be conscious about what calls your attention first: is it static images or moving ones? Is it figurative artworks or abstract ones? If it works best for you when you’re in consumer’s mode, it will likely work best for your potential clients too.
Think about listing an NFT for auction without promoting it, as the digital equivalent of deciding that your latest sculpture is now for sale without letting anyone know.
Sure, maybe you can get lucky, and someone will ask about it anyway, but it’s not the best business strategy. To sell well in an NFT market, you’ll need to be really active on social media, gain an audience and start gathering collectors.
It is a process; building a brand takes time, but it pays off. When your brand is recognizable, and when you appear like an accessible creator, people are more open to the idea of buying something from you. This is one of the most used promotional guides out there: How To Get Your NFT Art Noticed: Complete Guide.
But what does it mean to “build a brand” or to “be accessible to your audience”?
It means having an active life on social media. An Instagram profile will allow you to exhibit your art to a large audience, and Instagram stories are a good opportunity to interact with your public.
Ensure you always have new content to post regularly (but don’t jam all of your art posts in one day).
Use the appropriate hashtags. Use Instagram filters whenever possible. Ask questions in your descriptions so that people will answer them in the comment section.
Organize giveaways every once in a while if you can afford it; they’re great to make people willingly share and promote your art.
Most of these things can also be done on Twitter or Facebook. You can also record a podcast about NFTs for Spotify.
If you can make the time for it, create a Youtube channel and upload videos of your creative process, tutorials, or blogs about your art.
(Check out our YouTube channel and learn digital art techniques.)
A personal website is also a good idea, especially if you want to create a blog section, sell products that aren’t NFTs (such as prints of your artwork), or have more freedom to decide how to exhibit your work.
It is okay if you start small; it is actually the only way to start. If you stay consistent, your audience will slowly grow.
Keeping different social networks up to date is demanding, so choose what you can actually manage. It is preferable to have a really impressive profile in one of them, then four or five mediocre profiles on different platforms.
Ensure that in all of your social media presence, the aesthetic and the name of your brand are the same. Make it easy for your followers from one platform to find you in the other ones.
Ask for feedback from your followers and reply to it. If you make a poll to ask them what thematic artwork they would like to see next, respond by creating something related to what they asked for.
Be kind and offer advice when people ask you for it. And most of all, remember that the point is to create a buying audience for your NFTs!
Make it clear in your bio and in your content that you are an NFT artist, insert links to the sites where your NFTs are listed, and be especially active in the NFT community because that’s the one where you belong the most.
NFT markets have forums like Discord where you can interact with other NFT digital artists, answer their questions about the things that you’ve already figured out, and ask them about the ones that you’re still trying to learn.
Self-promotion as an NFT digital artist means knitting a digital spider web that keeps all of your digital profiles connected so that you can organically send your followers from one platform to the next and eventually towards your crypto wallet.
7. You Need To Stay Relevant
If you do the previous steps right, you’ll likely succeed and start landing your first NFT sales.
Once that happens, it is important not to get caught up in the excitement and forget to keep the wheel spinning. It will still be advisable to be active every day on your social media accounts to keep producing new art and posting it often.
To stay persevering and consistent, keep researching and innovating, remain thinking about the concepts behind your art, and promote yourself.
Some platforms such as Rarible and OpenSea are still available for anyone that wants to create an account and start minting NFTs to sell them there.
And if you grow on them and prove your worth, you can get a badge verifying your credibility as an artist. But other NFT markets are more exclusive: they require you to go through a selection process, ask about your background, and want artists who already have a fan base.
Once you start doing well in the most democratic markets, you can apply to move your way into the more exclusive ones. Markets that allow fewer creators to enter have the perks of involving more visibility and less competition.
Becoming a successful NFT Digital Artist can be very demanding, so you must do it with passion: don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process.
Oh yeah, collect some NFTs on the way and if that is new to you then you have to read this article on NFT collecting.
The members of your audience are not only potential buyers, but they’re also people genuinely moved by your art, and they can be really supportive. And the members of your community are not only competitors but also colleagues.
Interacting with them can bring you joy, inspiration, and new knowledge about the world of NFTs.
Last but not least, don’t lose focus about why you decided to be a digital artist when you could take any other -more traditional and stable- career path. It is a job, yes, but it is an extraordinary one. This job allows you to express yourself, enjoy your daily workflow, and feel relevant, so do your best to keep feeling that way.