What is an NFT?
NFTs are non-fungible tokens. The adjective “non-fungible” is often used in economics to represent characteristics such as uniqueness and non-exchangeability. In the crypto space, non-fungibility simply indicates that one item cannot be exchanged for another.
A “token” as a unit of account is basically a certificate of validity stored on the decentralized blockchain, which makes digital assets traceable and accessible to everyone. As a result, NFTs are a one-of-a-kind virtual currency that can fall into virtually any category and typically take the form of paintings, videos, music, collectibles in video games, or any other type of creative digital output.
Since NFTs surged in early 2021, now everyone buys and sells these tokens all over the world. But how can someone turn real art into NFTs and how can they sell it? It’s hard? Is encryption necessary to do an NFT?
In a nutshell, the steps are quite simple. To understand the main procedure and its details, please read this quick guide below.
What is crypto art?
Art is the most common use case for NFTs, and it’s no wonder that crypto art in the form of NFTs has recently exploded in popularity. The fact that the new blockchain technology creates conditions that now allow artists to earn tens of millions of dollars from their digital paintings has attracted many creative people who previously could only dream of such a level of ease and accessibility.
Sensational high-profile NFT auctions tied to digital art have received considerable public attention. The most expensive sales made headlines when they grossed millions. In 2022, the most expensive NFT with priced at $91.8 million was “Merge” by pseudonymous digital artist Pak.
In 2021, Everydays: The First 5000 Days NFT Collection by artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, was another very expensive auction and was sold for $69.3 million.
Crypto art is associated with unique pieces of art created by well-known artists and sold at auctions in markets that include not only popular NFT platforms but also traditional auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Still, most of the art in the crypto space is being created by unknown talented beginners.
However, some NFT collections, including the pioneering one called CryptoPunks or the more recently hyped Bored Ape Yacht Club, are examples of generative art. This type of art is usually created with the help of various autonomous systems. The images in these popular collections are created by assembling a selection of simple image components in different combinations.
Related: How to assess the value of an NFT?
How to turn your art into an NFT?
If you’re already wondering if you should turn your art into an NFT, the answer is obviously “yes, why not give it a try?” The process of creating an NFT is not complex, expensive or technical. All it requires is a set of creative skills and a personal computer.
Again, it’s worth noting that NFTs can potentially convert not only images, but also songs, videos, GIFs, and other digital items. So, first, you need to choose the right field of art that suits you. Depending on this, you will understand what set of skills you will need to become a true NFT creator.
For example, as a graphic artist, you will need to use graphics editing tools such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, MS Paint, CorelDraw, and the like. You can also try alternative ways, such as three-dimensional (3D) modeling, which is known to be more difficult for beginners. If you choose 3D animation, you will be expected to use 3D modeling tools such as Blender or Cinema 4D to design animated graphics and characters that will later be converted into NFTs.
After that, you will have to come up with a unique idea for your one-of-a-kind piece of art or maybe an entire collection and think about what content it will eventually become.
Is encryption necessary for NFTs?
It’s quite easy to create an NFT from digital art without coding. The process of creating them is called minting. It is basically the act of publishing a unique instance of the token on the blockchain. NFTs are minted once they are created, similar to how metal coins are created and put into circulation.
After this procedure, the particular digital artwork becomes secure and inviolable as well as difficult to tamper with. Since this digital item became an NFT, it can now be digitally bought, sold, and tracked when resold or repossessed.
For artists, minting NFTs in digital art is the novel way to monetize their work fairly. In most NFT markets, artists can schedule a royalty clause when minting so that secondary sales of their works generate passive income for them. If the demand for the artwork increases and it becomes famous and its value rises, the artists can benefit from it.
Minting is an automated process provided in most NFT markets. To start it, you will need to follow some simple steps mentioned below:
Still, you can try to code an NFT yourself if you already have experience in this area and want to become an NFT developer. To delve into NFT programming, you should note that the ethereum network it still has a monopoly on NFT development.
Choosing the NFT marketplace to make and sell your NFTs
An essential part of the NFT minting process is choosing a suitable NFT platform. The correct choice depends on several factors, such as the supported file format, crypto wallet match, platform accessibility for users, and the price to mint an NFT, or a transaction fee, which is a payment made to compensate the computing power required to process and validate transactions.
There are several online NFT markets in the crypto space and each of them works slightly differently. The crucial thing for artists is to know if the platform is curated or self-service and to choose the one that is most suitable, visited and easy to use for them.
Non-selected or self-service based NFT platforms provide free access to all artists. To load NFTs on them, you just need to register through a crypto wallet and pay the transaction fee to mint an NFT. The most popular are the massive self-service NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible.
Selected NFT platforms are more selective with artists. In order to register and start minting your art on these platforms, you will need to submit an application with full details about the NFT collection and your prior art experience.
Another visible disadvantage of the selected NFT markets is the long waiting period for the decision of the experts. However, due to this strict selection criteria, most of the best digital artworks are displayed on such platforms so that buyers have more confidence in the artists who collaborate with these platforms. The most well-known select platforms are SuperRare and Nifty Gateway, to name a few.
Setting up a cryptocurrency wallet
A cryptocurrency wallet is a tool that you will need to access NFT platforms, sign transactions, and manage your balances.
Before setting it up, the most important thing is to make sure that the wallet matches the cryptocurrency used on the NFT platform you intend to use. Since most NFT markets are based on Ethereum, they accept Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH) How paid. Therefore, it is necessary to have a crypto wallet with some ETH on hand.
There are many crypto wallets with millions of users. Many of them are feature-rich and some have their own mobile apps and browser extensions for easy access to blockchain-based platforms.
Choosing a suitable cryptocurrency wallet depends on the type of security you are willing to have. The main types of them include custodial, non-custodial and hardware wallets. A custodial wallet is also known as a hosted wallet, as user funds are automatically stored in it by a third party, similar to how banks store money in checking and savings accounts.
It is considered to be the easiest to use and easiest to configure. A non-custodial wallet gives users complete control over the security of their crypto and does not rely on a third party to keep funds safe. A hardware wallet, also known as a cold wallet, is a physical device that can keep users’ cryptocurrencies offline and secure them even in the worst case scenario when someone’s computer is hacked.
How to sell digital art as NFT
The NFT sale is likely to be the end point of its NFT minting. Most NFT platforms have a feature to choose a selling method or an option to set a price for your NFT while you mint it.
Fixed price sale and auction are currently the two main ways to sell NFTs. A fixed price sale is considered to be the easiest way, as well as quite transparent and straightforward. To sell your newly minted NFT in this way, you will only need to specify the price at which you wish to sell it. Some platforms also ask to set a royalty percentage, the amount you will receive in case of future sales of your art, so pay attention to that too.
Another way to sell your NFT is through an auction so buyers can browse and bid on your digital art. Some auctions may be online only, while others may end in a full live auction. They are usually of two types.
The first type is an English auction, a rising price auction where the highest bid wins in the end. A timed auction is a specific form of English auction in which an NFT can be bid for a defined period of time, and at the end, the collector who submitted the highest bid wins. The second type is a Dutch auction, a falling price auction where the price drops until someone buys your NFT.
It is up to you which way to sell NFT to choose. Each way has its pros and cons, whether it’s a possible misunderstanding of the real value of your artwork when setting a fixed price, or time dependency during auction sales.