It’s easy enough for newcomers to find out what an NFT is, but one of the most common questions with unclear answers is: How can I become a CryptoArtist? In other words, where do I start from, how do I sell and promote my work, and how do I connect with the CryptoArt community (and more importantly, where does the CryptoArt community hang out)? In this article we cover the basics of how to become a CryptoArtist.
1. The Technical Part
The first thing is of course, to create a crypto wallet and exchange fiat currency (such as USD or Pound Sterling) into Ethereum. You will need ETH to mint your artworks on NFT stores. We will not cover the technical details here, please refer to this article on how to set up a crypto wallet.
2. Know the Different NFT Stores
There are two different types of NFT stores: one is a general NFT store where anyone can sell their artwork, and the other is a curated store where artists first have to be accepted. The two most popular general NFT stores are OpenSea and Rarible, but there are others like Cargo and Mintable. Platforms such as KnownOrigin, SuperRare, MakersPlace, BlockParty, and Nifty Gateway, first vet the artists and require an application. These can be relatively difficult to join for newcomers with little existing social media presence.
3. Connect with Your Tribe in the ‘CryptoTwitter’ Community
This is the best way to get started as a CryptoArtist. A big part of promoting and selling your art is connecting with other artists and collectors in the NFT space. Twitter is where most of the action happens, as well as on Discord groups and some relatively small communities on Facebook. Twitter is easier to start with and connect with others, and through Twitter you can find which Discord groups to join. ClubHouse has also recently become a popular spot for NFT people to hang out at.
Take a look at the artists on marketplaces like KnownOrigin or MakersPlace, and follow the ones you resonate with on Twitter, from there you will easily dive into the rabbit hole through other people’s retweets and tags. And remember, talk to the people! Engage with the artists, fans and collectors and build meaningful relationships. Comment on the artists’ works you like, share your ideas, and ask for feedback.
4. Know Your Style
This goes without saying, but as an artist it’s important to know your personal style and stand out from the rest. There are very few artists who can easily be distinguished from the rest by just one look at their art. Know your brand, message, and style.
5. Create Value for Collectors
Right now the CryptoArt space is getting flooded with short-term, quick-flip projects that won’t have much value in the future. There is no straightforward answer to what collectors and investors want, but it’s safe to say they want to buy from artists who can market themselves and grow in the space and those who are going to be around long-term. It’s always a good idea to create value and interest by doing something special for long-term holders, such as special drops. Collectors also love scarcity and exclusivity, like knowing that they own a 1 out of 1 edition or a rare artwork that only has ten editions.
6. Shill Your Art to the World
Don’t hold back, shill (term for show off/promote) your art! Marketing is a HUGE part of selling your digital art, just like with physical art. And it’s becoming more and more important as there are so many artists joining the space now. If you’re selling through OpenSea or Rarible you’ll have to entirely depend on being marketing-savvy since those are general marketplaces for anyone and everyone, so you’ll need to make sure your artworks get exposure.
Check which social media channels are most appropriate for your work, and don’t be shy to join groups or promote yourself on Twitter, but of course, don’t overdo it. By being active on social media you’ll attract people to your CryptoArt profile.
A website and portfolio are also very important if you want to add credibility and a “brand image” to your work. Many CryptoArt platforms will ask you to submit a portfolio so it’s always good to have one ready, and having a website will allow potential collectors to find out more about you and your unique story. Collectors don’t only buy the artwork, more often they buy into the story and invest in the personality behind the artwork.
One way not to market yourself is by spamming links to your CryptoArt in a direct message. Its lazy, and if nothing else will probably work against you. If you’re going to send a message to somebody about your art, engage with them. Personalise your message. Copy and pasting the same message without any personalisation is also not good practice, as is relentlessly tagging large collectors or brands in your public posts.
7. Be Persistent
Remember that the CryptoArt scene, and NFTs in general, are very new. This is only the beginning, so don’t get disheartened if you’re not successful right away or as quickly as you expected you would be. The community is very welcoming and eager to help each other out in succeeding. Keep creating, connecting, and showing your art to the world. Make changes where necessary and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
8. Pricing Your Artworks
When pricing your artworks, keep in mind that you will have to pay for minting and gas fees (unless you are using OpenSea’s gasless minting option or Cargo’s Magic Minting option). If you are paying for minting and gas, you’ll be spending anywhere between $50-$80 per piece. So your art would have to be priced significantly higher for you to make a decent profit.
In the same breath, if you have done little to nothing to build your personal brand, you may get lucky in making a couple of sales, but your career will likely be short lived. Price your art properly. Just because somebody else sold their CryptoArt for 1 ETH, doesn’t mean you will. You need to build up your brand, and building takes time and effort.
9. Start with a Collection
It’s good to start with selling a collection of artwork, anywhere between three to eight pieces. The collection should have a theme and a story. This way collectors are encouraged to buy more than one piece from you since it is always nice to have the full series.
10. Exhibit in the Metaverses
Once you’re more acquainted with the CryptoArt scene, you can start exploring the metaverses; CryptoVoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space. There are virtual galleries in these metaverses that host art shows each week. This is a great way of promoting your work and meeting new people, as well as potentially doing some interviews. You can follow the Twitter account of these metaverses, they regularly retweet about the latest builds and exhibitions happening so you can connect with the people who own the galleries and set up an exhibition.
Good luck to all the artists and their journey into becoming a CryptoArtist. There is so much potential in the space and so many new and incredible projects coming out every day. Remember, don’t be afraid to connect, show your uniqueness, and keep creating!
image credit: topdogtips
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Ivelina is an NFT and Blockchain lover. She has a knack for putting complex concepts into simple words.