How Much Money do NFT Artists Make? 

How Much Money do NFT Artists Make

As an NFT artist or a Metaverse entrepreneur looking to hire an artist for your project, it is important to know the costs associated with Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). In either case, you want to know exactly how much money do NFT artists make as to price yourself accordingly or offer a fair price for a good quality artist. The art, while not always the main focus of NFTs, it can make or break your project in terms of marketability and appeal. 

It is vital to distinguish between NFT collectibles and NFT art pieces. 

NFT collectibles are a combination of many assets that are layered on top of one another to form a unique piece of art. As an example, you can have a drawing of a cat – or anything – the general shape of a cat with distinctive cat-like features (bear with me). The cat’s body is its own layer, and then the artist would make a bunch of other assets to layer on top of the base layer, such as hats in the head layer, scarves in the neck layer, and glasses in the eye layer, and so on. Gloves, ear piercing, and whatever else, each of these occupied a single layer can have a different variation that fits perfectly on the mold (i.e., a top hat, a helmet, a fedora, a headlamp), each of which fits on the same base layer. 

The artist would need to vectorize each of these assets to allow their styles and colors to be shuffled, which adds to the price per hour as that takes more time and experience to do it properly. The more experienced the artist – with a portfolio to show it – the more authority they have to charge high.   

The other kind of art is unique outstanding single pieces such as the famous digital art piece by Beeple. Outstanding pieces of art are unique pieces not part of a shuffled collection but can be grouped—1 of 1s, 1 of 2s, 1 of 3s, and so on. You can have one of 100 or more, provided that each piece is specially made. 

What Are the Top Selling NFT Art Pieces Today? 

  • The Merge $91.8 million. 
  • Everyday – The First 5000 Days: $69.3 million. 
  • Human One: $28.9 million. 
  • CryptoPunk #7523: $11.75 million. 
  • CryptoPunk #3100: $7.58 million. 
  • CryptoPunk #7804: $7.57 million. 
  • Right-Click and Save As Guy: $7.09 million. 

Of course, these sellers did not get to the top easily and did not answer the question ‘how much money do NFT artists make?’ One of many reasons that people buy NFTs is that they believe in the artist and essentially buy a piece of their work as if buying shares in a company, so if this is your passion, keep it going. 

How do NFT Artists Make Money? 

If you are an aspiring artist looking to get into NFTs, you are probably wondering, ‘How much should I charge as an NFT artist’ that is both fair for you and won’t drive away your patron. There are many ways to price yourself: 

Per hour 

An NFT artist average hourly rate in the United States as of August 16th, 2022, is $19.91, according to Zip Recruiter. 

Across the United States, the majority of artists’ pay is now between $12.50 (25th percentile) and $18.51 (75th percentile), with ZipRecruiter reporting the best NFT artists hourly rate as high as $27.40 and the worst as low as $6.25. According to skill level, region, and years of experience, the typical pay range for an artist might vary significantly (by as much as $6.01), indicating that there may be several prospects for promotion and a better salary. If you’re on Upwork, you might find artists from third-world countries pricing US-based artists out of the market, willing to do projects for a fraction of the price. Meanwhile, the best NFT artists can charge heaps for their services if they have a proven track record of quality, which saves project owners a lot of time and heartache. 

Per piece

 If the NFT project is a collection, you might be asked to draw many little pieces, like gloves, glasses, and whatnot. While it is simpler to price per hour and just do the work, an alternative might be to price yourself per piece. For example, $1 per hat, $2 per shirt, and $3 per eyewear, or what have you. This form of agreement is less about the market price and more about an accord between artist and project. When I was reading my own NFT project, I gave my artists an excel sheet with around 120 asset titles priced between $1 and $5. The artists simply picked an asset, finished it, sent it, and got paid its equivalent sum. It’s an incremental process, so no one party can run off without delivering. 


 This is a risky one, as there is no guarantee that an NFT piece or collection will ever sell or take off, but it is a great source of income if it does take off. NFT projects are volatile and might fail from the get-go. A way to price yourself as an artist would be to become a project partner and split the royalties. Royalties coded into the smart contract of every NFT are the basis of the whole trade and the main method by which artists make money. Every time the NFT changes hands, the artist gets a cut. That is in the case of special pieces as well as collections. 

When it comes to collections, you might have a whole team to acknowledge the royalties, as well as platform transaction fees. Try the old business trick where you suggest a royalty fee higher than what you actually want and then “compromise” with your desired price. 

If you simply want to make your own art and sell it yourself, we have a quick and simple guide on how to create, buy and sell NFTs for beginners. 

When asking how much money do NFT artists make, it is important to acknowledge the many factors behind the answer. Art, in general, does make money, and NFTs are a great way to monetize talent. There are a lot of factors that decide what makes an NFT successful and many more factors for why most NFT projects fail. Still, we are living in the era of the creator economy, and so now is as good a time to go for it as any. 

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