Thursday, December 8, 2022
Published 2 Months Ago on Saturday, Oct 08 2022 By Adnan Kayyali
For the longest time, it has always been difficult for artists to monetize their skills. The idea of the starving artist is so prominent in our heads it’s almost comical. However, recent advances in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and most importantly for our topic, Non-Fungible Tokens, (NFTs) have led to a surge in digital art benefiting both the artist and the collector.
Digital artists have long struggled to turn their hobby into a career. This is sadly the way of the world as not many people will employ pay you just to be creative without an extensive background and probably a marketing brief to guide your drawing hand so to speak.
Even then you will probably be forced to tweak your favorite hobby to suit your employer’s needs with the end goal of selling something and making your employer rich. That is not to say that that is not the case with NFTs and much of the digital art scene, but as we will see, there is more to it than that.
Artists in the past struggled for different reasons than modern artists. They may have struggled t source the right materials, find the right patrons to fund their craft or customers to buy their pieces, or develop their skills, to begin with. Today, artists have very different struggles.
Today, or at least in the last two decades, the struggles of the artists have changed from that of scarcity to that of over-saturation with the proliferation of digital art tools tutorials, and exposure. As tools like photoshop and illustrator became more available as well as the ubiquity of online tutorials by reputable artists, the barrier to entry dropped significantly.
The competition was and is increasingly steeper, to say the least, and hours of hard work by any budding creator could easily get buried under an ocean of content flooding the web if they didn’t do everything correctly.
Digital artists today mainly struggle to gain a following, get found, and build a stable source of income while they perfect their craft and grow their brand. Finding your footing as an artist takes long hard hours of practice, consistency, discipline, skills, self-marketing, and just plain luck.
Now with the emergence of AI art generators such as DALL-E 2, which recently became open for public use, the Discord-based MidJourney AI, has turned up the heat for all artists around the world.
That is not to say that talent will no longer be needed, but that the barrier of entry has been lowered even further than before.
One can make a solid argument that the rise of NFTs has in turn given rise to a digital art renaissance that is just now showing its promise. Despite all of what we just said, and despite the crypto crash that sent the NFT market tumbling downhill, NFTs seem to be reinvigorating the world of digital art from the core.
What was the catalyst behind this surge? Blockchain technology. Why? Because it takes the positives of physical art and brings them into the world of the digital.
Blockchain technology has enabled creators to verify the legitimacy and ownership of a digital item. It essentially makes it so that digital items are as solid as real ones.
In the same way that a physical portrait can only exist in one place at a time, blockchain allows us to extend that level of permanence to digital art in the form of NFTs.
This means that an art collector now has the means to collect digital items in the form of NFTs as they have had the option to collect physical ones since the dawn of time. In turn, NFTs have led to a resurgence of digital art collection and creation as artists unlock a whole new market for themselves.
Without a doubt the biggest reason for the explosion of blockchain, crypto, and NFTs into public perception is money. Most people who deal in NFTs do so for the sake of multiplying their investments. They buy into a project they believe in and sell when it takes off, reaping the monetary benefits.
The financial incentive or at least the prospect of a great profit has therefore driven hundreds of thousands into opening up a new avenue for digital art lovers and creators to come and explore – and profit from, of course.
If you go on Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer and look for art jobs, odds are the word NFT or NFT artist will pop up at least a few dozen times on your feed.
That is because people who want to invest in the creation and selling of NFTs are willing to pay very well for skilled and experienced artists’ services. Artists can make a decent dollar for a set of ‘Traits’ that will be shuffled to create an NFT character.
NFTs are not all about the art of course, but it is a central component.
It is the age of the artist. If there was ever a time to monetize your artistic abilities and the long hours you spent tinkering with adobe products, it is now.
You can be forgiven for believing that NFTs are dying, especially after the recent crypto crash, but this does not seem to be the case. NFTs have sparked a resurgence of digital art that may usher in a renaissance in the so-called Metaverse.
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