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Non-Fungible Token Artists

The Job

The non-fungible art world is sort of the Wild West of both the art and information technology fields given its combination of the norm-busting use of technology to create and sell art and the use of blockchain technology to authenticate the art or another type of NFT. Many things can be made into a non-fungible work of art—including paintings; videos; drawings; video game characters, “skins,” weapons, and tools; architectural plans; and even Tweets. NFT art can be digital copies of actual physical objects or digital art that is created specifically for sale as NFT art. It can also be a hybrid of existing/and new art. For example, the owner of a Banksy piece actually burnt and destroyed a portion of the work in a livestreamed video and then sold the new version as an NFT.

While many artists and other creative professionals make NFTs, these unique digital works of art can be created by anyone with an idea for an NFT and basic knowledge of technology. For example, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey created and sold an NFT of the first-ever Tweet (“just setting up my twttr”) for $2.9 million.

An artist or anyone else who is interested in creating an NFT first identifies something that they want to sell as an NFT. It could be a photograph, comic strip, video, Tweet, musical composition, or any other creative or noteworthy media. Then they work with an online NFT marketplace or auction platform (such as Nifty Gateway, MakersPlace, OpenSea, SuperRare, Decentraland, or Rarible, among others) that mints the unique NFT, assigns it to the digital piece of art, and then stores the NFT art in its custodian wallet, where anyone can log on and see who owns it. Some companies charge a fee for the computing power used to create the NFT, while others don’t.

Once the NFT art is created, the artist begins advertising it to collectors and/or investors. They use social media, online NFT sales platforms, blogs, and any other marketing and advertising strategies that they can think of to tell people about their work and try to make a sale. When a work is purchased, the artist receives payment (minus a sales transaction fee) in his or her digital wallet. They can use the payment to buy NFTs, use it where cryptocurrency is accepted as payment, or convert it to cash using an app such as Coinbase.

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