How Digital Artists Can Turn Their Work into NFTs and Sell Them

In this article, we discuss how you can convert digital art into NFTs and sell them on marketplaces.

The invention of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has led to numerous applications like NFTs, DeFi, and the metaverse. Especially in the past two years, the NFT space has significantly expanded. According to the 2021 DappRadar industry report, the NFT space saw around $23 billion in trades last year.

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Apart from the dazzling numbers in NFT transactions and celebrity NFT collections, NFTs have paved the way for artists and creators to earn additional income. There are numerous ways to earn income through digital art and NFTs while still maintaining digital ownership of your work. In this article, we discuss how you can convert digital art into NFTs and sell them on marketplaces.

Crypto art is unique digital art pieces created and converted into non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are sold on NFT marketplaces through auctions, and those by famous artists can also be sold through traditional auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

There is also a subset of crypto art known as generative art. Popular NFT collections such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club are examples of generative art. The images in this kind of art are created by assembling multiple picture components in different combinations. These NFT collections, along with some sensational high-profile NFT auctions, have received significant public attention (see Beeple’s “Everydays: the first 5000 days”, which sold for $69.3 million in 2021).

The process of creating an NFT or turning your digital art piece into an NFT is relatively simple. All you need is a set of creative skills and a personal computer to turn your art into an NFT. Artists do not need to go through a complex and highly technical process to turn their work into NFTs and sell them on marketplaces. NFTs can be any digital file, like an image in jpeg or png format, music and video clips, gifs, etc. Depending on your medium, keep in mind that you may also need to have the appropriate software in place, such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, MS Paint, CorelDraw, etc.

The process of creating NFTs or turning art into NFTs is called minting. It is the act of publishing an art piece on the blockchain. Once an NFT is created, it will be minted on the blockchain network similar to how a crypto coin will be mined and added to the circulation. When the minting process completes, that particular digital art becomes secure and tamper-proof, which makes it hard to manipulate. After turning digital art into an NFT, it can be bought and sold. We can even digitally track the NFT when it is resold or recollected.

Minting NFTs is a great way for artists to monetize their creativity. Apart from selling art as NFTs in the first place, artists can also earn royalties for their work. They can program a royalty clause upon minting, and secondary sales of those NFTs will generate passive income for artists. If the demand for their NFTs increases and they become popular, artists can then benefit from their pieces’ rise in value.

In most of the NFT marketplaces, minting NFTs is an automated process with a few steps:

  • Choose an NFT marketplace and register on the platform. You will need a crypto wallet for making payments or receiving funds.
  • Upload your art collection or a single art piece on the platform. Give it a title and short description and mention the required specifications.
  • Verify all the details and make a final check before clicking the “Create” button.
  • The minting process begins after you sign the NFT and pay transaction fees.
  • You will see the newly minted NFT in your profile after the transaction has been validated on the blockchain network.

Most NFT marketplaces have a similar minting procedure, and it does not require any technical skills. Although coding is not necessary to create NFTs, you can still try to code an NFT yourself if you have a good amount of experience in this space and want to become an NFT developer.

Before diving deep into NFT programming, it is important to understand that the Ethereum network still has a monopoly in the development of NFTs. Solidity is the usual coding language for NFT development, and other coding languages are Javascript and HTML/CSS. In order to store artists’ NFTs, the InterPlanetary File System is used.

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Choosing an NFT platform is an essential part of creating and selling NFTs. To make the right choice, you need to consider various factors such as file format, crypto wallet matching, accessibility to the platform for users, and a price or transaction fee to mint an NFT. The transaction fee is a payment required to compensate for the computing energy required to process and validate transactions.

There are multiple NFT marketplaces, and the operating process differs from one platform to another. It is important for artists to know whether the platform is curated or if it is self-service based, so that they can choose the most suitable platform for them. Self-service-based NFT platforms provide free access to all artists. To upload NFTs onto these platforms, artists need to register via a crypto wallet and pay the transaction fee to mint an NFT. The most popular self-service-based NFT platforms are OpenSea and Rarible.

On the other hand, curated NFT marketplaces are selective about artists. Before registering and starting minting your art on these platforms, artists need to submit an application with all the details about the NFT collection, previous artistic experience, and other related details. Artists would have to endure a long waiting period for the expert’s decision. As these platforms have stringent selection criteria, mostly top digital artworks are exhibited on them. SuperRare and Nifty Gateway are the two most well-known curated NFT marketplaces.

A cryptocurrency wallet is essential to access any NFT platform, receive payments, and manage your balances. However, before setting up your wallet, it is important to consider whether the wallet is compatible with the cryptocurrency used on your preferred NFT marketplace. Most of the NFT marketplaces are Ethereum-based platforms and accept Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency Ether for all payments. Hence, it is necessary to have a crypto wallet that supports Ethereum.

There are numerous types of cryptocurrency wallets with different functionality and features. The main types of crypto wallets are custodial, non-custodial, and hardware wallets. In a custodial wallet, also known as a hosted wallet, funds are automatically stored in it by a third-party, similar to how banks keep the money in checking and savings accounts. A custodial wallet is beginner-friendly and easy to set up. A non-custodial wallet gives complete control of the security to the users and it does not rely on a third party to keep the funds safe. A hardware wallet is also known as a cold wallet as it stores funds offline. It is a physical device that stores and secures funds even in the worst-case scenario such as when the computer or an account is hacked.

Most NFT platforms have a feature to choose the selling method for the NFT collection. Fixed price sale and auction are the two main methods of selling an NFT. Fixed price sale is the easiest, most transparent, and direct way of selling NFTs. For selling a newly minted NFT, you need to specify the price at which you want to sell the NFT. Some platforms allow artists to set a royalty percentage, which is the amount an artist will receive for all the future sales of their art.

Another way is conducting an auction. In this method, buyers browse and leave bids for the NFTs. Some auctions are conducted online while others will end up in a full-fledged live auction. There are again two types of auctions — English auction and Dutch auction. An English auction is an increased price auction where the highest bid wins in the end. A timed auction will consider all the bids received in a specific time frame and the collector with the highest bid will receive the NFT. The Dutch auction is a decreasing price auction in which the price will keep dropping until someone buys the NFT.

NFTs are ground-breaking innovations in the blockchain space. Though skeptics do not find them interesting or think that they do not hold any real value, the NFT industry is growing by the day by finding innovative applications inside the metaverse. Creating and selling NFTs is the best and easiest way to monetize creativity for artists and creators. New developments in this space also enable artists to increase their revenue by eliminating middlemen and directly connecting with their fans.

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