Chapter 11: What role has NFT played in the digital art world?

Photo credits: Kristel Bechara (NFT collection)

If you’re familiar with the NFT scene, you’ll know that it has been a driving force behind the current explosion of digital art.

Digital artworks have received a lot of attention in the space. In 2021, Beeple sold his artwork “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” for a whopping 69 million dollars at a major auction house, Christie’s.

Metakovan, the collector, received neither a physical nor a digital copy of the artwork, but he nevertheless purchased it.

A musician from Germany sold her album as an NFT, making $6m from it.

All of these digital art improvements have demonstrated the possibilities that NFTs have to offer to the art industry, but this leaves us with a major question: how exactly have the NFTs been beneficial to the new media aside from the financial aspect, which is well known for its importance.

What is NFT/Crypto art, and how does it work?

To get everyone on the same page, let’s define the meaning of NFT.

NFT stands for non-fungible token, which serves as evidence of ownership and declares an item’s uniqueness.

Digital art, on the other hand, is a blend of technology and art.

As a result, NFT/Crypto is a combination of NFT and digital art. NFTs are advantageous to digital art due to their nonfungibility.

This means that digital art can’t be swapped or replicated. For example, you can’t exchange a picture for another in the hopes of earning the same value, and you can’t sell it without destroying it.

Blockchain technology allows for the creation of NFT/Crypto art. It is a digital ledger that keeps track of important data and previous transactions of artwork and is open to public viewing.

How was NFT benefited digital art?

Here are some of the benefits brought to digital art by NFT technology:

  • Security of ownership
  • New ways to monetize art
  • Easy market accessibility
  • Better storage system

1. Security of ownership

Anyone could have easily downloaded a copy of digital art before the development of NFT art, and there would have been no way of distinguishing the original image from the copied version.

This was extremely frustrating and counterproductive for digital artists who were not getting the recognition & rewards they deserved, because anyone could simply right-click or screenshot their artwork and use it as their own.
NFT has made it possible for digital artists to safeguard their creations, thus claiming digital ownership and making their work valuable. Whenever a digital artist wishes to authenticate their work (paintings, sculptures, videos, animations, video games, etc.) they can mint the specific artwork on an NFT platform, supported through blockchain technology.
Once this process is completed, any copy of the original artwork is considered fake and is worth nothing. The NFT can only be owned by one person at a time.

2. New ways to monetize art

Gone are the days when artists had to rely solely on auction houses to sell their work, which was primarily limited to their immediate surroundings. Due to NFTs, artists can now bid their artworks on a larger scale to individuals all over the world without the involvement of third parties such as art dealers.

With access to countless audiences, artists now have the opportunity to monetize their work. NFT artists can also receive royalties from subsequent transactions of their creations through smart contract technology.

This technology allows digital artists to receive a payment agreed upon in the smart contract, whenever a transaction of their artwork happens.

3. Easy market accessibility

NFT development has created a platform where established artists and beginners alike can strive. A good example of this is the story of a 22 years old Indonesian student who became an overnight millionaire by selling his selfies collection as NFTs on OpenSea.

This shows how much of a game-changer NFTs have been to the art industry. As an artist, you can easily share your work with the world regardless of how long you have been in the industry or who your “friends” are. If you are talented and people like your work, you have great opportunities to make it!

4. Better storage

Artworks must be preserved in order to keep their quality, however, this can be challenging as quality can be lost due to time or factors beyond one’s control.

Not even available modern technology can retain the quality of digital art forever.

Because the unique hash and other critical information about the artwork is kept in the cloud, NFT can solve this problem by leveraging blockchain technology to preserve the value of the artwork in the event of an accident.

A final thought

NFT has transformed the digital art market by providing wonderful possibilities for digital artists everywhere, and our hope is that benefits for this segment will only continue to grow in the future!

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