The Ultimate NFT Guide For Non-Crypto Native Creators

Andro Nikos
Nov 3, 2021 · 8 min read
Original illustration by Fabricio Orellano for RC3.

You are an artist. You wake up, prepare a cup of tea/coffee and you’re ready for the daily Internet surfing. Just a quick browse online and soon the trend captures your attention: “2021 is the year of NFTs.”

A few clicks later, you try to wrap your head around how a single NFT art piece can be sold for 69 million USD. For the following undefined amount of time, you find yourself immersed in thoughts feeling like a deeper search into “these NFT things” would not be actually a bad idea at all — after all, nobody was born an NFT artist.

NFTs In A Nutshell

For example, two 10-dollar notes are fungible dollar tokens, in the sense that both notes are equal and interchangeable with regard to appearance, characteristics, and utility. On the contrary, your favorite mug and my favorite mug are non-fungible tokens of mugs, as they are both unique in terms of appearance, characteristics, personal meaning, and, even, utility.

Similarly, in crypto terminology, two Bitcoins are fungible tokens, as there’s no difference to the holder which particular Bitcoin he/she owns. However, non-fungible tokens are unique and not mutually interchangeable, much like two different limited-edition pairs of sneakers would be. For a detailed version, you can refer to this article.

Why Are You Reading This

To summarize, what sparked the current NFT revolution was probably CryptoKitties, an online game where 2D cats were bred and sold as NFTs, with each cat comprising a unique set of characteristics that would collectively attribute varying degrees of scarcity to it.

Four years later, the NFT scene has grown immensely and is flirting with mainstream adoption, as non-crypto native folks are hopping onto the NFT train. Unsurprisingly, as an uninitiated individual, you might be wondering what this frenzy is about and why it is happening now.

There are several reasons underlying the current NFT craze. Firstly, previous advancements in the broader crypto scene (e.g. decentralized finance, stablecoins) laid the necessary foundations for NFTs to mature to their current state. Additionally, the native scarcity of non-fungible tokens slowly but surely attracted investors who picked up on the potential and the secondary sales power of NFTs, much like gold or rare paintings.

More importantly, it is the several artists, both famous and lesser-known, getting familiar with non-fungible tokens that mainly account for the current NFT hype — and for good reasons. Besides (non-)fungibility, NFTs’ native properties make them special and important to artists in particular. Considered as digital contracts, NFTs are digital items usually containing an asset and some additional information (metadata).

For instance, a CryptoKitty NFT would contain the actual unique 2D cat, plus some extra info such as creation date, the unique cat’s traits, etc. Consequently, the NFT itself functions as a certificate of ownership, authenticity, as well as eternal royalty to the artist. What ensures that all this data is publicly transparent, verifiable, and immutable is the underlying data infrastructure where NFTs exist: the blockchain.

Although it would go beyond the scope of the present guide to present a detailed technical explanation of what a blockchain is, the main gist is simple. Essentially, a blockchain is a data infrastructure, where information is grouped in blocks, and each block is linked to other blocks in a chain-like manner.

The innovation of such architecture is that these chains act as public records of information with no central point, aka distributed ledgers, that are immutable to changes (edits, deletions, forging of data), verifiable at any given time, transparent, and decentralized (meaning, there’s no single central authority having custody of the chain).

NFTs are contracts that originated from the Ethereum blockchain, thus, this is where in most cases NFTs exist. Lately, there are more platforms emerging that are offering support for NFT contracts, however, let’s stick to Ethereum NFTs for this one. After all, the concept is the same and the processes are almost identical.

Popular NFT Use-Cases For Creators

  • digital visual art (e.g. png, gifs, jpeg)
  • digital audible specimens (e.g. mp3, m4a)
  • physical fine art (e.g. paintings, sculptures)
  • physical audible specimens (e.g. vinyl records, compact discs)
  • audiovisual art (e.g. mp4, avi)
  • digital wearables (e.g. vox, obj)
  • physical wearables (e.g. fashion products, merch)

Before You Jump Into The Rabbit Hole

One of the most important pillars supporting your engagement with the NFT world would be a blockchain wallet, capable of storing, managing, and transferring non-fungible tokens in a native manner. There are a few distinctions between popular NFT wallets. In order to avoid opening a two-digit number of new tabs, we encourage you to read our relevant guide here.

Now, when it comes to the minting house of choice, it all really depends on who you are, what your craft is, and how you’d want to market it. Scroll down to find a table that we created to help you compare some of the most popular NFT infrastructure providers easily accessible by newcomers. If you’d like to dive deeper on that front, take a look here.

Picking The Right Minting House For Your Craft

If you worry about Ethereum gas fees, you should start experimenting with the Rinkeby Testnet before you spend real Ether (ETH). A relevant guide on Ethereum Test Networks and how to leverage them can be found here.

You will need ETH to navigate the Ethereum ecosystem, namely pay for gas fees, interact with/and deploy smart contracts, perform transactions, etc. You can learn how to top-up your Ethereum wallet by reading this guide.

Best Practices For Distributing And Promoting Your NFTs To The Right Audience

Sure, it is important to know that OpenSea is integrated with (almost) all other NFT marketplaces, thus, your listing on a different platform will always show up on OpenSea, yet relying just on that won’t necessarily get your sale through.

This is the point where things might become a bit tricky unless you got Beeple’s reputation or good personal connections with Christie’s. Nevertheless, there’s a wide array of possibilities with regards to the distribution and promotion of your NFTs that’s largely dependent on you — so, fasten your seatbelt and forget paid social media platform ads.

Obviously, traditional promotion techniques can also apply to the NFT market, such as posts/tweets via social media or publications via industry-specific magazines and media outlets. For those with a firmer grip on the Web3 scene, there’s an abundance of options that are specifically native to the next-gen Internet, ranging from Web3 blogs and media outlets in the likes of Cent to metaverse-native features such as VR galleries, exhibitions, and events.

Unarguably, the most valuable advice for a new NFT artist would be to explore the ecosystem, try new things, make friends with other users, share their enthusiasm/opinions about NFTs, and, in general, interact with the broader scene as much as possible. Interaction builds trust and reputation, which, in turn, vouch for peer-to-peer asset exchange.

To conclude, decentralization indeed sounds (and is) fun, but if you don’t go the extra mile, there’s nobody that will do it for you. If you are looking for more explicit guidance on how to best distribute and promote your NFT work, all relevant info, as well as quotes from established NFT artists, can be found here.

What’s Next For NFTs

The future might feel unknown by default, however, it is our creative ideas and actions that are responsible for shaping it. In other words, the coming years might behold NFT use-cases that we’re not even discussing today. For example, imagine personal ID’s/driver’s licenses being non-transferrable NFTs or future scientists being able to tokenize complex assets such as our memories and our voting rights.

The bottom line is that NFTs are another manifestation of decentralization and what’s the best way to go about it is your choice to make. Don’t forget that the NFT scene is native to the Internet. As a consequence, all information can be found somewhere online, so it is very important that you respect others and do your own research.

To sum up, NFTs are here to stay. If you are internally debating whether “it’s a bubble” or a “gold mine”, I’d say you try it out yourself and share your experience with us.

<R

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