NFTs, Art, Business

Tips for Generative NFT Artists — Preparing for Worldwide Attention

They’re coming for your 1/1s. Are you prepared?

Photo by Zach Key on Unsplash

I’ve worked with all sorts of generative NFT teams thus far into my web3 career. The position and role of the artist varies widely in the generative space. The range of this hierarchy is basically as follows:

  1. Sometimes the artist is the sole or primary founder and lead visionary of the generative set.
  2. Sometimes the artist is a team member on par with others in the team, even if somewhat more featured, you might say.
  3. Sometimes the artist is hired out, yet still featured and/or important to the drop.
  4. Sometimes the artist is completely anon.

All of the above scenarios (and others) have their place in the generative NFT world. (And btw, in any scenario, the payment structure could vary wildly as well in terms of the artist’s share of the proceeds. Some would collect the majority of the primary and secondary sales; others might be paid hourly with no further remuneration.)

For the top three scenarios, though, there’s an added element to generative drops that a lot of NFT drop teams don’t actively think about — the other existent 1/1 digital art of the artist.

For many of the NFT drops out there (especially nowadays, now that we’re a solid year or so into the more mainstream web3 space), this isn’t the artist’s first rodeo, so to speak. Quite a lot of digital artists (esp. those in the web3 space already) have existing 1/1 art offerings available. And, like so many others in the 1/1 space, these artists weren’t previously known and so have priced their 1/1 art competitively.

And so what can happen nowadays is something like this:

  • Six months ago, the artist pops a set of digital artworks on OpenSea or some other marketplace, and prices them at a level commensurate with someone who’s never sold digital art online. So, there may be, say, 10–30 unique 1/1 works of art out there priced at something like 0.05 ETH or 0.1 ETH (or some such relatively inexpensive level).
  • Fast forward to today, and the artist now has a generative NFT drop that manages to sell out. The…