So much AWESOME ART! I spend quite a bit of time on DeviantArt and ArtStation just browsing the awesome art that’s all over the place on those sites. So many talented artists, so few of them actually make any money, much less make a living with their art. It’s tough. So much art! Millions of works of art from every imaginable genre and subgenre. Every style you could think of and a thousand more. Yet, 99% of the talented artists never make a living with their art.
I realized something a long time ago about artists. Artists tend to have limited marketing skills. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing directed at their talent or skill level. On the contrary, their art is sublime, awe inspiring, emotion evoking, and amazing! Their strength is their creativity. Communication on the other hand is a different story.
They’re able to communicate through their art, yes! Absolutely. But that message isn’t selling their art, it evokes emotions in the viewer. This is why there are brokers, agents, publishers, etc. These people are marketers and distributors.
There’s an obvious supply and demand problem. So much awesome art, so little demand. There’s not enough demand for the supply. Simple economics 101.
I don’t think this problem is completely solvable. Look at all the major entertainment studios, the galleries, both online and offline physical locations. Look at all the art market websites. There’s a massive amount of art and not enough demand to sell it all.
Sure, there are some artists that make a good living on their art. But most are starving artists.
Artists need a way to sell their art. ArtStation and Etsy and eBay and other art marketplaces do a good job, but it’s not enough. And I’m not sure it ever will be. It’s a conundrum.
Does it even matter? Art is expression. Art is emotion. Art is a creative expression of emotion which enables people to feel the art.
I think maybe most artists will always starve until there is a way to market the art to everyone. Not everyone cares about art. It’s a PR issue. A communication issue. A marketing issue.
You can’t make someone care about art. Unless they get something of value from it. Whether that value is measured in emotion or dollars, you still have to provide the value for people and then make them realize there’s value, then make them want it enough to trade their time and money for it.
The physical reality is that there will likely always be greater supply than demand for art. Unless something is rare. Unless you make art rare.
A rare thing is worth more than a common thing. The value of a rare thing is directly proportional to the perceived rarity of a thing. Combine that with an emotional need to have it, and you can sell more art for a higher price.
If art were more rare the price of art would be higher. But it’s not rare, it can’t be rare…or can it?
NFTs make art rare. Sure anyone can download a digital copy and “own” it. They can print it and put it on their wall. Not legally, but they can. So what makes NFTs rare and what about that makes them more valuable than a digital copy?
The rarity is artificially created by making limited OFFICIAL supply and attaching that to an encrypted unhackable blockchain platform. This essentially PRINTS an official digital copy which CANNOT BE DUPLICATED!
They call this MINTING. The digital art is attached to the encrypted token. Another name for a token is coin. Hence the “minting” analogy.
When you attach art to the blockchain it makes each of the official tokenized (minted) works of art “official copies” of the art. Any other digital copy will not have the encrypted token attached to the art. This creates value. And it doesn’t really matter if the value is artificially generated. ALL VALUE IS ARTIFICIALLY GENERATED based on someone’s perception of rarity.
So…unofficial copies are worth less if they don’t have the token. If they’re not connected to the blockchain the value decreases.
Think of it like printing (minting) a limited production run on a printer. There are a limited number of copies anyone can purchase. Photographs, drawings, books, magazines, newspapers, comic books; any print media has a limited number of copies made.
This is how NFTs work. There’s a limited number of digital copies minted. Each one is numbered. And this increases demand for the OFFICIAL COPIES. Just like comic books and trading cards.
NFTs are essentially digital trading cards. Think Pokémon, baseball cards, etc. Even comic books and antique magazines. ANYTHING that is art can be turned into an NFT and sold as a rare collectible. It’s more rare. Rarer than ordinary digital copies.
If you try to sell a fake digital copy, not only are you breaking the law (Copyright Law and Pirating), you won’t get as much if you can even sell it at all.
But because NFTs are rare because only a limited number are minted, the price will be higher. Usually.
There’s the flood effect. Flooding any market with mediocre and crappy products drives down the price of any given market.
When NFTs first came out prices were high, then there was a crash as people flooded the market with low quality and high quantities.
The NFT market is young. It’s brand new and hasn’t reached the mainstream collector market yet.
Some people think NFTs are dead and they write about it online. But these people are either shortsighted or they’re merely writing fluff pieces with clickbait titles to get traffic and profit from the crash.
Either way it doesn’t matter because NFTs are not going anywhere. They will evolve like every other technology.
NFTs may change into something else, or they’ll mature as NFTs, but they’re not going anywhere. You know why?
Because NFT (blockchain) is the modern information age equivalent of the printing press. It’s a digital public record of every print job with impeccable iron-clad provenance.
It’s a digital minting press.
At first people will abuse it by flooding the market with low quality products. Which is what caused the crash in June, 2021.
This is only a market correction. As people familiarize themselves with how NFTs (blockchain) work(s), the market will recover. It will be a slow process. Eventually it will recover and prices will start to rise again.
People will realize that less is more. They’ll mint fewer and higher quality NFTs. The NFT collectors market will boom again.
The artists that learn to be more disciplined than their competition and produce limited quantity, higher quality work, will make the most money.
Look at Beeple! He made $69 million on one NFT. This changed the world both online and offline.
Most of this was about timing the market, having a large following, and putting in the work. It’s not just about producing digital content. It’s about having the talent and discipline to produce high quality low quantity work.
Artists are creative people, not typically economically minded. They usually don’t care much about economics or marketing, advertising, sales, etc. They’d rather just create their art. That’s all they want…oh, and to eat. They need housing, food, utilities, healthcare and education just like everyone else.
NFTs, I think, will provide more artists with opportunities they never had before to monetize their work and actually not starve.
NFT marketplaces are flooded with art from millions of artists trying to capitalize on the new market. And that’s why it crashed. Creative people are creators, not economists. Sorry, it’s not a dig on artists, it’s just the facts.
Artists need NFT markets that put art out there for them. They need agents to help sell their art, but agents that don’t take the lion’s share of the profit.
Greed exists and unscrupulous agents (marketplaces which charge high commissions) are doing a disservice to artists.
Artists create works of art and they deserve the lion’s share for their effort and talent. Period. End of subject.
Artists deserve to eat, not starve. They’re the people that help build the world and all the things we have. They are the creatives and the creators.
Artists create reality from their dreams.
Reality is conceived by dreamers.
Artists are dreamers. They create the world we live in. They deserve more for it.