Lets take a step back for a minute and look at the bigger picture. All collectible items with a perceived value can be reduced to an overly simple explanation.
- The Mona Lisa? Blobs of paint.
- Michelangelos sculpture of David? A lump of rock shaped into a pair of bollocks.
- A mint first edition Charizard? Just a piece of cardboard
- Limited edition boxed Jordans? Shoes, pal! Just shoes!
- Damien Hirsts Shark? Erm, a dead shark.
In reality the truth is far more complex than reducing something down to its basic components.
Humans are weird talking monkeys, hard wired to collect, and display scarce resources. This comes from our caveman ancestors. Whoever had the best resources had the best chance of survival, and that instinct allowed that family tree to survive all the way to you!
Our ancestors held warmth, food and water in the highest value. These things are now basic human rights, but the hard-wired instincts are still there. The accumulation of a scarce item satisfies something internal, and also conveys a non-verbal communication of status to the world. ‘Look at me I have all the shiny shinies!’
Why Digital Art though?
Art is a creative expression and the artist can use whatever medium they choose
- A Dead shark in a massive glass tank filled with embalming fluid
Art offers a perspective of the artist, at a particular time and place. That perspective will either strike a chord with you or it won’t. Life and art go on regardless.
This brings us to digital art. Digital art isn’t new its just been undervalued…up until now.
The new masters haven’t popped up overnight. There’s just not been a true way get paid outside of taking on commissions from companies or taking a job in the digital marketing industry. Not exactly the best for fit for a creative genius.
As a society we are already placing an extremely high value on the digital world, people record concerts instead of enjoying the event. People used to pray before they ate, now they just take pictures for the ‘Gram’. It really isn’t a giant leap to see why artwork could hold such high a value for a digital version.
What an NFT is, and what it isn’t
NTs aren’t a medium as such, rather a proof of authenticity. The problem with digital art has always been that it could be easily replicated by simply taking a screen shot or saving a copy. No difference could be discerned between the original and its copy. The advancement of blockchain technology has made it possible to offer, and trace the origin of a piece of art. Suddenly the unprovable has become the easiest thing to prove, and the hardest to forge.
The Creative get Richer. Get creative or die trying.
Another key feature of NFTs underlying tech is that each time a piece is resold, a portion of the revenue gets passed back to the creator. This is great news for artists of all types as it creates a passive income stream and makes the art more accessible to the likes of you and I. there will be some losers though, think about all those poor middle men in the music industry that are about to lose a lot of leverage they hold over their artists. Bleeding hearts of the world unite.
Rise Of The Artrepreneur
To make the most of this brave new world, artists will need to learn to be the complete package to flourish. A perfectly blended cocktail with equal measures entrepreneur and artistic genius.
Whenever there’s a cultural shift some people have doubts, others overvalue the unknown. Some items being created at the moment will reduce to zero in value others will live on the moon. tying something to an NFT doesn’t increase its value it just proves its value, if there is value to begin with. We’ve all seen better pieces of ‘art’ stuck to fridge doors than some pieces, that their creators try to pump in price simply because it’s an NFT!
NFTs are only just starting to be realised for their uses and their potential hasn’t sunk in yet. We are in a shock an awe phase. I’m sure a pretty penny will be lost on poorly made purchases but the functionality cannot be denied, and as discussed above, art in its ever evolving expressions alongside our ingrained need to possess the shiny has been around since the dawn of man and will still be there at the end.