Even though NFTs had existed since 2017, after the CryptoKitties wave took the Ethereum blockchain by storm, the space has been growing with every passing day. This became clear when musicians and artists alike started making fortunes from the industry. Individuals and institutions with deep pockets, long histories, or existing connections used to have a lot of say over who got involved in the art world. However, new decentralized market platforms are now welcoming buyers and artists with open arms and fewer barriers to entry.
NFTs rely on blockchain technology – the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. A blockchain is a tamper-proof and trusted ledger that has changed the way artists are compensated for their work. Even after the initial transaction, some platforms offer their artists a percentage of secondary market sales. NFTs differ from traditional artwork in that their buyers are less interested in the advice of established advisors, dealers, and collectors. For this reason, the artists have more control over the prices they charge for their pieces.
Let us now look at some of the advantages of NFTs for both artists and consumers.
First of all, there are lower barriers to entry. The digital medium significantly lowers the barriers to entry for art and collectibles creators. They don’t have to deal with the same gatekeepers who exist in the analog world. They also save time and money by not manufacturing and distributing several thousand physical pieces of the same collectible or artwork.
The ability to sell their work on a large scale is an entirely new opportunity for the vast majority of creators and artists. This allows any creator direct access to a sizable market. This is unlike in the traditional world where art and collectibles are guarded by publishers, art galleries, retail chains, and other gatekeepers.
With NFTs there is also easy access to a global market. While artists may not market their work in all jurisdictions worldwide due to regulatory issues, they do have a much larger market than what they are limited to in their local communities. Not everyone has easy access to conventions, exhibitions, galleries, or even like-minded people in their area. With the NFT space growing, artists can sell their work on a larger scale and buyers can choose from a wider variety of artwork from all over the world. When it comes to physical art and collectibles, the prospect of shipping a work of art worth millions of dollars across the globe is likely to make both buyer and seller cautious. NFT solve this problem because they can be used to verify the authenticity of an object as well as ensure all the conditions of the transaction are met (including the transfer of the NFT art to the buyer). The digital age has leveled the playing field and made art and collectibles equally accessible to everyone, regardless of their geographical location.
Thanks to NFTs, artists also receive automatic royalties. Traditionally, artists would get their payday when they first sell a new piece but miss out on any profits when it is later traded on a secondary market. Since the true value of an art piece isn’t realized until years after its creation, the lack of royalties has historically left artists with a fraction of what their work is worth. In contrast, collectors and speculators have gotten rich.
Many people are surprised to learn how little even the most famous artists have made during their careers. Instead, artists can now receive 10% or 20% of sales of their work as soon as they start making sales. For example, if a work is first sold for $10,000, then for $100,000, and finally for $1 million, the creator who made $10,000 in the traditional market now makes $120,000 with a 10% royalty or $230,000 with a 20% royalty in the digital market. This can be easily accomplished by incorporating these royalties into the NFT from the start, resulting in far better conditions for creators and artists. The ease with which digital artwork can be traded on the secondary market and how active that market is magnifies the effect. Regardless of how much their work appreciates, each new sale means more money in the artist’s pocket.
The fourth benefit of NFTs in the art industry is the convenience for collectors. When something from the analog world goes digital, one of the main selling points is convenience. Digital files aren’t just easier for creators to create, mass-produce, sell, and distribute. Digitizing art pieces also makes it easier for collectors to acquire, exchange, share, store, and move the art. Collectors benefit directly from the convenience, as do the creators. Think about the convenience of music on your phone vs. CDs, eBooks vs. paperbacks, digital notes vs. notebooks, and you’ll understand why this is an advantage. The same can be said for digital collectibles and art in general. There is no need for additional storage space or equipment to store assets properly. People carry their collectibles with them at all times, and they can access them via their phones or laptops. When they buy or sell an asset, they can complete both the transaction and the transfer online from the comfort of their own home.
For the above reasons, the digital world is more appealing to creators and artists of all types. Lower entry barriers allow many more aspiring artists and creators to bring their ideas to life and monetize their work. Creators can now reach their target audiences directly on a global scale without going through the traditional gatekeepers of the analog world. Additionally, the NFT technology includes features for built-in royalties, resulting in a far more financially rewarding market than most creators are accustomed to. With the convenience that the NFT space offers, creators have a much better chance of turning their talent into a viable career path.
Catharsis Design was inspired to introduce jewelry and accessories into the world of NFTs. They’ve released a collection of unique rings in a pre-launch offering for their NFT-driven jewelry and accessory brand. This minor collection will include 25 NFTs per day, for a total of 1400 pieces over two months. Their mission is to fuse the physical and digital worlds of fashion and art. Holders of these first NFTs will receive physical rings of their chosen finish, size and design. Originally a physical brand selling fashion accessories, the company was forced to rethink its strategy after the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Creating a design brand that incorporates a community of like-minded people was extremely difficult before the NFT space existed. Owners of Catharsis Tokens will not only have a say in the company’s direction, aesthetic, and pieces, but they will also directly benefit from their input, whether financially or otherwise. The brand will also allow creatives and artists to connect with and collaborate with people they might not have met otherwise. The Catharsis Design team also wants to provide resources, funding, and support for new and young artists trying to break through the clutter of the art world. Their long-term goal is to create open-access communal art studio spaces around the world.
To view the new NFT [Drop 0.1] ring collection from Catharsis Design, you can connect with them on OpenSea.