If you think back to just 18 months ago it would seem improbable that a tweet would sell for just under $3 million. Yet in March this year the founder of twitter, Jack Dorsey, sold his first ever tweet for that large sum, cementing the fact that NFTs Fwere big business and here to stay.
But away from the dizzy heights of tech entrepreneurs selling a few words for millions, what is the impact NFTs are having on more modest creators? To understand the process, we at Loudly commissioned four Berlin based artists to create their own NFTs and explain the journey and experiences with us. Here we share the experiences the artists had.
Creators take control
For many artists NFTs mean that they are now able to control the entire creative and commercial process. This element is hugely appealing as it had not been possible using traditional avenues such as galleries, shows etc... for the artist to have full say over the selling process. For the first time creators have seen a shift in power balance towards them and they can choose how and when they sell their works, what prices for and how frequently they produce pieces.
Schirin Negahbani , is one of the artists who worked with Loudly to create an NFT in September 2021, she said: “I'm super happy about the attention and appreciation my digital art got through NFTs. For a digital artist, this opens up many opportunities to share & sell your art, and hopefully make a living from it. It enables everyone with access to the internet and digital assets to create and sell NFTs, which does seem to offer more equality than other systems.”
Artists now have more options in terms of ownership. There are different levels of ownership that they can choose from. For example, a buyer can take full rights of a NFT or creators can still have a certain amount of rights if they so choose.
Like any technology there will always be teething problems. We found one of the artists’ biggest challenges was the upfront costs such as gas fees - the sum required by the platform for the creator to pay to upload their piece. Additionally, there is also the unpredictability of fluctuating crypto currency costs. Our artists decided to delay uploading their pieces when ready until the price had decreased. Of course, having the flexibility to do this means you can take advantage of lower rates however for some the delay may not be possible as they are reliant on the sale for income.
Choosing a platform isn’t as straightforward as it seems too. Many of the more ‘exclusive’ companies that facilitate the purchasing of NFTs are invitation only. Once a creator gains access they can benefit from an established and well-funded audience - making it easier to sell their works quicker. But it’s not always easy to get in. Artists need to get their name out there and network in order to be considered for the well-known platforms, which can take time.
Adding creative layers
One of the advantages of having a digital work is that creators can add texture, emotion and cultural elements that can only elevate the inherent artistry. For the artists we worked with it was important to add music.
However, acquiring music rights is complicated and expensive. With NFTs in their infancy there is a lack of regulation on ownership and contracts, and it can get complicated to understand who owns what and the revenue split.
NFT creators therefore require easy, cost-effective music solutions which they can tap into which protect their independence, their creativity and allows them to earn revenues without the headache of rights infringement or payment infrastructure associated with the recurring sales pattern of NFTs and collectibles art. This is why we created Loudly - it’s an AI powered music engine where users can generate original Royalty-Free music soundtracks in minutes. The tracks can be selected using a number of different fields to ensure that the music is exactly what’s needed and won’t compromise the artist’s vision for their piece.
One of our artists Gabriel Massan said: “I used Loudly to add to the atmosphere of my piece. It really elevated my work to another place and it allowed me to remain independent and not worry about copyright. Creating NFTs is a revolution. Today I find myself in a much more independent and secure place.”
The NFT experience has been really interesting to witness. Gabriel sold his piece within a day and another artist within four days, showing there is a huge demand for digital artwork. We see this as incredibly positive, at Loudly’s core is our desire to support independent creators with a great music solution. To have such a popular platform shift the balance and create more opportunities for artists is truly exciting and more importantly one that really benefits the creators.