written by Maurice Cardinal …
It’s not your NFT, it’s YOU.
You’re living in a way back headspace.
If you think of NFT the same way you think about traditional art–you’re probably not gonna make it.
Unrealistic expectations can also mean ngmi.
NFT is not spelled L O T T E R Y
The reality, is that NFT makes it harder to find and sell great art.
NFT was never designed to replace art. It was meant to supplement the options that artists and art collectors already have in the market respective of distribution and authenticity. All that other stuff was randomly piled on top by hucksters who prey on fragile and trusting souls–the reason people love artists.
NFT wasn’t expressly designed to make artists rich overnight. And although it’s true that some have scored big-time within months, first impressions can be deceiving. When you consider the very large volume of artists who are taking the NFT leap of faith, it’s statistically feasible that some early adopters will do extraordinarily well on hype alone. NFT in some respects is like gambling. You always hear when a gambler hits a jackpot, but you never hear how much they lost. Same principle applies here, we only share what makes us look smart, and also only hear what we want to hear.
NFT FRACTIONALIZED the art market and broke it into hundreds and maybe even thousands of small sub-sectors. Even though it now looks like artists have cohesive communities, what we actually have are highly competitive cliques–as in, my Discord, DAO, and network are more popular than yours. Artists now spend more of their time collecting PUMPERS than they do creating art. Have you noticed that the leaders of some of these so-called art communities are the only ones making money? Granted, the leaders throw the pack dogs a bone occasionally in a value-your-volunteer fashion, but at the end of the day not everyone can be a winner. Choose your artist and community carefully.
NFT has polarized artists faster than covid masks have divided nations, which is to be expected when we now have so many categories of art. Paradoxically, Twitter is now full of artists who are heatedly critical of other artists.
Almost everyone thinks their art category is better than all the other categories. You can hear it in their blatant and also passive aggressive attacks on other artists and styles. Extremists shout out that NFT is now the only art medium that matters, while traditionalists yell that NFT is a sell-out to real art!
Most artists though are too intimidated to say anything and wonder how new NFT art opportunities will roll out over the long term. It is these quiet, contemplative artists who are conscripted into Discord and DAO communities to do all the heavy lifting based on a very anemic promise that a rising tide lifts all boats. The reality is that the leader of the DAO is the Captain of a Yacht while all the faithful followers float aimlessly in the middle of the data ocean on rafts.
Here’s how the value of NFT community works; Basically, which means this is a simplified overview, you, the artist, start a Discord account linked to Twitter and also attached to your NFT host. You sell one piece for a nominal fee, and then you entice the buyer to pump it up in their channels about the great find they just scored. The buyer has a vested interest. If enough hype is pumped into the NFT, the value goes up for the buyer and artist, and at some point, if all goes well the buyer can flip it for a profit while the artist makes a residual income from the secondary sale. Buyers feel like they are part of an altruistic movement that helps artists as well as themselves, but at the end of the day, it is artists who benefit the most. More often than not, the buyer’s piece has zero liquidity, which means it has no value because no one will buy it. The fallback for a buyer to save face and protect their investment is that they become a HODLER and not a FLIPPER, which means they will sit on their NFT and hold it until a future date when it might be worth something.
Therein lies the Classic Collector’s Conundrum.
A NFT has to be as hot tomorrow as it is today.
It’s classic Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn where Tom Sawyer fooled all his friends into whitewashing Aunt Polly’s fence.
It’s based on the perceived fear of missing out–FOMO.
NFT has changed nothing respective of human psychology.
Fear is still, and always will be a powerful motivator.
Your NFT went wrong when you decided to be a follower instead of a leader.
Check out Justin Aversano if you want to see how to do COMMUNITY PROPERLY – he’s the NFT PHOTO master!
The question today for high end art collectors is; Do you, a busy executive have time to cheerlead an artist’s career? Rah, rah, wah? The question for artists is; Do you have the time and energy to design and launch such an enterprising leadership campaign, and to also manage it in perpetuity? We’ll see.
A gallery’s 30-50% cut might start to look promising again for some artists.
Some NFT communities deceptively refer to themselves as blue chip projects. Blue chip however, has very strict legal parameters, and if you don’t attain these benchmarks, you’re not blue chip. If you make a false claim regarding a PUBLIC COMPANY, the SEC would be all over you faster than gas on NFT. You’d go to jail or be substantially fined if you whitewashed yourself as Blue Chip and it were not true.
NFT is still the wild west where pumpers and gangsters get away with anything.
Blue chip refers to high end fine art, which ironically, is the one of the main problems NFT is supposed to fix.
Blue chip art is where all the money laundering happens, yet here we are building and floating that leaky boat again.
Your NFT went wrong when you failed to recognize exactly how you fit into the overall equation.
Artists everywhere have criticized traditional galleries for playing a blue-chip game that locks out emerging artists. Its not a secret that galleries play both ends against the middle. The reality however is that contemporary art galleries provide services that artists are either not capable of providing, or have no interest doing–enter Discord and DAO, because somebody has to do it. Art does not sell itself, especially now that there are so many truly great artists flooding the market with incredibly great art!
NFT does not automatically separate you from the herd.
NFT is more likely to get you lost in the dust.
Artists now have to play the role of galleries, and it’s not going smoothly.
If it wasn’t so economically sad and heartbreaking, it would be funny to watch artists pretend to know how to sell their art. Their pithy, sweet aphorisms roll off their keyboards like children critiquing art in kindergarten. HINT: Reverse psychology only works on kids, and it usually only works once. Also, when a collector says they want to know all about you, they’re usually not talking about the good stuff. They want to know what makes you different, and that means you need to volunteer your quirks, and not that you like chocolate.
If traditional art galleries were smart, they’d also embrace NFT, but instead most are acting like newspaper publishers back in the day that thought the internet would never impact their business model. Craigslist soon set them straight by destroying newspapers’ biggest money-maker, the Buy & Sell ads!
Artists are being manipulated based on false pretense.
One misleading Field of Dreams promise that just won’t die is; All an artist has to do is mint a NFT piece, and it will sell.
The messages about NFT are so convoluted that no one knows who to trust anymore, especially considering that most of the messages come from anonymous players. When was the last time you trusted someone hiding behind a mask? Oh yeah, it was a faceless corporation. How did that work out for you?
One of the initial selling features of NFT was that it would replace corrupt galleries, yet here we are with NFT players building physical NFT art galleries using the same, real-world storefront corporate configurations. It’s hypocritical to criticize a business model and then build one almost exactly like it. Art galleries need more transparency, not less. NFT galleries are tools better suited for the metaverse where anonymity is the default position. The challenge though is that NFT artists are slowly figuring out that artists buying the work of other artists won’t be enough, so they now have to pursue the real art market, and real art collectors who are much more experienced and art smart.
Business Insider: “Despite his background of “traditional” art, [Trevor] Jones predicts this wave of NFT artists could defunct the longstanding art market. This digital art market is only getting warmed up and it could quite easily take over the $67 billion (physical) art market in the not too distant future … ”
I hear you Trevor. I love your art and wish your prediction were true, but it’s a bold statement to make by someone with your influence without supporting evidence. Sure, maybe NFT will takeover, in ten years. It took Apple fifteen years to impact the computer market, and it took Amazon twenty years to upend the book market. NFT might compress the time, but it won’t happen overnight or next year.
Hype ramps up excitement and blinds trusting artists to the reality of the NFT market. The common-sense truth is that the $67 billion traditional art market and all the contemporary art masters and galleries who built it are not going to simply rollover–not in a billion years. Instead, they will fight back to protect their hard-won market share. If they didn’t, their partners, affiliates, and investors would sue them blind. The reality is that the NFT CryptoArt market is still very tiny in comparison to traditional art. Know your numbers!
Unfortunately, artists hear numbers coming from the NFT gambling and gamification camps, and think it applies to artists. It doesn’t, not at all, but artists are like everyone else and often only hear what they want to hear.
NFT was supposed to deliver Art Utopia, but for the most part so far, it’s dystopic on a philosophical, bureaucratic, and corporate level. Legal issues and intellectual property rights are Byzantine to say the least.
Your NFT also probably went wrong when you confused real art with PFP generative art created by a computer. PFP, profile picture art, aka avatars, are more gambling than art, which means that if you don’t recognize the difference, you’ll have an impossible time positioning your NFT properly.
Some NFT generative art is outstanding and already historical, like the amazing work of Dmitri Cherniak, but be careful that you’re not marketing apples when you’re really selling oranges. The rules for one do not apply to the other, but we see it happen every day.
Crossover confusion is where a lot of NFTs go wrong.
Most artists are listening to the wrong advice.
Artists need art advice, not gambling tips.
Beware of hucksters and conARTISTS.
The real question is, who pays Beanie and his sidekick ArtChick, but everyone is scared to ask and instead they put up with all the shitposting by the two, which is primarily designed to drive engagement and attract followers.
Also, be careful that you’re not unconditionally accepting advice from your competition. Other artists in a million years are not going to give you ALL the inside information you need in order to be successful. They gladly share generic information, but they are not going to freely give away and explain the secrets that put them in first place. For example, most artists don’t realize that successful NFT projects often buy their own work back to elevate their scarcity and drive up the interest and value. They pretend it’s solely a move to support the art community, and it is in part, but it’s mostly to manipulate prices. The profit goes back into the projects’ coffers, not the community.
Although it’s harder to do today, a number of NFT artists also secretly partner with anonymous buyers to buy the artist’s work, which also has the same affect regarding scarcity and value. Anonymity makes this scam easily possible, and it is one reason why geek gods want you to hide behind exosuits and pseudonyms. It makes it easier for conARTISTS to hide in plain sight.
If you gauge the success of your CryptoArt NFT against STAR PLAYERS or GAMBLING NFTs, your ngmi.
If your NFT has gone wrong, you can get it back on track by aligning with organizations that are not actively competing with you in the art market. Use common sense and reach out to companies and organizations that have a history of helping artists in non-biased ways–like us at iAD365, the home of International Artist Day. We’re mostly neutral, and sometimes when we aren’t, we make it clear up front. No masks at iAD!
It sounds altruistic for an artist or art collector active in the industry to mentor hundreds and maybe even thousands of artists, but it’s often woefully misleading and flat-out conflict of interest. Mentoring is best one-on-one.
One last point, if your NFT went wrong, make sure you’re mostly following REAL Art Collectors, not other artists competing for the same space and pretending to be collectors. Sun Tzu advised “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” but he didn’t say that you should naively take advice from your competition–that would be a fool’s game.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
In NFT communities, a smart artist doesn’t have to do the heavy hype lifting because followers will do it for them just for the value of association. In the past, galleries had to pay tens of thousands for this type of pump. Today, community friends of the artists carry it for free. The incentive to PUMP is huge for the buyer who doesn’t want to get stuck with a piece from an artist who might not have staying power. Think of all the one-hit music wonders who lucked into a Top 10 hit, but could never reproduce their initial hit and instead faded from the market as fast as they appeared. The trick and value, is to be able to repeat your success. If an artist can’t consistently deliver the same but different, they’re not a good bet and ngmi.