written by Maurice Cardinal …
What a Difference a Day Makes – on heavy rotation in NFT Q2/23.
It was only yesterday that visual artists and musicians everywhere were jumping up and down over the excitement of NFT and Digital Art! Today we’re arguing over the merits of art and artificial intelligence – Ai, and arguing is putting it lightly.
It didn’t take long though for social media sites like Twitter to kill the NFT party. Greed does it every time. Twitter is now a sliver compared to its former art self in 2021 during the heat of the pump and dump crypto feeding frenzy … AKA the Great NFT CRYPTO Robbery we’ve all heard about ad nauseum.
If you’re an ARTIST, ART COLLECTOR, or GALLERY, read on and I’ll share a few secrets about how to leverage a very challenging modern day art dilemma.
The GOOD NEWS is that a large portion of the manipulators have disappeared, and with them the empty promises they made to young artists desperate to do anything to be noticed. In all fairness though, it wasn’t only inexperienced artists getting fleeced.
It was frustrating for experienced working artists to watch the carnage and to not be able to effectively warn their colleagues, young or old.
Many of us tried, repeatedly.
Unfortunately, challenges like this happen at least once in each art generation. Back in the day conARTISTS used to buy ads on matchbook covers and comic books baiting wannabe artists with “Do You Have Artistic Talent? Take the Test Here!”
Early NFT leveraged the same type of manipulation.
Thankfully, NFT has settled in to become a more stable platform for experienced working artists who already know how to manage art promotion. Artists with at least a decade of experience recognize the opportunity, and now that Twitter Kids have flown the coop, pro artists are swooping in to find a safe place to roost and leverage the energy.
ART CONNECTIONS are STILL the HOLY GRAIL … as always.
NFT is a long game, but so many new artists were getting crypto rich overnight in the frenzy, that for a while, everyone forgot how life really works, i.e., There are no free lunches. If it looks like a scam, it is.
It’s promising to see more pro artists enter the arena, and to see the refreshing ideas they are developing respective of using NFT to increase their visibility in the traditional art market. NFT is a perfect tool to use as leverage. Granted, the overnight big 5,000% ROI payouts that some of us saw are long gone, but no matter. It’s a new day.
I wrote about Traditional Galleries and NFT during the frenzy, and while most of the advice I shared is still on target, some things have changed.
For most art collectors, NFT is no longer just a standalone tool. It now signifies expression across a much larger backdrop. We’re at the stage now where if you don’t have an NFT presence, you will have a hard time convincing truly progressive collectors to look your way.
Traditionalists are still purists who prefer canvas and paint or fine art film photography, but they are quickly losing market share and visibility even in their world of galleries and curators. There will always be a market of course for traditional fine art from analog artists, but the rules have changed even in that venue.
German photo-media artist Boris Eldagsen submitted an Ai image, PSEUDOMNESIA (below) in the Sony World Photography Awards, and ignited a furor when it won. He admitted after he won that it was Ai.
If you’re a traditional artist, it’s in your best interest to make it clear to prospective art buyers that you’re authentic, and that you create genuine physical art.
If you don’t differentiate, art collectors will confuse you with digital artists. Manipulators love the confusion, and not only leverage it, they create it too because it makes it easy for them to prey on artists and art collectors.
If you don’t know why identifying your work as AUTHENTIC is important today, watch this GPT-4 + Midjourney V5 video about Artificial Intelligence ART.
Modern art collectors love to see growth and maturity develop in the market, and NFT illustrates it clearly. It sends a message that an artist is progressive, with an eye to the future. A forward-thinking artist has a better chance of watching their value grow if they demonstrate to collectors that they are here for more than just the moment.
Collectors want to know that an artist has a plan.
Amidst all this new celebratory feeling though, there is a bit of a challenge for artists entering the NFT world. To start, it’s harder and more complicated than it was yesterday.
What a difference a day makes.
Is there a SECRET?
Of course, although as more and more experienced artists adopt NFT strategies it’s becoming less of a secret than it was yesterday–think of it as a connection strategy.
Here’s the magic elixir that experienced artists need in order to leverage NFT effectively.
First, have a plan, and make it realistic. The same rules of psychology apply regardless of whether it’s traditional analog or digital art. People are people. We still buy art for mostly the same reasons.
Secondly, get over yourself, quickly. The competition is so fierce today compared to yesterday that if you don’t know how everything connects and where you fit into the equation, you’ll be left floundering in a sea of noise.
Write your story, and incorporate your vision into it. Build your image.
Tell your NFT story using video.
A well produced video is the most cost-effective way to attract attention today.
My Vintage HOT ROD Pholotography46 project in the video below is based on a camera hack and style of shooting I developed using one camera, one lens, and one click. It is NOT graphically Photoshopped or created with Ai prompts. It’s authentic digital photography, but if you don’t share your unique vision and technique with art collectors, they simply won’t know what they are seeing.
Add your video to every platform you have, and use it as your main calling card. Send your video to every art gallery and curator you can find. Everyone loves to watch a great art video, and the more interesting it is, the longer they watch.
Choose the right NFT platform to host your art. It’s way harder to do today than it looks, so research like your career depends on it. Make a bad decision at this step and it will soon fall apart.
NFT is not the Holy Grail. That ship sailed long ago. NFT is also not a get rich quick scheme. Except for conARTISTS, it never was, and by now everyone knows it.
What a difference a day makes.
Create NFT to represent your style. Don’t change your style to match NFT. Manipulators convinced inexperienced artists to reinvent themselves because it’s an easy way to pump false hope. Don’t fall for it. Do what you do best and make the dog wag the tail.
CONNECT with progressive contemporary art galleries that get it. Don’t waste your time trying to convince a gallery or curator to get in the NFT market. If they haven’t adopted the NFT mindset by now, they will only slow you down. You can’t afford to wait for anyone to catch up. Most traditional contemporary galleries don’t realize it yet, but they can still be the central player … if they want it, and only if they create a platform that is easy for artists to use. Artists and galleries need each other more than ever.
It costs more money to get involved today than it did yesterday. You can’t bootstrap NFT as easily as it happened last year. Now that most of the amateur, part time hobby artists have left, the standing competition, are mostly pros.
There are more things to know before you adopt NFT, but maybe the best piece of advice is to be realistic. There is no magic bean. It’s still all about hard work, unique vision, and most of all connections–who you know.
Artists believed that all they had to do was create a community, get followers, and get rich. The hard part though is managing a community. It’s why partnering with a gallery is so important. Yes, there are exceptions, and you can develop your own community, but it takes a lot of time, effort, and money, and if you’re doing that, when do you create art?
What a difference a day makes.