written by Maurice Cardinal …
NFT Fantasy vs Reality
The NFT market has twisted 180 since last December–seven months ago.
Many factors caused the flip, including covid still infecting people, costs from the pandemic escalating, inflation, interest rates rising, recession, and the resulting crypto trough.
A perfect storm threw NFT into an imperfect tailspin.
Since December 2021, NFT has gone from toxic positivity euphoria and WAGMI, to threads of depression and suicidal rantings. Artists are literally signing off of Twitter to save their sanity. Many have not returned, and in their place a fourth wave of NFT hopefuls appeared asking the same questions newbies asked almost two years ago.
It feels like Groundhog Day all over again!
The reality is that the TRADITIONAL ART WORLD, like KING KONG, is not about to ROLL OVER for NFT, or automatically roll it into the mix. If artists want power over their careers, they’ll have to take it, but before they do it’s highly recommended that they have a plan to replace the OLD STAR SYSTEM.
You’ll also have to compete with guys like Guy Oseary, crowned NFT KING by Variety Magazine … what did you think would happen?
SMART people, also see the benefit in NFT, and Guy, who manages Madonna, U2, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is one of the smartest and connected cats on the tour.
If you just arrived, you’re no longer early. You’re not late either. You’re now just another player, which, relatively speaking, is a good place to be if you have prior experience in the traditional world of art and music promotion. Half a year ago newbie artists were ready to take down, by force, every corporation and major record label in sight, and rule the world in PINKY and the BRAIN style!
Angry and ranting artists are now wondering how to survive, and how to promote their NFT art. I feel ya, we all do, but art promotion is turning into too many cheesy art contests masquerading as faux gamification. I also managed and advised major acts–one had a string of twenty Top 10 & #1 crossover HITS over a two decade span. Plus, I’ve been a real activist for almost twenty years, so I recognize when someone is genuine about changing society, compared to when they are posing for the camera. Too many here are posing, and it’s not good enough, or a good look for artists.
Today, professional artists with experience have the floor.
On the flip side of crypto, a few are building feverishly, us included.
While new NFT artists fret, experienced traditional artists in the real world are killing it. As soon as art galleries re-opened, pent up real world art collector frustration over-flowed into buying sprees. Many traditional canvas painters sold unprecedented volume over the last few months. It was expected, but the initial rush ended quickly with slow-pokes now scrambling to move pieces gathering dust in their closets. There are still deals to be had though, and art collectors to have them, so don’t lose faith.
A few experienced artists have also figured out how to use the new excitement of NFT to improve the visibility of their traditional work, and they’re scoring on both platforms–using one to leverage the other, a time-tested tradition in art.
We ran an experiment over several months and learned that even the most inexperienced abstract artist, if they leverage NFT energy properly, can rapidly increase their visibility across the board, which is the secret sauce in a market over-saturated with artists. I helped a relatively new artist increase their canvas value from about $400 to $3,000 simply because they were playing in the NFT space. When traditional collectors saw it, they responded quickly to buy her canvas paintings, especially after we scored a major feature article in a regional newspaper–Web2, meet Web3! The trick is to leverage the momentum and build it higher, which also takes considerable skill. Thankfully, it’s learnable if you have time, if not, like the pros, you can also contract someone with PR experience.
Promotion is EVERYTHING in a saturated art market!
Perspective, is everything else.
The consistent NFT winners today are mostly experienced full time visual artists and musicians, and most of them are using a hybridized form of NFT and community. The smart ones are doing it their way by leveraging Web2 against Web3. The transition I described several months ago is now happening rapidly.
Compared to the “mix” of real life and virtual, there are however, still not many NATIVE NFT projects being developed. Tellingly though, too many artists mistakenly think they are native and pure play. The reality is that if you also operate in the real world, which is a smart choice at this stage, you can’t be considered an NFT purist–sorry. No one yet has figured out how to become a NATIVE NFT STAR–visual or music, but a few are close!
On the GOOD NEWS side, many of the NFT conARTISTS have been exposed, some even doxed, and for the most part, are now ignored or ridiculed. The big question today, that I first asked in Q2 is; Why are NFT “influencers” STILL building huge, and expensive-to-maintain social media communities, if not to provide or sell liquidity during a dump?
It’s hard to know whom to trust. ART CRITICISM, a bygone base for trusted perspective, is unfortunately, also very rapidly falling out of favor. Except for conARTISTS pumping and dumping, no one cares what a third party, who doesn’t even create art, thinks about art. It’s not surprising that even famous traditional art critics like @JerrySaltz, with hundreds of thousands of followers, is desperately shifting from art to politics. He’s also re-hashing old info into a new book in order to stay relevant in his centric art world that grows more inconsequential every day. It’s like watching a turtleneck sweater slowly choke your drooling grandpa while he naps.
A few whales are also charging through, pretending to not notice the trough, while a few others are making up flimsy excuses to keep the herd together.
Most manipulators though, pulled way back.
A few NFT hustlers still sneakily operate under a new brand, or brands, of which sooner than later, they will be RE-exposed. Some are SHADY LADY influencers who exclusively target women. One positive aspect regarding all this bad actor stuff, is that everyone can see who follows conARTISTS, so it makes it easier to know whom to trust. Birds-of-a-feather-virus is alive and well in NFT land. Heaven forbid if you support manipulators today, because that stuff, lives online forever. Gender and thirst traps are waning, but still popular and always will be.
If you want to covertly keep an eye on crypto crooks, set up a PRIVATE Twitter LIST so it doesn’t look like you support their manipulative campaigns. Twitter can be a powerful corporate espionage tool when used correctly.
On the REALLY GOOD NEWS side, a small handful of trustworthy operators are building art communities that will, in the near future, be absolutely focused on 1/1 NFT art, and it is these communities that will be first in line for new releases of emerging artists.
In spite of all the negativity floating around on Twitter, there’s a growing community of professional art entities quietly developing realistic NFT strategies at VERY LARGE SCALE–like Guy above. These art powerhouses don’t rely on Twitter, and instead invest in websites and blogs so they can control the message. Artists are also learning that it makes no sense to GIVE a social media site so much of your energy, especially when they don’t return the respect.
Don’t put all your NFT promotion in one basket–diversify.
Large companies are now being drawn into NFT and the METAVERSE!
In Q3 2022, it’s also becoming increasingly difficult to identify BOTS, most of which instill FUD and FOMO. In many cases BOTS START HEATED DEBATES with real people who have no clue they are arguing with an Ai machine controlled by a manipulative corporation. You can’t even warn artists, because if you do, the bots target you. It’s a brilliant move on Twitter’s part to keep everyone in line–that’s sarcasm btw. Bots are NOT benign and are owned by corporations that pay heavily for social media services.
Underneath all the recent chaos, collaborations and partnerships are developing between experimental NFT orgs and large progressive companies that now feel like they have enough knowledge to safely and cost-effectively get in the crypto game–again, like Guy above. NFT purists don’t like it, but realists, like you know who, see opportunity. BTW, most corporations are NOT bad, so get over the caustic stereotype. Also, I prefer the word “purist” over “extremist”.
Purists make a lot of noise, but unfortunately they don’t do much to advance the Web3 equality cause, or, how they put it, the REVOLUTION! As Cy Coben wrote decades ago, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
As “I” say today …
NFT is FIRE, but it won’t light its own WICK!
After almost two years, there is STILL NOT an official/unofficial activism group lobbying realistically and effectively for Web3 equality. Granted, there is a mosquito fleet, but not an armada strong enough to make a difference. There is also not an organized educational co-op developing or instilling and facilitating standardized NFT guidelines. Instead, there are millions of people yelling at each other on Twitter pretending that they know the answers, and that their answers are the right answers.
Manipulators love and generate this chaos because it provides touchpoints for them to turn it into order. Creating chaos is a well-documented Web2 compliance strategy and philosophy.
Interestingly, the companies that seem to be doing a good job educating users, are the crypto and blockchain companies, which is a start, but it does little to help artists at a base level. The money crowd gets it, artists, not so much.
I predicted a couple of years ago that we’d soon see partnerships and buyouts between established NFT platforms and large corporations. The one that surprised many of us recently was between KnownOrigin’s NFT platform and eBay. It’s a classic amalgamation that occurs when a company stalls, or they are fearful of something even worse. KO is not the first, or will they be the last, just maybe the most memorable, and a rude awakening for many artists who immediately wondered about their files now being controlled by such a powerful corporation. Even though eBay tacitly promotes over-consumption and what many believe to be a major cause of climate change, it is an auction site and an interesting fit for NFT Traders.
Here’s my first video to help artists understand NFT and COLLABORATION
There is no doubt that some NFT collaborations won’t work. There are however really great projects that will not only advance and improve NFT, but also favorably impact the real world and society in general.
iADX365 is developing rapidly in this area.
If you’re frustrated and trying to sort out the confusion, shoot me a message with your questions