NFT art has been making headlines across industries for months straight. Thus, it comes as no surprise that many want to know how to create NFT art, how to sell, buy, and what not! Some are in it for the money, hoping to make a break like Beeple did with his record $69 million sales (unfortunately, that doesn’t happen every day). On the other hand, some others are fascinated by all that NFTs offer and simply want to become a part of this ever-growing community of artists, collectors, creators, and more.
Whatever may be your reasons, if you wish to create your own NFT art but don’t know where to begin, this guide is for you. From the benefits of selling NFTs to choosing an NFT marketplace and pricing your NFTs, we have got it all covered!
But, first things first; what’s an NFT?
What is an NFT?
NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are unique digital assets representing digital or real-world objects, whose ownership is stored on a blockchain. These are non-fungible, meaning, they cannot be exchanged with one another, as we do with fiat or cryptocurrencies. In layman’s terms, think of them as a one-of-a-kind art piece—say Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. No matter how many copies of the artwork exists, there will only be one original that da Vinci painstakingly created, which will come with an authenticity certificate.
Essentially, NFTs are pretty similar to such traditional artefacts, but, instead of the real world, they exist in the digital realm. These are unique, cannot be copied, or destroyed. Furthermore, as ownership and transaction details are stored on the blockchain, anyone can easily verify the authenticity of a piece.
As an artist or creator, selling your art as NFT has plenty of benefits. For one, you can claim a percentage of royalties every time the NFT art is sold in the future. Secondly, unlike the traditional art market, you don’t have to rely on a third party to get your piece sold or pay auction houses and art galleries to exhibit your piece. With NFT art, you can do it on your own with a few clicks and keep the expenditure minimum. Moreover, through NFT marketplaces, you also get access to buyers from across the globe.
Now that we have got the basics down, let’s dive right into everything you’d need to create your NFT art:
- Choose the right blockchain
- Setup a crypto wallet
- Buy crypto
- Create NFT art
- Price your NFT
- Choose a marketplace to list your NFT
- Mint your NFT
What you need to get started
Since NFTs are authenticated on the blockchain, digital artwork alone is not sufficient to create your NFT. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
Choose your blockchain wisely
As mentioned before, blockchains are at the heart of NFTs. Thus, before you hop on the NFT bandwagon, it is crucial to understand the pros and cons of different blockchains. The Ethereum blockchain, for instance, is home to the majority of NFT and DeFi projects and has been dominating the industry. However, due to higher network activity, the gas fees on the blockchain are much higher. Additionally, while Ethereum has superior security features and is more reliable, it has greater energy consumption and low scalability.
Polygon, meanwhile, is an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution that offers low gas fees, fast transactions, low energy consumption, and higher scalability. Immutable X is another layer-2 solution that offers scalability and gasless transactions. Similarly, Solana is fast, scalable, and enables cheaper transactions. However, its mainnet is currently in beta and is less decentralized compared to Ethereum. Tezos too offers gasless transactions and is popular for music projects.
An important thing to note here is that each blockchain has its own token standard and only supports certain wallets and NFT marketplaces. For example, if you create your NFT art on a Tezos blockchain, you won’t be able to sell it on marketplaces that do not support Tezos.
Set up a crypto wallet
The first thing you need before you set out to create your NFT art is a crypto wallet, where you will store your NFTs and cryptocurrencies. An important factor you have to keep in mind while choosing a wallet is whether it is compatible with your NFTs and the NFT marketplace you will use to trade your NFTs.
Broadly, crypto/NFT wallets are classified into software or hardware wallets. While the former is a digital wallet and stores your NFTs online, hardware wallets are physical wallets that stores NFTs offline, making them more secure. Some of the most common wallets are MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Enjin, and Coinbase wallet. If you want to know more about these wallets, you can check out our detailed guide on crypto wallets.
Buy crypto from an exchange
On most NFT marketplaces, you have to pay some “gas fees” to mint your NFTs. These are the fees paid to miners to process and validate transactions on the blockchain (Here’s when these gas fees are the cheapest). Thus, you need to buy some cryptocurrency from an exchange to cover this cost. However, make sure it corresponds with the blockchain and marketplace you will use.
Additionally, if you’re selling NFTs through Polygon, you may need to use a bridge. A bridge is a connection that enables the transfer of assets from one blockchain to another. It is a common mistake to send your crypto to the wrong address. If you do this, then your crypto is pretty much lost forever.
How to create NFT art
Now that you have all the essential items to mint your NFT, it’s time to create your NFTs. With all this info, it might seem like creating NFTs is a daunting task. But it’s easier than you think. Let’s look at the different ways in which you can create NFT art.
No coding skills? No worries!
For simple NFT art, you don’t need any coding skills and can easily mint them on several NFT marketplaces. OpenSea and Rarible are your best options for this. While OpenSea is the world’s largest NFT marketplace, Rarible is the sixth leading marketplace in terms of all-time sales volume. Both platforms allow anyone to create all sorts of NFTs—digital art, music, collectibles, and more.
Additionally, they support adding properties as well as unlockable content to your NFTs. Unlockable content is content the buyer can see (or “unlock”) only after the NFT is sold and they get the ownership. This includes high-resolution files, behind-the-scenes videos, concert tickets, signed merch, and more.
Another feature that makes both sites highly favorable for creators is lazy minting. In lazy minting, you don’t mint the NFTs the moment you create them, as is the case normally. Instead, it is minted during purchase. This means that instead of you, the buyer pays the transaction fees. Rarible introduced this feature only last month, saying, “we’re excited to further lower the entry barrier for NFT creators from all over the world.”
NiftyKit is another great no-code way to launch an NFT art collection. This is a SaaS (Software as a service) platform, where you can mint directly on both Ethereum and Polygon.
Other ways to create NFT art and Collectibles
Is it a must to be an artist to create NFT art? Not at all! If you’re not an artist but still want to create NFT art you can hire an artist and a developer to get the work done for you. This may make you wonder: why do you need a developer?
Well, for simple NFT art, you don’t. A developer is necessary if you want to make generative art NFTs, which is becoming increasingly common. Collectibles like Superlative Secret Society, 0n1 Force, Animetas are all generative art NFTs. Here, developers use algorithms to create a set of unique artworks from a source art and a set of constraints. In this way, you can create tens of thousands of combinations.
Furthermore, you’ll need the help of a developer if you have a project with complex smart contracts, meaning, ones that have complex conditions on the purchase. If you want to create games or interactive communities, as with the Bored Ape Yacht Club or Galaxy Fight Club, you’ll require a developer.
Where to find a developer and an artist
There are several freelancing websites, such as Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork, where you can hire an NFT artist or developer. Discord is another great option to find artists and developers. If none of these options work for you, you can look for digital artists and developers you or your friends know.
However, no matter where you hire the artist and developer from, watch out for scams! These days, plenty of artists and developers, especially in the NFT industry, use pseudonyms. As you may not know who is authentic, self-doxxing is good. Additionally, research industry prices for freelance designers and developers beforehand, so that you don’t get overcharged. Also, make them tell you exactly how much they need for what they are doing.
How to create a listing for your NFTs: Which marketplace is best?
Now that you have your NFT art ready, it’s time to mint it and put it up for sale. For this, you need an NFT marketplace that supports the blockchain of your choice. Here are some of the top NFT marketplaces to create NFT art:
OpenSea, the first peer-to-peer marketplace, has the most mainstream following. So far, it has generated $10.4 billion in sales volume (at the time of writing). As of now, it supports blockchains Ethereum, Polygon, and Klatyn. As mentioned before, it allows code-free minting, and is user-friendly, especially for newcomers.
Here, you can sell your NFTs either via a fixed-price listing or an auction. For auctions, you can choose either of the two types: sell to the highest bidder or sell with a declining price. In the former, the highest bidder wins the NFT and in the latter, the price falls until someone buys the piece.
Rarible is another popular NFT marketplace and has amassed around $264 million in sales volume to date. If you don’t use the lazy minting feature, then you will have to front the costs to mint. It allows code-free minting, offers a simple and attractive interface, and has good customer service. Here, you can ‘put it on sale’ to receive bids or set an ‘instant sale price’ where the NFT will be sold at a fixed price.
If your blockchain of choice is Solana, you can check out SolSea, a fast-growing open NFT marketplace on Solana. Here you can mint and list NFTs at low costs and high transaction speeds. It also claims to be the first marketplace to allow creators to embed copyright-licenses while minting their NFTs. While it does not support auctions and bidding at this time, the feature is in development.
Pricing your NFT: How much should you charge for your NFT art?
For different blockchains, you have to pay different upfront costs. While blockchains that follow the proof of work protocol is slow and expensive, they are safer and more trustworthy. OG collections like Rare Pepe on Bitcoin and CryptoPunks on Ethereum are some popular examples. On the other hand, while proof of stake blockchains are faster and cheaper, they are newer and hence, less trusted. Additionally, due to the cheap fees, they are rife with bots. Some examples of these blockchains are Polygon, Tezos, Solana, and Cardano.
When it comes to gas fees, you must follow the golden rule: don’t mint the NFT art when the gas fee is higher than the artwork itself. Another important factor to consider while pricing your NFT is its rarity and scarcity. This means, if your NFT is a 1/1 unique edition or comes in less supply, you can price it higher. More traits for the NFT also warrant a higher price. Many NFT projects also offer extra benefits for holders such as membership benefits, metaverse land, exclusive merch, and events, among others. In such scenarios too, you can price your NFT higher.
Nonetheless, if you are new to the NFT industry, it’s better to start at a lower price. Once you have established yourself, you can increase your prices.
After You Create Your NFT, it’s Time to Mint
Each marketplace will have its own steps to mint NFTs. Here are the basic steps you have to follow:
- Create a digital file of your NFT art and make sure the file format is supported by your marketplace of choice.
- Create an account on the marketplace, connect your wallet, and click the create option (top right corner for OpenSea and Rarible).
- Upload your file, give a name and description, and add properties and unlockable content (if available).
- OpenSea also allows you to choose the blockchain you want to mint the NFT on. On Rarible, you have the option to select how you want to sell the NFT and add a price while creating the NFT. You can also do this later.
- Lastly, click create and you are all set!
One of the best parts about NFTs is that it doesn’t just cater to art—pretty much anything can be an NFT! Music NFTs, such as the ones from Grimes and Steve Aoki, are quite common. Video highlights, memes, collectibles, gifs, and even a tweet and full-length feature films have been sold as NFTs.
You can also commission others’ work and sell it if they let you. Meta Bots collectibles even allegedly stole Robotos artist, Pablo Stanley’s works. Of course, it goes without saying, DO NOT STEAL art. Whatever you mint, make sure you either own the copyrights of the piece or get permission to use it.