Here at Chase, we like to keep up with new developments in the creative industry. Recently we’ve been looking into Web3 and particularly NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, for the laymen among us. It only seemed fitting to bring in successful NFT-artist Musketon to get some insight into the medium and, specifically, into how he managed to enrich his career as an illustrator by venturing into the realm of Web3.
If you’re curious about his story, make sure to join our FREE live stream on December 22nd at 19:00. He will go in-depth about his path into NFTs, with all of its trial and error, and offer insights into his creative process. You can sign up through this link. This talk is brought to you by Chase Academy and KASK & Conservatorium.
Since we couldn’t wait that long, we already had a little chat with Musketon. Consider it a little teaser for the live stream.
The simplest possible way to explain NFTs is as a form of digital ownership. They link an account on the blockchain (another big word) to a one-of-a-kind digital collectible. This could be art, music, or even a tweet.
New technologies and innovations have always garnered both interest and skepticism. That’s nothing new. But NFT’s in particular, have created tidal waves within the creative industry. This digital art form has disrupted the creator economy and shaped new opportunities for braver digital creatives.
The craze started with Lava Labs’ Cryptopunks. The pixelated avatars were once free to claim by anyone with an Ethereum wallet, but due to their limited availability, they quickly became a status symbol. Owners soon started selling them for huge sums of cold-hard crypto. If you want to purchase one today, you can expect to pay over €300,000.
That’s only pocket change for digital artist Beeple. He has been going strong on social media for a while, however, he really made headlines when he sold his digital artwork ‘Everydays: the First 5000 Days’ for a whopping 61.1 million Euros.
One of the first things that came up during our conversation with Musketon was, “Why would you step away from traditional illustration and take risks by pursuing NFT’s. What’s the payoff?”. Right off the bat, Musketon explained that personal contact between the artist and their buyers is drastically improved by cutting out the middle man. In this case, galleries and sellers who take a big commission on art pieces. This personal connection is central to Musketon’s vision. Receiving feedback, co-creating pieces with his audience, and getting to know his followers are key to creating a sense of community. Twitter is the place to be for digital creatives looking to build a community around their NFTs, according to Musketon.
“You can make a very cool drawing and show it to me, and I’ll think “okay cool”. But if I don’t know how much work you’ve put into it or what your thought process was like, it’s less impressive”
Staying in close contact with one's audience is not only a matter of community building, but it can also be a crutch in the artist's storytelling strategy. Potential buyers and art enthusiasts are interested in the process. They want to feel in awe by the number of hours that went into the artwork. They need to be taken through the creative process. And most importantly, they want to learn more about the person behind the art.
“People are quick to think, “I’m going to put an NFT online and sell it for 10 Ethereum, and I’ll get rich overnight”. It just doesn’t work like that. And many people don’t get that.”
Rome wasn’t built in a day (or overnight). That doesn’t mean getting started with NFT’s is difficult, per se. All you need is a digital wallet, an account on an NFT marketplace, and a good dose of social media savviness. Reddit is the place to be for NFT artists looking to share their art. The chances of going viral are far greater on Reddit, whereas the Instagram algorithm is not built for sudden success. Musketon mentioned that Reddit is only for those with tough skin, though, since critiques can get quite ruthless.
Many people might find NFTs daunting and scary to start out with. Yes, you will need to invest some time and money into learning the ropes, however, the payoff can be big if you get in on time. That’s the first tip Musketon gave us: don’t sit around and wait while other artists are gaining valuable experience.
“Don’t lose sight of what makes you unique. Try focussing on what you’re good at and delivering quality. 90% of the NFTs out there are just shit.”
In other words, don’t do it for the money. People will feel the lack of authenticity. There are certain themes that work well in NFT spaces, however, don’t force yourself into a mold. Stay true to yourself and stick to your art.
Interested in learning more about NFT art or Musketon’s career in general?
Sign up for our live stream on the 22nd of December, at 19:00.