When I completed my PhD in Art Practice back in 2019, NFTs had just become a big thing for cryptocurrency investors and a handful of artists, but I never knew I would actually be offering any of my work as an NFT, mostly because I have always been very sceptical about the whole thing.
After 3 years without any luck of getting an academic job, good commissions, or a gallery representation, I felt that my career as an artist was coming to an end, and I became extremely conflicted about continuing to produce art and having the work stored by friends and family. How embarrassing for a doctor! My career begun to submerge quickly, and I knew that something had to change. Without a platform to sell my art, I decided to join OpenSea.io and work my way through the NFT fog.
The learning curve has been extreme, and I am still finding a way of dodging the scammers. They are everywhere and bother me relentlessly. I receive plenty of offers on a daily basis that are suspicious. I even receive QR codes of people stating they had just purchase one of my works. However, they are not true as OpenSea itself has no log of such purchases and offers. So, clicking on dodgy links or scanning QRs from scammers will definitely cause a lot of problems for anyone starting up.
The main issue for anyone beginning to work with NFTs is managing scams. Once you grasp that, you can just focus on the art.
I noticed that what seems to drive the offers are simple NFTs of easily recognisable stuff such as monkeys, cartoonish work, and customised version of the same figures such as aliens with extra accessories and so on, which is definitely not my thing.
So, in order to continue, I decided to turn to my PhD research itself which aligns directly with digital aesthetics and concentrate on research pieces that informed the PhD, but never before exhibited. They tend to be abstract works but fit in well with the environment they are in. In a way, NFTs seems a continuation of my research considering the passage of the artwork from the actual to the virtual, having mosaic theory at its centre and the historical evolution of the ancient tessera into the pixel and the voxel.
In terms of getting the work minted or transferred on to the blockchain, I am using an approach called lazy minting which does not require an upfront payment. This option is offered on OpenSea, and the only requirement is an Etherium wallet account. The most popular is MetaMask. It is like having an internet banking app without the bank. However, retrieving funds if you actually sell an NFT is a bit more complex and an extra “transfer” wallet is needed, which is coupled with MetaMask. The most reliable seems to be Binance, the one I plan to use for storing my cryptocurrency and eventually retrieve funds, once the trading gets going.
For now, the learning continues…
Below images of some of the work I listed on OpenSea: