HomeThis artist earned a six-figure salary for selling NFTs. Here’s how

This artist earned a six-figure salary for selling NFTs. Here’s how

I can think of a lot of reasons why I hate NFTs –Digital Art & Collectibles Which uses the blockchain to prove ownership like a large receipt being distributed to the public.

They have Terrible ecological footprint. Most of the work looks like it was removed from DeviantArt’s gutters around 2010 (this wasn’t just a burn, people were Actually stealing DeviantArt’s work to NFT). Can artwork just disappear from the web after buying it. Nor can I say from a direct point of view that having NFTs has a special meaning. Sure, some people resell NFTs for profit, but if anyone can right-click to save that JPEG, you’re at least little bit A sucker to spend millions of dollars on it, right? (Unless you really need a method laundering some money!)

But after hearing about the experience Lucas Zanotto has had with NFTs, I’ll admit I’m talking about their merits. Zanotto is a multi-faceted Italian-born creation best known for founding the children’s app brand yatoi. Last year, he’s got six NFT episodes selling for his impossibly charming engineering characters. NFTs have allowed him to crack the code to make a living as an artist doing what he loves.

“I’m kind of a mid-tier for the entire NFT world,” Zanotto says with a laugh. In a way, he is right. It seems to be one of the Many upper middle class NFT, who was successful but not as successful as his friends who made millions of dollars selling NFTs. But looking at that Only 1% of NFTs sell for over $1,500He is undoubtedly part of a relatively small group of artists who make a good living selling NFTs.

Zanotto has made a career in directing commercials, creating animation, and running the aforementioned children’s app company Yatatoy. (its applications mixedAnd Draw, And raster He’s won our Most Creative Company Yatatoy Award and Apple Design Award for playful aesthetics and expertise.) But like many artists, he’s always struggled to monetize his own art as opposed to commercial ventures.

About four years ago, Zanotto started publishing his cartoons to Twitter And other social media platforms—animated short episodes that I loved making, but didn’t have a home for.

“I’ve got a great following, which is rewarding, and I’ve gotten a lot of jobs through this stuff,” Zanotto says. “But I’ve always struggled with the question, ‘Can I monetize this somehow. “At the end of the day, I do a lot of work [those loops]I would live on just that.”

Like many creators, Zanotto was sharing his art for free, a move he hoped would get enough attention to get him more paid work. All the while, he’s also been contributing to a goldmine of content that drives engagement (and profits) for social media companies, without reaping direct rewards for his efforts. (Twitter really Since the launch of Tip Jar As a way to give back to these creators as they grapple with a more equitable arrangement in the long run.)

“I tried to open a sticker shop and things like that, but to be honest, selling some stickers is really hard,” Zanotto says. “You pay to print it, and you end up with a few bucks. It’s not something that works long-term for income.”

Then, around September of 2020, a friend of Zanotto mentioned NFTs. Zanotto never really realized what the whole thing about blockchain is. But then he learned of its promising quality to artists: if he sold a piece of art as NFT, he could ostensibly sign his name to it through an option called “Creator’s share, “Revenue generated not only from the first sale, but the portion of all subsequent sales of the business where it gained value. This revelation convinced him that it was time to pursue the medium.”

on the cusp NFT . mutationZanotto has been able to make video calls to NFT marketplaces including SuperRare and Nifty Gateway, as they are still looking for artists. (Timing was a major factor. A year later, these markets filled with orders.)

When Zanotto put his first set of rings on the Nifty Gateway, they sold for nearly $10,000 in 10 minutes.

“At present, it doesn’t seem like much, but I was over the moon!” Zanotto says. “Finally, I found a way to sell an episode and get some money just from that episode, directly. It was amazing to me. Just imagine how many bloody stickers I have to sell for $10,000.”

[Image: courtesy Lucas Zanotto]

The sale was cause for celebration, but it was also a heat test for Zanotto. He wondered if the association with NFTs might damage his reputation as an artist, and whether the financial success of such specific digital art would mean that people would not take it seriously when working in other mediums. After a month thinking about it, he chose to back up his NFTs. They have been released at a steady pace since then.

Although he was certainly successful, Zanotto is also a realist, not claiming to have achieved it on merit alone. He’s strategic in his versions, and he’s studied how the NFT market works on auction sites.

“It’s a game, frankly. Art in itself doesn’t play that big of a role. It’s nets and name-dropping,” says Zanotto. “You find a collector who feels inspired, who buys the first work on the cheap, buys the second.” [a lot more]. With this huge purchase, suddenly other collectors are interested and buying the next.”

His quick analysis might be enough to screw you up on NFTs all over again, and that’s perfectly fair. However, this is “the exact same game” for the traditional art world, Zanotto points out. Just as in crypto art, it is the millionaires and billionaires who drive up the prices of traditional art, not the rest of us. Damien Hirst – one of the world’s richest artists – got a breather when British businessman Charles Saatchi took an interest and actually funded the production of his first formaldehyde figurine. Last year, COVID restrictions were imposed across China’s affluent market It hurt the bottom line for the entire art world. The wealthy have always paid the market value of art.

[Image: courtesy Lucas Zanotto]

While you or I may find many early NFTs aesthetically questionable, Zanotto notes that they met market demand. The first wave of Crypto fortune was full of tech evangelists. This is a group that values ​​the aesthetics of the internet, and the meme art he grew up seeing on message boards, as much as high art.

However, these days it sees the bar being raised with a greater range of aesthetics and a more straightforward execution, due to the countless new artists making NFTs every day who add variety and nuance to the medium.

[Image: courtesy Lucas Zanotto]

Zanotto can recognize all of these installations on the NFT market, but as an artist, he still found himself unable to resist immersing himself in the depth of his craft, working harder on increasingly complex works. When I mention that if he was selling $10,000 worth of oil paintings he would probably pay more for his materials and make less profit per piece, Zanotto isn’t sure.

“It’s been rendering for four days, and I’ll need three more,” he says of the NFT he’s working on now, meaning his computer takes up to a week of continuous math to produce his latest pieces. Not all of his work takes that long to produce. Even so, no matter how much Zanotto invests in new processors and graphics cards, he inevitably craves more power to keep up with his creative appetite. “You are [always] Try to go to the extreme, I think.”

As for where Zanotto plans to go next, he has chosen not to invest his time solely in NFTs, as has been the case with him financially. In December, Zanotto will host a solo art show at a cathedral in Shanghai. It will have screens filled with its digital episodes throughout the church, but it will also have large physical sculptures of its characters, and augmented reality experience, adding another digital layer to the gallery.

“It’s all the mediums together, and that’s what I’m working towards,” Zanotto says. “I don’t want digital art and physical art to be divided. Together it is a medium. I find it strange that it differs so much between digital art and traditional art.”