Buying Your First NFT

January 28, 2022
Learn With TWO TWO

NFT art hit a whopping 3.5 billion dollars in sales in the first three quarters of this year alone. Art collectors and investors alike have been flocking to buy digital art NFTs online. So, how did NFTs subvert the art world and generate such a huge sum? 

NFTs give you complete ownership over digital artwork. When you build your digital art collection, you're creating a long-term investment. Not just that, but you're disrupting elite and outdated art practices.

No longer will you be participating in a stuffy industry. By buying from a digital art gallery, you're wresting control back from gatekeepers. You're putting the power in your hands, as well as of the artist.

Curious to learn more about finding the best NFT artists? Keep reading for everything you need to know about buying your first NFT. 

What is an NFT?

NFTS, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital pieces. Non-fungible means it is an individual token.

A fungible item would be something like a dollar bill. If you want to use a dollar bill, you don't need a particular one to do so. Any dollar bill will work.

A non-fungible item would be something you can't trade out for another thing. For example, a digital painting is a unique painting that you can't just swap for another painting.

You'll often see ERC-721 mentioned when you read about NFTs. These NFTs are hosted on Ethereum's blockchain. The ERC-721 was first proposed by William Entriken, Nastassia Sachs, and others in 2018.

Because the NFT is hosted on a blockchain, it gives you power as the owner. You are buying an NFT that the artist created. The artist will also have certification to prove this.

NFTs Beyond Art

Blockchain is revolutionizing more than the art world. Companies have used NFTs to sell music, concert tickets, and more. 

Some companies have even used NFTs to create websites resistant to censorship. That's because they've built the domains on the blockchain. 

NFTs can be used to represent the following: 

  • Virtual items in video games
  • Music
  • Films
  • Short video clips and memes
  • Real estate 
  • Concert tickets
  • Domain names
  • Assigned seats at events
  • Artworks

Once you buy an NFT, it is 100% yours, as there is only one of its kind. Only one person can hold an NFT at a time. You can't trade it like other coins.

When an NFT is minted, the smart contracts delineate the owner and the capacity to transfer it. This means each NFT has an identifier that lasts forever.

The owner's information is easy to confirm. You can quickly and easily prove you own your digital art NFT.

When you buy an NFT, the ownership will be transferred to your wallet. You'll have proof you own the original digital file you purchased. You'll also own the private key, further proving your ownership.

The artist will have a public key that helps show the authenticity of what you purchased. If you made a wise purchasing investment, you can also resell your NFT at a later time. Another part of NFTs that is so revolutionary is artist royalties.

The creator of your NFT may receive royalties when you resell it. This empowers artists and creates a more fair and transparent art market. 

Which Blockchain Service to Use

Ethereum, Zilliqa, and Solana offer blockchain networks. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is mainly used as a cryptocurrency.  

Ethereum has the most active users. Ethereum is second to Bitcoin in users. Because of their blockchain networks, smart contracts are possible. This is what led to NFT ownership and sales contracts.

When you're ready to buy an NFT, you need to set up a digital wallet for yourself. There are different wallet types to choose from: 

  • Physical hardware wallets
  • Mobile apps
  • Web wallets
  • Desktop apps 

Physical hardware wallets are super secure. The benefit of a mobile app or web wallet is that you can access it anywhere.

Desktop applications are also a great digital option. But you'll need to have your computer with you to access or move your funds. 

Where to Buy Your NFTs

Once your wallet is established, you can begin investing in digital art NFTs. OpenSea is a great place to start browsing NFTs as it's free to sign up.

Another popular place to buy NFTs is on Foundation. Foundation offers 24-hour bidding windows for works.

Another marketplace offering a wide range of NFTs is Rarible. Rarible is built on Ethereum's blockchain. However, they have their own tokens you need to use to buy or sell in their marketplace.

If you're just starting out and want to get a feel for how buying and selling NFTs works, you can always browse. Some marketplaces offer fixed prices, while others opt for bidding.

You may notice that many marketplaces are not focused on one art form. They function a bit like eBay, where you can sell or buy anything. This means you'll find music and virtual real estate along with visual art.

The Wave of Digital Art Galleries

With the rise of digital art NFTs, the traditional gallery stands to become a relic of the past. In the traditional art gallery model, an artist creates a work.

The gallery represents the artist and sells the work. The gallery then takes a cut of the sale.

This model was created at a time when most artwork was physical. Galleries prove ownership using paperwork, signature, and track provenance. 

Digital art could be a tricky thing to try and sell this way. With digital work, the ability to download and distribute the image is a lot easier. But to prove ownership would be more difficult.

That's why creatives have been flocking to NFTs. For the past three+ years, NFTs have been rising in popularity. And with NFTs, comes the new era of the digital art gallery.

When you buy from a marketplace, you may face a few limitations. The barrier to entry is low, so anyone can submit their NFTs for consideration. This means it may require tons of extra time on your end to find the best artists.

That's what's led to a wave of digital art galleries to fill the gap. With digital art galleries, you have access to curated art collections. 

This wave of galleries has generated buzz in the art world. But it's also brought up questions from critics. Detractors have asked if the digital art galleries will be able to adapt once NFTs are no longer as novel an item.

Yet, unlike traditional galleries, online ones have more flexibility. As seen in Art in America, digital galleries have an advantage. They can show off NFTs in creative ways that are not possible in physical spaces.

Finding Emerging or Established Artists

Just like with art collections anywhere, scarcity is part of the digital art market. Pay attention to when drops are happening at different digital art galleries. That way, you can begin to track your favorite artists and start building your collection. 

You'll find out more about your collecting style the more you start browsing. You may be into photorealistic art. Or perhaps you're attracted to more subversive styles.

For example, Extreme Art is a powerful, loud art style. This street art style pays homage to the greats.

Think of visionary artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Their works were just as revolutionary in their time as Extreme Art is for oura..

Street artists like Banksy and Haring have always been rebellious. They went against the grain. They made the streets their canvas.

They shook the art world up, as it fought to make sense of their counterculture messages. Today's NFT artists are doing likewise - shifting stagnant art systems and reinventing the entire way we sell art.

Artists like Beeple have sold NFTs for $69 million - and he's poised to do it again. Beeple is an established artist who has been working in the digital space for a long time. You can follow established artists via their galleries or website. 

But emerging artists are making waves too. Once you establish the art styles you're drawn to, research newer artists in the field.

Look for emerging artists featured in digital galleries that align with your interests. Follow artists online - check their Rarible and OpenSea listings.

Also, keep an ear open on social media platforms to see who is generating buzz. Look at which artists are selling well in the market or look to be on an upward trajectory.

Find Your Digital Art Gallery Fit

Working with a digital art gallery means you're paving a new path. You're fighting the elitism of the traditional art world.

When you work with a digital art gallery, you can work with one that has both physical and digital offerings. You can then build your collection up with NFTs, graffiti works, videos, and more.

As much as your idealism matters, you may want to know the practical details. How do you find the best NFT artists? And how do you choose the right artists for your collection? 

Tips for Choosing the Best NFT Artists

When you find a gallery, assess their site. See how involved they are in their online and offline communities. Take a look at their roster.

Do your research on the gallery you're working with. If you want to purchase 3D animated and rendered NFTs, make sure the gallery can offer this to you.

You'll want to know what past works they've sold.  Scroll through their offerings. They'll keep you updated on new artists added to their roster.

You can get to know the artist's message and style. You can get a feel for the artists' approach to making. Check how they work.

They may only produce limited editions or sell many versions of their work. They may also sell NFTs for digital-only work. Some will sell an NFT for a physical object which you can also add to your collection after purchasing.

Also, think about why you're collecting. If you're collecting for aesthetics, then you can purchase based on stylistic preferences. Find artists you're interested in and continuously research.

However, if you're collecting as an investment, you'll need a different approach. Pay close attention to the market.

With NFTs, you have transparency. You can sometimes see bidding histories for artists online. Speak with your gallery to get a feel for how their artists are doing in the market.

Pay attention also to scarcity. Keep an eye out for limited editions or one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Build Your Network

As a new collector, you'll want to build your community. Begin to make connections with digital art galleries. Choose a digital art gallery that appeals to you.

This means both the artists they represent and their approach. Build a network for yourself as a new collector.

You can also begin to network with other collectors. Find other NFT enthusiasts online and compare your experiences. 

Play the Long Game

Building a collection can take years or even decades. Your worth will build up over time as your collection grows. The demand for artists in your collection will go up with time.

Keep building your digital art investments at a rate that works for you. With NFTs, you'll know ownership is in your hands. 

Your Digital Art Investments

Beat the other investors with your knowledge of NFTs. When you buy NFTs from a digital art gallery, you're building a long-term collection. You're investing wisely and building your art collection.

Not only that, but you're doing so in a secure way. You'll have complete ownership over the work you buy. And, to sweeten it even further, you're revolutionizing the art world as you collect.

No longer will the art world be run by gatekeeping galleries. Instead, the power is in your hands and the hands of the artist. Get in contact with us to stay in the know about the latest and most subversive NFT artists today.

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