This past September an anonymous bidder paid $4 million for two ‘Chromie Squiggle’ NFTs from the Art Blocks Curated collection (1,362 ETH)
Chromie Squiggle #7583 was purchased for 922.5 ETH by the buyer. Twenty minutes later, a second purchase of Chromie Squiggle #2855 for 420 ETH was made.
I’m a writer who also paints and contrary to the narrative of the starving artist, I eat pretty well. I have four well-fed cats, too. Food isn’t an issue.
But before you get the idea that art is what sustains me (and my cats) let me say that art sustains me spiritually, but writing pays the bills.
As a freelance crypto writer I get to research and explore many interesting and bleeding-edge topics and get paid for it. It’s a nice gig because I learn so much each day and hopefully I’m passing on knowledge to others.
One topic that interests me greatly are NFTs and specifically NFT art.
NFT Art has the power to Inspire and Offend
NFT art, from CryptoPunks to Bored Apes has been dominating the headlines lately. The impact of non-traditional, NFT art on the “conventional” art scene may be permanent.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are simpler than they seem. In essence, an NFT gives blockchain-backed “proof of ownership” to an item. …or in this case $4,000,000 “squiggle” that got me into NFT art.
Like a lot of people, that aren’t art aficianados (and probably a lot that are) when I looked at this “squiggle” I actually felt somewhat offended that someone would have paid $4,000,000 for it.
Yet, after my initial feeling I felt inspired and dare I say, energized by this revelation.
“But nobody is visually naive any longer. We are cluttered with images, and only abstract art can bring us to the threshold of the divine.”
― Dominique De Menil, The Rothko Chapel: Writings on Art and the Threshold of the Divine
I agree with Dominique, and as a fan of Rothko, I set out bring the world to the “threshold of the divine”. I also wanted to bring myself to the threshold of $4,000,000.
If a “squiggle” can garner millions of dollars certainly my chicken-scratch abstract renderings must be worth at least an ETH or two! I just needed to get them in front of the right people. I needed to take action!
Since I write about NFTs regularly I had opened an account on OpenSea some time ago but hadn’t done anything with it. In order for my art to be seen I’d have to create some pieces and upload them to OpenSea.
The first step, after opening an account is to connect your wallet. In my case, I used MetaMask. The process was quick and easy. With that taken care of I was all set to create my collection.
There is a lot of latitude on the OpenSea platform. You can name your collection, not name it, upload a cover image or not. It’s up to you. I figured I would go ahead and name the collection, put it in the ART category and upload a banner image as well. With that done, I started adding images.
Create images on iPad using the Apple pencil and Procreate
Save images as JPEG files
Upload directly to OpenSea collection by clicking Add Item. Make sure you use the Polygon option to avoid paying those high Ethereum gas fees
To list an item for sale once it has been added to your collection click Sell and then you’ll be able to set whatever price you want in units of ETH
The art is now live on OpenSea and the Polygon blockchain
Helpful Hint: Remember, when uploading your work, the default setting is the Ethereum blockchain. Don’t use that or you’ll be charged a pretty hefty “minting” fee just to upload your work. Instead, click the drop down under Ethereum and you’ll see an option for Polygon. Choose Polygon as your blockchain because you’ll pay ZERO gas fees. Nothing.
Tools and processes
I considered just uploading some of my older abstract acrylic on canvas works as JPEG images to Open Sea since they give you that option. I decided instead to create a collection of work using my new iPad, Apple pencil and the paint program Procreate. This seemed a perfect opportunity to try out all three.
Procreate was super-easy to use, and a lot of fun too. Any mistakes are quickly dealt with by just tapping the screen twice to remove what you did, or swiping with three fingers to remove all elements.
Creating art with the Apple pencil on the iPad was really an enjoyable experience. While painting with traditional acrylic on canvas can be relaxing too, it’s also a lot of work. You have to go to the art store, find your supplies, buy them (which isn’t cheap) and then truck it all back home. Don’t even get me started cleaning up.
It’s so much simpler to just crack open the iPad and start messing around with colors, textures and different brush styles.
Ideas seem to come more quickly when you can fix mistakes with the tap of your finger. It also frees you up to be more creative and take more risks.
Next: Pricing your art and strategies to get sales
Jay Speakman is a technology writer based in San Francisco, California. He writes on the topics of blockchain, cryptocurrency, DeFi and other disruptive technologies. Clients include Avalanche, Be[in]Crypto, Trust Machines and several blogs devoted to blockchain gaming. He will not rest until fiat currency is defeated.