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Are NFT artists making money? An overview on the various ways NFT artists make money.

NFT Art, was what brought NFTs to the forefront in 2021 and into the more general public’s awareness, namely when an NFT artist by the name of Beeple sold a digital art piece entitled, “All Days: The First 5000 Days” through Christie’s Auction house. The digital art piece sold for a record-breaking amount of $69.3 million! Suddenly more artists wanted to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of what the metaverse has to offer digital artists.

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March 1, 2023

Let’s just quickly review what an NFT is. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of digital asset that is unique and cannot be replicated or exchanged for something else. They have gained popularity in recent years as a way for artists and creators to sell digital art and other unique items in a way that verifies their ownership and scarcity. The popularity and value of specific NFT art pieces can vary greatly.

What Are the Top Selling NFT Art Pieces Today?

This can of course change from one day to the next, however according to a December 2022 article, the following art pieces have sold at the highest price:

  1. Anonymous digital artist, Pak is currently the top selling artist overall. His highest sale for the work entitled, “The Merge”, being valued at $91.8 million and his total artwork is valued at $290,815,610.37
  2. Beeple, already mentioned above, his highest nft sale for “Everyday – The First 5000 Days” was valued at $69,346,250.00 
  3. Beeple’s “Human One” sold for $28.9 million
  4. CryptoPunks- several of them have sold at very high prices. 


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How do NFT Artists Make Money?

Artists typically make money by creating and selling unique digital assets, such as digital art, collectibles, and other digital items. 

  • Per hour - the amount of money an NFT artist makes per hour can vary greatly, depending on a number of factors, including the artist's level of skill and experience, the demand for their work, and the prices they are able to set for their NFTs.
  • Per art piece - Some NFT artists may make a fixed amount of money per piece of art they sell, while others may use a bidding system or other pricing mechanism to determine the price of their NFTs. In some cases, the price of an NFT may be determined by the market, with buyers bidding against each other to purchase the NFT. The artist's share of the sale price may also be influenced by any fees or commissions charged by the platform or marketplace where the NFT is sold.
  • Per collection - NFT artists can make money by selling their collections of digital artwork as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a marketplace. When someone buys an NFT from an artist, the artist receives the sale price minus any fees charged by the marketplace. The artist can then withdraw the funds from the marketplace and use them however they choose. NFTs are unique digital assets that are authenticated on a blockchain, which allows for secure and verifiable ownership of the digital artwork. 
  • Royalties - There are several ways for artists to earn royalties. One way is to include a royalty payment structure in the smart contract that governs the sale of their NFTs. in this way artists receive a percentage of the sale price every time one of their NFTs is resold. Another way for NFT artists to earn royalties is by joining a platform or marketplace that offers royalty payments to its members. These platforms often have a built-in mechanism for tracking sales and distributing royalties to artists. Additionally, some NFT artists may choose to sell their works directly to collectors, rather than through a marketplace, and negotiate a royalty payment structure with the collector as part of the sale.
  • Collaborations- NFT artists may collaborate with each other, and develop a hype and connect with other artists and collectors, who bid on each other to increase visibility and sales. Another common option is an art collaboration with a brand where usually the artist creates a limited amount of NFTs, often for free, in return for the exposure, as this ultimately leads to other opportunities. 
  • Brand Deals and Sponsorships- The main difference between Brand deals and sponsorships to collabs is the payment. You are most likely to get a brand deal if your reputation in the NFT Art field is known. Same goes for sponsorships.
  • Developer Gigs- If you are a developer there are several ways for you to make money on the blockchain, including selling NFTs directly, creating NFTs for others, developing NFT-based applications, participating in staking and governance, and monetizing the underlying assets associated with the NFTs.

How Much Money Do NFT Creators Earn?

The amount of money NFT creators earn depends on a number of factors, including the quality and uniqueness of the NFTs, the demand for the NFTs, the NFT marketplaces and platforms used to sell the NFTs, and the underlying business model of the NFTs. Some NFT creators earn millions of dollars from the sale of their NFTs. However, not all NFT creators earn such high amounts of money. 


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The art world has always been evolving and continues to do so and NFT digital art is no different. Things which used to create higher value to pieces such as aesthetics or certain ideals, is no longer the focal point. When it comes to the metaverse and NFTs, it is more about building a community and sharing one’s mindset with said community. There are various ways to earn money within the NFT art community as an artist and as a developer. The amount of money you earn depends on a lot of varying factors. Time will tell where this creator economy is heading. 


Do NFT artists actually make money?

Yes, NFT artists can make money by creating and selling unique digital assets, such as digital art, collectibles, and other digital items. But like any other type of art or creative work, the success of an NFT artist will ultimately depend on their ability to create unique and valuable digital assets, as well as their ability to market and sell their work to potential buyers.

Is being an NFT artist worth it?

Whether or not being an NFT artist is worth it is ultimately a personal decision that will depend on an individual's goals, interests, and abilities. NFTs have become a popular way for artists to monetize their digital creations, and many NFT artists have made significant sums of money by selling their NFTs.



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