Every budding artist needs to learn how to create an NFT because these tokens are a game-changer. Non-fungible token technology is challenging all societal norms on art, just like Masaccio, the Florentine artist did in 1425.
Masaccio’s “sculpted by light” one-point perspective art inspired Renaissance art that profoundly influenced modern culture. NFTs have also changed the art world. On March 11, 2021, digital artist Mike Winkelmann sold his NFT art for $69 million.
That sale launched the art world into an arms race of sorts. Diverse content creators – musicians, illustrators, videographers, and photographers are now churning all forms of NFTs. Collectors, engineers, and auction houses have joined the mad rush, too, transacting $25 billion worth of NFTs in 2021.
Hitherto unknown artists like Mad Dog Jones have made global headlines making record-breaking sales on NFT art. Ontario’s Michah Dowbak, a multidisciplinary artist, named Mad Dog Jones, is now the priciest living Canadian artist.
His multi-generational Replicator NFT fetched crypto-wealth worth $4.1 million. It is a unique depiction of a photocopier and generates new art every 28 days.
What is an NFT?
An NFT is an acronym for non-fungible tokens. It is a virtual currency that represents the value of an image, audio, or video on blockchain ledgers. NFTs can represent the value of a digital or physical item on a blockchain network. They also provide provenance to art.
As an illustration, an NFT can represent virtual land in the metaverse. If you purchase a metaverse NFT, you will receive the right of ownership to real estate in metaverses such as Decentraland. Then, you can trade, speculate, advertise or collect resources and drops on your virtual land.
So, when you purchase an NFT, you will automatically own rights to the original item, whose value the NFT represents. Some notable unique NFT sales include Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which sold for over $3 million. Then, Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web’s source code NFT fetched $5.4 million.
What do you need to create an NFT?
To create an NFT, you need ownership rights to a unique physical or digital item. Tokenized rare items have a higher chance of viral success. In addition, you will require a digital file, access to a blockchain network, an NFT marketplace, a crypto wallet, and cryptocurrency to pay your ‘gas’ or transaction fees.
To make large NFT sales, have a good NFT marketing strategy, and seek support from the NFT community.
Below is a simple NFT creation process.
How to create an NFT
Choose your digital item.
Determine what digital item you want to turn into an NFT. It may be a painting, a picture of your cat, a JPEG image of an ape avatar, audio, or a MOV video snippet. Have intellectual property rights to your file to avoid getting into legal trouble.
Choose a blockchain
Ethereum was the first NFT minting blockchain. Unfortunately, Ethereum’s high gas fees can exceed $40 per NFT minting process. Fortunately, there are cheaper NFT minting blockchains such as Solana, Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot, Tron, Cosmos, and Tezos.
Solana’s NFT minting costs are as low as $0.00025, and it has a 50 transaction per second speed.
Set up a crypto wallet
Non-fungible token technology creates ERC-721 and ERC-1155 on the Ethereum and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible blockchains such as the BSC and Tron. For example, the BSC creates BEP-721 and BEP-1155 while Tron creates TRC-721 NFTs. Tezos has the TZIP-12 standard.
Your wallet choice should be compatible with your NFT marketplace and blockchain. For example, on Ethereum, you could use compatible wallets like Trezor One, MetaMask, Mist, Ledger Nano S, or Trust Wallet. Likewise, for Tezos, use AirGap, Guarda, or Trust Wallet.
Solana is compatible with the Phantom wallet, Solflare, Sollet, Solong, and Ledger Nano X. All in all, MetaMask is one of the most popular blockchain wallets. You can use it as a browser extension or download the app.
To create a digital MetaMask wallet, visit the website and click its download button at the top right corner of the page. You will get a 12-seed word phrase while creating your crypto wallet account. A seed phrase is a unique password that acts as your security code should you, by chance, forget your password.
Keep your seed phrase for reuse when you reinstall your app or log in to your wallet on a different device. However, please do not share it or lose your seed phrase. You could lose your NFTs and cryptocurrency if you do not protect your 12-seed word phrase. In addition, your wallet’s customer support cannot give your seed phrase back to you.
After creating your wallet, load it with cryptocurrency for use as gas fees.
Find the best marketplaces for NFT minting
Choose an easy-to-use marketplace to create an NFT. Making a good choice beforehand will save you the costs and hassle of transferring your NFT to a different exchange.
Also, select an NFT marketplace that best suits your NFT asset. For example, the Axie Infinity marketplace retails Axie pet monster NFTs.
NBA Top Shots sells basketball moments captured on video. Rarible is an excellent open marketplace for NFT art, while top NFTs at OpenSea are avatar collections such as the Moonbirds and the Bored plus Mutant Ape Yacht Club collections.
Other popular NFT marketplaces include SuperRare, Mintable, and the Nifty Getaway. If you are a beginner and do not know where to start, use an open NFT marketplace such as OpenSea. OpenSea is compatible with the Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana blockchains.
Create your NFT marketplace account
To create your NFT marketplace account, fill in your username, profile image, and bio requirements. You may need to link your account to your social media pages. Add a banner image to draw more eyes to your NFT display.
Link your wallet to an NFT marketplace account
Connecting your wallet to your account eases NFT access. It also enhances NFT transaction execution efficiency. If you are using the MetaMask wallet, tap the “Create” button in the top left corner of your page.
A list of compatible wallets will pop up; choose yours. If you have your wallet extension installed, you will see a pop-up asking if you want to link your wallet. If your crypto assets are on an exchange such as Coinbase, your app will make a scan and connect to your wallet.
Caveat emptor. If you are not making any transactions and a wallet link request pops up on your screen, you could be dealing with a scammer or hacker.
NFT minting process
An NFT marketplace creates an NFT by converting a file into a non-fungible token using cryptographic processes. Ethereum’s NFT minting process, for instance, publishes ERC-721 tokens on its ledgers.
It creates smart contracts that embed an NFT’s characteristics, rarity metrics, and control features to a blockchain file.
NFT minting processes also will describe your NFT’s metadata properties that bring your files to life. It will give your NFT metadata that has configurable properties and attributes such as a description, name, and image attributes.
NFT marketplaces have simplified the NFT minting process. However, if you need to create a game or have a complicated smart contract, you may need the help of a developer.
The NFT minting process on most open NFT marketplace is as below.
- Go to the NFT marketplace homepage and click “create” the item creation page.
- Select your blockchain to mint your NFT.
- Choose your token standard. As an illustration, you can create one NFT (BEP-721/ERC-721) or a collection of NFTs (BEP-1155/ ERC-1155).
- Upload your digital file. The minting process accepts diverse formats and sizes. For example, OpenSea accepts JPG, PNG, GIF, SVG, MP4, WEBM, MP3, WAV, OGG, GLB, and GLTF, while Rarible supports PNG, GIF, WEBP, MP4, or MP3. Both file size limits are 100 MB.
- Create a catchy title and a captivating description.
- Select an NFT collection for display purposes. On Rarible, for instance, you can choose the default RARI collection (Rarible Singles) or create a new collection, so fans will easily find your work.
- Choose your sale type: fixed price, timed auction, or unlimited auction. Fixed-price auctions allow you to pick a price point for your art during the minting process. Auction-style sale types support buyer bidding. The person with the deepest pockets will walk away with your NFT at the close of the auction.
- If you want smart contract royalty features to receive passive returns from secondary sales of your NFTs, choose the royalties option.
- Tap “create” to mint the NFT. Then, sign the transaction with your wallet.
- While uploading your NFT, some sites may request you to verify the transaction. This process can take a few days in slow networks such as Ethereum, so exercise patience.
Figure: OpenSea NFT rankings (source: Opensea.io)
Sell your NFTs
After creating your NFT, you can sell it at a fixed price or at an auction. An English auction has an increasing cost where the highest bidder wins. It may be a timed or unlimited timed auction. Potential buyers have a limited time to place their bids in a timed auction.
In contrast, an unlimited auction can end whenever you have a good buyer. A Dutch auction is an auction with a decreasing price where the price drops until someone purchases your NFT. Dutch auctions are fair since they prevent bot purchases.
What is the fee for creating an NFT?
The minting fees vary depending on the traffic on the blockchain. It is often cheaper in the early morning, late evening, or on weekends. You can use the Gas Tracker platform to track instances when gas fees are low.
Some platforms may ask for a listing fee, commission on the sale, and transaction fee to transfer funds from the buyer’s wallet to yours.
What is “lazy minting”?
Lazy or free minting creates an NFT for free. Therefore, your buyers will foot both the gas fees and the NFT transfer charges. Additionally, lazy minting does not finalize the NFT creation process on the blockchain. Consequently, lazy minting NFTs are not secure.
Their advantage is that you do not have to pay gas fees for an NFT with no buyer. However, lazy minting has other drawbacks. For example, you might have to lower your asking price to factor in the buyer’s costs.
Also, buyers avoid lazy minting NFT because they do not have security features and are vulnerable to fake lazy minting. At least 80% of all lazy minting NFTs on OpenSea are spam, plagiarized or fake.
- If you are creating an NFT on OpenSea, use Polygon for cheaper fees
- Double minting is fraud. Some NFT sellers may, for instance, mint and NFT list on OpenSea, then re-mint the process again on a different marketplace for double the sales. When purchasing an NFT, purchase for buyers that have a trust record.
Use non-fungible token technology to create an NFT collection from unique content. Browse the gaming and literature worlds and find popular content that can make its mark in the NFT world, and you are on your road to crypto wealth.