The NFT Drug and Rehab for NFT Artists

The truth is often ugly but when ignored the consequences may be uglier. Dedicated to Sara who suffered a burnout and finally burned all her NFTs.

Joining Hic Et Nunc

March, 2021, I proudly joined an emerging eco-friendly NFTs platform known as hic et nunc. It was my first experience with NFTs although I have considered joining the cryptoart movement for months. I was very excited to see an open-source platform host artworks from all over the world with little gas fees and a simple registration process.

The hype

Although selling art was no stranger to the artist that I have long been, there was a hype that was unique to NFTs sales and especially my first few pieces that were of single editions. Traditionally, after a sale, artists will have to work a lot to produce new art, which was not the case in the NFTs realm. A digital artwork could be made into tens or hundreds of NFTs editions and still variations thereof could be considered as separate artworks. Hence, the artist will have to entertain much more marketing than creation.

The Marketing

Being part of a community is a euphemism for marketing that is based on tit-for-tat liking and commenting on social media until the “artist” is discovered, which is an essential process but often it does not stop until one is “recognized” and his “art” becomes the subject of speculation and eventually of interest to “art collectors”. For some this marketing requirement may not even raise an eyebrow while others might find it hard to play the community game knowingly. I was very excited about the emergence of a few communities that focused on welcoming diversity, newbies, and the unhyped only to eventually reconverge their efforts inwardly. From a philosophical perspective, a community emerges and keeps growing until it has met its requirements and duties to then feel ethically deserving of the attention and love of other communities. The platform itself did not prioritize the diverse, the new, and the unhyped, surprisingly, it did exactly the opposite featuring a selection of the highest-selling artists thus replicating the gallerists’ models and promoting the disparity between the rich and the poor.

Volunteering

An alternative to marketing was volunteering that was ideal for offering useful services and maybe getting oneself discovered.

Overdose

Jobs and markets have specific times that oblige employees to work and still some experience burnouts. In the case of NFTs, there is no obligation except that imposed by oneself. One may drift and ignore the passage of time, bodily pains, or unhealthy work ethics.

Rehab

My third month on “hic et nunc” started with many new artworks and a doubt on whether they should be minted, published or even discussed… This doubt was not based on quality but rather on strategic marketing techniques that were rudimentary for an artist to be discovered when thousands of other artists are monopolizing the social networks.

Withdrawal Symptoms

That’s it! I booked a ticket, packed my bag and went on vacation with FOMO being the only symptom. For months, I was away, not minting, not posting, not comparing, not watching…Just living and it felt good! The other day, I met Sara who joined hic et nunc 2 months ago and for 2 months did not sell a thing. Quite frustrating, I reckon! Sara had a burnout and burned a dozens of NFTs that she minted and swapped over 45 days. This article is dedicated to Sara and the like. This article does not in any way aim to critique hic et nunc that remains one of the best platforms for NFTs hosting but offers a point of view on being an NFT artist.

Traditional, Digital & AI Artist, Data Scientist, Creative Coder, Filmmaker, Hyperpolyglot, Cosmopolitan. Formerly @snips @fortia_s @UPMC @CNRS @paris_sorbonne.