I'm a photographer, filmmaker, designer, a dabbler in 3D and audio. At 41, I've traversed a long road, especially in the last 2 years as I delved into the world of NFTs, exploring their value and the potential to sell them as digital art and understand what the additional value is to selling art as NFT's.
Full disclosure: I used chatgpt to help write parts of this that I was finding difficult to explain.
The Long and Winding Road
For a struggling artist like me, accustomed to being labeled as "that wedding photographer" or "that guy who takes portraits," NFTs seemed like a lifeline—a platform that could recognize the value of my work. Yet, the journey hasn't been easy. Metal prints from three years ago still sit in my brother's house, unsold. My work, a product of 29 years of dedication, has faced challenges. Misaligned marketing, or just plain confusion on my part. Building a community seemed like the most difficult thing to do till I understood the concept.
The NFT Opportunity: A Reality Check
For me, NFTs promised to be a bridge to connect with a global audience, to build an online following, and finally, to sell my creations to a platform that understands the artistic struggle. This is for me a real struggle. I seem to have jousting matches with my imposter syndrome. Never feeling like i'm good enough to take that step forward and get more sales. Feels like i'm never worthy of that next collector. After making 2 sales, I stopped and panicked and it took me months to get over the fear of getting back onto spaces. I grappled with the paradox of traditional art not selling while generative pieces found buyers. It felt perplexing, and yes, perhaps I sounded pretentious in my confusion, but that's the reality.
(Chatgpt explained this better for me. It's technical and what it essentially means is, NFT's are written on the blockchain that are irreversible and forever inscribed onto the chain. At least that's my understanding of it. )
Bitcoin Ordinals: A Revolution in SATs and NFTs
Bitcoin Ordinals, a pioneering project openly available on GitHub, introduces a groundbreaking protocol that transforms the smallest units of Bitcoin, known as satoshis or SATs. In essence, it allows for the unique identification and transaction of individual SATs with additional data, unleashing a new era of possibilities within the Bitcoin blockchain. The project encompasses various components, including a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) outlining the ordinal numbering scheme, an index for SAT tracking, a wallet for ordinal-aware transactions, and a block explorer for interactive exploration. The highlight of the Ordinals project lies in its capacity to facilitate the creation of Bitcoin NFTs, challenging the historical resistance of Bitcoin's blockchain to code changes and marking a significant evolution in the world of digital assets.
Navigating Bitcoin Ordinals: Inscribing SATs for Uniqueness
At its core, Ordinals introduces a numbering system that assigns a distinct identifier to each SAT, enabling efficient tracking and transfer. This system, coupled with the "inscription" process, where additional data is etched onto each SAT, transforms these satoshis into unique digital assets. The rarity classification, ranging from Common to Mythic, based on SAT positions, adds a layer of exclusivity and value. These inscribed SATs reside entirely on the Bitcoin blockchain, eliminating the need for sidechains or separate tokens. This innovation challenges the conventional notions surrounding NFTs, offering simplicity, immutability, security, and durability inherent to the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Impact and Controversies of Ordinals in Bitcoin's Evolution
The integration of NFTs through the Ordinals protocol has sparked debates and controversies within the crypto community. While some perceive it as a playful challenge, injecting creativity into the Bitcoin network, others consider it a divergence from the fundamental principles of Bitcoin. The clash of ideologies reflects the broader narrative within the crypto space. Additionally, the increase in network fees due to inscribed SATs sharing block space with regular BTC transactions has stirred discussions. Proponents argue that this may have a positive impact by incentivizing miners and ensuring the long-term security of the blockchain. The Ordinals project, in all its complexity, symbolizes the ongoing evolution of the Bitcoin ecosystem, challenging and expanding its role in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital assets.
Closing Lessons from the Trenches
1. Lower Your Expectations
- Not everyone hits the NFT jackpot overnight. While some get lucky, the rest of us scrape the bottom of the barrel, shilling daily, struggling for recognition.
2. Mint with Purpose
- Learn from my overeager mistakes. Your Genesis collection should showcase your very best work. Make it limited to create demand and take stock of what truly represents your artistic prowess. It takes time to market your work, start, don't stop. Just talk about it every time you get a chance to. Get onto spaces, tweet about it, get onto other people's walls (when they ask) and share your information. There's a lot of love on twitter for NFT artists. Get some love for yourself.
3. Connect with Your Peers
NFT sales are all about networking. Reach out to artists globally, but also within your region. Share your work, build connections, earn visibility, make that human connection. It's all the NFT marketplace wants. They want you. Raw, uncut, unfiltered, you. Without that, you're not getting anywhere even if you're pablo picasso.
4. Share Your Peers' Work
- Be generous. Sharing other artists' achievements not only earns you street cred but also makes you part of a community. It's a powerful way to gain recognition and make lasting connections.
5. Twitter Spaces
- Dive into the world of Twitter Spaces. It's a rollercoaster of catchphrases and knowledge about NFTs, crypto, and blockchain. Plus, it's a prime opportunity to network, a crucial element in the NFT marketplace.
In the two years I've been navigating the NFT space, I'm still trying to figure out how to make those sales count. But as I continue this journey, I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, here's to hoping for a vibrant and exciting direction for NFTs in 2025. Have an awesome day or night!