NFT Onboarding for Artists: Types of NFTs and Platforms (Part 1)

May 20, 2022

Written by:
Kwame “Symbolik” Newman-Bremang
EDITED by:
Enoch Jemmott

March 16 2022

Welcome to Umba Daima NFT art community! We’re glad you found us.  This article is for you, artists who are new to the community and looking to fast track your NFT knowledge base. 

In this article we’ll speak about different types of NFT art, and about your options of NFT platforms.

Feel free to jump to any section in this article to find the material you are interested in. If you are looking for more specific info now, jump on our discord discord.umbadaima.com, or search “Umba Daima” in the Discord search, to engage with your new community. It’s important to take care on Discord, so we published the Best Practices For Discord: How To Avoid Scams And Preserve Your Sanity article. It’s a worthy read. At Umba Daima discord you can ask specific questions and connect with people, to learn and find people to collaborate with. Umba Daima is a community that wants to see you win!

Types of NFTs

There are as many types of art in the NFT space as there are types of art in the physical world. Artists are finding innovative ways to mint their varying art forms to the blockchain. There are NFT illustrations, paintings, photography, sculpting, music, theater, dance and more. There are also types of art that were born out of the digital era, such as 3D art, including voxel art and digital wearables, generative art and VR sculpting. Sometimes the classifications mirror the terminology of the traditional art world, but terms and definitions do evolve fast and take on new meanings in the Web3 era. This is all being defined in real time.

Examples from the  Umba Daima community

Here are some examples of different types of creative NFTs from the Umba Daima community.

Digital design


Floral somnium by marveljd

Photography

By Weird Scixntist 

Music and dance

222 by Crux

Glitch Art

By GAMEREY(7)77_7_777(🪐🐺🐺🐺)

Digital art

Princess of the Dark collection by Mrs Derdekea

 

Wearable art

DeadFellaz sneakers by Crix777

Vowel art

MPC 2000 by Symbolik

Painting

By Crix777

The above art is just a small sample of what Umba Daima community members create in the NFT space. For more visit Umba Daima’s discord’s Share-your-art channel!

When it comes to creating NFT art, your imagination is the only limit. Be authentic and express your creativity in whichever form that inspires you. Once you’ve created your art, it’s time to find a home for your creation on the blockchain.

NFT platforms
Now that you’ve carefully crafted your beautiful artwork it’s time to share it with the world. The way to get your art on the blockchain is via an NFT market.  You'll need to select which market you want to use to "mint" your art. Note, not all platforms are created equally!  There are benefits and weaknesses associated with each platform. On some reputable markets such as Foundation or Super Rare, you get a boost in exposure, and may get sales, just by being on that platform. Some platforms save you gas fees. Some markets have other benefits such as royalty splits. A platform’s features may fit perfectly with your artwork, while others might not fit quite right. It’s your job to find the platforms that work for you. There are far too many NFT market platforms to mention them all in this document, but we’ve shared a list later in the article. Here we’ll touch on some of the major platforms and speak to the benefits and the down sides.

We asked the Umba Daima community to voice their favorite minting platforms and the pains they experience while selling and collecting NFT art. A lot of factors play into the decision, including what type of art the artist is minting, the user interface and features of the market, minting cost, the artist's familiarity and experience with minting NFTs, the reputation of the market and more. The following are common features and considerations that should be understood when minting NFT art to the blockchain.

We’ve mentioned, some platforms are better suited to particular artforms than others. For example Sound.xyz is a music centric solution for minting to the Ethereum chain. If you’re creating music or soundscape artwork, that platform may be a good pick. The NFT contract minted on Sound.xyz is designed for music.  The user interface and UX (user experience) design was created with music and sound in mind. Also, the people perusing Sound.xyz are looking for music, so you may be more likely to sell your musical work than on another platform. 

Alternatively, if you create video art that requires large file sizes, Zora.co may be a good choice. Zora’s large file limits make it a favorite for those minting music videos, short films and dance pieces. The platform also does a good job promoting and supporting their community whether through their social media spotlights or by featuring artists on their home page. Zora audiences are acclimatized to high quality audiovisual creations.

This brings us to another fundamental factor that influences people’s love or hate for a minting platform. That is the user interface and user experience (UI and UX) design. There is so much to learn and figure out in the world of crypto. Bad user design only makes it harder and more confusing to get up and running. It should be no surprise that when we asked our community what markets they prefer, and why? User interface was among the reasons mentioned for either liking or disliking a platform. 

Opensea.io (OS for short) was a preferred platform for this reason. While OS is packed with features, it remains relatively easy to pick up as a result of good UI and UX. Also, being the world's largest NFT market means there are buyers perusing OpenSea looking for art that resonates with them.  As a result of OpenSea’s popularity there are lots of tutorials available to help you get going, or figure out how to resolve issues you may run into when minting. Umba Daima community members also found the analytics functionality on Opensea useful. 

Another popular feature of Opensea is lazy minting, which means you don't have to pay gas, the network fee, upfront to mint on the platform. In an ETH crunch you can still lazy mint your work and make your art available for the world to see and buy! The minting fees are added to the cost of the purchase and will be paid by the buyer at the point of purchase.

Other features that sway artists considering where to mint their NFTs pertain to the smart contract itself.  The question as to whether the market’s smart contract is optimized for low gas prices is one influence and whether the market lets you take control of your own smart contract is another. Manifold.xyz has swiftly gained popularity as it offers both a low gas fee optimized smart contract and they also hand over control of that smart contract to you, the artist. The benefit of the first item is obvious, optimization means you save money. Owning your smart contract isn’t as clear to NFT newbies, but it’s big. Owning your smart contract means the contract is attributed to you and not the market such as Opensea, SuperRare or Foundation. You can also port that contract to wherever you like. You can mint from your own custom built webpage and your brand will be properly attributed in the smart contract! Another benefit of owning your contract is that you can view, edit and code your own functionality into your smart contract, enabling you to create dynamic NFTs. This is the future of NFTs!

Markets such as Foundation and SuperRare are known for their healthy user base, fine art focus and their active collector communities, but there is a downside. You don’t necessarily own your smart contract.You’re ability to split sales and royalties are limited and their cut of your profits are large. Plus, they are on Ethereum so gas fees can be very high. This said, Foundation has lowered it’s cut of art sales from 15% to 5%.  While these platforms do have active buyers, you do need to be invited onto Foundation and SuperRare so it can take some jumping through hoops to get started.

For some artists, their familiarity and experience with minting NFTs does play into the decision as to where to mint.  Minting NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain can be costly, and making mistakes while learning can be expensive and frustrating. Alternative blockchains (altChains) such as Flow, Solana, Polygon and NEAR have their own marketplaces. While in most cases they don't have the level of hype that exists in the Ethereum ecosystem, they are much more affordable on gas, so learning, making mistakes and growing may be less painful on altChains. 

Some of the minute details of minting NFTs may not be important to you right now, but later on they may be more crucial. For example, you may not deem splits to be important presently, but in the future you may do a collaborative art work. At that point profit splits may become a priority. Take it step by step and get familiar at your own pace. Deciding where to mint is no small decision, but jumping in and getting your hands dirty is the best way to understand the nuances of minting NFTs. 

Below you’ll find a list of some NFT markets that you can explore…

Markets

Foundation.app (Ethereum blockchain)

Opensea.io (Ethereum and Polygon blockchain)

Binance.com 

KnownOrigin.io (Ethereum blockchain)

SuperRare.com (Ethereum blockchain)

Rarable.com (Ethereum blockchain)

Mintible.app (Ethereum blockchain)

Manifold.xyz (Ethereum blockchain)

Sound.xyz (Ethereum blockchain)

Voice.com (EISIO blockchain)

LooksRare.org (Ethereum blockchain)

NiftyGateway.com (Ethereum blockchain)

Disrupt.art (Flow blockchain)

Mintbase.io (NEAR blockchain)

Salanart.com (Solana blockchain)

There is a lot for a newbie NFT artist to learn. You need to figure out how your art can be minted as an NFT. Rest assured, it can be adapted! The next step is to choose a NFT minting platform, or marketplace. Your choice of marketplace should be informed by the type of art you do, the marketplace popularity, the features of the platform etc. Once you’ve selected the right marketplace for you, it’s time to tackle the question that every new artist wrestles with. How should you price your work? We’ll cover this topic in our next publication NFT onboarding for artists (Part 2).

Sources

This article drew from Umba Daima community feedback


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