Becoming an NFT Collector

People assume all NFT aesthetics are the same. Or at least, seemingly low-effort illustrations or what’s called PFP (profile picture) derivatives. Well, yes a lot really are low-effort — but, I’m here to tell you that the stereotype is untrue. An NFT in the Web3 space can be anything from a piece of fine art as a static image, to an animated GIF, or sound file.

There are whole genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres; Black and White photography NFT, Abstract NFT, Collage NFT, Minimalism, Female characters, Dark Art NFT, AI Generated, boobs (animated, pixelated, all colors, all types), Voxel NFT, Glitch NFT, TrashArt NFT, Erotic NFT, Short Film NFT, and Cats!

It isn’t just bro-ham dudes with Apes and dumb sneakers. There are groups for women’s mental health, LGBTQ animators, West African photographers, and crypto newcomers. Community is a huge aspect of the NFT space and considered a major selling point for a lot of collectors — especially when it comes to those PFP projects with hundreds of options.

As for what to buy? Well, buy what you like or seems interesting, and mainly what you can afford. I buy things I like by artists I follow on Twitter, artists I’ve known in the meat-world, and young new Ukrainian artists whose access to funds has been cut. I have also bought into several projects. One of them I am creating my own derivative of for my own purposes. Because yes, they gave IP rights for the particular image I own!

I know people selling erotic fiction on Objkt with Tezos. People will make a recording of themselves reading a poem as the hidden utility. Some pair art with a physical object, and most make their NFTs high-resolution so collectors can print them at home (I do print my collected works often). I give permission for printing rights with my work as the utility.

I got myself a razor thin 4K monitor from Samsung and installed it just for my motion NFTs that I have collected, along with my gallery wall. I love it, and play it on loop.

Some choose to part with their NFT in exchange for the physical version. Tristan Eaton and Damien Hirst are both experimenting with “burning” where the NFT is destroyed after the physical is received to control the supply and prevent fakes. I recently received my turned-in NFT in the form of a 24×24″ signed print!

But some choose to hold onto or, “hodl” their NFTs as a longer-term investment. You will see the term “utility” thrown around, and it is just another way of saying “perks” to buying the NFT.

And when it comes to overall performance, if you are intending to flip or trade, artist 1/1 NFTs tend to perform better than 90% of the PFP projects out there right now. I know some people get really into the numbers and study like crazy, but as with physical art, buy what you like, not what you think will be worth more later.

In the end, what speaks to you, quality, and reputation should win out. Because as we know, the physical art market isn’t exactly a fair game.

What Do I Get?

Ah yes, NFTs. So many misconceptions and so little time. What we got wrong was the media has led first with the art. Questionable art at times. But, as people like to say in Web3, the art is the least important part of NFTs. That isn’t totally true, but understanding that we led with the image and not what the tech behind the image is for, is something that needs to be clarified.

An NFT is not the art itself, but is an agreement about the art. And, it has a built-in certificate of authenticity.  

Now, in my case I am what is called a 1/1 artist, although I do sell sets of NFT “prints” as a way for more people to own the image and own something that is created by me. You have the original piece, and then you can make digital prints in either a limited or open edition. Owning an original 1/1 is great, in fact I have many, but I’ve also bought into editions by artists. You can keep them, sell them, trade them, or even lend them out.

Tessa LeBaron

My “The Ornate Acids” collection is where I have 1/1 art NFTs that give you access to a IRL colored pencil drawing that is matted and ready to frame. Tristan Eaton has a mechanism for his GEMMA NFTs wherein you turn your 1/1 back in to Tristan via his website to get a IRL 24×24” print signed by him. This is genius and controls the volume and ecosystem of his art project.

NFTs will unlock access to services and communities. You aren’t just buying an image, you are buying into events, physical items, and access. Access maybe to Q&As with Doctors, Chefs, Photographers, like MasterClass. Access to hotels, transport, and personal services like spas and tattooing. We are already seeing it with real estate. Ah, how much simpler is an NFT with all the contracts in one go, over signing endless paperwork?

Cohort NFTs are like this: imagine receiving an NFT because you came to Mark Ryden’s first solo show, or were one of the first to buy an Air Jordan? How valuable that would be in the future? NFTs like these prove that you took action and a certain time and supported early. How might Mark Ryden or Nike reward those customers? A special airdrop? Discounts, early access? I can’t help but imagine Andy Warhol would make use of this in some creative ways.

The Super Psychedelic Sisters are excited to be creating a CoHort NFT as well as our 1/1 artworks with the help of one of our partners, Voice. These are known as POAP or Proof of Attendance Protocol. Basically, free swag NFT! This is much like check-ins or tagging a venue, person or brand. You can keep it, sell it down the road, or trade it. But, you’ll have to either attend one of our events, or scan a special QR code to get it. I know, it’s super hard having this much fun with new tech!

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