In February 2021, 15-year-old Jaiden Stipp created his first piece of digital artwork, a moving graphic of a skeleton astronaut waving on the moon. Jaiden has now fully embraced his role as an NFT artist. A new NFT artwork was made available to 367 collectors in a special edition format. After he sold his first piece for 20 Ethereum, around $30,000 at the time. In direct primary sales, the editions earned over $350,000, he said. Crypto art estimates that Jaiden’s total sales to date have exceeded $1 million, excluding secondary sales between one buyer and another. The success of Jaiden and his family has been “unexpected but pleasant”.
Where it all began
During his time designing for his friends and acquaintances, Jaiden designed logos and album covers for flashy magazines. According to Fortune, the most he has ever earned from his work is a $70 commission on an album cover he made for a friend. A few days later, he signed up for an account on SuperRare, a digital art marketplace where traders can buy and sell digital artwork. A verification process was required because he was a minor. Jaiden says he was accepted about a month later and researched everything he could about the program. I minted my first artwork a month after setting everything up with my parents.
How do you create an NFT art?
Tokens representing non-fungible assets, or NFTs, belong only to one person. NFTs have so far been associated with art, music, and videos, although any asset could potentially become one. NFTs are created by uploading them to a blockchain, a network that stores cryptocurrencies. To do so, artists such as Jaiden still need to store a bit of cryptocurrency in a crypto wallet and digitalize their work. Creators must have an account on one of the many online marketplaces that accept NFTs, such as OpenSea or the SuperRare platform used by Jaiden. Whenever an NFT is “minted” on one of these marketplaces and put on sale, cross your fingers and hope for a bid! The NFT can then be awarded to the highest bidder after the creators have set their own price.
Unbeleiveable $30,000 bid
He waited around a week and a half before selling his first NFT piece of art in February 2021. The NFT was not priced, and so Jaiden and his family watched as bids came in. And then decided to sell for 20 Ethereum, which at the time was worth about $30,000. Despite bidding wars almost always escalating the price of Jaiden’s work. 20 ETH has become a starting price for most of his work. My work is not really priced by me. Regarding these bidding wars, he says, I let the collectors decide the price. NFTs will continue to evolve as long as they remain accessible, predicts Jaiden.
It took me no time to figure it out. “There are even more articles today explaining how to make crypto wallets and interact with NFTs, so anyone can take part,” he said. Along with his digital success, Jaiden is also an accomplished painter. With all of his NFT sales, he likes to include physical pieces as well. “Personally, I include some sort of physical [artwork] with all of my single sale NFTs, whether it be through a print, a painting, or other items,” he says.
The new NFT art market
Jaiden, a young artist who grew up in a digital world, is leveraging her tech-savvy and social media abilities to succeed outside of the traditional art world. The year 2021 was undoubtedly a breakthrough year for NFTs. Beeple, a digital artist from the Netherlands, sold an NFT at Christie’s, the world’s largest auction house, for over $69 million last March. After that, NFTs have become more mainstream.
According to blockchain and cybersecurity research firm Chain analysis, buyers spent $44.2 billion in cryptocurrency on NFT marketplaces last year. Since January 2021, Nonfungible.com has tracked almost 50,000 NFT transactions a day, including all kinds of NFTs, not just art. The NFT craze may not last, however. Artists such as Cat Graffam have criticized the technology for prioritizing monetary values over art. Because NFT art is unregulated high cost and only accessible to a few collectors, artists such as Graffam doubt it will last long. As for Jaiden, he thinks people will still be interested in buying, selling, and trading NFTs in the near future. It is my firm belief that consumer appetite will continue to grow, he says. “There may be some corrections in the market, but generally, people will still be interested.”