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What is NFT art?

NFT art is artwork tokenized as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a blockchain. NFTs are unique, indivisible digital assets with proven ownership and authenticity. Artists can tokenize their creations, including digital art, illustrations, animations, music, and other forms of creative expression, using NFTs.

Through NFT art, artists can monetize their creations in new ways as a digital counterpart to physical artworks. An NFT art piece is identified by a unique token containing information such as its creator, title, description, and a link to the digital file or content. This tokenized representation of art enables artists to prove ownership and sell their works directly to collectors on various NFT marketplaces.

Is coding necessary for NFTs?

Creating an NFT doesn't necessarily require extensive coding skills, although the level of technical knowledge or assistance required can vary depending on the platform or method you choose. There are multiple approaches available for creating an NFT, each with its own considerations and requirements. Let's explore a few of them:

One option is to utilize NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible, which offer user-friendly interfaces designed to enable artists and creators to mint NFTs without the need for coding expertise. These platforms provide step-by-step guidance throughout the process, from uploading your digital artwork or content to adding essential metadata such as titles and descriptions. They also allow you to configure various parameters for your NFT, including royalty fees and supply. By handling the underlying smart contract coding and blockchain interactions on your behalf, these marketplaces simplify the creation process.

Alternatively, you can leverage dedicated NFT creation platforms like Highlight, which provide intuitive tools specifically tailored for NFT collection creation and minting. These platforms often offer customizable templates, allowing you to personalize the appearance and attributes of your NFT. With features that allow for smart contract customization options for artwork curation and metadata input, these platforms streamline the process while eliminating the need for coding.

Smart contracts

A smart contract is a self-executing digital contract that is stored and executed on a blockchain network. It is a computer program that automates and enforces the terms of an agreement between two or more parties. Smart contracts operate based on predefined conditions and rules encoded within their code, eliminating the need for intermediaries and facilitating trustless and transparent transactions.

Smart contracts enable the unique properties and functionalities of NFTs. They define the behavior of NFTs, including how they are minted, how ownership is transferred, and what actions can be performed on them. Smart contracts also ensure the immutability and transparency of NFT transactions by recording them on the blockchain.

For example, when an NFT is created, the smart contract defines its metadata, such as the artwork, description, and other attributes. It also establishes the ownership rights and provides a mechanism for transferring ownership from one address to another. The smart contract can enforce certain rules, such as royalty payments to the original creator whenever the NFT is resold.

Creator-owned contracts

Collections deployed on Highlight are creator-owned. This means that Highlight helps to handle the technical aspects, such as deploying the contract code, setting up the associated infrastructure, and ensuring proper integration with marketplaces. However, the ownership of the contract, including the ability to modify or transfer it, rests with you as the creator.

By deploying a creator-owned contract, you have greater autonomy and control over your NFTs. It allows you to define the terms and conditions of your NFTs, set royalty fees, control secondary sales, and make decisions about the future development or enhancements of your NFT ecosystem. It empowers you to have a direct relationship with your collectors and maintain the rights and benefits associated with your digital creations.

Types of NFT collections

There are several distinct types of NFT collections, each with its own unique characteristics and attributes. Let's explore some of these variations:

  • Series: In a series collection, artists can create a range of tokens, each with distinct artwork and metadata. Collectors can have the freedom to choose which specific token they want to acquire from the available options.
  • Limited edition: Limited edition NFT collections are characterized by a predefined and finite number of available NFTs. Artists or creators specify the total supply of NFTs in the collection, creating a sense of scarcity and exclusivity. Once all the NFTs are sold or minted, the collection is considered complete.
  • Open edition: In contrast to limited edition collections, open edition NFTs have no predefined cap on the number of available NFTs. Artists can continue minting and selling NFTs in the collection indefinitely, allowing for ongoing availability to collectors.
  • 1 of 1: One-of-one NFTs refer to unique and indivisible tokens. Each NFT in a one-of-one collection represents a singular piece of artwork or content, often considered as the pinnacle of exclusivity. Artists can either set a fixed price for the token or opt for an auction format where collectors bid on the NFT.
How to sell digital art as NFTs
Creating digital art

Before being able to sell digital art, creators have to choose the most suitable blockchain platform to mint and sell their NFTs. While Ethereum has maintained its prominence, you can also explore alternatives like Polygon or Base. Each blockchain has its own advantages, community, and marketplace ecosystem.

Learn more about chains Highlight supports:

After selecting the blockchain, artists must create the NFT, intertwining their digital artwork with a distinct token. This process typically entails the minting of the NFT through a platform specifically tailored to support the selected blockchain.

On Highlight, creating an NFT is simple and can be done by heading to your dashboard and selecting “Create a collection”.

Once artists have uploaded and finalized the details of their collection, they proceed to develop pricing and distribution strategies for their NFTs.

Sale mechanics

Artists and creators have a range of sale mechanics at their disposal when releasing NFTs, offering diverse ways to engage collectors. Let's explore a few examples:

Fixed Price Minting is a straightforward approach where the artist sets a predetermined price for each NFT. This method provides transparency, allowing buyers to know the exact cost upfront and simplifying the purchasing process.

In a Dutch Auction, the NFT starts with a high price and gradually decreases over time until a buyer decides to make a purchase. This creates a sense of urgency, as collectors have the opportunity to acquire the NFT at a price they find desirable within the auction period.

For an English Auction, also known as an ascending price auction, the NFT begins with an initial price, and interested buyers place increasingly higher bids. The auction continues until the predetermined end time. The highest bidder at the auction's conclusion becomes the proud owner of the NFT.

Limited Time Sale involves setting a specific window during which the NFT is available for purchase. Once the sale period ends, no further NFTs are minted, creating a sense of exclusivity for those who participated within the designated time frame.

Randomized Minting adds an element of surprise to the collection. Each NFT is assigned various traits, rarities, or characteristics randomly during the minting process. Collectors experience anticipation and excitement as they acquire NFTs without knowing the specific traits they will receive.

These examples demonstrate the versatility of mint mechanics and the myriad possibilities for engaging collectors. Highlight, an NFT creation platform, provides support for all these distribution mechanics, empowering artists to choose the approach that aligns best with their vision.

Using allowlists for NFT distribution

Allowlists serve as curated rosters of individuals or addresses granted exclusive access or privileges during the NFT sale process. These lists delineate who has the authority to mint the NFT, either throughout the entire sale or within a specific timeframe.

The implementation of allowlists can vary depending on the chosen platform or marketplace for the NFT sale. On Highlight, creators can create allowlists through gates, which enable them to restrict minting based on certain conditions, including:

  • Holding a token from a specific collection
  • Holding a token with a specific attribute
  • Holding a specific token from a collection
  • Holding a minimum amount of ETH, Matic, or other ERC20
  • An allowlist of wallet addresses
  • Providing a verified email address

The criteria for inclusion on an allowlist can be diverse and established by the creator or project team. It may encompass early supporters, community members, or individuals who fulfill specific requirements such as holding a particular token or meeting predetermined engagement thresholds.

By implementing an allowlist, creators and projects exercise control over the NFT sale's participant pool, fostering fairness, loyalty, and community engagement. It acts as a safeguard against scalpers, bots, or unauthorized participants overwhelming the sale, ensuring that individuals who have demonstrated genuine interest or support are provided with a chance to participate. Allowlists function as a means to reward loyal community members and cultivate a sense of exclusivity, strengthening the bond between creators and their audience.

Other considerations: decentralized file storage

Decentralized file storage involves the practice of storing the files and assets associated with an NFT on a decentralized network of computers, rather than relying on a centralized server or hosting provider. Unlike traditional file storage systems controlled by a single entity, decentralized file storage leverages blockchain and peer-to-peer technology to create a distributed network where files are stored and accessed by multiple participants.

The utilization of decentralized file storage systems offers numerous advantages for NFTs. Firstly, it enhances the security and integrity of the files. By distributing the files across multiple nodes in the network, it becomes challenging for a single point of failure or malicious attack to compromise their availability or integrity.

There are several notable options for decentralized file storage. One popular choice is Arweave, a permanent and decentralized storage network that ensures the longevity and availability of data through its blockweave structure. Arweave operates on a permanent storage model, aiming to store data indefinitely. It uses a blockchain-like structure called the blockweave to ensure the longevity and availability of data. Highlight automatically stores metadata on Arweave for deployed collections.

Another option is the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), which is a protocol and peer-to-peer network enabling decentralized file storage and retrieval. IPFS uniquely identifies files based on their content, ensuring resistance to censorship and data integrity.

Decentralized file storage for NFTs aligns with the ethos of decentralization, immutability, and censorship resistance that blockchain technology offers. It provides a robust and scalable solution for storing and distributing NFT assets, allowing for a more resilient and independent ecosystem for creators and collectors.