The nonfungible token (NFT) art industry has developed into a “beautiful cycle” thanks to the connection artists have with their fans, according to artist Danielle Weber who spoke at the Australia Blockchain Week conference.
Weber spoke on a Wednesday panel titled “Pushing the boundaries of NFT utility and art — Homegrown spotlight,” discussing the benefits of the nonfungible token ecosystem bringing artists closer together with their fans. She highlighted the fact that such closeness provides mutual advantages for both artists and fans:
“It’s a beautiful cycle that we’re seeing in this space. We are closely connected to our fans […] So we know what they want, and they motivate us to create work that is true to ourselves and true to our craft.”
That connection with fans is apparent the moment one enters the NFT space. A collector may join a Discord channel from an NFT project or begin following an artist or a collection’s account. Through those media, collectors can voice their opinions and get real-time updates directly from the content creators about the direction they are taking with their art. As Weber stated, such an arrangement allows artists to “think more widely about how we can give back to our supporters.”
She believes that this two-way street of communication between artists and fans “has taken out the middlemen and the galleries,” which “pushes you to stand up as an artist” and be “at the forefront of your project.”
The process that generated the apparent give-and-take cycle in the NFT space took time to develop, as noted by another panelist and founder of the “Metakey” NFT collection, Matty. He said that when he started his foray into the NFT space about four years ago, “every Discord had like 200 people, and if it had 1,000, it was a big project.”
Sales in the NFT industry currently outweigh those from the traditional art auction industry. Last year, NFT sales totaled about $23.1 billion, according to DappRadar, while traditional non-NFT art auction sales topped $16.8 billion, according to news outlet International Business Times.
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Matty attributes the growth of the NFT space to a small number of catalysts such as Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot NFT collection that “built something that was really easy to understand, and it clicked.” In his view, there will be more catalysts in the gaming and creative industries that begin to integrate NFTs.
As of the time of writing, the NBA Top Shot discord channel had nearly 224,000 members.