What is Crypto Art (and How to Make it)

You might have heard of crypto art, also commonly called NFT Art. It’s been popping up all over the place lately, and all sorts are getting interested in crypto art. 

Maybe you first heard about blockchain art when you found out that Grimes sold one for millions. If that caught your attention, then you’re in the right place to find out more about crypto art. 

But the cryptocurrency art world remains a strange and confusing place. So, if you’re baffled by blockchain art, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

This article will explain the mysteries of cryptocurrency art. I’ll dive into how to make crypto art and answer questions like what is NFT art, anyway.

So, read on if you want to find out what all the fuss is about. But you’ll also find everything you need to know about creating crypto art, so you can have a go, too.

What is the Blockchain?

Before we dive into what cryptocurrency artwork is, let’s go one step back. It’s essential to understand the blockchain before getting into blockchain art. 

what is the blockchain

The blockchain is basically a database – but it gets a lot more complicated than that. This database is decentralized across huge computer networks. It stores digital information, specifically on the ownership or provenance of assets. And that’s where blockchain art comes in. 

You can use the blockchain to host your artwork. The critical factor is that on the Blockchain, your files can’t be stolen, duplicated, or lost. It records information on who owns the asset and even allows you to sell or trade it. 

How Does the Blockchain Work?

The blockchain is often described as a digital database or a digital ledger. It’s made up of blocks of information (hence the name). But it also keeps track of digital transactions for everything from art to real estate. 

how does the blockchain work

What’s interesting about the blockchain is how secure it is due to its decentralized nature.

The information it contains is duplicated across computer networks, so it’s not all held in one place. And that also means it can’t be destroyed, hacked, copied, or replaced. Every single new record is added to every ledger around the world. 

The records are time-stamped and often anonymous, protecting people’s identities. And it’s impossible to reverse a record once it’s completed. So, for example, you could track every single sale of a specific NFT using the blockchain. 

And importantly, there isn’t one person or organization in charge of the blockchain. So, it’s become the perfect place to carry out digital transactions. 

What is Blockchain Art?

Blockchain art may seem very intangible and miles apart from regular art. But it’s not all that complicated or different, really. It’s just hosted on the blockchain instead of in a physical space. 

what is blockchain art

And just like with all types of art, some people like to collect digital blockchain art, too. It can bring a particular sort of prestige and pride with it. There’s even such a thing as a crypto art gallery! 

There are all sorts of crypto art out there, including: 

  • Graphics and illustrations
  • Memes
  • Music
  • Virtual reality programs
  • Programmable art
  • GIFs
  • Videos
  • And almost anything you can imagine

NFT art really can be anything – even if you’d struggle to call it art. Even tweets have been sold as NFTs (although it makes me wonder who’s buying them). The proof? Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold a tweet for $2.9 million.

You can buy, trade, and sell artwork in digital marketplaces on the blockchain. Some people on these platforms are creators, but others are simply buyers or traders. You can even do this as an income stream or a form of investment (although making a profit is never guaranteed). 

One way to do this is by researching NFTs that you think will increase in price. You can snap them up and then hold them in the hopes they will increase in value. And in that scenario, you could sell them on to another buyer. 

There are benefits for the initial creator, too. For example, they could receive ongoing royalties each time their NFT is sold. (Although that will depend on the exact terms and conditions agreed). 

How does Crypto Art Work?

When you upload a digital artwork to one of the crypto art platforms, you can sell it. And once you’ve sold it, it legally belongs to the buyer, and the license can’t be copied or duplicated. 

how does crypto art work

But that’s not the same as the actual piece of artwork. Some are already available on the internet, such as memes, gifs, or songs. 

For example, a special edition Nyan Cat GIF was auctioned off to mark its 10th anniversary. But anyone can find these distinctive cat GIFs online and use them however they like.

So, in reality, anyone could copy, save, and use it. But the person who buys it is the only true owner of the original, for what it’s worth. 

However, there are advantages to selling your crypto painting on a digital marketplace. Using the blockchain provides more security and can prevent forgeries. 

It creates a paper chain detailing who owns the work and allows you to reach more people than otherwise. So, you can monetize different forms of artwork that aren’t accepted in the regular art world. 

What is a Non-Fungible Token?

So, your next question might be, what is an NFT art, anyway?  That’s a good question, as the name isn’t very self-explanatory. 

what is a non-fungible token

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are unique pieces of artwork hosted on the blockchain. They’re most commonly hosted on Ethereum, where the NFT concept originated. 

But other platforms are jumping on the NFT trend. There are many different blockchains, and each one has its own tokens. Some alternatives to Ethereum include Tezos, Immutatate, and Polygon. You can find out more about the different blockchains here. 

An NFT is minted on the blockchain, which means it’s available to buy, sell, and trade. The buyer can choose to keep it, use it (or ignore it), or sell it. 

How Do You Make NFT Art?

So now, you might be wondering how to make a non-fungible token. If that’s the case, read on!

NFT art

The good news is that it’s not too tricky to make NFT crypto art if you know what you’re doing. But if you’re just starting out, it can seem pretty overwhelming. 

Here are the basic steps for how to make NFT art. Follow along, and you’ll soon be creating crypto art!

First, you’ll need to make the piece of art you want to turn into an NFT cryptocurrency art. It could be a digital illustration, a movie clip, a piece of music, or something else. 

how do you make nft art

Let’s imagine that you want to create an NFT using a digital painting. You’ll start by creating your artwork in your preferred program, e.g., Adobe Photoshop. You might have something ready to go, or you might need to start from scratch.

Once your artwork is ready, the next step is to authenticate it on your chosen blockchain platform. Then, you’ll need to set up your digital wallet and buy your crypto tokens. 

A word of warning! Make sure to check that the wallet is compatible with the blockchain and marketplace you’ll use. (Some are specific to certain platforms). 

crypto blockchain art

Finally, you’ll need to choose a crypto art website or marketplace for your NFT. Once you’ve uploaded it to the marketplace, you’ll need to pay to mint it. Only then will you be able to sell it. 

Sometimes, you’ll have to mint your NFT right away. But some platforms allow you to wait until a later date. That’s very helpful, as cryptocurrencies fluctuate a lot. So, you could pay more to mint it one day compared to the next.

And the same goes when it comes to selling your artwork, too. How much you will make from your NFT will rely on your reputation and how in-demand your art is. 

But the profit you make will also depend on the cryptocurrency exchange rate on the given day. So, it’s a good idea to keep your eye on the market and choose your moment wisely.

If you want to find out how to make an NFT art, check out my complete guide to NFTs here.

How to Buy NFT Art

So, now you know how to create blockchain digital art. But how do you buy an NFT if you’re in the market? 

how to buy nft art

If you’re confused about how to buy digital art, you wouldn’t be the first. So, let’s take a close look at this confusing topic and demystify it. 

There are some similarities to the process of creating an NFT artwork. First, you’ll need to set up a digital wallet and buy some cryptocurrency. For example, you’ll need Ether on the Ethereum blockchain. 

As mentioned above, cryptocurrencies fluctuate, and as a result, so does the price of NFTs. So, you’ll need to wait for the right time to buy. You should keep an eye out for when the currency is lower than at other times. 

If you do so, you’ll save money and could earn a nice profit. But of course, there’s a lot of luck to it, as well. 

Why Make Crypto Art?

Even now, you might still feel a bit confused about all the hype around cryptocurrency art. So, what’s all the fuss about, and is it worth it? Should you have a go at making your NFT? And should you be investing in NFT artwork as a buyer?

why make crypto art

Let’s take a look at these crucial questions. But cryptocurrency art is still a new trend, with opinions varying hugely. And none of us has a crystal ball, so it’s hard to predict whether this craze flops or continues to grow. 

So, here’s my take on crypto art. For digital artists, it can be a great way to get your work in front of more people. That’s even more true if you create unconventional artwork like GIFs, stickers, memes, etc. 

As a result, NFT art is another marketing channel you could explore. It’s an alternative way to monetize and sell your artwork. It’s easier to break into than the highly competitive (and nepotistic) art world.

But your reputation and following will also allow you to sell more digital art and at a higher price. So, don’t build up false expectations of shooting to fame if you’re a brand new artist. It will still take a lot of grit, hard work, determination, and time to become successful. 

Why Buy Crypto Art?

And when it comes to the buyers, there’s the draw of being ahead of the crowd. You could be the first to discover a budding new star who will take the world by storm. And you’ll have the digital transactions to prove it. 

why buy crypto art

With certain types of NFT art, there are extra benefits or incentives to be had. For example, it might have interactive elements or exclusive bonus content. So, that could be another reason to buy an NFT. 

But whether you’re into blockchain art is a very personal decision. It comes down to whether you like the idea of supporting artists and ‘owning’ an artwork. Even if you don’t actually own anything physical at all. 

There’s always the chance that you could earn some money by selling your NFTs in the future. But as we don’t know which way the market will move, it’s quite a gamble. 

So, it depends on how secure you feel in the future of blockchain art (and how much you need the money!). If you don’t mind losing out, that’s fine. But I wouldn’t risk your life savings on some art on the blockchain. 

Blockchain Art FAQ 

Still, got some questions about cryptocurrency artwork? Here’s a quick FAQ of the most common crypto art questions. If you’re confused about anything else, share your question in the comments below. 

What does NFT stand for in crypto?

NFT stands for a non-fungible token, but that in itself needs some explanation. It means it’s a one-off item that can’t be copied or replaced. So it’s not interchangeable (like a coin or bitcoin is). Instead, it’s unique – just like your artwork. 

You can upload your artwork (or any other file) to the blockchain and mint it. And then, you have ownership of it until you sell it on and it moves to the next owner. 

With NFTs, each one is different and holds its own distinct value (which could be high or low). In some ways, it’s similar to regular artwork. The value of each NFT depends on the artist’s talent, reputation, and how scarce the assets are. 

What can you do with an NFT?

You have a few options of what you can do with an NFT. If it’s your own work, you can host it on the blockchain. Then, when the time is right (and the cost of Ether is low), you can mint it. Then, you’re able to sell it at a fixed price or via auction to the highest bidder.
If you buy an NFT, you could consider it a long-term investment. You might hope that it will increase in value (although that’s not guaranteed!). 

You can decide to trade it or sell it to someone else. If the value has gone up, you could make some profit. But alternatively, it could also drop in profit, and you’ll make a loss. It’s a risky game, so it’s up to you if you want to play. 

Or, you might want to keep your shiny new digital asset. Sometimes, there are interactive elements. For example, it could be a game that you can play or a virtual reality world. 
But mostly, it’s about collecting pieces of artwork and supporting artists. A lot of the time, you can’t actually do anything with your NFT. 

It’s not even like a physical piece of artwork you can put out on display. It’s more about bragging rights or the sense of achievement you get from owning the NFT.

Can crypto art be copied?

That depends on how you look at it. Once you mint an asset on the blockchain, it’s impossible to copy the record and claim ownership of it. 
But the actual file (e.g. a GIF or meme) can be copied and pasted by anyone on the internet. So, while you may own the original, anyone can use a copy of the file. 

However, the difference is that you have a license detailing your ownership of the NFT. This license cannot be copied, duplicated, hacked, or stolen. You have the security of the blockchain to thank for this.
And that means you can sell the NFT, trade it, or keep it for as long as you like. It’s your choice what you do with your NFT, but no one can take it from you.

Where can I buy NFT tokens?

You can buy NFT tokens depending on which blockchain the NFT marketplace supports. There are several marketplaces and blockchains out there. But the most common is Ethereum, which is supported by almost all NFT platforms.

So, I would recommend buying Ether tokens to buy an NFT. You’ll need to set up a cryptocurrency wallet like Metamask, OpenSea, or Ledger.
You can buy Ether tokens on a cryptocurrency exchange. Then, add your tokens to your wallet, and you’re ready to buy an NFT. 

How do you make NFT art?

There are a few steps to making NFT art. First, you’ll need the artwork you want to turn into an NFT. It could be a drawing, illustration, short movie, piece of music, or anything else you can imagine.
Then, you’ll need to authenticate it on the blockchain so that it exists as a digital asset. Once you’ve done that, you can upload and mint it on an NFT marketplace. And finally, it’s ready for sale or trade! You can find a full guide to making NFT art here

Can I create my own NFT art?

As mentioned above, you can create your own NFT art! It’s not too complicated, but there are a few steps to the process, and it’s not free. You’ll need to set yourself up with a digital marketplace account and an online wallet. And, of course, you’ll need the artwork. Then, you’ll need to buy some cryptocurrency to mint your NFT. You can read more about the process of creating digital crypto art above! 

Who invented crypto art?

The history of crypto art is pretty complicated, as it’s evolved over the years. There were many steps to get to where we are now. And many people have contributed to developing the blockchain and creating the NFT market. So, it’s hard to name one sole inventor of crypto art.

But here are a couple of notable dates and figures. For example, the first image was embedded on the blockchain way back in 2011 by Dan Keminsky. 

And in 2014, Kuno Goda’s 200 Bitcoin Painting was one of the first artworks to be sold on the blockchain. This painting was inspired by Andy Warhol’s style and sold for an undisclosed price. 

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what blockchain art

The Wrap Up

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of blockchain art and its intricacies. By now, you should be an expert on everything to do with digital crypto art. 

At first, the crypto art world can feel like a mysterious and confusing place. There’s a lot of jargon and insider knowledge you need to know. But now, you should feel more confident navigating the blockchain and NFT marketplaces.

From making NFT art to how to buy digital art, we’ve covered it all in this guide. But if you have any questions about blockchain digital art, let me know below. I’ll do my best to answer your questions!

I’d love to hear how you get on with NFT art. Will you give it a go and create your own NFT? Keep me updated!

Make sure to follow Proactive Creative on Pinterest before you go! I’ll share the best news, info, and tips for creative professionals (and hobbyists!).


My name is Outmane, I am a designer and artist.

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