[WATCH] What it Takes to Sell an NFT for Over $6 Million – A Chat with Digital Artist, Beeple

Recently, the most expensive digital art piece got auctioned for $6.6 million as a non-fungible token (NFT) video clip which brought a lot of attention into the world of NFTs mainstream.

The digital artist Beeple created a video that was authenticated by blockchain which serves as a digital signature to certify it is an original piece and actually who owns it.


SEE ALSO: You Can Now Buy the First Tweet Ever Sent as an NFT


The computer-generated video sold by Rodriguez-Fraile shows what appears to be a giant Donald Trump collapsed on the ground, his body covered in slogans, in an otherwise idyllic setting.

At the same time, auction house, Christie’s, has just launched its first-ever sale of digital art – a collage of 5,000 pictures, also by Beeple – which exists solely as an NFT.

Bids for the work have hit $5.2 million, with the sale due to close on March 11, 2021.

In this discussion, the now famed artist, Beeple, behind the highest grossing NFT so far, offers some great insights into the space:

  • I taught myself how to create pictures in 3D using Cinema4D for the next 12 years
  • I have been doing this art for 2 hours every day and publishing it online for the last 12 years
  • I come up with ideas by looking at a lot of other people’s stuff – pulling from a bunch of other digital artists and this is a great part of it
  • I’m inspired by politics, internet culture, financial happenings, tech companies and their relationship with people – I look at it as a digital cartoon
  • I’m able to create all of this stuff in just a few hours
  • With NFTs, I saw that people are making a lot of money to be totally honest and selling stuff I never thought you could sell
  • It made total sense to be able to collect my dgital artwork in a digital way – before this I could only sell prints and stuff
  • My work is digital and its sort of mean’t to be viewed on a screen. Being able to collect it and sell it in a digital way is something very exciting and I didn’t see it coming – it was not on my radar to be honest
  • NFTs in general touch on things that I’m really interested in – art aspect, technology aspect, and the investing aspect – the most interesting combination I’m super interested in
  • I started by looking at SuperRare in October 2020 – I was shocked to see people paying huge amounts of money for things I didn’t think you could sell
  • Once I learned why people are paying all this money, I dove head first down the rabbit hole
  • I talked to everybody and anybody who could jump onto a Zoom call to help me understand where this space was going – CEOs of these platforms, artists, collectors and anybody pushing in some sort of direction – to pick their brain
  • I have only 3 jobs now and they all have been through Nifty Gateway
  • In all of those cases, its sort of, OK, here is the artwork – you give it to them and they sort of handle that
  • On places like Rarible, you sort of DIY – you upload the artwork, you write out the description, you pay the gas fee, and she’s on the blockchain!
  • I’m pushing all these m*$#@ to sort of accept credit cards because I really strongly feel that making this as easy as possible to bring in new users is gonna be key and the people who do that the best are gonna have the most success moving forward
  • I have all this work and I’m making it daily but the way you split it up can make a big difference for how much it sells for and long term in terms of your career and scarcity – I think a lot about this
  • I also look at what people have done and try and do things people have not done before – I sort of structure it like that as well
  • I’m always thinking: how can I keep a level of scarcity and how can I return as much value back to collectors immediately as possible
  • This may be a bubble but its also one of these things where I see a lot of legitimate long term value for this – this is an asset class
  • I think we’ve only scratched the surface of different mechanics to how these things can work and utility use cases
  • A lot of younger investors sort of hate corporations – they could look at other things that speak more to them in terms of asset classes and I think NFTs could be a huge piece of that moving forward
  • My first drop was 2 videos – both of those pieces went for $66, 000 – done on Nifty Gateway
  • There is a different level of validation when selling a digital piece of art that has no physical component through a 205-year old auction house that is selling Rembrandts and Warhols and Leonardo Da Vinci paintings – Christie’s Auction
  • I’m exploring more physical tokens for those who wonder “Why am I buying a JPEG?”
  • You get a video screen that keeps looping – something you can put on your shelf and it keeps looping – the video comes with a QR code which, when scanned, goes to BeepleCollect.com and it has additional information about this artwork and immediately shows who owns the artwork, and how the artwork was made
  • I wanted something that was sort of tied together – the print and the NFT – and felt like one cohestive digital product
  • Bringing the physical aspect is something I’m super excited to start exploring – its ironic that as a digital artist, NFT technology pushed me to making physical art and I think its gonna push physical artists to make more digital products as well
  • To be honest, a lot of these NFTs are going to go to zero – historically, the bottom 90% do not usually do well and they will probably lose money
  • Just because someone made an NFT out of something does not automatically mean that it has value
  • Since I got into the game, I understand the value proposition of bitcoin and ethereum much better now – 33% of my assets are currently allocated to crypto


RECOMMENDED READING: February 2021 Dapp Industry Report Highlights – DeFi and NFT Ecosystems Hit New Highs


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