How to Make and Sell NFT Art: Step-by-Step Guide With Pictures

So you’re here because you heard about Nyan Cat. Or maybe it was Grimes’ collection of weird demon baby cherub things. Or something having to do with Lindsay Lohan. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided you’re going to make hay while the crypto sun shines, you’ve got the art skills to do it, and the only thing you’re missing is the crypto know-how to get your work up there where the kind of people who will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a GIF can smile upon your work and maybe cough up a few grand your way.

Well, you’re in luck, because we simplified the whole process into a few easy steps that will have your own bizarre crypto art immortalized on the blockchain in no time.

How to Make and Sell NFT Art

Down below, we will take you step-by-step through the process of turning your beloved artwork into a newly-minted NFT that will outlive us all on the Ethereum Blockchain. We say Ethereum because, at least for the time being, Ethereum is the prime blockchain for selling and trading NFTs.

Step 1: Create Some Art

How to Make NFT Art - Drawing
But probably finish yours.

The first thing you’ll have to do when setting out to sell some NFT art is, well, create some art of your own. This can be almost any form of media — GIFs, illustrations, videos, 3D models and the like. A short stroll through Rarible or Foundation will give you an idea of the general Inclinations in crypto Art. Currently, there seems to A preference for either very avant-garde, experimental abstract art or meme-heavy internet culture references. Not that that should necessarily inform your work — we won’t be wading into the “creation for the market” debate right here. Once you’ve settled on the kind of art you’d like to upload, you’re free to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Set Up an Ethereum Wallet

How to Make NFT Art - MyEtherWallet
source: mewwallet

There are numerous wallets out there to choose from to serve as your public address and store your private key, but it is generally recommended to rely on a hardware wallet. If you need help choosing the best wallet for you, we made detailed comparisons between the best-selling hardware wallets in our Trezor vs Ledger breakdown, as well as an examination of the Ledger Nano S vs X.

In case you are new to cryptocurrency, here’s a quick crash course on how crypto wallets work: They are essentially software or hardware that help you operate a public address on your cryptocurrency’s blockchain. This public address is what stores the cryptocurrency and is viewable by all, though its ownership is completely anonymous (unless you make it otherwise). Every public address has a private key that is used to deposit, withdraw, or send funds to and from the address. Think of it as a mailbox: everybody can see it, knows where it is, and can send mail to it. But only the person with the key to the mailbox can open it and retrieve what’s inside. 

There are two types of wallets: Hot Wallets which are connected to the Internet and provide greater convenience to the user at the expense of lesser security, and Cold Wallets which Store your information offline and are less convenient for frequent use but provide much greater security to the user. A popular example of a hot wallet is the commonly used MyEtherWallet, while the best examples of cold wallets are the hardware-based wallets from Trezor or Ledger that we mentioned above — and also pen and paper. Yes,good ol’ pen and paper can function as a cold wallet as well, though you’ll need to generate your own public addresses which can be a pain. 

We recommend MyEtherWallet or Metamask for new users who are new to crypto and only looking to put their work up for sale, or any of the Trezor/Ledger hardware wallets for those interested in storying crypto in general (as well as those who have made a sale of significant value and would like to keep their earnings safe!). 

Note that Foundation only connects to Metamask.

Step 3: Buy Some Ether

How to Make NFT Art Binance
Source: Binance

In the maelstrom of news and surging interest in NFTs, it may be news to you that putting an NFT up for sale will actually cost you some money. This is because of how the Ethereum blockchain works: Unlike Bitcoin, in which miners are rewarded with Bitcoin for contributing the computing power necessary to verify transactions and add their record to the blockchain, Ethereum miners are paid with a different currency on the blockchain known as gas.

Whenever you are looking to confirm a transaction and added to the blockchain, a transaction fee is paid (ostensibly to cover the gas and platform fee) — Ethereum miners are able to pick and choose what contracts they would like to expend the computer power on and thus the more gas you pay for your transaction, the faster your contract will be carried out and added to the blockchain. This includes uploading your NFT.

So you will want to buy some Ether in order to purchase the gas and pay the transaction fee. Transaction fees fluctuate pretty wildly, but are overall significantly lower than they were A month or two ago when Ether started its bullrush to $2000. 

Step 4: Choose a Marketplace

 How to Make NFT Art

Once you have your art, your wallet, and some Ether burning a hole in your pocket, you are ready to put your NFT to market. What do you want to do is head over to ethereum.org and take a look at their selection of dApps — short for decentralized apps. Rarible, Nifty Gateway, and Foundation are some good starting points to get a handle on the Ethereum market and some eyeballs on your own NFT. Each one caters to a slightly different taste so make sure to check all three of them, as well as the many other market places, before settling on one. 

Foundation seems to be the best for digital painting, while Nifty Gateway caters most to 3D models and Rarible seems to be a chaotic mix of the aforementioned of Avant-Garde/Internet meme culture fusion. 

Related: Best NFT Marketplace Websites Online

Step 5: Upload Your Art

How to make NFT art - Wallet

While each platform will differ in where you click the actual button, they all start with connecting your crypto wallet. Each of the major sites will automatically create an account associated with your wallet and guide you through a relatively simple upload process in which you have to choose how many “copies” of your NFT you’d like to mint and what percentage you’d like your royalties to be whenever the item is resold.

This latter feature is an innovative leap forward for digital artists who, unlike their traditional counterparts, could never truly limit the supply of any one work once dispensed nor produce a true “original.” An NFT essentially comes with a blockchain-printed certificate of authenticity that proves its originality as the original work, making it possible for the original artist to get a cut of every subsequent trade/sale — a feature even traditional artists can’t feasibly reap the benefits of. Once you’ve chosen the work, set your copies, and royalty fee, you’re ready to move on to the final step.

Step 6: Pay the Transaction Fee

How to Make NFT Art Gas

With your NFT artwork locked and loaded, all you need to do is pull the trigger on the gas and you can sit back while your work is uploaded to the blockchain and becomes a unique entity on the network, immutable and invulnerable to any server collapse. The transaction fee will ensure that your NFT is mined by whichever Ethereum miner picks up the contract, pocketing your fee for their trouble. 

After that, it should only be a matter of a couple minutes before your newly-minted NFT is up and on the market for just waiting to make the day of the keen-eyed patron who sees it first!

Any more NFT questions? Feel to shoot ’em at us down below. Otherwise, take a tour of our cryptocurrency archives for all your crypto-related needs. 

Posted by
Will

Will Heydecker is a writer, screenwriter and illustrator who still likes dragons. As part of his bitter war against adulthood, he likes to distill art, gaming, technology, and entertainment info into digestible topics people actually enjoy reading.

9 Comments

  1. Hello Will, thank you for the detailed steps on NFT. Can you help to understand the step 1 “Create Some Art”. Can this Art be Normal hand made art and take a picture? Or Do we need to have the art made digitally as a graphic design?
    Any direction is helpful in this step.

    Thanks in advance
    Suman

    1. Hey Suman!

      In the case of NFTs, I’d say there are no real rules. You could certainly create a traditional artwork and sell the photo of it as an NFT, but typically most creators sell digital works because making them into an NFT creates an “original” that digital artists usually do not have.

      For example, if you made a watercolor painting, took a photo, and sold that photo as an NFT you would be selling the photo, not the original watercolor painting. And you would want to make that 100% clear to bidders.

      Personally, if I were a traditional artist, I would avoid selling unedited photos of traditional work and instead try to add at least some digital elements to a photo/scan of a handmade painting — that way the buyer knows they have the “true” original, and not a photo of a work that is somewhere else, that anybody else can take a photo of. Even just text, or filters, just so that its a “new” work, and not just a photo. But then again you can feel free to experiment as you see fit!

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you need me to clarify anything else and good luck Suman!

  2. Hello. I have a question about step 6, the transaction fee. is that a one-time payment or it constantly charging you until you sell your art?

    1. Hey Leo!

      It should be a one-time payment made primarily to cover the cost of the computing power the Ethereum Miner needs in order to add your NFT to the Ethereum blockchain. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Will. How does one withdraw the ‘money’ after a sale. I understand we set our own price on a NFT artwork, then someone buys that art, how is the transaction made?

  4. Hi Will. How does one withdraw the ‘money’ after a sale. I understand we set our own price on a NFT artwork, then someone buys that art, how is the transaction made? After that can I withdraw the proceeds or transfer in to my bank, so I can spend it on groceries for instance?

    1. Hey Paullette!

      So, truth be told, this is where crypto can become slightly complicated depending on your location and banking institution. The proceeds of a sale will be deposited directly into the wallet you used to set up your account on your respective platform; withdrawing those funds can be done in a number of ways.

      The short answer is: you’ll have to set up an exchange account on an exchange platform like Binance, Coinbase, or Kraken, for example, and link your personal bank account. Next, you would send the funds from your personal wallet (the one you sold the NFT under) to the exchange account’s wallet. Once the funds are in your exchange account, all you need do is sell the cryptocurrency (most likely Ether) for whatever currency you prefer, be it USD, GBP, or CAD etc. It sounds somewhat roundabout, but it’s pretty straightforward once you start going through the motions.

      Now, there can be a few complications. Some countries have banned certain cryptocurrencies, some countries have banned certain exchanges, and some banking institutions do not recognize cryptocurrencies. For example, certain centralized exchanges like Coinbase and Binance have limited functionalities in an array of countries due to local legislation. Looking at ways to trade crypto around these barriers is both technically complicated and legally… murky… so we wouldn’t officially recommend it, especially if you’re new to crypto.

      To summarize, make an account on a crypto exchange like Binance/Coinbase and link your bank details, send the funds from your “NFT wallet,” and exchange them into fiat currencies on there. If you have any other trouble, feel free to reach out to us again, we’re more than happy to help! We also have numerous other articles on the subject of Ether and cryptocurrency in general that may be useful for further acquainting yourself with the trials and tribulations of crypto.

      Have a great day!

  5. Hi Will,

    Thanks a lot for your artikel!
    I also have a question about creating a NFT.
    What file types are allowed for the NFT? Are there any limitations? I assume image file types like jpg, png, gif or video formats like mp4 are normal.
    My questions is: Are file types like .exe or .avi also allowed or are there any limitations regarding thr file type?
    TIA
    BeJoan

  6. After many years as a illustrator,I have a great amount of optimism,in digital tokens
    it opens the possibilities for many artists that wish to express themselves away from art galleries,
    but sell their art to a vast market.

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