Malayali artists discover NFTs as a new way of monetizing their creations.

By Anju B Nair, Technical Writer Kerala Blockchain Academy

It is no big-time the art enthusiasts around the world opened their eyes to Non-Fungible Token or NFT. Much like cryptocurrency, NFT also caught with the drift with blockchain-based virtual platforms like Foundation, NiftyKit, Wazirx (Indian NFT platform) knocking around. Today the concept is catching up like wildfire in India, with no ostracism in Kerala. All thanks to the covid-induced digital boom. The popularity of contactless, technology-driven solutions is in the surge- especially among the artist community. The blockchain-powered NFT came as a boon to artists as the covid pandemic could not accommodate the traditional art and craft marketplace that revolved around galleries and auctions- making NFTs popular in the homegrown market.

For NFT Malayalis, NFTs or non-fungible tokens is an incredible platform to showcase their artwork like never before. It has opened a new horizon of possibilities to connect art collectors on a global scale.

In a chat between Kerala Blockchain Academy and NFT Malayali members, myriads of opportunities were surfaced to art enthusiasts. It was understood like a large number of artists are ready to behold the NFTs as they opportune more value and collectiveness to the artwork like never before.

Here is the tale of the NFT Malayali artists group that believes NFTs have brought artists up to the speed that should be today. The story goes like this.

When Anantha Krishnan Nadamel, the young visual designer minted or created his first NFT in March 2021, he wasn’t well versed with the opportunity behind it. But the digital art creator sold 26 NFTs in the first place perhaps one of the highest for an Indian artist to acclaim. Since then, there was no looking back for Anantha Krishnan. He went on to celebrate his artwork in the NFT space selling his works to collectors across the globe. He also founded a global collective of Malayali artists- NFT Malayali, introducing the co- Malayali artists to the growing success of NFT digital space. He credits his pal Sreekumar, for introducing him to NFT in a casual call.

Today his brainchild- the NFT Malayali is a group of 600 + artists who define their artwork on the blockchain. The community acts as an education cum talking point where artists across the globe come over a chat and discuss themselves on the exploratory niches of NFTs, identify the latest trends, discuss the pricing and branding strategies, also identify the gateways of reaching collectors.

No quick buck @ NFT

“The biggest boost I ever experienced from NFT is the global exposure to my artwork and the value added to the digital art. Earlier the traditional art was auctioned off at prices that collectors put forward and there was a constrain of reaching out to global collectors. However, now with open-ended digital networking, one can spread large wings. More on, NFTs have made it possible for the artists to fix themselves the price of their artwork through effective branding” opined Melvin Thampi, who is also the Co-Founder of NFT Malayali.

The graphic designer has sold already many of his digital portraits collaborating with other artists like musicians, photographers etc. According to him, the addon benefit NFT offers is, no matter how many times an artwork is sold, the artist gets 10 per cent loyalty. Not that alone, even if the collector collects an artwork in NFT, the artwork remains in the artist’s portfolio.

Secret Sauce of NFT

Melvin’s advice for creative artists planning to get into the NFT space is to read up about the technology, also collaborate with fellow NFT artists by being part of communities like NFT Malayalis- as they are real know-hows to pitch better.

When asked about the biggest challenge about NFT space, it is to market oneself. You have to brand yourself as the marketplace doesn’t necessarily promote artists. Valuation is important and artists should know the pricing strategy, Melvin explained.

Anantha Krishnan says that while awareness and popularity of NFT space are growing in India, artists still need to be sure which platform they list their work, because collectors matter. “If you put on a platform like Foundation, you should have a ready base of collectors who are willing to spend.

According to NFT Malayali Community, the number of collectors is to exponentially grow in India as time progresses and this is the right time for artists to explore this crypto-driven domain.

According to Adeeb Abdul Salam, the Blockchain Advisor at NFT Malayali, NFT is a boon to artists as there is always anticipation over property rights, intellectual rights. Adeeb looks forward to NFTs solving this problem. If you know the artist minted it, it is there in blockchain history. According to Adeeb, any creator can make NFT with basic knowledge of the NFT Marketplace, Wallets such as MetaMask, and Crypto Exchanges.

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