Considering my Draft Kings account was down to around 3 USD, and I didn’t want to put anymore money into the account for at least the rest of the 2021 / 2022 NFL season, I decided to look elsewhere for gambling and investment opportunities. I’ve wanted to look into NFT marketplaces for a long time, so I Googled and found that Open Sea was on the top of many lists as the best marketplace, and that began my path to perdition.
I have some vague sense of what constitutes an NFT, a digital asset, or at least a marketable friendly “sellable” one. I have a ton of questions that I hope will put “guard rails” on what is a marketable, sellable NFTs. There is also an “out of the box” thinking when it comes to producing new NFTs, as many graphic artist types are creative, out side the box thinkers, in general.
Why do we need NFT Marketplaces leveraging Blockchain technology (i.e. decentralized, replicated transactions, and immutable storage)? We already have public exchanges for licensing digital content, so was Blockchain absolutely necessary to license/sell digital assets (i.e. images)? Regardless, the adventure begins.
I started by leveraging assets I already owned, physical comic books, thousands and thousands of them dating back from the early 1980s, and a bit before. I’ve started to methodically review each of the comic book’s cover art, and make the choice to elevate my physical copy into my digital collection. As of this writing, I’ve created two digital collections on the Open Sea NFT Marketplace, Comic Book Cover Art, and Variant Comic Book Cover Art. I’m in the process of scanning all of the physical comic book covers selected, and posting them to my Cover Art digital collection. At this point, there is a question of digital ownership for sale: Even though I purchased the comic book, but I did not modify the cover art from the original artist who created that book, does this still allow me to create and sell the NFT cover art? Also, I may be allowed to Create/Mint an NFT based on Marketplace rules, or lack therein, but is there value in MY digitized copy as well as the comic book publishing company? Buyers and sellers dictate value.
In order to try and diversify my NFT offerings, I’ve been experimenting with the original cover art, and creating “variants” to the original cover art. Comic book companies make their own variant covers for the same comic book, but that’s not what I am talking about in this instance. I’m modifying the colors to accentuate certain aspects of the cover art to provide my own perspective of “the trailer” for comic books.
Portfolio of Projects
I’ve decided to “play my hand” at NFTs: acquisition, creation, and curation while highlighting the challenges and opportunities along the way, although I’m not convinced the creation of NFTs is beyond the bounds of marketers and graphic artists. Here’s the rabbit hole I’m pursuing to identify and exploit opportunities in NFT marketplaces. As my comprehension expands in this subject matter, I may retract some of my statements. 🙂
The Priceline.com for Comparing Gas Transaction Fees
Before you mint your NFT, compare Gas Transaction Fees “in Realtime” from multiple NFT Marketplaces in parallel. Then select the NFT Marketplace with the lowest fee to initiate the Mint process. I just had the experience of purchasing an NFT, and the digital asset price was significantly less than the FEE I paid to commit the transaction. Wow!
Digitize Best of Comic Books, Cover Art Collection
Sentimental fool I am, I’m handpicking from thousands of my physical comic books in my collection to scan, and mint. Don’t try this at home folks. Not sure there are many buyers of this type of digital asset / NFT.
Digital Image Variants
Leveraging proprietary software I’ve created, modify existing digital images, i.e. Comic Book Cover Art, into variations of covers. This option puts me more into the artist/creator role, which seems to be a bit more satisfying than digitizing existing physical images unchanged. There also is probably more value in “unique” minted, images. Looking forward to developing this proprietary software I’ve produced to find even more creative, and consistent ways of modifying existing digital art/images.
Movie Like Trailers for Traditional Static Media
Sample Trailers coming to an NFT Marketplace near you:
- Comic book cover art comes ALIVE! While you’re in your local comic book store, you scan a code off the back of a comic. That scan will launch an NFT marketplace with the full motion animation/video which can entice the potential buyer to become a buyer of the comic, and perhaps the NFT as well. NFTs selling physical assets.
- Is the back cover of the paperback and hardcover book obsolete? Have an autio narrative excerpt spoken by the author as the audio/digital NFT.
Encryption and Decryption of Digital Assets
I’m an “old school” guy when crypto was purely a reference to cryptology, encryption, and decryption, and not cryptocurrency. I’m looking to explore the “art” of integrating messages into images.
Pixelate and Revert Images
Leverage the motion of images to go from an obfuscated, opaque, pixelated image, and turn into another image.
Digital Watermarks for NFTs?
In the world of licensing image content on the internet, embedding watermarks in images are commonplace. There is an apparent lack or need for embedding watermarks in images to discourage unlicensed distribution. However, can watermarks play an artistic role for NFTs?
Embedded codes with AI Object Recognition?
Leveraging AI object recognition, artists may use a tool to imprint, insert standardized, embedded code to the NFT unique object ID. This can be done by tagging the digital asset with the NFT ID as metadata or embedding the code into the NFT in a non-intrusive way, and the tool can handle NFT types differently (i.e. Video; Images, etc.)
Develop Creative Brands
Monkeys, really? 🙂
Automation Opportunities: NFT Marketplace Events
At first glance, I do not see opportunities to interface with NFT marketplaces, such as an API layer, which enables the programmer to key off an event such as a “mint” event within a specific collection. If NFT marketplaces become high volume auctions, there become lots of opportunities for automation:
- Bidding on NFTs via API and 3rd party applications
- Creating searches for NFTs, once minted, with the following XYZ properties.
Marketable, Sellable NFTs? What’s the next Niche?
Established brands that lend themselves well to collecting/collectibles should immediately have a group following based on their current fan base for their physical objects:
Many sports leagues already have commotozied their assets (e.g. teams, players) through licensing and marketing their athletes in “trading cards” will have a natural progression into digital assets, i.e. NFTs.
In order to be really successful, it’s not just about “lifting the image off the page”, but DIGITAL marketing firms who represent these brands should be enhancing the card to a digital media showcase. Some examples for sports NFTs is the name of the NFT is “Johnson Smith’s Best Play of the Season for 2021”. Johnson Smith may have multiple NFTs from the same marketing company, such as every player has a “basic” statistics card, and then showcase NFT pieces on top.
Sports video games can integrate with avatars/characters that have developed an “AI” chatbot as the sports player. These NFT athletes customized to the buyer/owner’s liking can be uploaded and used within the video game.
Established Media Channels – Magazines and Newspapers
Struggling newspapers and magazines from declining advertising and subscribership can turn a corner and go “all in” with this new NFT channel of opportunities. For example, National Geographic has decades of high-quality media from their magazine and archival footage that never made the magazine page. The key to implementing an NFT strategy may require outside digital marketing agencies to come in, take inventory, and propose a roadmap of products to implement.
Increased Demand for “Creative” Software Needed
The need to put video and image editing software in the hands of laymen wanting to participate in the NFT marketplace will continue to soar. Companies like Adobe with their suite of products may dominate, but the real niche is making the software accessible/usable for newbies making the threshold for market penetration lower. Animation software will thrive because of the high production value, and negligible, comparative cost to video productions.
Forced Action to “Delist” or Litigation for NFTs – Beware Jumping on Known Brands without NFT Presence
Although a brand with fully licensable products as a current strategy decided not to jump into the NFT realm…just yet, postponing the spend for designing, implementing, marketing, and selling NFTs.
Jumping on established brands, developing NFTs, may come back to haunt you.
Good News – NFT marketplaces seem to have taken a less intrusive stance, and do not have AI object recognition for automatic warning before minting your digital assets. NFT minted image digital assets may only slightly vary in any given collection, which may inhibit the accuracy of AI object recognition.