In this ever-evolving digital world we live in, there are always new things to get our heads around. You may have seen the term NFT doing the rounds recently, but what does it mean? Here, artist Rich Simmons, explains what they are and how he’s involved in them.
In short, it’s a unique digital asset you can own. One of a kind.
It stands for non-fungible token. So, once it is owned, it cannot be exchanged for something of equal value, but it can be sold. An NFT is a piece of blockchain code that acts like a certificate of authenticity, mostly purchased using the cryptocurrency Ethereum. A blockchain is a type of public ledger which records information, such as transactions in each block, and makes it difficult or impossible to change or hack. Once an NFT is created it becomes unchangeable and tamper-proof, which is known as ‘minting’.
An NFT can be anything digital: music, GIFs, memes and more excitingly, art. By purchasing an NFT, the blockchain you receive represents ownership. The piece of art you get with it is simply a digital asset linked to the NFT, which you can print onto a canvas, a t-shirt, mug or whatever else you desire. A lot of people want to own something unique, and these offer the perfect opportunity.
When you buy an NFT, the blockchain you receive will record all preview owners. So, kind of like the deeds to a house, it shows the chain of ownership since it was built – from creator to buyer.
What does it mean for traditional art?
Nothing. It’s just another arrow in the quiver for artists like me. It’s another platform to get their work into the world, albeit the digital world, and build relationships with people interested in their work.
It could even offer more opportunities for traditional art. Take an art gallery for example, if it was to purchase a unique NFT artwork, it could print it out and display it. Also, the digital NFT version could be displayed next to the traditional piece.
How are you involved in NFTs?
I’ve created the REFLECTIONS NFT collection. Using multiple layers to my artwork, I’ve created thousands of configurations, all celebrating some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Each piece of art in the collection is unique, from the colours used to the reflections displayed. It’s an exciting time for me as an artist.
When the collection launches for sale, it will support the work of Art is the Cure. As part of the minting roadmap, I will be able to deliver free workshops in 15 UK schools. So, more and more students will be able to experience the benefits of art therapy.
You can find out more about my NFT collection, which will launch in December, at www.reflectionsnft.com.