NFTs are either over, or NFTs are forever; it can only be one, so the only safe thing to do right now is mint everything you own. Fortunately, you’ll soon be able to fire off a doodle, mint it, and put it up for auction within minutes. Mint mint mint!
This is thanks to an augmented reality drawing app SketchAR, which, among other things, converts photographs to pen strokes. Yesterday, the company announced that, in the coming months, users will be able to create NFTs from their SketchAR creations and sell them on a marketplace within the app. You can already mint for free on OpenSea, but this might be the last nudge we needed to get with the program and PRESS MINT.
Possibly feeling the need to justify the move after months of art world debate over the ethics of blockchain technology, SketchAR put the bottom line right up front in a blog post yesterday, which is that artists need money.
“For over four years now, SketchAR has been helping people to start their creative journey and providing effective ways to develop their artistic skills,” they wrote. “The only missing detail on this road of growing an artist was the option for artwork showcase and monetization in the global digital space.”
SketchAR’s position is that “our future is digital, whether we like it to [sic] or not.” At the moment, the NFTs are coming as a weekly prize giveaway to a community-selected “Creator of the Week,” a person who’s published their work on the public feed, and will be awarded a free NFT [emphasis theirs] of their work and an OpenSea listing. (OpenSea doesn’t charge for minting, but it does collect a 2.5% commission. Creating and listing NFTs is pretty easy, and you can always take your images off SketchAR and do it yourself. This would also mean the image doesn’t come with a sort of SketchAR watermark, in the form of the token tracker.)
SketchAR founder and CEO Andrey Drobitko told Gizmodo via email that the larger SketchAR NFT marketplace, to come in Q3, will charge a low still-to-be-determined fee for gas prices associated with mining a token on the Ethereum blockchain. Like OpenSea, it’ll also collect a 2.5% sales commission. Users will need to make their work within the SketchAR app in order to get them on the platform in order to authenticate the artist (fair). When asked about the carbon emissions pumped out by computing power necessary to mine crypto tokens, Drobitko wrote that SketchAR is “deeply concerned about that and believe the actual incentives for all the participants are the same.”
He added that SketchAR is incentivized to find more energy-efficient mining options to save on gas costs, so they’re looking at more energy-efficient “layer-2 solutions for scaling.”
SketchAR will also incorporate the most promising part of the NFT marketplace, which is a contractual assurance that artists get 10% in resale royalties.
Supposing that we didn’t have to worry about the problem of accelerating earth’s destruction, I like the idea of thousands if not millions of amateur drawings flooding a marketplace of equally amateur collectors. It’s an opportunity to challenge the whales’ taste for animated 3D Blender gifs, aesthetic cost payoffs, cultivate a child prodigy, just do the damn Elons and Shiba Inus, take pride in crude stick figures. Whether the new massive wave of art collectors stick around til fall, we have yet to see.