Example of my Artist Ethos: Always Increase Value

Quick background:

As ‘Azurine,’ I make art that’s hard to classify, but I say that it varies from erotic to contemplative, absurd to scientific, spiritual to unsettling. I’ve been making this kind of art for decades, but it wasn’t until discovering NFTs in Oct. 2020 that I found a market and community that I actually wanted to be a part of. In the last three months of 2020, I minted approximately 100 pieces of work from my previously-private collection.

But towards the end of 2020, Bitcoin took off, bringing Ethereum gas costs with it. And with that rise, came minting’s fall. Economics of my pieces aside, I felt that the market for unknown artists like me was tightening up. I had to find a way to make my existing NFTs more desirable.

My artist website/platform in 2020 was little more than a mirror, showing only the NFT content (albeit in a space less distracting than a NFT marketplace). I decided the time was right to pivot my energies and double-down on my artist ethos: Always Increase Value.

With that in mind, I set my sights on my platform with the goal of having it add value to my NFTs.

Old Platform (How it started…):

Like I said, it was little more than a mirror for the NFT content. In truth, it added nothing to the NFT, but the website made it a bit nicer to browse from one NFT to another.

New Platform (How it’s going, haha):

(Image broken up into pieces to not break Medium!)

Screenshots from https://azurine.art/AZART/00009/

It was a ton of work to complete the redesign, but now I feel that my website works for my NFTs, not the other way around.

Changes made to NFT pages:

  • ‘Artist’s Comments’ section where I discuss the piece and reveal background info

  • ‘Detail Images’ section where I either post crops of the full res image or alternate views

  • Info about verifying the authenticity of the NFT in a new, ‘Token Details’ section

  • Transparency-info in ‘Contract Details’ regarding the token standard and file storage of the NFT

  • Link to query the AZART Smart Contract

  • Marketplace section showing visual portrayals of the NFT on my storefronts, including the lowest price on Opensea

  • Link to discussion / explanation to my rationale for not applying to what I call premiere marketplaces (like superrare*)

  • Owners section with list of addresses owning the NFT and quantity owned

  • Full resolution file download (clicking-through to access the link means user agrees to the simple terms there)

  • A mini-gallery of other artworks in the same series

  • Website nav. links based on the NFT’s ‘traits’ (Rarible calls them ‘Details’, Opensea calls them ‘Properties’) and website nav. links based on tags

  • Comments section!

  • Social ‘Like’ (heart) tallies

I also made changes to other areas of the site, including a better menu structure, an enhanced ‘About’ page, and a reorganized ‘All AZART’ page where pieces are grouped by series.

I have to go through and update every old NFT page to the new format, which takes about twenty-thirty minutes each. So far, I’ve updated the first 10 AZART NFTs and relisted them for sale on my storefronts, leaving about 100 NFTs to go (only 33–50 hours of more work).

It might seem crazy and a waste of time, but to me it isn’t. It’s part of who I am and what I’m about.

My Artist Ethos: Always Increase Value

To me, that means delivering better experiences and higher satisfaction to both new buyers and those that have already collected my art.

  • It’s why I bought 3 connecting parcels in #cryptovoxels and made an epic gallery/showroom/venue for exposure.

  • It’s why I take NFT-technical-details and file decentralization way more seriously than most, and why NFT content is on IPFS, a public repo, the Azurine.Art website, and why I pay for multiple redundant backup systems of the full-resolution files.

  • It’s why I only mint on my contract and have not ever applied to superrare, makersplace, knownorigin, etc. It’s because I want to create and deliver my art according to my vision for my collectors, and with Ethereum and open platforms, I don’t need specific marketplaces.*

  • It’s why slow periods don’t slow me down, and why I’m excited everyday to be an artist.

The tl;dr is that I’m in the cryptoart space for the long haul. I’ve been making art and sitting on it for over a decade, so I’m fine with putting in tons of work on the front-end of a project that I intend to be life-long. To me, it’s worth it to make something awesome, and I know that either now or later, people will agree.

Thanks for sticking through to the end of this; I appreciate it!

-Matto

*I’m not dissing any marketplaces or the artists on them, and I’m not discounting how amazing those sites can be for exposure and sales — they’re just not for me.