Or “How African artists can use NFTs as a means to increase their earnings & gain exposure, and why Mintbase is the best way to do that”
One of the things “going digital” has done has been to essentially eradicate the concept of scarcity You want a copy of the Mona Lisa to hang on your wall? Done! Obviously, this would not be worth as much as the original, but you have a great copy! What happens, now, if your work is digital, or can easily be transformed into a digital copy? One thing you can do is to hobble the work with a Digital Rights Management System, aka DRM. The problem is that users generally do not like being told what to do with what they’ve paid money for. I mean, if I legally own the Mona Lisa, and I am freezing to death in my apartment with no source of heat, are you going to tell me I have no right to set it on fire to save my life? It may be destructive, yes, but it is mine! Also, DRM systems have been known to have a lot of shortcomings.
But let’s back up a bit. There are those who have been told that all they need to do is share their work on the internet for free to get exposure. They have done that for years, and are still broke and unknown. Or what about those who would actually like to get their work on the internet in the first place, but are skeptical about giving it out for free? This is where Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs )come in.
Probably the best definition of NFTs I have seen says “NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital tokens, with their own specific set of characteristics that live permanently on the blockchain.” They are not fungible (which is just a fancy way of saying “interchangeable”).
What does this have to do with African artists you say? Well since Africa is one of the poorest continents in the world, it would not surprise you to learn that very few people consider art to be something of low economic value. The major purchasers of art tend to be institutions and the very wealthy, and they tend to pick from those with the highest reputations (the 0.01%). The remaining 99.99% tend to live off the remaining scraps, with a large portion of them eventually quitting art for something more “practical”. I know this is probably a common theme worldwide, but it is especially so in Africa. Artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, etc) that actually make a basic living wage solely on their work are very few.
Mintbase is one of the best solutions I have seen. It allows you to easily create NFTs. You then have the option of selling it on either one of the Mintbase markets (including yours if you decide to build one) or on a compatible marketplace, such as OpenSea.
However, one of the things I love the most about Mintbase is the royalties scheme. You can decide whether or not you want to receive royalties as well as split revenues for your NFT. That is if you sell your NFT, you can decide to ensure that you (and up to 24 other collaborators) gain a percentage of any income made from that NFT. You could also decide to split revenue once — maybe as a commission for helping to make a sale. There’s an excellent article here that does a very good job of explaining how it all works.
NFTs are an excellent way for African artists to earn a living. They are also a way for them to make passive income forever based on their work.