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The Artist's Distribution Framework
On Deciding How to Mint Art
First Things First
I won't prescribe a definitive or 'best' method to mint your art. What I share is my approach, tailored to my journey and experiences. It may not resonate with everyone. Certain aspects might align with your perspective, while others might not. Use what feels right for you and adapt as you see fit.
With That Clarified, Let's Dive in!
Today's digital art landscape in Web3 offers artists a vast array of tools for distribution, sometimes to the point of being daunting. Amidst this plethora, many self-proclaimed 'experts' will attempt to dictate the 'correct' approach to artists. I tend to take their advice with a pinch of salt. Yet, their very presence underscores the challenges, doesn't it? Artists grapple with dilemmas such as:
What's the best model for art distribution? Should it be open edition, limited edition, or a singular 1/1 piece? Should it be commercialized, shared freely, traded, or maybe even gifted?
With time, I've come to see these not as black-and-white decisions with set answers. Instead, I view them as levers, tools in my arsenal, each serving a distinct purpose in my journey.
The Ultimate Goal: Get Art in the Hands of Collectors
Throughout my journey, I've experienced moments of success. However, my overarching ambition is to harmonize my art with the genuine interest and recognition of collectors on a more consistent basis. While I genuinely appreciate sales (and the financial rewards they bring), the deeper resonance, connection, and shared admiration play a significant role for me as well. To navigate this, I use a framework that considers a many factors, from market dynamics and target demographics to the chosen platform, blockchain, the intrinsic nature of the artwork, its style, and more.
The Levers and Their Goals:
Selling Open-Editions: The primary objective here is volume. I want to sell as many pieces as possible at a predetermined price. For example, during fundraisers, the goal is to maximize sales within a specific timeframe.
Free-Minting Open Editions: This is about accessibility and reach. I want as many people as possible to have my art. It's not just about ownership but also about potential future interactions, like burning to redeem other items.
Selling Limited Editions: Speed and exclusivity are key. The aim is to sell all pieces quickly at the listed price, making them coveted items for collectors.
Free-Minting Limited Editions: These are often reserved for a specific audience, perhaps those who've been whitelisted or are part of a particular project. It's a way to reward loyalty with burn to redeem claims or experiment within platform parameters.
Selling 1/1s: This is about finding the right match. The timing is less crucial than ensuring the piece finds its rightful owner at the right price.
Free 1/1s: These are personal. They're either gifts or trades, symbolizing a deeper connection or mutual respect between the artist and the recipient.
Questions and Considerations to Guide the Decision:
Before deciding which lever to pull, I will often think about these questions:
Audience Orientation: Is this a new audience I'm introducing my work to, or am I deepening connections with existing patrons?
Platform & Technology: Which platform am I using, and how does the chosen blockchain technology influence distribution and ownership?
Artistic Considerations: How does the style, medium, and narrative of the artwork influence its distribution method?
Adaptability: While I adhere to these guidelines mostly, they aren't set in stone. They serve as a foundational framework for me. At times, you might find yourself making on-the-spot judgments or tweaking your approach in real-time. That’s okay!
Experimentation: I frequently try new platforms and blockchains in a couple of ways. Either the platform itself sets the terms, as seen with the free distribution on ZeroOne. Or the approach might be influenced by the specific blockchain and tool, like doing a BASE open edition claim using Manifold.
Artists, This is Important:
Every artist's journey is unique, and the choices we make in distributing our art are reflections of our individual paths, aspirations, and visions. This is just my framework, and it’s by no means the only way, the right way, or the best way to do it. It’s just the way that works best for me. That said, what I think you should take away is that by understanding the purpose behind each lever and asking the right questions, you can make informed decisions that align with your goals as an artist and resonate with your audience.
I hope I added value to your day. ☀️
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