Andrew Baron is a conceptual artist playing with words and colors. He creates both digital and physical artworks and he uses instagram as a medium in itself, curating his page with artworks organized by color.
With the rise of NFT art, he is giving a few tips that will be precious to any artist considering exploring this new field of the artworld.
How did you decide to explore NFTs?
A good friend informed me of this new trend / technology and basically ordered me to start getting my work on a site ASAP. The hype was building faster than Cabbage Patch Kids in the ‘80s.
What do you like about this new solution for digital artists?
I love not having to deal with a gallery or some higher institution system to sell my work to the masses. It democratizes art to a certain extent, letting the people decide what is popular.
Though, there are drawbacks to this model as well. Which is, the exact same reason. When you take the tastemakers, curators, galleries, museums, etc. out of the equation…you basically let (currently a lot of very young people) in control of the art world. What winds up happening is what we are seeing, which is an influx and frankly a deluge of crappy pixelated art. Some of it is brilliant, most of it is just awful, poorly executed ideas and digital art.
What platform(s) do you use and why?
I’m currently on a few sites: OpenSea, Rarible, SoRare, Foundation, and a few others.
Artists have to pay to put online their NFT for sale. What is the investment that artists have to put upfront?
I mainly use OpenSea because they don’t charge anything to you when uploading your work. They only take a fee out once your NFT sells. Whereas some other sites charge you up front.
How do you price your artworks?
I price my works according to what I feel they are worth. My work is way different from just about 100% of the other art you would see on any of these sites. My work is highly conceptual in nature and follows strict rules and themes using language, grammar, emotion, and color.
The works I currently have up on OpenSea are Color Word Ladders. If you look at the tops and bottoms of these “ladders”, you’ll see there are specific colors names like orange or purple. Above or below them are other words that link to other words. The interesting thing is that each word is only one letter away from each other as you go up or down the ladder. The result is a word ladder that connects two colors together and collectively I create gradients that literally connect orange to purple or pink to teal, etc.
There are many critics regarding the environmental impact. What do you think about it?
This is probably the most important question as it affects everyone, not just those uploading to create NFTs. There definitely needs to be a more sustainable way for these to exist. Personally, I’m not surprised that the issue exists. When there’s a new zeitgeist, no one who is profiting cares about the environment, they care about profits. There needs to be a way for these companies to do the right thing and diversify to more sustainable power sources to begin with.
What are the tips you would give to artists considering exploring NFT?
Before uploading anything to make your first NFT:
1. Read, read, and read some more about the platforms
2. The fees
3. The environmental cost
4. Have a decent knowledge about crypto currencies
5. Understand the basics of design
6. Make the format for your NFTs as consistent as possible
7. Ask LOTS of questions to people that potentially know more than you
8. Price your work according to what it is REALLY worth: What is your time/effort worth?
Below examples of paintings on canvas by Andrew Baron