I think it’s fair to say that this so-called Bear Market has been a rather “grizzly” affair.. almost “unbearable” (ok I’ll stop) for most people involved. Many have found, myself included, that their NFT sales have slumped & stagnated, and whilst the standard response has been to “keep building”, and push on through in anticipation of the Great Bull’s return, there came a point where I stepped back to assess the situation.
With ETH sales an ancient myth, and TEZ a lowly trickle, the creative road I had taken no longer felt as profitable or appealing as it once was. Was this just down to the market? Was it possibly down to the quality or style of my recent work? Was I truly happy with the pieces I had dropped in the past few months? Was my pricing all wrong for the market we found ourselves in?
A lot of questions. Not many answers.
But eventually, something told me it was time for action, a redirection. A re-invention perhaps? It was time to remember why I joined this ecosystem in the first place, what I loved about it, and what I could do to reconnect with it.
I also needed to consider widening my audience.. potentially beyond the NFT sphere of influence.
STEP 1 - TEARDOWN
Now, this might seem a bit drastic, but my first action was to immediately burn several unsold pieces on Foundation and KnownOrigin. In a somewhat cleansing move, I chose to unlist and delete any item that had been minted for more than a few months. I needed a cleaner slate, and in hindsight, some of the pieces did not reflect what I felt was my better work. Some I had released to keep the volume of work going when perhaps I should have focussed more on refining them to maintain quality.
I have also made a conscious decision that this was a good time for me to move away from producing AI art and return to the digital photo/illustration compositions I had produced prior. They gave me a greater sense of personal investment & satisfaction, and I felt had more of my own unique “stamp” or character to them. Ultimately we are encouraged to pursue the things we love, and this felt the way for me to reconnect.
I then turned to look at how I was promoting myself and my work. Truth be told, as much as Twitter is a lifeline for NFT artists it often feels like a crab bucket. Furthermore, I realized I had once again spread myself too thin on other platforms. I’d been using Lynkfire as my main point of contact, but I also had Y.at, I had recently joined Deca.art, and I also started posting small promo videos on Youtube. Then there was this very newsletter.
It was becoming a real challenge to keep everything up to date, and I wasn’t happy with relying on all these separate entities. What I needed was a concise yet fluid way of consolidating as much of it as possible.
I needed something fresh, that could complement and integrate, rather than compete.
STEP 2 - REBUILD
Back in 2021, one of the main attractions for me to the world of NFTs was the idea of “ownership”. Not just for the collector, but more for the creator. With blockchain technology, you can trace back and prove the originality and legitimacy of a piece of art by the date it was minted, making it more difficult for copycats and imposters. (Sadly it still happens to this day, but the platforms are getting somewhat better at getting them shutdown).
This idea of ownership also extended to the platforms and their marketplaces, how they handled smart contracts and what percentage they took home. With the recent change to Foundation’s mission statement and final acceptance of Manifold’s existence, it was time for me to create my own ERC721 smart contract. With my own independent contract, I have a greater level of control over where works are displayed and the fees involved. In addition, only the work of a certain caliber, that I feel truly lives up to the standard I am striving for, will be minted to this contract. It has to be quality over quantity.
As of right now, there are three 1/1 NFTs minted to the DGZ smart contract, and listed on Foundation. These are…
Temple of Enlightenment
The Ghost Train
Secondly, in the same way that people diversify their crypto folios and NFT platforms of choice, I have chosen to put some of my efforts back into WEB2.0 money. I’m talking about the dirty F-word. Fiat. I’ve joined Ko-fi. As much as NFT land is a crazy, hectic ecosystem, it is still very much a Microcosm, a blip on the radar of the overall artistic landscape. And for every “GM” or “WAGMI”, I’m still a believer in spreading those eggs across a number of baskets, especially during this brutal Bear Market.
To start the ball rolling, I have chosen 3 bodies of work from the creations I burnt on ETH as digital pieces available to purchase for an absolute steal on Ko-fi. One of which is free for anyone who opts to support me as a member with monthly tips. I will continue to produce work exclusively for Ko-fi including regular giveaways, and rewards for people who choose to kindly support me and my work. Please follow me and spread the word!
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