Right-click and Save As guy by xcopy

APRIL 6TH, 2022

The most common argument against NFTs remains, “Why would I pay for a .jpeg?” But, the real problem is buried within that question.

The real problem with NFTs is that they enable almost any artist to publish their work and make money off of it. The problem with NFTs is that it allows living artists to have housing and access to food and medication. The problem with NFTs is that it causes us to treat artists as human.

Finally what is art? by Ginko in the Moon

People’s idea of art is a large part of the problem with how NFTs are perceived. When people think of art, they think of someone in a studio struggling to make money, painting huge beautiful art pieces. Sometimes they think of a person who makes art for wealthy people who have money to throw away. Our society is used to artists suffering. Van Gogh’s paintings are worth millions of dollars and some of the most well-known art in our modern society. Seeing a Van Gogh in person is something fans of art strive for. But the man spent his life in asylums and died at the age of 37; his entire life, he was poor and destitute despite having painted hundreds of paintings. A majority of these paintings were destroyed and seen as worthless. But today, one of his paintings sells for $50 million.

Gif Doods #11 by Dilla

Artists make tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars just from publishing art online. Artists are no longer struggling to live. This hurts the viewpoint we've had throughout history that art isn't something you can do to make a living, especially on a large scale. The most prominent problem people have with art minted on the blockchain is that you have to pay for it. People say this without actually realizing that they are saying, "I don't want to have to pay artists to use their art."

They also don't understand the concept of "ownership." When you own an NFT, you own the rights to that piece of art and its use. This is similar to how a museum, or a person, may hold a Van Gogh or a Monet. You can have a copy of that piece of art, you can put that piece of art on wallets, hair, or whatever you want, but you still don't own that original piece of art. "Right-clicking" NFTs is the same concept; you own a copy but not the original work of art.

The beautiful thing about NFTs is that they transcend our typical understanding of how media is consumed and used in our world.

People hate it when artists succeed; in modern times, the idea of an artist succeeding is offensive. Contemporary successful physical medium artists are well hated, their art insulted. Most digital artists are underpaid and undervalue their work because society undervalues art until an artist is dead. We, as a society, don't think that artists deserve to be well paid.

The NFT system isn't perfect; some projects, like BAYC most infamously, still don't adequately compensate the artists. Not paying artists is an act of harm against the artist and our society. It perpetuates the idea that the artist's time and skill lack monetary value. The value lies predominantly with the project team, not the artist. It's vital that this changes.

Artists interpret our world and create new worlds with unique ideas; to not value this is theft. We have to be better as a culture and treat artists like people who deserve to live and express their ideas. If you can't do that, you're worth less than you think artists are.


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