Over the past year or so, something very interesting has been happening in the art world. It's the rising use of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for creating and tracking ownership of artwork.
What is an NFT and what is NFT artwork?
We spend most of our time thinking about custom framing and making walls look amazing, but we'll do our best to provide an overview here as well as explain the use case for NFTs that we can speak to expertly: printing and framing them.
NFT art gallery wall, image credit: @Klavvius on Twitter
To understand NFTs, it's useful to first think of a digital file (such as an mp3 or jpg) of which you can make unlimited copies. The purpose of an NFT is to create something about the file that can’t be copied. Namely, ownership of the work it contains.
The “Non-fungible” aspect means that what's been created is unique and scarce, in the same way that a one-of-a-kind baseball card can’t be copied.
Most NFTs rely on a cryptocurrency called Ethereum to accomplish this. The NFT is code stored on the Ethereum blockchain that can be verified, transferred and tracked, and which represents (or points to) some other piece of data like a video or image.
Note that an NFT can be anything digital - music, videos, code, memes, even a tweet- but much of the current excitement is around using this technology to create and sell digital art.
Notable NFTs (from left to right): Beeple, CryptoPunks, Nyan Cat
Some NFT's have been sold for staggering amounts of money. Artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, saw an NFT of one of his works sold for $69 million at Christie’s.
Cryptopunks, 10,000 unique collectible characters and one of the earliest examples of non-fungible tokens, are also selling for prices in the millions of dollars.
Nyan Cat, an early internet meme, was even turned into an NFT that sold for an eye-popping price.
If you buy NFTs, you will need a digital wallet to store them.
The wallet itself does not hold the NFT, but rather contains “private keys'', which are simply digital passwords leading to where your collection is located on the blockchain.
But what if you wanted to enjoy your collection in physical form? That's where we come in!
Each NFT artwork should have a corresponding image file. These can be turned from digital art into framed art in a few clicks.
The image size and resolution will vary across NFTs, and the resolution will determine how large your print can be before it starts to pixellate. Of course, for some collections like CryptoPunks this is not an issue, as the design is already pixellated!
If your NFT is listed on OpenSea, you can obtain its original image file using the OpenSea API. First, find the OpenSea page for your NFT and look for its identifier in the URL. This will usually be a long string of numbers and letter signifying the collection, followed by a slash that indicates the specific item in that collection:
If you copy and paste that full string of numbers, you can add it to the end of the following URL:
This would create the full link:
And bring you to a page like this:
Now, copy and paste that image_original_url link into a new browser window to view the original image file and right-click to save it. Note that some of these files are small and won't print well above 6" x 6", and in such cases you may be able to obtain a higher resolution image directly from the creator.
Once you have your image file, simply upload, select a print size and custom frame it online in minutes.
Image credit: @bitpixi on Twitter
We can't guarantee that the artwork will be as unique as your non-fungible token, but you can customize the frame to your own personal style across hundreds of different profile and mat combinations.
And we can guarantee that each framed photo is printed on premium, Archival Matte or Lustre Photo paper using pigment inks that won't fade for centuries.
Read more about how we make sure your images are printed to the highest quality standards so that your framed art looks its best.
If you are looking for creative way to display more of your collection, you can also combine up to five images inside one of our customizable collage picture frames.
The Big Four Square Collage, one of our Popular Frame Styles
From an artist's perspective, NFT's provide an interesting opportunity.
An NFT consists of your digital artwork plus code on the blockchain that proves you created the work and that it’s the original. When you sell the work, and if that buyer then re-sells it, the blockchain records the transactions.
You can even set a fee so that you earn a percentage each time the work is resold. So, if the NFT originally sells for $10 and is later re-sold for $10 million, you would get paid again. Quite different from how offline art sales work!
One series of NFTs we've had the pleasure of framing is the "Ringers" series from artist Dmitri Cherniak.
Dmitri created these patterns using an algorithm that models the near infinite number of ways to wrap a string around a set of pegs. They became a sensation in the cryptoart world (Ringers #20 recently sold on Sotheby's).
For those unable to purchase the NFT versions, Dmitri used Dot Press, our platform for helping artists sell their work framed, to sell open print editions.
These are incredibly cool art prints that come in the custom frame of your choosing.
If you are an artist working with NFT's, you can set up your own Dot Press storefront and sell the images as prints your collectors can frame and hang in their home or work spaces.
I got mine! pic.twitter.com/WdR4GGpihm— J◎hn CΞ (@JohnChung_ca) August 13, 2021
No matter what you are framing, from your latest NFT to your MFA diploma, a favorite concert poster to cherished family photos, we use premium, conservation-grade materials in every frame we handcraft, and offer a full happiness guarantee on every order. If you frame arrives with any defects or issue, let us know so that we can make it right.
We want you to try framing online with confidence, and see why it's a more convenient, affordable and even fun way to make your walls look amazing.
Sign up below for $15 off your first order, and to enroll in our rewards program that lets you save the more you frame with us.
For more on getting started as an artist with NFTs, here's a good overview from Built In.