How to turn Physical Art into NFTs

Published 23 December 2021

How to turn Physical Art into NFTs
The NFT space goes hand in hand with digital artists. They’ve been doing this for years. They can make things look cool on a screen and they do admittedly occupy a large space in the market, for now at least. Digital artist Beeple made a collage of 5000 consecutive days worth of digital art he’d created, and sold it for $69 million. But in this pivotal time for creators, how are ‘traditional’ artists, who work with physical media, able to get involved?

Digitisation of the art

You have 3 options here, depending on the nature of your piece:

Photograph - Simply snap your work and tokenize the photograph. Using a high quality smartphone camera should suffice, or you can get fancy with a digital camera. As da Vinci once said “Fetch my camera, I need to NFT this one. It’s a good’n.”

2D Scanner - A slightly more expensive option, but many come with great editing software to make your NFT as true to form as possible. It goes without saying that this option is reserved for 2D, flat artwork. Don’t try and stuff a sculpture into the scanner, trust me, we try these things so you don’t have to.

Commission a professional - If your piece is too big for a 2D scanner and can’t be fully captured on photo … just get someone else to do it. Some people are in possession of pretty big scanners that will ensure the colours are all correct, or can digitise your work with other methods.

So what happens to my physical art?

This is the fun part. It’s completely up to you, but here are some options to consider:

Include the physical art as an incentive to buy the NFT - ‘Utility’ tokens are incredibly popular, as they’re the best of both worlds. You get to own a piece of art in meatspace (read our blog post about NFT slang if you’re confused) and in the digital world. Win win.

Destroy the physical piece - This may feel a bit harsh, but the value of an NFT comes from the fact that it’s totally unique, and the only real way to prove this would be by destroying the physical version after tokenisation. You could burn or shred the piece and film the process, to include as unlockable content when the NFT is purchased.

Declare both pieces as unique - You could keep the digital and physical pieces separate and choose to sell them off to separate collectors, although this may not be the best way to maximise your returns.

Declare the physical piece as a ‘tool’ for creating the digital - By that we mean just as an art mold you’ve created to make a sculpture is considered a ‘tool’ rather than the art itself, you could treat your physical piece as a tool used to create your NFT. That way you can keep the physical piece, without selling it on or giving it away.

In March 2021, an anonymous group called ‘Burnt Banksy’ bought Banksy’s “Morons” for approx $100,000, minted it as an NFT and burnt it, filming the process. The NFT sold for approx $380,000 a few days later. Source: Instagram @anthonyaIn March 2021, an anonymous group called ‘Burnt Banksy’ bought Banksy’s “Morons” for approx $100,000, minted it as an NFT and burnt it, filming the process. The NFT sold for approx $380,000 a few days later. Source: Instagram @anthonya

As with all other aspects of the NFT world, how you choose to digitise physical art into NFTs is down to your own imagination. There are always new ways cropping up, and innovative ways to involve the physical alongside the digital. One artist, Marc Hemeon, released NFTs of his sketches of waves, which allowed the holder to request an additional custom oil painting based on their sketch, by the artist, once a year for the next 3 years. Get creative with it and bring your work to Hyprr. You can contact our creator team at [email protected] to discuss your plans and how to get started!


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