With Facebook’s announcement of Metaverse, the concept of NFT received a new buzz.
NFT stands for non-fungible token. Simply put, it is a unique digital token that cannot be duplicated or replaced. NFTs can be anything – digital art, videos, music – even social media posts.
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Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales recently sold Wikipedia’s very first article for $ 750,000.
How does an item I see online sell for almost a million dollars? How does an artist make a living from selling images that I can simply download for free on Google? The good news is that the founders of the NFTs have settled this debate.
When we download an image from Google, we can’t really claim ownership of it. It’s like buying a fake “Starry Night” portrait by Vincent van Gogh. Anyone can have a version of it, but only a museum in New York has the original piece.
NFT is generally related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Due to Bangladesh’s cryptocurrency ban, digital artists are using mobile banking services to sell their art. Most of the artists here set up their shops using social media platforms.
Fariha Hossain Lamia, who calls herself professionally “Artist wali”, shares: “When I started almost two years ago, I too was exploring the whole phenomenon of digital art.”
She said her family and peers have become familiar with the concept through her work. “But it was something they never thought was a ‘thing’ you could do for a job. At first, it was also a hobby for me,” she says. After getting some orders, she now plans to take the job seriously in the future.
Asifur Rahman, creator of Arts by Rats, says avenues for monetization are scarce in Bangladesh; raising funds via Kickstarter often becomes problematic due to the lack of available payment methods.
“To make art a career in Bangladesh there are viable avenues but NFT, at the moment, is not the way to go if you want to be a full time artist,” he says.
Sometimes people fail to understand the value of digital artwork, assuming that since the artwork was created using a computer, it must have been easy to create.
Fariha here debunks the myth by saying: “You can’t do digital art unless you have a good perception of color, light and shadow. You must have the traits of a traditional artist to be a digital artist. “
Asifur comments that the lack of physics in his artwork has never been a problem for his clients, which are typically marketing agencies, graphic design firms, and newspapers. He also performs paid work for individuals.
“I think freelancers can expect to work in a lot of NFT projects in the coming days, given that Metaverse isn’t just about digital art. There will be a growing demand for artists with experience in 3D, l ‘animation, pixel art and many other new and invented types of art,’ he says.
Will Bangladeshi artists seize the opportunities and become the pioneers of a new era? Only time will tell.
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