A 15-year-old whose NFT art sales over the past year are now worth more than $1 million breaks down how he did it

    On a whim in February 2021, Jaiden Stipp, a 15-year-old from Tacoma, Wash., made his first piece of digital artwork, a moving image of an astronaut-skeleton hybrid waving on the moon.

    Jaiden has progressed to become a full-fledged NFT artist nowadays. He has created eight single NFTs of his artwork since selling his first piece for 20 Ethereum, roughly $30,000 at the time, and released his first edition sale in October, when he made a new NFT artwork available to 367 customers in a special edition format. According to him, the editions sold out rapidly and generated over $350,000 in direct primary sales.

    How it started

    Jaiden used to make showy logos and record covers for his friends and acquaintances before entering into the NFT realm. He told Fortune, “The most I’d sold my art for was a $70 commission on an album cover I produced for a buddy.”

    He created an account on SuperRare, an online marketplace for collecting and trading digital artwork, after seeing an intriguing post about NFTs on Instagram in December 2020. He claims he was subjected to a verification process because he was a child.

    “I was admitted about a month later and did as much research as I could to find out what I was getting myself into,” Jaiden explains. “My parents assisted me in setting things up, and I produced my first piece of artwork a month later.”

    How to make an NFT?

    Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a type of digital asset that only belongs to one individual. While any asset might theoretically become an NFT, they have traditionally been linked to art, music, and videography.

    To create (or mint) an NFT, developers must first submit the digital asset to a blockchain, which is a distributed ledger that holds cryptocurrencies. To do so, all Jaiden and other artists need is a small amount of bitcoin kept in a crypto wallet, as well as a digitalized version of the work they want to upload. To submit an NFT to the blockchain, creators must first register with one of the various online NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea or Jaiden’s SuperRare platform.

    Cross your fingers and hope for some bids once an NFT has been “minted” on one of these marketplaces and put up for sale! Creators can establish their own initial price and then award the NFT to the winner of a bidding battle.

    Building a community

    Jaiden attributes his success to his youth, his distinct artistic style, and a vast and devoted fan base.

    “For a novice, the best thing to do is conduct as much research as possible on the place and find out how to develop a community around your work or collections,” he advised. On Twitter, Jaiden has 14,000 active followers, which he views to be an important hub for the NFT art community.

    A New Market

    Young artists like Jaiden, who grew up in a digital age, are using their technology and social media knowledge to break into the traditional art scene and become successful artists.

    NFTs are all over, and 2021 was unquestionably a watershed moment for the technology. Last March, the digital artist Beeple sold an NFT at Christie’s, one of the world’s most prestigious auction houses, for more than $69 million. NFTs have since become widely accepted. According to blockchain and cybersecurity research firm Chainanalysis, buyers spent at least $44.2 billion in bitcoins to bid on NFT marketplaces last year. According to transaction tracker, about 50,000 NFTs are sold every day as of January 2021, which includes all types of NFTs, not simply pieces of art.

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