You have probably seen a lot of talk about NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the art world lately. I've been asked multiple times by both legitimate art lovers and scammers alike if I would start selling NFTs and I'd like to publish my definitive answer: Absolutely not.
I've compiled a list of reasons I don't support NFTs. It's not all bad news, though! I have also included how you can support the arts instead, and what the direct benefits are.
Why Shouldn't You Support NFTs:
NFTs are bad for the environment. (Read about the impact here.)
NFTs are tied to cryptocurrency and blockchain.
They are often algorithmically generated.
Buying an NFT is not always supporting the original artist.
Shell companies can buy art and use it purely as a financial asset to shield money from tax bills or even launder it.
The "art" can be generated by computers instead of made by artists.
People can make NFTs out of images they did not create, or impersonate artists.
Facilitates art theft more-so than preventing it because people can steal art and turn it into an NFT.
Due to the copyright gray area, people can turn pictures of other people's bodies into NFTs, which is a consent issue.
Primarily benefits people who are already rich.
You don't own anything physical.
Owning an NFT does not always legally grant copyright or intellectual property rights. It also does not restrict the sharing or copying of the digital file.
Fees are so high for sellers, on average artists are losing money.
Operates similar to Ponzi schemes.
NFTs have been used in art scams.
Grifters are mass-messaging artists to scam them out of money.
Want to actually be a patron of the arts and support artists? Buy commissions, art prints, original works, and high-res downloads directly from the artists you love.
What Happens When You Buy Commissions, Art Prints, Originals, etc.:
Directly supports artists.
You can commission anything you want.
Does not benefit corporations.
Makes both the artist and you happy (or whoever you gift it to)!
You actually own the physical art.
Your art collection can grow in value.
You receive a more personal experience.
You can get something truly unique and one-of-a-kind.
You are helping create jobs and supporting entrepreneurship.
Small businesses/artists are more likely to also shop small, starting a cycle.