How Artists Can Make Money With NFTs

If you’re an artist wondering how to make money with NFTs, this is the perfect article for you.

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are basically digital assets with unique ID codes and metadata that allow you to distinguish one from another. In this article, we will be focusing on community-driven generative art NFT projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Before we dive in, a little about myself: I am a freelance artist with experience in character design and generative art NFT. In December 2021, I was able to make 12.85 ETH from the initial sale which was equivalent to $53,412.08 at that time which does not include any upfront payments. I was the main artist of the project and received 5% of the proceeds. Now, I am working on other NFT and freelance art projects while teaching art on

Let’s dive into the details!

Main Roles in a Typical NFT Project

Before you decide to hop into or launch an NFT project, it is important to get a big-picture understanding of the team roles behind a project. Keep in mind that some of these roles can overlap and that you can take on more than one role. Here are the roles:

Project Lead

The project lead is the one with the vision behind the NFT project. They figure out key things like what the mission is, what the competitive advantages are, and what they are trying to accomplish. They are often the ones managing other roles within the project and dividing the profits from the launch. To fit into this role, you should have a deep understanding of the NFT market while knowing enough to manage other roles.


This role is probably yours, but you may also work with other artists to produce various items for the NFT project. You will be responsible for creating the art itself and promotional materials like the website background or the Twitter banner. Art allows us to communicate our values and messages more effectively simultaneously attracting attention from potential buyers.


The role of the marketer is to communicate your values, attract attention, and convert that attention into buyers. Twitter is the go-to platform for most NFT artists and projects where most people tweets their art and ideas. Try to reverse engineer successful NFT launches and figure out why those projects were successful.

Community Manager

While the marketing is all about Twitter, communities are built and managed using Discord. For most projects, you will need someone who can establish secure Discord servers and manage them effectively. In this process, you will also need to employ moderators to help manage the servers.


One of the main components of generative NFT art is actually generating the art itself. Oftentimes, it helps to have a programmer who knows how to make generative art to help generate the art for you. Alternatively, you can also use this NFT art generator following the guide in this video

The Easiest Way to Get Started – Join a Team

The easiest way to get your feet wet is probably joining a team or getting hired to work on a project. That is how I got started making NFTs. I was approached by the project lead to work on a spin-off of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. The main tip I can give you with this is to do a lot of networking within NFT communities on Twitter and Discord. 

Networking is quite powerful as you will encounter other creators who are interested in creating NFTs. This is the main source of jobs related to NFT for me personally. A good place to start networking may be to join Zeneca’s ZenAcademy which is a place where you can learn more about NFTs and connect with other creators. While you need to buy their NFT to get access to the server, there are also other free communities you can join. You can also join NFT communities like the Sappy Seals that have been around for a relatively long time. Getting to know more people will allow you more opportunities to hop on NFT projects. 

Alternatively, you can also find NFT-related job posting on Roo Troop’s Bounty Hub. There is quite a wide range of jobs available including 3D and 2D artists.

How to Negotiate Your Way Through Your First NFT Project

The pay range for the project can depend on a few factors: the timeline of the project, the amount of assets needed, and the amount of details involved. Here’s a recommended pay guide from Roo Troop. If you are risk averse, try to negotiate for your payment upfront. A good compromise is 50% upfront and 50% upon the completion of the project. You can also negotiate a fee for the base upfront and payment each time you complete a batch of traits (i.e. the different eyes, hats, and clothes). 

If you want to take more risk, you can negotiate a percentage of the mint proceeds (i.e. the revenue from the initial sale) and a percentage of the royalty fees. I personally prefer at least a combination of upfront payment and a percentage fee. This way you don’t lose a lot of your time for no payment in return if the project fails or gets canceled. 

Alternative Ways to Make Money With NFTs

One alternative way of joining a team is to offer your services on freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. For example, on Fiverr, you can find various artists and studios that offer NFT design services in styles like pixel art, anime, or 3D art. While I recommend trying to get your own client because Fiverr takes a big 20% cut, this is a good way to get started if you don’t know how to get clients.

Lastly, you can also list your art on sites like SuperRare and Foundation. Both of them are popular for artists that make 1-of-1 (unique, non-generative) artworks. If you already have an art style and a passionate audience, this can be a great option to sell your art.

Important Caveats

While I was able to generate a generous sum of money from my first NFT project, it is not common and could be discouraging if you expect the same results. I was fortunate to have talented team members along with great market conditions that allowed us to launch successfully back in December of 2021. At the same time, don’t be discouraged because I still see successful NFT launches quite often even when the NFT market is down.

If you do decide to become the project lead and launch a generative NFT project by yourself, do realize that it is a high-risk endeavor. You might end up losing money, but you will learn a ton along the way! Again, if you are risk averse, try to hop on a project and negotiate upfront payment.

What to do next

I hope that this article proved to be helpful in helping you get into making money from NFTs. If you’d like to learn more about art and read my other articles, come check out my recent article on motivation for art.

Guest Poster Bio:

Richard Hsu is a self-taught freelance artist that specializes in character art. He has worked on concept design projects and NFTs. Richard now teaches art on his art tutorial website,, while freelancing on the side. When he’s not doing art, he’s practicing martial arts, lifting weights, and making healthy meals in the kitchen.

International Art Gallery Directory $10 off with Discount Code: endofsummer

Use Discount Code  endofsummer to get $10 off the International Art Gallery Directory

800+ pages with an average of 25 art gallery listings per page–each listing contains link to gallery site, email address, contact info, physical address, link to submission guidelines or online form, submission guidelines for galleries currently accepting submissions, and other useful information to provide artists with the information they need to present their art to galleries for review. Please note: In order to increase your submission success, any artist must familiarize themselves with any gallery before submitting their artwork images, include their image script, artist statement, price list, Bio/CV, along with properly labeled low resolution jpeg images of their art

Mining the Mojave for Art: Chelsea Dean’s “Remnants of Ambition”

A wonderful exhibition that I thought my readers might like to know about!

Art and Cake

Chelsea Dean. Remnants of Ambition. Shoebox Projects. Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker

Mining the Mojave for Art: Chelsea Dean’s Remnants of Ambition

By Genie Davis

It would be hard to underestimate the appeal of the desert as an artistic mecca. The vastness of the landscape, the shifting light, the vast horizons, and the lack of what passes for civilization or the ruins thereof is the stuff of magic to me. Ghost towns, abandoned shacks and mines, rusted trucks, and discarded furniture, the left-behinds of those who came, who stayed, who departed again, perhaps defeated by the vastness, the heat, the dryness, the sheer emptiness they could not fill – it’s a mystery the mind wants to explain, a story that no one but the vicissitudes of time and weather can account for.

It was with great anticipation, then, that I viewed the culmination of Chelsea Dean’s artist-in-residence exhibition at Shoebox Projects…

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Art and Cake

Doraelia Ruiz “Never Yes No Me You”

Brainworks Gallery

through March 25th

by Genie Davis

Let’s start with a simple wow for Doraelia Ruiz’ “Never Yes No Me You” at Brainworks Gallery. The impressive rainbow of colors, the mix of found images with her own mark making and her use of digital art to combine these elements – this is a mind-bending visual whirl.

Using her merging and melding of a variety of media, Ruiz prints her combined images, stretches them on panels, and then paints over them. This is layering, but it is a delicate layering, her methodology forming an intimate palette to the longing she expresses for what can never be obtained and will never be fully real. The illusions she creates are dreamlike, and in coloration remind the viewer just a bit of the ethos of Peter Max if he did a Vulcan mind-meld with Van Gogh.

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I don’t usually post art historical articles, but I recognize that this side-by-side comparison of paintings may be important for my readers and so I didn’t want them to miss this fascinating article.

Art and Cake

Matisse/Diebenkorn Installation View at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Photographer: Mitro Hood. Matisse/Diebenkorn Installation View at The Baltimore Museum of Art.
Photographer: Mitro Hood.

Baltimore Museum of Art
Matisse/Diebenkorn Artistic Soulmates

By Jacqueline Bell Johnson

Through January 29th

Matisse/Diebenkorn is an exhibition 15 years in the making, ending this month at the Baltimore Museum and opening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in March.

Reading biographies of Matisse and Diebenkorn side-by-side reveals both to be great students, which lead them to be great artists. They have actively viewed work from both predecessors and peers utilizing these observations in the development of their painting. In addition to looking, Matisse was known for collecting work of his fellow artists, even going into debt for it. Diebenkorn’s stint in the Marines gave him the opportunity to view the collections of Museums in New York, Philly and DC, influences he would use later in his career. Twenty years later he traveled to the Soviet…

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Art and Cake

Naotaka Hiro: Peaking Installation View Photo Courtesy of The Box Los Angeles Naotaka Hiro: Peaking
Installation View
Photo Courtesy of The Box Los Angeles

Naotaka Hiro: Peaking at The BOX, LA

By Shana Nys Dambrot

Through January 28th

Shaped canvas paintings are not often emotionally expressive, favoring the precise curves and angles of custom frames over the bohemian flaunting of rough-edges and raw remnants. Instances of attacking, slicing, piercing, puncturing, and otherwise compromising the painted surface through draping, crumpling, reversing and ruching are more emotive, obscuring image and content in ways that can feel subversive, destructive, violent, but also risk seeming calculated for effect. Naotaka Hiro’s current exhibition at The Box literally and figuratively turns these art historical tropes inside out, presenting a series of engaging, vivacious, visceral and absolutely disruptive carved-up canvases (and related series of frenetic works on paper, surreal bronze body-cast sculptures, and performative action-painting video) that reinvigorate these practices.

Naotaka Hiro: Peaking Installation View Photo Courtesy of The Box Los Angeles Naotaka Hiro: Peaking
Installation View
Photo Courtesy of The…

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El Kanu Contemporary Portrait Paintings

Contemporary Portrait Oil Paintings by El Kanu

Yani, el kanu

Yani, el kanu


Zoltan, el kanu

Zoltan, el kanu


Bystander, el kanu

Bystander, el kanu


Impromptu. el kanu

Impromptu. el kanu


Marwen, el kanu

Marwen, el kanu


Le Soupir, el kanu

Le Soupir, el kanu


le toilde David, el kanu

le toilde David, el kanu


Sabrina, el kanu

Sabrina, el kanu


Absolute Beginner, el kanu

Absolute Beginner, el kanu


el kanu

Sublimation, el kanu

The First 12 Portraits

Artist Lily Day creates a Selfie-a-day aka self-portrait showing her many moods! She is on day 15. Can she keep up this lively intensity for a full year? Follow her Selfie A Day project blog.

The Selfie Project

red polo p Day 1, Pencil

profile p Day 2, Pencil and Watercolour

smirk p Day 3, Pencil

hand p Day 4, Pencil

scowel p Day 5, Pencil

tongue p Day 6, Watercolour

leaves p Day 7, Pencil and Oil Pastel

sitting p Day 8, Pencil

mirror p Day 9, Pencil

tough p Day 10, Acrylic

spoon p Day 11, Acrylic

Moustache p Day 12, Biro

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