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How to turn physical art into NFT's

17 January 2022

How to turn physical art into NFT's

The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) market is booming, to say the least. Data from DappRadar estimated that the value of the NFT market was $22 billion at the end of 2021 compared to the conventional art market which was valued at $50 billion. That is still a significant difference but bear in mind that the NFT market was valued at only $100 million in 2020.  (If you are not familiar with NFTs or are still a bit skeptical, click here to read our blog explaining what they are and how they work.) These baffling numbers have drawn the attention of artists all around the world who would all like to try to succeed in the digital world, which is why you are here. The rest of this article will give you the insight you will need to understand how to make your physical artworks into digital NFTs as well as some points to keep in mind.

Will the value be retained?

This question comes up all the time. Whether the value of the digital artwork will mirror the physical one is a tricky question to answer. One way to look at it is that there are two different markets that you are selling to. Buyers of your art do so because they appreciate it in its physical form, whereas it may not appeal as much to the digital market. This can also be looked at in a positive light as buyers of digital art may appreciate your work far more in a digital form. It all really depends on your creative process and finished product, and how it is perceived by your market. For example, a Banksy artwork was purchased for around $100 000 after which it was digitised, minted, burnt on video, and then sold a week later as an NFT for roughly $380 000. So the only way to properly answer this question is to experiment and test the market.


Before starting, you may want to ask yourself a few questions that will help you decide exactly how you should go about the process of digitising your artwork. 

Would it be possible to replicate the physical artwork, and if not how can I work around it? 

This is important to establish right in the beginning. If you are digitising prints or drawings it should be a very easy and simple process. However, if you are going to try and digitise a sculpture it may be a bit more difficult. This shouldn't be seen as a stumbling block but rather a stepping stone as it opens up doors for far more creativity. 

Do I actually want to digitise this piece of art?

It is a good idea to think through the process and not rush into it. Stemming from the previous question, if you think that digitising the artwork is not worth it as it requires far too many resources and time, then maybe it is a good idea to give that piece a skip. But if you believe that it has a potential return on investment and you can do it efficiently, then go for it!

How similar do I want the NFT to be to the artwork?

Jason Mattias, an artist, and art entrepreneur told the Entrepreneur that he suggests that artists try and keep their physical and digital artworks separate to try and appeal to the two different markets. Click here to read the full article. If you were to decide to keep the two separate it could allow for you to make each one a unique artwork. This means that a digital piece that has not turned out as an exact replica, purposefully or not, could be a very beneficial way of going about the process. If would like to find out what makes a good art NFT, click here to read our blog. 

Creating the digital NFT

There are many different ways in which you can turn your physical artwork into a digital one. The most obvious method would be taking a photograph of it. This can be done with a top-end smartphone camera but using a high-resolution camera would do a much better job. If you have a 2D artwork and want to take it a step further, you could have it scanned using a scanner specifically designed to scan artworks. Once you are satisfied with your image(s) you are ready to move on to the next step. 

The next phase of the digitisation process is taking the newly digitised image and either trying to make it look more like the physical art piece, or doing the complete opposite, by playing around with the colour correction using a photo editing and manipulation program such as photoshop. This step may be quite tricky if you are not familiar with using these programs but fortunately, we live in an age where there are endless amounts of tutorials on sites such as Youtube. If you want a more professional outcome you can always outsource the process to someone who can give you the finishing touch that you desire.