Quick Start Guide to Minting your first NFT

In order to get started as an NFT artist, all you really need is some Ether and a dream. Whether you have experience creating art using professional tools like Cinema 4D, Blender and Photoshop, or even if you’re starting from scratch, there is no better time to jump into this rapidly growing and surprisingly welcoming space than right now.

This quick-start guide will walk you through the process of minting your first token on Rarible, and some ideas on how to start promoting your work.

How can I create an NFT Artwork right now?

The fastest way to get started is to take an image or video file that you’ve created, and mint it on a platform like Rarible. You can actually take any PNG, GIF, WEBP, MP4 or MP3 file, up to 30mb. in size, and mint it as your very first NFT.

Once you log in with your wallet (here’s where you can find Metamask, which I use in this example) You’ll see a “Create” button in the top navigation bar, after you click on it you will see a box that says “Single” under the “Create Collectible” heading.

The difference between the selection of Single (ERC-721) and Multiple (ERC-1151) is vast, and out of scope for this quick-start guide, but Ivan On Tech has a great primer on both token protocols if you’re interested.

For our purposes, we’ll be selecting “Single” on the create screen, and “RARI” for the second step, as we’ll be creating a Rarible token. In the future you may consider creating your own collection, but that is a bit more expensive, and also out of scope for this quick-start guide.

Next, you’ll be asked to upload your image, keep in mind that you’ll need to keep it under 30MB, as this is Rarible’s size limit. After you’ve uploaded your file, you’ve gotten to the fun part. You can now select if you want to put it on sale, and how much you’re willing to sell it for.

It’s important to note that this, being your first minted token, is your genesis piece. Once you become a successful artist, collectors will place a high value on this token, so you don’t want to give it away too cheaply. Ironically, for readers of this article, you may even be inclined to not sell it at all! However, collectors really do appreciate artist’s genesis tokens, and as your biggest fans and supporters, you’ll want to get as many collectors behind you as possible as you start your career as an NFT artist.

Notice the service fee that Rarible takes. This fee is paid by the collector who ends up purchasing your token. In fact, Rarible makes no money for your endeavors until you actual sell a piece on their platform. The gas fee you’ll pay in order to mint goes to the Ethereum network, and helps incentivize miners to ensure the blockchain stays secure and highly available. Rarible gets no part of this fee.

I suggest adding a description to your token, but this is optional. In fact, all you really need is your media file, a name for your token, and to input a value for the “Royalties” that you will receive when this token is subsequently sold again on Rarible. Yes, that’s right, you will be paid a portion of the proceeds for all future sales of the token that you are minting, as long as those sales occur on Rarible.

Double check that everything is correct, as you cannot change anything about your token after it’s been minted!

Go ahead and hit “Create Item” when you’re ready, and you’ll see a screen similar to this one below, where you are asked to pay a gas fee in order to mint your NFT.

After hitting “Confirm” on Metamask, you’ll send a transaction which will end up minting your token, and placing it in your wallet. It’s important to note that your token is a Rarible token, but it doesn’t live on Rarible, it lives in your wallet (really on an address in your wallet.)

After your token is minted (this could take a while depending on network congestion) you will not only be able to see your token under the “Created” tab in your Rarible profile, but you’ll be able to see it in your wallet on OpenSea as well.

Here is the token, Art Chick, that I’ve minted as an example for this post on OpenSea.io

The best part about this is that my transaction is now etched forever in time on the Ethereum blockchain. I can prove it by clicking on the date under the “Created” event on OpenSea, which will take me to an etherscan.io page with the transaction that created this token, on March 6th, 2021, as I wrote this article.

What if someone just mints the same thing I just minted, essentially stealing my work?

That’s a great question, as it’s very easy to right-click on any of the images on Rarible and save them to your computer. Let’s say my Art Chick example token becomes wildly successful on the secondary market (it won’t) and collectors are going gaga for it. What happens if a malicious actor posing as me (an evil Art Chick doppleganger, to be direct) now right-clicks on the image in my token, saves it to their computer and mints an exact copy, and then attempts to sell it to collectors?

The answer to this question provides the enlightenment that has consistently poured rocket fuel on the NFT marketplace months, if not years. This transaction, which is associated with this token forever, came from my wallet, today. Any malicious actor creating a copy of this token would have a minting transaction timestamp on it that has a future date from today, and I can easily prove my token came first, as I am the real Art Chick. The token with the later timestamp will be considered a fraud, and no collector will want to touch it.

How can I promote my token, and why would anyone buy it?

Remember how I said the best part of NFT art is that as an artist you can easily prove that certain works are yours, and others are copies? The second best part is that you can promote and sell your work directly, by yourself, with no help from anyone.

Most NFT artists simply rely on Twitter to promote their works. The NFT art community on Twitter is huge, and growing quickly. Get active on your Twitter account, follow the #cryptoart #digitalart #nftart hashtags, inject yourself into conversations about NFTs, post images of your works and be sure to add links to your Rarible and OpenSea profiles in your bio.

Collectors that believe you are going to continuously engage your audience and produce stunning artwork are going to be very excited to own your genesis token. With some creativity, dedication, patience and a healthy dose of consistent hard work, you’ll succeed. There is no better time than right now.

Godspeed, artist.