Looks Rare: Lessons from Minting an NFT


My two goals for this exercise were:

§  Bridging the digital and physical worlds with art.

§  Learning the minting process.

Harmony Protocol’s Year-End Event featured artist @GMUNK - designed Window's logo.  He presented elaborate examples of light shows that look like computer generated at.  This inspired my elementary Techno Fox.  I cobbled together a Photoshop rendering and LED lights using an iPhone.  Challenging but fun!  This provided momentum to learn the software plumbing under the hood of NFTs.

Solidity is the software language for writing programs on the Ethereum blockchain.  A Non Fungible Token is a representation of something on the blockchain.   Two main points here: there’s a description of the token and a smart contract that tells the blockchain to recognize the token.  Metadata describes the thing.  Metadata is stored off the blockchain to save space, time, and costs.  Smart contracts are programs written to fetch the description and initiate exchanges of tokens between parties. 

ERCs are types of Ethereum standards that establish different types of contracts. ERC721 governs NFTs - tokens that are unique from any other token.  Minting a NFT involves writing a contract to record the metadata.  The cost of using the blockchain is called a Gas Fee.  A Transaction Hash is proof that the contract was executed and recorded.[1]

Opensea is a popular marketplace to buy and sell NFTs.  I used OpenSea because it offers an ‘easy’ way to start trading NFTs.  Opensea creates a proxy account of a blockchain contract on their marketplace.  This allows users to trade NFTs without paying costs to execute contracts on blockchain.  Currently my Techno Fox only exists on OpenSea.  I could the pay the Gas Fee and record the account at any time.[2]

Formatting the art for a NFT marketplace showroom is simple.  When Adobe launches ‘Prepare as NFT’, it will be one click.[3]  Formatting the attributes of the metadata and smart contract are also options for artists.  Sophisticated artists like @Pplpleasr – Forbes 30 under 30 - code contracts to evolve the art based on events like who buys the art. 

My next project will be to enhance the Techno Fox’s metadata. 

View the fox at https://opensea.io/collection/studiowildwood-collection