How to Mint Art Blocks NFTs
Art Blocks is an on-demand generative art platform. Here's how to use it!
Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs, virtual worlds, & collectibles
Dear Bankless Nation,
NFTs aren’t about replicating the old ways of doing things in digital fashion.
No, NFTs are really powerful in large part because with programmability and more, they open up new ways of doing things, namely new distribution flows and new creative horizons.
For example, one project typifying how we can leverage NFTs toward unprecedented possibilities is Art Blocks, a novel platform for generative artists whose system is gaining traction and is made possible by Ethereum and NFTs.
Accordingly Art Blocks is quite compelling and worth trying out in these early days of NFT pioneering, I think. In this post, then, I’ll cover how you can get started on this up-and-coming NFT dapp!
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Art Blocks: A New Way for Generative Art
Art Blocks is an unprecedented on-chain generative art platform built on Ethereum.
Simply put, artists use Art Blocks to upload generative art scripts to Ethereum smart contracts. These scripts are then launched as series in which collectors can purchase limited-edition pieces as NFTs. This minting pings the underlying scripts in unique ways, leading to unique artistic outputs in their associated NFTs.
What makes Art Blocks so interesting, then, is that it offers generative artists the ability to release works through a one-stop, first-of-its-kind storefront flow. The ensuing pieces live forever on Ethereum and give creators a novel distribution avenue, not to mention royalties in perpetuity.
NimBuds #3 as released on Art Blocks by Bryan Brinkman. NimBuds notably had a cameo on SNL this past weekend!
Those interested in collecting Art Blocks pieces have three main avenues to choose from:
The Art Blocks Curated Collection — Curated projects are selected by Art Blocks’s curation board. These releases are considered the only official Art Blocks collectibles and have facilitated nearly 7.5k ETH worth of total volume so far! Droves of artists have applied for these curated drops, so many in fact that the current wait time for onboarding is estimated at being over two years.
The Art Blocks Playground — Artists who have minted an Art Blocks Curated series are allowed to mint non-curated, non-official projects in the Art Blocks Playground. The minting mechanics and everything are the same as Curated pieces, it’s just that Playground NFTs are instead minted at the artist’s discretion.
The Art Blocks Factory — The Art Blocks Factory is a non-curated publishing outlet that allows artists to launch generative art series much more easily and way more faster than via the Curated Collection. “It is very possible the factory will eventually become Art Blocks' largest outlet for generative content,” the project’s team has said.
The Art Blocks Curated Collection Series 2 concluded with the release of daLenz’s Aerial View drop, which launched on Mar. 28th and is now at 975 of its 1,000 mints at the time of this post’s writing. Besides these remaining editions, then, you can presently only buy Curated Collection pieces on the secondary marketplace, e.g. OpenSea.
In the meantime while the community waits for Series 3, we still have Playground projects we can mint from, like pxlq’s Heiroglyphs release (near ~600 of 1,250 mints currently) or Kjetil Golid’s first Playground project, Paper Armada, which drops at 5PM UTC tomorrow, Mar. 30th. In this particular series, collectors will ultimately mint 3,000 NFTs for 0.1 ETH each (not including gas prices).
Moreover there’s the first Art Blocks Factory projects to consider, which are all live right now and are as follows:
Also don’t miss ...
👀 Last month for Metaversal, I interviewed artist Dmitri Cherniak. Cherniak uses automation as his artistic medium, and his Ringers series has been one of the most popular Art Blocks Curated projects to date!
How to Mint NFTs on Art Blocks
If you want to try minting your own Art Blocks NFT, you can follow these steps:
Navigate to artblocks.io and connect your MetaMask wallet.
Click on the “All Projects” tab, and then select whichever one of the currently “Open” projects you want.
On the next page, click on the “Purchase” button and your MetaMask wallet will be prompted with a transaction.
Confirm the transaction, and then you’ll have a provably unique generative artwork minted right to your wallet!
Note that Art Blocks Curated releases can rapidly turn into acute gas wars. If you’re trying to snag a Curated piece, you’ll want to be on site as soon as the piece goes live and make sure your transaction’s gas is high enough to go through. Also, Curated releases have a “1 mint per address” rule presently to fight against bot purchasers, so keep that in mind too!
Valuing Art Blocks NFTs
As with valuing NFTs in general, valuing Art Blocks pieces has subjective and objective dimensions. But if we just go straight to the fundamentals, Art Blocks pieces rate well in:
Chain security (secured by Ethereum, the most secure network for NFTs)
On-chainness (their data is entirely stored on-chain)
Age (they’re young now, but they’ll age as NFTs from a first-of-its-kind platform)
Community (supported by a growing community of artists and collectors)
Scarcity (each series has a limited number of mints)
Rarity (each piece has trait combinations with varying rarity levels)
🎨 Mint your first NFT from the Art Blocks Factory!
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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.
Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. I’ll always disclose when this is the case.