How to make an NFT

Last Updated October 26, 2021
Adam Morris
Adam Morris

So you’ve decided to make your first NFT (non-fungible token). Great! NFTs are the hottest new thing since the Bitcoin blockchain technology revolution, and they’re definitely here to stay from the looks of things.

But how do you make an NFT? And don’t you have to learn a bunch of complicated tech stuff, like programming, and move into your mother’s basement?

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to do any of those things. Furthermore, there are literally dozens of ways of making NFTs. In fact, literally any file that’s in digital format (e.g. .jpg, .png, .pdf, etc.) can be converted into an NFT very easily? There are even NFTs of virtual real estate and historical moments in basketball history being sold on platforms like Decentraland and NBA Top Shots, and Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, tokenized his first tweet and sold it for $2.9 million recently.

Whether you’re already a digital artist, or you’d just like to get your feet wet learning how to create digital assets, you can get in on the NFT craze right now. Digital items, such as one-of-a-kind digital artworks and other forms of crypto art, are here to stay. Even famous auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, have gotten in on the action, and are selling digital art for millions of dollars.

Interested? Good! In this article, we will be looking at some of the various ways you can make your very own NFT, and I will also be providing a number of useful pointers on the way. Read on!

How to create an NFT

First of all, you’ll want to decide what you are going to use to make your new NFT. As you will see, you can make an NFT out of any type of digital file. In this guide, I will be focusing on the most common and popular ways you can make NFTs. Here they are.

  • Digital illustrations
  • 3D models
  • 2D animations
  • 3D animations
  • Photography
  • Video art
  • Music
  • Books, screenplays and articles
  • Digital collectibles

For a detailed guide on how to actually “mint” (i.e. create) an NFT on an NFT marketplace, feel free to read our detailed guide on the topic here.

Digital Illustrations

If you’ve been browsing NFT marketplaces, or following NFT creators via social media, you have no doubt already noticed that a lot of NFT art is in the form of digital illustrations.

Digital illustrations are one of the easiest types of NFTs you can make. Basically, all you need to do is to upload your masterpiece to an NFT marketplace and set a price for it.

So, if you have any drawing skills, go ahead and open up Photoshop, Krita, Corel or any of your favorite mobile drawing apps, such as Sketchbook or Procreate, and get drawing!

There’s no limit when it comes to the types and styles of artwork you can do with illustration. And if you know how to make gifs, you can turn these into NFTs too!

Traditional Media

If you don’t want to create your digital illustrations directly in illustration software and prefer real-world traditional media, such as a pen or pencil and paper, you can do so just as easily. All you have to do is either scan or take a photo of your illustration, and then upload it to an NFT marketplace as you would with any other digital file.

3D Models

Another super-popular form of digital NFT art is 3D models. If you head over to any of the popular NFT marketplaces out there right now, especially the exclusive ones, such as Nifty Gateway and Superrare, you’ll get a good idea of what I mean.

If you do know how to use 3D modelling software, such as Blender, Maya or 3DS Max, all you have to do is to save the rendered images of your models, and then upload them as you would with any other digital file.

The most popular genre of 3D art in the NFT world at the moment is abstract art, stylized sci-fi images (especially cyberpunk-styled robots and humanoid characters) and futuristic landscapes. Trends do constantly change, however, so feel free to make whatever you want — there will definitely be people out there that are interested

3D Animation Clips

As the NFT industry develops, and the creative ways in which NFT technology is being used become ever more numerous, 3D animation is another very popular form of NFT art.

Examples of popular 3D animations in NFT artwork can be seen in the extensive body of digital art created by Mike Winkelmann (better known as “Beeple”) himself.

The content of 3D animations can be anything from strange visual effects to profound political statements (usually metaphorical).

To get a good idea of the type of 3D Animation clips that are popular in the NFT art world right now, feel free to check out Nifty Gateway.

So if you know how to make 3D animations (most 3D modelling software, e.g. Blender has built-in 3D animation functionality), get cracking on those clips! You can always upload them for free on Mintable if you’re not sure whether anyone will buy them.

Photography

This is perhaps the easiest medium that you can use to make NFTs. As with all other types of digital files, photos can easily be tokenized into NFTs.

Photos can be made very quickly and in large volumes, so you’ll never run out of things to upload if you want to turn your photos into NFTs.

Of course, if you’re a professional photographer, this is a fantastic way of making your photography available for sale whilst protecting your intellectual property on the blockchain at the same time.

Video Art

As the variety of NFT art continues to increase, video art, including long-form video clips, is beginning to gain popularity, particularly on exclusive NFT marketplaces (for a detailed description of the differences between exclusive and non-exclusive NFT marketplaces, feel free to read our other article Best NFT Marketplaces).

If you have any video editing skills, particularly movie-quality artsy clips, and have a message to convey, definitely consider tokenizing your work by converting it to an NFT. Again, the added benefit of minting your work and uploading it as an NFT to the blockchain is that it’s a way to protect you from piracy.

Music

Yes! Music is another perfect opportunity for creating NFTs!

If you’re in a band, play an instrument, or love singing and would like to get your tracks out there, you can convert them into NFTs and sell them on a number of NFT marketplaces.

Although music is still fairly new to the NFT space, there are already platforms, such as Submerge, that are being developed specifically for music NFTs.

Using the blockchain to protect your musical creativity is a great way to avoid piracy of all those catchy songs you’ve worked so hard to come up with. And since most NFT marketplaces provide the option to automatically transfer the copyrights to your NFTs when they’re sold, you may even become an NFT music millionaire!


Books, Screenplays and articles

Are you a novelist, screenplay writer or author, but can’t find a publisher that’s willing to publish your work? Or are you afraid that somebody may just copy and paste your work within hours of self-publishing it?

Well, then NFTs may be the solution to all your problems! Yes, it’s possible to upload any written material that’s in digital format as an NFT.

All you have to do is to upload it to the blockchain of your choice. Ethereum is the most commonly used blockchain that supports smart contracts right now, but there are already a number of other projects under development.

Digital Collectibles

If you’re a talented artist, or have experience using digital illustration or 3D modelling software, another thing you could consider making is digital collectibles.

Digital NFT collectibles are extremely popular right now, and if your series of collectibles is a hit, they have the added benefit of motivating collectors to try to collect as many of them as possible.

Examples of digital collectibles that are selling like hotcakes right now are:

  • Cryptopunks – CryptoPunks are a series of 24×24 pixel, 8-bit-style pixel art images of imaginary misfits and eccentrics. The entire series consists of exactly 10,000 unique cryptopunks, and the most expensive one (“Cryptopunk 7523”) that has been sold so far went for a whopping $11.7 million in a Sotheby’s auction!
  • Digital trading cards – Trading cards are another common form of NFTs. There are collectible trading cards of everything from game characters and mythical creatures to athletes and sports celebrities. A good place to find (and create) collectible NFTs is on the Atomic Marketplace at Atomic Hub.

Some Things to Bear in Mind When Making NFTs

If You’re an Artist – Do Your Own Thing!

There’s enough space out there for all types of NFT art (just take a cursory glance at any NFT the marketplace’s gallery thumbnails, and you’ll see how weird some of it is).

If you want to get noticed by more people in the world of NFTs — or the traditional art space for that matter — a good idea is to just keep focusing on making the type of art that you like to make. Don’t get carried away with what seems to be popular or trendy and start imitating people. As an artist, your own unique style, or the type of NFTs that you like to make, are the things that will eventually get people to notice you.

Connect with Other Artists on Social Media

Some artists tend to be shy or introverted, or think that to be successful as an artist, they should avoid interacting with other artists and only focus on buyers and collectors. Nothing could be further from the truth!

In order to become well-known in the world of NFT art, you need to be connected with as many people as possible. Most artists are more than willing to share your art with other people, including their followers, if they appreciate your work. The key to becoming well-known as an NFT artist is to be connected with as many other people in the space as possible.

Create and Upload REGULARLY!

There are actually two reasons why you should keep uploading your art as regularly as possible:

  • People notice you much more easily if they see you posting NFTs often. The very fact that you are posting your NFTs on a regular basis causes people to assume that you are a serious artist and possibly even a professional in the NFT space.
  • If you’re sharing posts of your latest NFTs regularly (as you should), social media platforms like Instagram and Artstation will love you! Once the algorithms on your favorite social media platforms have picked up on the fact that you’re an active user, they’ll reward you by recommending your posts and your channel to other users, meaning that you get free marketing by just being regular.

The Final Step — Uploading Your NFT

Once you’ve decided what your NFT is going to be, you will have to find an NFT marketplace to upload it to.

There are literally dozens of NFT marketplaces that you could potentially use, but unless you’re already a well-known artist, you will probably want to start with a non-exclusive NFT marketplace, such as OpenSea, Rarible or Mintable.

For a detailed comparison of the Best NFT Marketplaces, feel free to read our article on the topic.

Uploading and listing your NFT is a pretty straightforward process on most platforms. All you will need is a crypto wallet, such as the MetaMask wallet, and an account (which you can create in a matter of seconds by entering an email, setting a user name and providing some other information) on your NFT marketplace of choice.

Then you will have to connect your crypto wallet. There is usually a button to do this somewhere on the homepage of every NFT platform once you are logged in to your account.

Most NFT platforms and dApps (Decentralized Apps) run on the Ethereum network at the moment, so you’ll be able to use any dApps in the Ethereum ecosystem if you are using MetaMask. Transactions (or “gas” fees) will also be settled via ETH (the Ethereum cryptocurrency) or other ERC (Ethereum-based) tokens that can be used on the Ethereum blockchain.

Transaction fees depend on a number of factors, mainly how congested the Ethereum blockchain is when you mint your NFT, and how much your platform charges (if anything) to list items on their marketplace.

Generally, all you will have to do once you have an account is to find the “Mint” or “Create” button. You will then have the option to sell your NFT for either a fixed price or by auction. Once you’re satisfied with the information you have provided for your NFT, you can click on “Confirm” or “List this item” (depending on which platform you’re using). When you do this, your crypto wallet will prompt you to “Sign” the transaction, i.e. create a smart contract by writing your NFT to the blockchain. That’s it! You’ve just created your first NFT!

Yes, absolutely! You can use any digital file to make an NFT by simply uploading it to an NFT platform. Even physical photos can be scanned or photographed and then uploaded as NFTs in the same way.

You can make an NFT for free on either OpenSea or Mintable. However, in order to be able to actually sell your NFT for free, you will have to use Mintable, as OpenSea charges gas fees to be allowed to list your NFTs as items in their marketplace.

Yes. Anyone can mint (create) an NFT. However, some platforms require submissions to be curated and approved before they can be listed. Exclusive platforms, such as Nifty Gateway, also curate their artists, meaning that they only accept artists that are specifically approved to sell NFTs on their platforms.