NFT Market Alpha
Generative Art minting on platforms like Art Blocks and Sunflower Industries accounts for the lion’s share of the NFT Art Market.
What is Generative Art? Generative Art is a process of creating new shapes, colors, or designs, in whole or in part, using an intelligent algorithm that functions autonomously. The algorithm determines features of an artwork that would traditionally require an artist to perform. This method produces a level of sophistication, uniqueness, and aesthetic that is hard to imitate, which contributes to Generative Art’s success and domination of the NFT Art market.
The majority of the NFTs on Generative Art platforms such as Sunflower Industries and Art Blocks are created using p5.js. When new artwork is minted during a drop, a unique ‘seed’ is randomly generated with the script, effectively minting a unique Generative Art NFT. The seed sets the initial variables associated with the script. This script is stored “on chain,” which means that the most fragile element of the artwork — the logic created specifically by the artist to generate the work — is stored forever on the Ethereum chain. If the API that serves the token metadata fails, the artwork can still be recovered by running the script, essentially making the artwork eternal and indestructible.
At the moment, Art Blocks is the largest player in the Generative Art scene. Art Blocks is a platform that hosts the curation of algorithmically formulated generative artworks that are stored on the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs. They have an advisory group that determines who gets to mint, drop, and list on the Art Blocks platform.
Sunflower Industries, a new Generative Art Platform, is gaining traction in the Generative Art Market. In many ways, Art Blocks and Sunflower Industries are similar. First and foremost, they are Generative Art companies that allow creators to mint Generative Art NFTs on their platforms. Sunflower Industries, however, is making moves to position itself as more accessible, affordable, and rewarding for artists and creators.
1. Anyone can create a collection. Sunflower Industries believe it shouldn’t be the base platform doing the curation. Tools can always be built on top for this purpose. This means less gatekeeping and more discovery of awesome work.
2. Creators are in control. Both Sunflower Industries and Art Blocks store their p5.js code on chain, so on the technical side, the two platforms are similar. However, artists deploy their own standard ERC721 contract on Sunflower Industries, whereas everything on Art Blocks is in one mega contract. Creators on Sunflower Industries’ platform have much more control over their assets than if they were released on Art Blocks.
3. Nimble technology. Managing a large number of projects instead of a curated trickle means that Sunflower Industries can continually experiment with new types of contracts — e.g. contracts where minting funds a treasury and ownership of an NFT is a vote (like Nouns DAO), or contracts where the upload of art code is funded in a way that’s zero-risk for both artist and collector. Sunflower Industries can make these experimental contract options available to creators, gather feedback, and thus push the space forward.
4. Advancing the industry. Sunflower Industries is working on a new type of contract that:
a. Makes all tokens free to mint
b. Gives the creator a stake — a small percentage — in all the tokens.
This method aligns artists and creators toward the same goal: NFTs that are valuable and rare stay valuable and rare. Also, instead of having to depend on a centralized system like OpenSea to receive royalties, artists’ rewards for success are built into the smart contract.
Sunflower Industries CEO explains, “I can say in earnest that Ethereum is one of the most welcoming communities I’ve ever been in. And I really do think that this is because, with decentralization, people are always working towards creating opportunities that are both win-win and low risk — like sending your money to a trustless smart contract or minting a free NFT. NFTs are definitely the frontier of this effort, and I think they are so valuable not just because of their art but because they also show a hint, a tease, just a sliver, of where we can get when we put our faith and effort into decentralized systems.”
Sunflower Industries has proven its value and potential on OpenSea where their first drop, Waltz was minted for free (gas fees paid by minters). The sale amassed over 100 ETH in the first 24 hours, 3.6K community members and led to Sunflower Industries gaining verified status on OpenSea in 3 days. We expect very big things to come from this company in the very near future.
The author, Richard Scheufler, is the founder of the NFT Art Gallery. This article is based on his own research and deep knowledge of the NFT and Digital Art market. He was not compensated for this article.