Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are currently the hot topic in the digital art world, with many people debating their value and purpose. However, one key factor that often gets overlooked is their aesthetics. NFTs are often incredibly ugly, off-putting pieces of digital art that fail to capture the imagination.
Here are 9 reasons why NFTs are so ugly:
- NFT is a relatively new technology.
- There’s no defined beauty standard for NFTs.
- Most NFTs are created from a single base model.
- Most NFT artists focus on quantity over quality.
- The focus of NFTs isn’t the art.
- Most artists copy what has been done before.
- Most artists have no training in art or design.
- Most artists focus on earning income.
- Ugly art stands out and gets noticed.
Read on for a rundown of each of these factors
1. NFT Is a Relatively New Technology
NFTs are a relatively new technology, having been around since 2014. Still, according to a study published in Finance and Research Letters, it took another seven years before they went mainstream.
As a result, there’s no established aesthetic for NFTs yet. They’re still in their early stages, and as such, there’s a lot of experimentation going on.
Specifically, most NFT artists are still learning to create appealing art with technology. Because of that, you’re likely to come across some really ugly art in the NFT space.
Pro Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about NFTs, here are a few tips on how to get started:
- Join an online community: There are several online communities dedicated to NFTs, such as the r/NFT subreddit and the NFT Discord server. These are great places to learn about technology and find interesting art.
- Check out some NFT marketplaces: Some of the most popular NFT marketplaces are Opensea, Rarible, and Superrare. Browse these platforms to get a feel for the types of NFTs being created.
- Attend an NFT event: Several events focus on NFTs, such as the NFT London summit and the NFT Global Summit. These events are great opportunities to learn about the technology and meet other NFT enthusiasts.
For more insights into how NFTs work, I recommend reading NFT Art and Collectables for Beginners (available on Amazon.com). The author describes the basics of how NFTs work, their value, and their potential implications for the art world.
2. There’s No Defined Beauty Standard for NFTs
With any new technology, it takes time for a consensus to form around what’s considered a good or bad design. This is especially true for something as subjective as art.
Because there’s no defined beauty standard for NFTs, artists are free to experiment and create whatever they want. This often leads to some pretty ugly results.
3. Most NFTs Are Created From a Single Base Model
One of the reasons NFTs are so ugly is that most of them are created from a single base model. This base model is often stiff and lifeless to accommodate all the different variations made from it.
For example, the Lazy Lion, one popular NFT with countless variations, is based on a single model. This model is then used to create all the different variations of the Lazy Lion NFT.
The same can be said for the Bored Ape. The base model for this NFT is an ape with a bored expression on its face. Again, all the different variations of the Bored Ape are based on this single base model.
Since the base models are ugly and uninspiring, it’s no surprise the resulting NFTs are often ugly. The following video shows the base illustrations used when creating the Lazy Lions and Bored Ape NFT series, so ensure you watch it for some context:
4. Most NFT Artists Focus on Quantity Over Quality
Another reason why NFTs are so ugly is because most NFT artists focus on quantity over quality. They churn out a lot of art, but it’s often of poor quality.
It’s a no-brainer that the more art you create within a short duration, the more likely some of it will be ugly. When quantity is the primary focus, you won’t have the time or energy to create beautiful and timeless art. You’ll be too busy churning out new art to keep up with the demand.
5. The Focus of NFTs Isn’t the Art
The focus of NFTs isn’t the art. It’s on the technology, the blockchain, and various other uses. This means most artists create art to earn income rather than for the love of art itself.
Because of that, you’re likely to come across many ugly pieces of art in the NFT space. Most of it is created purely for financial gain, and as such, the artists don’t put much effort into making it look good.
6. Most Artists Copy What Has Been Done Before
Another reason why NFTs are often so ugly is that most artists copy what has been done before. They see what is popular and try to replicate it rather than create something new and original. This results in a lot of ugly art since the artists are simply copying and pasting existing designs rather than putting their own spin on things.
However, it’s crucial to note that not all NFT artists are guilty of this. There are a lot of artists who are creating beautiful and original art. However, some artists seem to be following the trend of copying other artists, resulting in a lot of ugly art.
Caution: If you are an NFT artist, I discourage you from copying other artists. Not only is it morally wrong, but it’s also illegal in many cases.
7. Most Artists Have No Training in Art or Design
Another reason why NFTs are often so ugly is because most artists have no training in art or design. As a result, they don’t have the necessary skills to create aesthetically pleasing art.
The lack of training is often evident in the ugly NFTs created by these artists. They often lack basic design principles, which leads to art that is cluttered and jarring to look at.
Pro Tip: If you’re interested in learning digital art and design, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Search online for introductory courses: There are a lot of great courses that can teach you the basics of art and design. These include courses from Udemy, Skillshare, and Lynda.
- Attend an art school: If you’re serious about learning art and design, I recommend attending an art school. These schools will teach you the necessary skills to become a successful artist.
- Hire a tutor: If you can’t afford to attend an art school, then you can hire a tutor to teach you art and design. There are a lot of great tutors out there who can help you learn the basics of art and design.
- Look for mentors: If you want to take your art and design skills to the next level, I recommend looking for mentors. Mentors can help you learn new techniques and give you feedback on your work.
- Experiment: The best way to improve your art and design skills is to experiment. Try out different techniques and see what works best for you. There is no one right way to create art, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
8. Most Artists Focus on Earning Income
As mentioned earlier, most artists focus on earning cryptocurrency income rather than creating beautiful art. This means they often put less effort into making their art look good.
The result is often a lot of ugly art because the artists are more interested in making money than creating something beautiful.
9. Ugly Art Stands Out and Gets Noticed
Lastly, ugly art often stands out and gets noticed. This is because it’s so different from the traditional, beautiful art typically created by artists.
As a result, ugly art often catches people’s attention, and it can be a great way to stand out from the crowd.