Digital art and NFTs are disrupting the home industry…in a good way. Our latest interior design project (the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach) tapped into this emerging field, inviting inhabitants to redefine and broaden their concept of art. We infused it into the space in a way that captured an exciting blend of history, future, possibility, and imagination.
But…I realized you might not know what NFTs are all about. Or why they are such a game-changer for the industry. Today, I’ll answer both questions and give you some tips for adding digital art to your new or existing collection.
First, what is an NFT?
NFT stands for non-fungible token and although the concept might feel new, it’s actually been around since 2014. If you’re interested in a more technical definition, this Forbes article can help, but I’ll do my best to summarize from an art perspective here…
Definition: An NFT is a virtual “item” that exists digitally, has a unique digital signature, and therefore has its own unique value. NFTs could be digital art, gifs, video highlights, music, and other digital collector’s items. For example…
What’s especially interesting is that NFTs don’t have any inherent value other than what people assign to them. Which is true for traditional art, too. A variety of factors have made the Mona Lisa famous, but is it really so much “better” than other museum-worthy paintings from the Renaissance? The way I see it, its infamy is a matter of personal opinion, historical context, chance, publicity, patriarchy, and a whole host of other factors.
NFTs also parallel traditional art in that each has a unique digital “signature” (like an artist’s signature) that makes it possible to identify the original. And like the original Mona Lisa (estimated at $850M), having copies everywhere doesn’t diminish the value of the original piece. Copies may even increase the original NFT’s value, making it a desirable collector’s item.
If you’re still not convinced that NFTs are for real, consider this: the most famous NFT was a 5,000-image digital art compilation sold in an auction for $69.3 million. That’s not pocket change.
Why are NFTs and Digital Art Disrupting the Home Industry?
Alright, it’s probably clear that NFTs are disrupting the art industry in some crazy cool ways, but how are NFTs and digital art impacting the home industry? And why do we personally love it at Joy Street Design?
Here’s the big reason I love that the NFT marketplace:
It provides a way for underrepresented and previously overlooked persons and communities to have a seat at the table. By creating a more equitable and accessible forum, more diverse and talented individuals will be discovered and recognized. (Melanated NFT Gallery is one of our favorite resources!)
In other words, it levels the playing field and allows others to get involved and get paid for their work in ways that a traditional art gallery will never do. It’s a democratization of the entire process, and both designers and homeowners have access to this vibrant new marketplace.
In addition to the social impact, digital art is also finding its way into interior design in new and exciting ways, like the way we integrated the piece above into our Kips Bay Show House guest suite in Palm Beach. For some digital pieces, we printed them and hung them in traditional frames. For others, we used smart televisions to display NFTs right next to the framed art. It’s a fun, dynamic element that is melding the digital world with the real world!
How to Start Your Own a Digital Art Collection
1. Get Inspired
Seek out inspiration on social media, creative websites, and NFT marketplaces. Follow your passions, values, and interests to see where your search takes you. For example, we worked with Atlanta-based Melanated NFT Gallery for our Kips Bay Designer Show House, which features creators from the global African & Afro-Latinx diaspora.
Then, pay attention to what catches your attention and why. Is it something you would add to your home? What mood does it inspire and where would you want that mood expressed in your space? A piece that energizes you might be great for a home office or workspace, while a more soothing piece could be right for your bedroom. It’s your home and your mood – you decide.
2. Buy What You Love
This is true for more traditional art mediums as well. If you’re buying art that you think carries value, but you don’t personally love it, it’s not going to bring joy to your home. Simple as that. Ignore the price tag or your ideas of a long-term investment and invest in your own long-term enjoyment.
3. Display in Traditional and Creative Ways
It’s easiest to start by printing out your digital art and adding it to a regular frame that you can display in your home or turn into a gallery wall. But, with digital art comes the opportunity to display it in new and creative ways, too, such as digital photo frames. You could even add it to your TV display to swap out that black rectangle for art you can enjoy when it’s not in use.
So, what do you think? Into digital art and NFTs? Not into them? That’s the beautiful part about your home…you get to choose.