Why should I care about digital art? It's just a jpeg...
Imagine taking your profile picture and uploading it to the matrix. In a lot of ways that's how NFT functions. You take a piece of digital media or a link and you attach it to a chain of code. This is known as the blockchain. Simple enough right? When the piece of media is attached it gives it permanence. Up until recently, digital artists have faced the challenge of giving their art value. It's hard to understand how a JPG has the same value as a physical oil painting. NFTs, give digital art value by giving it permanence. There can only ever be one NFT for any one image.
Why can't I just save a copy of the NFT? You can but it won't be worth anything. The Reason that NFT's are so valuable is because of the blockchain. It's easy to check if your image has the code attached to it. If it's a copy then the code won't be there. It's like a seal of authenticity on a painting or a Rolex watch. You don't want to walk around with a fake Rolex. do you?
Aren't NFTs just a trend? Kind of! NFT's are definitely experiencing a lot of media attention right now because of the huge amounts of money they are being sold for. But this is just a part of the story, It's about more than just art and auctions. It's about the technology that the art is using. NFT's are single-handedly ushering in a new era of the Internet known as Web3 that uses Blockchain technology to put the power back into users' hands.
Are NFTs just JPGs? No! NFTs refer to the code attached to the blockchain, not to the media itself. People are doing wildly creative things with NFTs. Things like AR/VR experiences. Video Game Assets like character and weapon skins. With the rise of what is being commonly referred to as the "Metaverse", it won't be long until you will be strutting around a virtual city decked head to toe in NFT fashion.
I want to get started but it sounds expensive. It can be but it doesn't have to be! To make an NFT you need to own Etherium or another form of Cryptocurrency. To attach the NFT to the blockchain you need to pay what is called "gas fees" which is a fee for making the transaction. Luckily there is a workaround, Some platforms will actually make the gas fees a part of the cost to buy the NFT. The difference is the NFT won't actually mint until it's purchased. This makes it easy for you to put your work out there without having to make a painful investment.
Now that you know all about NFT's go and make some artwork then go and check out platforms like SuperRare, OpenSea, and Rarible to mint your very first NFT!