Virtual Framing: How To Turn Traditional Art Into NFTs (and get extra content to boot)

NFTs for Traditional Artists

An NFT is a digital certificate of authenticity attached to a computer file or real world object. According to marketplace DappRadar, the trade volume in 2021 was $24.9 billion. Punters and critics alike are still debating the long-term validity of these blockchain tokens, but there is no doubt it is a lucrative outlet for artists which should not be ignored.

Can traditional art be an NFT?

Whether painting, drawing, sculpture indeed any THING (and probably even concepts) can be minted as an NFT, and the original does not have to be destroyed or given to the token holder (though that would certainly increase its value). You don’t even have to give up any copyright or intellectual property rights. As it stands, the market is a free-for-all.

Many artists believe that by not using a digital format that they are irrelevant to the world of crypto art, but this is not the case. Many physical artists, most notably Damien Hirst, have bridged this technological gap.

If you have a portfolio of real-life artwork, you are almost set to repurpose your pieces into digital tokens. The real question is how do you turn a traditional painting into an NFT?


Stand out in the crowd

You can simply take a photograph and upload it to the marketplace of your choice. That’s it. Once you have set yourself up with a wallet on a platform such as OpenSea, its as straightforward as listing an auction on eBay.

The problem here is that the most popular NFTs look very tech and modern. A straight scan or photo of a regular artwork may well be overshadowed by colourful digital “Crypto Badgers” or whatever the latest craze is.

This is where virtual framing comes in. By manipulating an image of your artwork in a 3D view, it can be framed, put in a three dimensional space and even animated.

Here is one of my paintings as an NFT (I've had to post it as a GIF, but the MP4 looks much more clear).

Is this difficult or expensive?

If you are not adept at software such as Maya or Blender, my web guy Gary (and other people I’m sure) offers a virtual framing service at a reasonable price. He did my ones above. There’s more info in his listing on Fiverr which is a secure freelancer website that allows you to pay per job.

He will transform as many pieces as you like from a range of frames and environment styles that he is constantly developing. They add visual depth and motion to any of your work.

Your finished piece will be delivered to you as an MP4 video file ready to upload onto an NFT marketplace such as OpenSea or Mintable. And that’s the thing you will sell. The video file. Yes.

The bonus here is that by creating an NFT you do not relinquish any copyright, so you are free to use the video however you want giving you bonus social media content at the same time. Heck you could even release your NFT the same day as you launch it on Instagram and get people buying your posts!

NFTs are a crazy and constantly evolving arena, so don’t think that because you use traditional materials you have to be left out. If you can get it into your phone or computer you can sell it as an NFT.

Gary on Fiverr