I am an old-school cartoonist that started publishing in the mid 1980s. So I talk to a lot of people in the arts about the newest innovations and trends in the industry. Hands down, one of the biggest innovations of the past few years is rare digital art. That’s where an artist can attach their digital art to a unique token of cryptocurrency, thus issuing the art in a verifiably limited quantity. Through this innovation, that art can be bought, sold, and traded online in exchange for cryptocurrency.
I have used many systems out there for issuing and selling rare digital art, and more keep popping up each quarter. The markets I have used include Book of Orbs, SuperRare, FanBits, RARE Art Labs, and CryptoSketches. All of these platforms help to build up the rare digital art market and they each have unique features as well as fine art on them. In thinking about these technological milestones in the arts, I would like to highlight one market in particular, because not only were they the first, but also their level of innovation is consistently impressive. That’s Book of Orbs.
Without hesitation, I can say that Book of Orbs, which runs on a cryptocurrency called Bitcrystals, is by far, both the market where I have sold the most art (through the CrystalsCraft collection) as well as the most user-friendly market to quickly explain to other people–especially when it comes to live demonstrations which I have done on numerous occasions for professionals. To be clear, I am not knocking other platforms. I like many of the other platforms too and there is room for them all. But Book of Orbs, in many areas, through its Bitcrystals ecosystem is still far ahead of most other markets.
For the sake of time, I will give you one example, from an entrepreneurial artist’s perspective, on how innovative Book of Orbs has been. Let’s look at the “Send” feature in Book of Orbs. That’s where the owner of the rare digital art–or blockchain card–can transfer ownership of any number of their own cards to another collector. This is revolutionary in the art world, and gaming world too. With digital art, this function was previously impossible to do, yet it is so needed. You’d think all the other markets have this feature, but frankly, many don’t–at least not yet.
As a practical application, the “Send” feature of rare digital art is quite huge. It’s like when I used to do tours and exhibit at comic book conventions, mostly selling Silly Daddy Comics. For certain newsmedia people and professionals whom I wanted to give my work to, I would simply hand them a free copy of my comic book, with the hope that they would write about it and tell others. That “Send” feature in Book of Orbs is the rare digital art equivalent of this.
Just a few weeks ago I was explaining crypto-art to a friend who is also a professor and moderately well-known artist teaching at the University of Southern California. He wasn’t quite getting it at first, so we pulled out our phones, I had him download Book of Orbs (which anyone can get from the Google Play or Apple App Store), sent him two of my rare digital art pieces (Crypto Kiddies) for free, and now he gets it. Shortly after this demonstration, he included Book of Orbs in an arts presentation that he did at a museum in Los Angeles, and soon I will be presenting to his graduate students on crypto-art. Guess what one of the main tools I will use to demonstrate it. That’s right: Book of Orbs. And guess what I will probably do during this presentation. Yes, I will send someone a piece of free rare digital art as a live demonstration, because the ability to “Send” has become my friend.
As this market expands and matures through fine services like Book of Orbs, SuperRare, Rare Art Labs, CryptoSketches, and others, it will be exciting to see more art industry folks making rare digital art, collecting it, and even sharing it around the globe.
More by Joe Chiappetta – Silly Daddy