What makes NFTs on Fantom different?
The Fantom NFT space is buzzing. Even as the broader markets churn, Fantom NFT auction houses and marketplaces thrive, steadily cementing Fantom’s position in the crypto-sphere as the “Artist’s blockchain.”
In this article, we speak directly with some of the most talented artists, inspired builders, and active community members to identify the key strategies that have led to Fantom’s success.
Three key themes emerged across our conversations that capture what makes our NFT ecosystem different: willingness to collaborate, engaged communities, and a commitment to art before sales.
Every artist we spoke with stressed the importance of working with others for their creative output. Artist SickIndividual described attending a meetup of Fantom NFT artists in early 2022: “I didn’t know anyone going in, but everyone was incredibly inspirational, positive, and open to working together. I found my people.” Beyond helping open connections to the community, that meeting yielded collaborations with artists around the globe.
Partnerships on Fantom extend to technology as well. After all, the “art” of an NFT depends on the underlying smart contracts and how they enhance or transform connected visual media.
Doublesharp, a leading builder in the Fantom community, explained: “An ‘artist’ might produce digital art, but they aren’t an NFT artist if they don’t have the skills to publish it to IPFS, link it to an NFT, have it be provable that it’s randomly distributed, and maybe add utility to the art that’s associated with the NFT. There’s a lot of infrastructure that goes with it that makes it possible.”
As someone with a hand in numerous Fantom NFT projects, Doublesharp’s perspective is keen: “It feels more like artist collectives on Fantom than what you see on other chains,” he observed, “When collaborating, you’re working with people who, even if very similar, are going to have slightly different ideas about things, which will lead you to make different decisions that might ultimately be more creative and interesting.”
The bedrock of such collective spirit is, of course, community. On Fantom, “people come for the art but stay for the community,” enthused CosmicFriend. “They’re going into Tombheads, buying 1/1 artwork each week, and then continuing to support us by joining our Discords and hanging out on Twitter where we get to know them,” she added.
“Lulu” and “Ocean” from the Cosmic Friend series
Teens on Acid similarly stressed community involvement: “The community on Fantom is passionate, really passionate. I’m sure it exists in other places, but I just haven’t come across it. They’ll go to war for you if they see someone copying your work ‒ if they see a scam collection pop up on OpenSea, they will make sure it gets pulled down.”
How do such community bonds evolve? To some degree, the Web3 economy is underpinned by these relationships. But still, there is something unmistakably different about connections between Fantom community members.
We attribute it to the precedent for engagement set by many actors united around dedication to creator culture on Fantom. Dynamism in the Fantom community springs from the consistent contributions of its diverse members.
The Auction Houses
Tombheads Auction House was early on the scene in Fantom and deserves credit for supporting artists and building the NFT community. Tombheads focuses on 1/1 art and offers artists opportunities to directly engage the community in weekly auctions. Their Discord channel is a welcoming space for anyone interested in the Fantom art scene.
Potluck Labs arrived later on Fantom to fill the need for generative auctions. Like Tombheads, it has played an essential role in recruiting and publicizing talented artists.
“We are extremely selective about who we invite,” Potluck Labs’ founder TrueVoodoo explained, “but we’ve brought in many artists from other chains and countries. It’s a lot of fun for me to find artists I know could change their lives forever if they had an audience for their art.”
Together, Tombheads and Potluck are lynchpins of the community. Like the vanishing points that artists use to give drawings perspective, these two auction houses orient much of what happens across the Fantom NFT space.
The NFT Marketplaces
The first native marketplace on Fantom, Paintswap sets the standard for accessibility and functionality. The marketplace recently introduced its v3, with a range of features, including bulk transfers, safe and trustless P2P swapping, and custodial vaults.
As PaintSwap core team member Arod told us, “The Fantom community has been key to our growth and evolution. A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without Fantom’s fast transactions, cheap gas fees, and the awesome community of users, and these features wouldn’t be available on Fantom without PaintSwap.”
The heart of the Fantom community is comprised of enthusiasts who sustain artists.
As Repeatr affirmed, bonds with collectors are key: “The direct kind of contact you’ve got with the people that are active and doing things in the Fantom space doesn’t exist where I come from, which is kind of bizarre because I do murals on the street for thousands of people to look at. You can just be in this [NFT] space and flourish.”
CosmicFriend compared the relationship with collectors as a partnership: “You just want to give them everything that you possibly can. We do more so that we can all grow together.”
But more than gratitude, artists expressed a desire to give back to their communities and to contribute to collective profit.
Zvonarka, for instance, discussed his collaborative effort to expand the Demonic Ones collection: “When people are paying so much money, you want to keep up with them and understand what they want. But surprisingly, all my holders say, ‘do what you think is right.’ It makes you want to stay with them.”
From “The Devilish Ones” series by Zvonarka
So what makes Fantom different? Some say market size. But rather than comparing Fantom to, say, Ethereum, we might look at timing. Fantom followed in the wake of Ethereum hypergrowth, attracting users looking for UI-friendly minting tools, cheaper, faster transactions, and a rich environment.
The Fantom space is admittedly younger but has attracted refined collectors and artists focused on art first, and this has shaped the NFT space at its core.
The pattern continues even now. As Repeatr remarked, “Even though prices have been down, there’s weirdly still an influx of artists coming in, and that means better quality. Collectors are constantly looking for something fresh. They’re doing research, and I think people realize that where they put their FTM counts not just for their means but for the whole space.”
Repeatr’s observations reflect a third differentiator in the Fantom community: the art. TrueVoodoo put it succinctly: “Fantom NFTs were birthed out of art, and the generatives came later.”
Artists expressed the importance of remaining true to a sense of personal style through their NFTs. As he narrated how he came to NFTs, SickIndividual remarked that: “When I started at the auctions, I started selling paintings. I then evolved to work digitally, but I always respected the organic feel of my art. I’m trying to be loyal to the idea that every piece is different.”
“The Concept” and “Woom hope” by SickIndividual
Such meticulous attention to process and detail seems to be a common concern ‒ CosmicFriends stressed the need for selective creation and to “curate” what one works on. Repeatr further emphasized that one of his keys to success has been drawing on his experience listening to clients to hone in on the interests of the community.
Can we speak of another type of collaboration that distinguishes Fantom – one in which an unusually refined base of collectors aligns with dedicated artists?
As the broader NFT hype bubble pops, even the casual observer would have to admit that the potential of an actual creator economy and culture remains alive on the Fantom network.
Want to continue in an ever deeper dive into Fantom NFTs? Explore the work of artists interviewed here. Notably, keep an eye out for the forthcoming documentary produced by the reputable filmmaker and Fantom community member Aspenth.
Cosmic brings a varied background in art, illustration, and graphic design, and these diverse skills show in the mesmerizing detail in her work.
On Fantom, Cosmic has produced two highly successful generative collections: Cosmic Friends and Cosmic Frens. The individual NFTs in these collections are extraordinarily distinct – when Cosmic suggested that she takes her time with her art, she meant it.
How would one describe her work? Her production is diverse, but given her focus on color, light, and occasional botanical motifs, the label “Scandinavian folk,” would not be far off the mark.
“Tiger Lily” and “Celestie” from the Cosmic Friends series
Repeatr is a versatile graffiti artist, graphic designer, and muralist who designs NFTs with streetwise flair.
On Fantom, Repeatr has four projects to date.
- Genesis collection ‒ 1/1 NFTs that feature the Goggle Guy, Repeatr’s self-described alter-ego, whom he becomes by night as he brings art to the streets.
- The Ephemeral collection originates with paintings converted to NFTs. Paintings can be delivered to the NFT holder or destroyed if unclaimed.
- The Astral Walker series is a 1/1 collection featuring characters from the Ego Death-Genesis collection. Each character has lore attached, written in collaboration with JM Luna.
- A forthcoming Generative Collection.
“Mother Creator” and a detail from a mural by Repeatr
We first discovered Sickindividual through the portraits he created, focusing on individuals who have contributed to society and culture.
SickIndividual is a versatile artist and musician with a background in graphic design and traditional, hand-drawn animation. Earning experience in this last field, he explains taught him about taking time with art and representing motion.
In addition to regular 1/1 sales on Tombheads, SickIndividual has produced several collections.
- Obsession – generative
SickIndividual cites Salvador Dali as a significant influence and describes his work as “symbolic surrealism.”
“Morrison” and “Uman” from the Sick Minds collection by SickIndividual
Teens on Acid
Teens on Acid’s work is hardcore, an incredible pastiche of anime, cartoons, 80s popular culture, and everything in between. His eclecticism is born out of extensive experience in design coupled with a deep appreciation of pop art.
Teen’s method draws on the sophisticated use of color, line style, and balance to produce art that is playful and edgy.
Presently, Teen has produced several generative collections
- Teens on Acid (Paintswap)
- TOA Club (Paintswap)
- Astrokids (PaintSwap / NFTKey)
- Acid Cats (PaintSwap / NFTKey)
- Acid Beenz (NFTKey)
Ultimately, Teens intends for his collections to be housed under the “Acidverse,” which will define the brand, include merchandise, and potentially an online collective space for artists.
From the “TOA Club” series by Teens on Acid
Zvonarka could be the poster child of the creator economy. Here is someone who arrived in the USA as a refugee with his family, who has largely self-trained, and who is now thriving as an artist on the Fantom Network.
Zvonarka supplements his background in branding and design with a flair for storytelling honed through his passion for history. He cites an interest in Gothic art, for instance, as one of a myriad of inspirations that shaped his generative collection The Devilish Ones – excellent NFTs that look like illuminations from a medieval manuscript reimagined through comic art.
Zvonorka is working with the artist XonaGB to build out lore for his generatives with further plans beyond for bringing value and utility to the collection.
From “The Devilish Ones” series by Zvonarka