Collecting Art on Tezos

Collecting art is fun.

Supporting artists, building your gallery, curating an aesthetic, appreciating art, joining communities are all good reasons to participate in collecting NFTs.

NFTs and digital art took off on Ethereum, but collecting art on the Ethereum mainnet is a luxury good. On the lowest end, you may be paying 0.05 or 0.1 $eth for a piece of artwork plus your gas fee which may be anywhere from $10 - $50 depending on when you buy. Most people are not in a position to collect a large number of art pieces costing hundreds, or thousands of dollars each. 

Collecting Art Isn’t for Flippers

Unlike profile pictures which are often driven by hype and marketing, art like photographs and generative pieces don’t have nearly as much volume and attention. So people who are planning on collecting art should not be looking for quick flips, but instead for long term holds. All this to say, when you spend $eth on art, you probably won’t get that $eth back for a while, or ever. So if you have lots of $eth, or a steady income that allows you to gain $eth every month, that can be okay. But if you’re playing with a small stack, and you want to collect artwork and participate in culture, then I suggest you look on the Tezos blockchain. 

Art on Tezos

Marketing itself as an eco-friendly blockchain, Tezos uses proof of stake to secure its network. Adoption of Tezos and its native token, $xtz or “tez” as people call it, has not caught the same hype as other layer 1 blockchain tokens like $avax or $sol. 

But in my eyes, Tezos has one of the strongest product market fits of any blockchain. There is a vibrant art scene on Tezos that has attracted people who are genuinely interested in the art rather than people seeking quick flips and hype. It’s also attracted artists who may have never released NFTs if the only option were to mint on Ethereum. 

There is so much art. An overwhelming amount. So any time you go exploring, you will find stunning pieces, and better yet, at very reasonable prices!

Prices and Editions on Tezos

Due to large supply of art, and the nature of artists on Tezos often releasing many “editions” of their work, many pieces have more approachable price tags. The idea of editions is different, so let’s look at it in some more detail.

Instead of selling an NFT of one image, they will create one piece and release 10, 100, or even 1,000 editions of that piece. As you can imagine, larger edition sizes keep prices lower for the everyday collector. Whereas buying one piece on Ethereum could cost you 0.1 $eth (around $150 at time of writing). With $150, you could get 85 $tez. And on Tezos blockchain, you can consistently find incredible pieces for 1 or 2 $tez. So instead of buying one piece and being done, you could allocate 85 $tez across dozens of pieces if you wanted! 

This piece, Echosistem by Skitchism, has 41 editions and I own one of them. I bought for 4.2 $tez a few days ago.
This piece, Echosistem by Skitchism, has 41 editions and I own one of them. I bought for 4.2 $tez a few days ago.

Obviously there are collections with significantly higher prices. The grail of the Tezos ecosystem are Garden Monoliths by Zancan. A generative art collection with 256 pieces that currently has a floor price of 23,456 $tez or $41,000. 

While that price tag is incredibly high, it’s a fraction of generative art grails on Ethereum like Fidenzas (1,000 items with a floor of $163,000), Ringers (1,000 items with a floor of $92,000) and Autoglyphs (512 items with a floor of $472,000). 

I think there’s a fair reason for the price discrepancy as the durability of Tezos is less proven than that of Ethereum, and aforementioned collections carry historical significance. But the more interesting piece of this whole puzzle is that Zancan’s work is highly regarded, and highly respected, yet he still has collections that have many editions, and thus are accessible from a price perspective to the everyday collector. 

For example, the other day I bought a Lushtemples - Heart Shaped, a piece by Zancan with 2,021 editions. The price was 25 $tez, or about $44 at the time of writing. 

My Lushtemples - Heart Shaped by Zancan (one of 2,021 editions)
My Lushtemples - Heart Shaped by Zancan (one of 2,021 editions)

There is a distinction between owning a one of one generative art piece and owning one of over two thousand editions of the same image. But in my eyes, it’s well worth the trade off. Being able to collect anything from a highly renowned artist for less than the cost of a dinner out, is incredible. 

Also, with the amount of funds I have to play with, I would much rather collect ten pieces with one-thousand-plus edition sizes than to collect one piece that has an edition size of one hundred. 

Have Fun Exploring Tezos!

In summary, explore Tezos and find an enormous supply of great looking art that you can collect at reasonable prices (especially if you’re okay with large edition sizes). I use the Kukai wallet and have found it pretty user friendly. You can buy $tez on Coinbase and send it to Kukai easily. 

I find that objkt is the best place to view your art on a single “profile” page (here is my profile) and get an idea of the market for the art. Marketplaces like fxhash are more specialized and focused on generative art, but in your exploration of Tezos you will find yourself there frequently when following links from artists twitter profiles. 

If you’re overwhelmed with where to find quality art, try:

  • Asking friends for recommendations

  • Browsing top collectors wallets

  • Clicking on a piece you like and looking into that artists other work

  • Seeing what artists are collecting, and continue down the rabbit hole. 

Most of all, buy what you like and enjoy the process of collecting art!

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