- David Brodeur, a digital artist known as “Brilly,” has made over $1 million in the NFT boom.
- Brodeur earned over $700,000 in sales alone after his first NFT drop on Nifty Gateway in March 2020.
- He said artists who create for themselves and stay authentic have the most success in the NFT space.
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For the graphic designer and 3D animator David Brodeur, the recent NFT boom has been a game changer for his exposure and income.
Known professionally as “Brilly,” Brodeur has managed to find success in NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, by minting his artwork and selling it on the blockchain. These digital elements, which cannot be traded for physical items, contain an inherent value beyond their aesthetic beauty. And with the rise in marketplace platforms devoted to minting and selling digital art, artists such as Brodeur have found a new way to showcase their work – and earn a lot of money in the process.
“It opened up a whole new door,” Brodeur said. Before NFTs, Brodeur said he made a living as a digital artist by teaching art-training courses, doing freelance work for clients, and monetizing his presence on social media. It was more difficult to pull in the cash when it came to selling his own work. That is, until NFTs came into the picture, giving Brodeur the chance to mint and sell hundreds of pieces of digital art that he had crafted independently over the past couple of years.
NFTs are now a part of a $250 million market, a 2020 report from tech-tracking company L’Atelier BNP Paribas and nonfungible.com found. Nifty Gateway, a leading art marketplace and also Brodeur’s platform of choice, has sold more than $255 million worth of goods since it launched at the beginning of the pandemic.
In his first NFT launch in March 2020, Brodeur partnered with Nifty Gateway to set up a series of pieces to celebrate his rebranding from “Locked and Loaded” to Brilly. He made almost $700,000 before taxes during the launch, as seen in screenshots of his cash-out from the Nifty Gateway website that Insider viewed. He was also eligible to receive 10% of every sale of his products on the secondary market.
That’s no small change to the artist who spent much of his early career working multiple jobs to pay off his student loans. To date, Brodeur has sold a total of 653 of his pieces as NFTs online for a total value of more than $1,050,000, cryptoart.io, which monitors art sold as NFTs on the blockchain, showed.
How to be a successful digital artist
While some artists see the NFT space as a chance to quickly strike it rich with a trendy piece, Brodeur has a different philosophy when it comes to the creative process.
“I always create everything for me,” he said. “I’m never trying to design something to please or satisfy someone else.”
To Brodeur, artists who try to jump on the NFT trend may be able to capitalize on the boom briefly, but art that lasts often has a deeper message. These pieces are generally made for a purpose beyond attaining a high financial value, he said.
“I think the artists who are benefiting from it are the artists who had just been creating for the love and the craft of creating,” Brodeur said, referencing the popular NFT artist Mike Winkelmann, known as “Beeple.” Winkelmann’s pieces have gone for millions of dollars and are often aesthetically pleasing, as well as timely critiques of modern society and politics.
“He’s just truly authentic,” Brodeur said of Winkelmann. He added that putting in the hours is also a major factor in an artist’s success. “He puts in the time, and that’s it. That’s the reason for his success.”
Launching a new, original NFT is no simple task. Brodeur recently partnered with the eight-time Grammy-winning producer Scott Storch for an upcoming launch of a series of five NFTs that blend music and art. These pieces are expected to be available for purchase on Nifty Gateway, in a series of open editions and auctions on April 20.
Brodeur said the process has been exhilarating yet exhausting. In the past couple of weeks, the earliest he’s gone to sleep is at 2 a.m., he said.
But it’s all a part of the process. Those looking to find success as a digital artist in the NFT space should expect to put in the same amount of time and effort, Brodeur said.
“Keep your head down and now is your time to build your portfolio,” he said. “You see that you can make money. You see you can make a living off of this. Just show that you’re passionate and you love the craft. And then that’s going to resonate with a collector somewhere.”