🧐 The art of collecting NFTs

After publishing 🖤 One About Darkness, the collector of “Placebo” reached out to thank me for the story. After clicking through her Twitter account I ended up scrolling through her collection...

After publishing 🖤 One About Darkness, the collector of “Placebo” reached out to thank me for the story. I navigated through her Twitter account and ended up scrolling through her hic et nunc collection, and… wow! It was amazing! The collection was not only huge in quantity but also quality. I recognized up-and-coming artists and already established ones. We exchanged a couple of messages, and I could see her passion for NFTs. That got me inspired to touch upon the collecting element in the crypto art world. At the end of the day, no collectors = no crypto-art.

She goes by the username @cabline1 on Twitter, but her real name is Ombeline. She lives near Paris, in the iconic city of Versailles. You couldn’t have asked for a better place to feel inspired by historical and modern art. She has been collecting art for many years but joined the metaverse in April 2021. Since then, she has amazed a collection of over 800 NFTs and expanding.

My love for collecting art comes from my roots. My late grandfather was an art expert specialized in 18th century porcelain as well as a collector, therefore I was introduced to that world when I was little. I have been collecting physical art for many years, but the crypto-art space got me hooked like never before.

She heard about the crypto space early in 2021, but she thought it was a scam at first. All the hacker news, anonymity, and the tech behind it made it confusing and overwhelming. She kept reading about the space and eventually discovered Crypto Punks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Nevertheless, she was not interested in those projects.

I wasn’t interested in Crypto Punks nor the Apes. What sparked my interest were some amazing 1/1 pieces. I remember saying oh ok, there is some real art here. I don't really know how to call it, fine art? high effort NFTs? It is hard to describe the pieces I feel attracted to.

The best way for Ombeline to explain what kind of art she feels attracted to is by pointing me the URL of her most precious pieces. She thought for a while but mentioned The Heiress III by Laurence Fuller as her favorite art.

He managed to associate art and poetry. This is not something I could buy in the “physical” word. It is more than a painting. This is a beautiful poem about seduction and power struggle between two lovers by Laurence Fuller which comes into life thanks to the amazing voice performances of Laurence and Cynthia San Luis and the art of the amazing Senju Shunga (who is influenced by Japanese traditional art). To me, the posibility to combine audio and movement is what makes crypto-art so unique. Most of the time I look for those kind of pieces. The Heiress III is the only piece I’ve collected on Foundation, as I mostly collect on hic et nunc because the prices and deals are much better.

When asked if she buys to collect or to earn some cash, she was unequivocal. Ombeline collects because she loves the pieces and the feeling of acquiring them.

What I love about NFTs is the artist gets a slice everytime the piece is sold. We have full transparency so I know who I am collecting from. In the physical world, this isn’t the case. For example, I’ve some art works I love, but I have no clue who the artist is. It is impossible to find them. I tried to reach out to tell them I appreciate their art, maybe to buy more of their creations directly, but I couldn’t.

Although, from time to time, she might sell some when she needs money. That way she can keep on collecting. When discussing the swapping aspect of art, she quickly points out how different it is to swapping art in real life.

I have some very heavy pieces in my real life collection. It is a pain to sell them. You need an expert come and review your art, find a gallery or an auction house. Auction houses provide a small time window to showcase your work, and that is if you get accepted. In the past, I had to bring my art to Paris, just to get it reviewed. NFTs solve that problem.

I couldn’t lose the chance to ask Ombeline for advice to those artists that are starting or want to improve their sales. She had some fantastic tips that you can follow.

  1. Create a strategy. You can be on multiple platforms, but remember, each one is very particular. For instance, Foundation is for expensive 1/1 pieces. It can take time to sell there. Hic et nunc is suitable for cheap multiple pieces but not the best for collectibles. Opensea and Rarible are great for collectibles. Your pricing also should vary accordingly.

  2. Take advantage of all the crypto elements. Ombeline feels that one of the critical advantages of the space is combining video and audio. In the long term, those works will have an additional value.

  3. Follow other artists and understand the collector’s scene. The best way to understand the dynamics is by listing other artists and collectors by platform, art type, and price range.

  4. Use your social networks correctly. For a collector to buy your art, he needs to discover you and verify you are legit. I’ve seen some artists that aren’t on Twitter. This advice should be step #1 for everyone. I also talked about this on 4 tips to break into the NFT world in a smart way!

To close this story here is some quick advice for collectors and aspiring collectors out there:

  1. Review all the crypto-art you purchase. There are many scams and thieves out there. It is easy to review an NFT using Google image finder.

  2. Follow @cabline1 on Twitter. Ombeline curates daily posts with the art she collects. I’ve found amazing deals by following her advice!


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- Kaloh