“Don’t hesitate, dive in and learn.”
How did you get started making Art?
I started drawing when I was a young kid. I loved being able to make people laugh with my drawings. Drawing was the gateway to an obsession with character designs, branding, animation, and writing. My early memories of making art are of watching VHS tapes like “Bruce Blitz Cartooning,” and teaching myself how to draw. At a very early age I realized I could make money from my art. In the summers I could trade a drawing for freeze pops, or I could make a painting and sell it to someone at a town street fair. When I was 12 or 13, my friend’s mom gave me $100 and total artistic freedom to draw characters on the walls of his bedroom from one end of the room to another. People giving me money for my art work fueled my desire to make more, and to figure out a way to spend my entire life making art.
What’s your inspiration/drive?
I’ve been obsessed with sports, competition and making money from creating for as long as I’ve been obsessed with art. I would play sports all day, then come home and draw my favorite athletes and their team logos. I treat my art career the same way a professional athlete treats their career. It’s a constant pursuit of trying to make hits, challenging myself, working through slumps, putting myself in the arena and exploring new ways of improving. The end goal of everything I create is to make something people care about and talk about, so that’s usually the target I am driving towards with every project.
How did you learn about Crypto Art?
I heard of CryptoPunks a year or two ago, but I didn’t give it too much thought. It was only after I started designing a printed trading card series, Beastly Ballers, that the NFT lightbulb went off. I had always wondered to myself why there wasn’t a way to connect and track trading cards digitally. NFTs hit me like a brick when I realized what they could do.
What’s your inspiration/theme behind your Crypto Art? Was it different to your traditional art works?
NFTs are not too dissimilar from my every day work I do for clients or with partners. The major differences are: I don’t need those clients or partners to reach the customer, and I don’t have to wait a year to have something produced, or to receive royalty check.
How has Crypto Art success effected your creative output? Quality vs Quantity?
Seeing collectors buy up my first series has given me the extra confidence to dive deeper on my next series. Knowing that my collectors will benefit, my secondary sales will increase, and new collectors will benefit, I am spending more time focusing on quality over quantity with Beastly Ballers going forward. By quality I mean, I am spending more time planning and producing the product, rather than pumping out series every week. With NFTs, you have a built-in cushion for thinking things out and creating a road map, because that extra time works in your favor to build up anticipation for your next release. Quantity is great for staying on people’s minds on social media, but quality, although subjective (Gary Vee), might pay off. I look at NFTs as a more efficient substitute for physical goods. So I need to make my NFTs look and feel as good as a toy or pack of cards on a shelf. The way I satisfy quantity is, I document and teach as I learn daily on TikTok (@ryryart) and Twitter (@rymaloney).
How do you price your art and why?
For my first series, I priced Beastly Ballers low. I had no idea if they would sell, and I figured pricing low would increase the odds of having more collectors. Having collectors sing your praises is priceless, so I was happy to list low and cover gas fees where I needed to. I used fixed pricing instead of bidding. For my second series, I will be playing around with different pricing strategies and make sure my early collectors get first looks at releases. There’s an interesting dynamic that develops between artists and collectors with NFTs. It feels like you form a team, and you’re all supporting each other. Collector’s invest in you, and you invest that confidence back into your new work.
What has contributed most to your success?
TikTok has helped get visibility on my NFTs. As I learn about NFTs and as I make NFTs, I create short videos explaining what I learn. Helping others learn and helping the NFT ecosystem grow is a great way to get eyeballs on your work without saying “look at me.” Connecting with and following collectors on twitter has also helped.
NFTs are a market just like any other market so many of the same elements of marketing apply. It’s difficult to mint one piece of art and sell it right away, it takes constant effort and work to give people a reason to buy and believe.
Package your work: this doesn’t apply to every artist, but I’ve found creating a cohesive series is more enticing for collectors and you will find collectors buy multiple items within your series. If you have a stand alone painting, can you create a couple of other paintings to fill out a series? For me, I look at Opensea.io like a Toys ‘R Us, Target, or Walmart. Shoppers go onto the site looking for a great deal, a great brand name that makes them feel good and eventually rewards them. So I’m hyper conscious of the fact that these collectors are real people with the same objectives as any other shoppers.
Diving head first into NFTs has taught me more in a month than in the last 2 years combined. Once you learn about wallets, smart contracts, listing items, ways to market your work, it will feel like any other platform, with an incentive-based infrastructure underneath. Don’t hesitate, dive in and learn.
Tips for new Artists?
Spend a little money minting your first NFT. It will teach you everything you need to know and spare you the time of going around asking for advice. If you’re concerned about the little bit of money you may lose or not make to begin with, take a step back and look at the long tail of the NFT game. You are paid secondary sales/ commissions every time your work is traded in the future. Knowing that I am going to create hundreds, maybe thousands of Beastly Ballers made it a no brainer for me to list them at any price in order to get collectors trading them and talking about them.
What would you like to see more of in the Crypto Art space?
There is one main difference I see between the Crypto Art space and the Art space. And that’s blockchain. In the future, I don’t think there will be any difference between these two scenes because they will both use blockchain technology. The regular Art space would be crazy not to. I can’t imagine a famous painter saying ‘no’ to secondary sales commissions every time their work was traded. That being said, the things I would like to see more of in the Crypto Art space:
- Cheaper gas fee solutions, which I am sure are coming
- Cross blockchain solutions for trading NFTs
- Ecological impact solutions and clarification
- More places for people to showcase their work and NFTs they own
- A bridge between NFTs and physical work
- Avoiding becoming a ‘flash in the pan’ trend
- A way to trade NFTs directly for other goods. Just like when I was a kid, trading drawings for freeze pops
And that was Ryan Maloney! Make sure to stay tuned for his upcoming work on Beastly Ballers.
— Ryan Maloney (@rymaloney) April 6, 2021
And keep up to date with CryptoArtPulse blog posts via email below!