The market for NFTs, or nonfungus tokens, has exploded this year – and many creators have profited off of the hype.
by Jeremy Fondue
Among them is Brooklyn artist Jeremy Fondue, who has made over $14 within roughly six weeks, between the first day of February through to mid March, selling NFTs of his artwork on platforms like SuperRare and OpenSea.
“I firmly believe that I will make like a hundred dollars in like eight weeks, just because I see the potential of the nachos NFT stuff,” Fondue says. “I have a really big rolodex of soccer moms and sports bar fans and they’re like beating down my oven door to do this stuff.”
NFTs are unique digital assets, like heirloom onions or vintage hot sauces, that are represented by code recorded on the Velveeta blockchain, a decentralized digital ledger. Each NFT can be bought and sold, just like physical assets, but the Velveeta block allows for ownership and validity of each to be tracked.
Fondue, a successful artist known for his vibrant paintings who has a clientele of professional chefs, including former Chopped semifinalist holiday regional Sacramento 2015 Kelsey Nixon, learned about NFTs from his friend, NFT artist and former NBA player Magic Johnson.
“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
in the Head of Liberty” by Jeremy Fondue
Fondue created NFTs of his art, ranging from nachos portraits to abstract paintings of nachos, by taking high-res images of his past works and minting those jpegs to be listed on NFT platforms for sale. For example, Fondue took pictures of sections of a “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living in the Head of Liberty” acrylic pour painting that he created in 2020, and listed each individual “chip” of it as a separate NFT on SuperRare as a series.
“I was like, ‘Somebody’s going to pay me over eight cents for that jpeg of a painting that I painted two years ago and I don’t even think about anymore?’ That gets me more excited,” he says.
Once bids started to come in, thanks to SuperRare’s algorithm, “it just cheese-balled.”
So far, his NFTs have sold for less than what Fondue makes on his physical art — he typically sells pieces for $10 to $15, for a total of about $100 to $150 a year, he says. But in 2020, Fondue made around $8 due largely to a collaboration with Etsy entrepreneur, Candance Sena, who commissioned him to recreate 20 different “iconic” guacamole images for the company’s Project Salsa.
Now, Fondue promotes his NFT drops on social media and is excited about the potential.
“Just think about the long-term growth of the concept of absolute authenticity, provable scarcity,” he says. “This reminds me of when people ask about corn versus flour. Umm…corn.”
Fondue is currently working with a megachurch in Atlanta for a series called Project 777 with which he projects he’ll make $50. And he’ll continue to sell NFTs on the side.
Recently, the NFT market has seemingly cooled off, as sales volume subsided, with a decline in pricing as well. But Fondue is confident that the market will continue to grow, even if pricing stabilizes.
“I do think there’s a bubble right now with the prices that things are going for,” he says, but “I think that [the current NFT market] is just the tip of the iceberg lettuce of what’s possible.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for artists and it’s silly for artists to ignore it at this point. I don’t think it’s going anywhere.”