The intention behind the whole Q&A is to connect everyone more with a collector’s journey (they also start like us from 0, and have made their way up through learning and exploring the space), and also to have some collector’s insights, which could help artists put themselves better from marketing point.
I have known Barth since I joined the NFT community and he has also been one of my early collectors.
PS- Recently got to know he is Indian as well(which never occurred to me despite his Sardar Avastar lol)
Having seen him very responsive to artist’s doubts, frequently sharing his thoughts and honest opinions on Twitter, and also supporting new artists in many ways, it was a no-brainer to reach him hahah.
And it turned out to be a really fun, informative, and inspiring chat.
Q- How were you introduced to crypto space?
So I was familiar with BTC back in 15–16 when I was exploring the dark web and different aspects around it. But I never bought in cause I never went through any purchases or such. That was my first exposure to crypto. Then later on in 2017 during the bubble, I started hearing about icos and was instantly attracted by the idea. I was sold on so many ludicrous use cases and my first foray into buying crypto was in fact an absolute shitcoin called skychain, sufficient to say that went to zero. Although I did buy eth to buy it so I could say eth was my first purchase. Following that, I divulged into several more icos and shitcoin well into 2018.
Q- What’s the most exciting thing and the annoying thing you find here?
- The exciting thing I would say is a new aspect of use cases being developed and seeing a future where those apps and NFTs become indispensable. Making bets on those outcomes by having a stake in it and slowly seeing it come to fruition.
- And annoying thing, I would say is inherent tribalism where holders are super biased to other projects and don’t see that the future is a more interoperable network of layer 1’s and protocols seamlessly interacting with each other.
Q- Why do you collect? And how you started collecting?
- So my initial intro into NFTS started from a rather obscure project on neo. It’s called fishchain. One guy that was in the elastos telegram (which I had a stake in) and helped me out with some setting up of wallet for dpos voting, just mentioned it and I decided to check it out. So it was basically a game with a sort of mining element and you could buy and sell the fishes after breeding them. A sort of CK derivative with mining elements that has more of a revenue/staking reward share. That wasn’t too lucrative but that got me into searching more about blockchain gaming and I fell upon CSC a space MMO that has NFTs on ETH. This was a point in time where the largest balance of ETH I had seen in my wallet was 0.8 eth when eth was 200$. so I started playing the game finding exploits capitalizing on them and slowly building up capital. A couple of months in Pranksy sweeps in and starts flipping the items from crates, I see the volume he flips and the idea was super attractive to me, so I started following his wallet and figuring out my own model to trade. One of my fundamental flaws early on was holding on too long to my NFTs, which is ok when I have liquid capital but when I don’t, it limits my ability to get into other projects that come up. So I started doing this model of flipping 50% to 60% of my holdings to get my cost +some profit back and hold the rest. Over time this created a decent amount of liquid capital for me. Went from gaming assets into generative art ones, then into digital real estate and then collectibles.
- In terms of art, I was never a big fan because I couldn’t understand it
but as I went into avastars I started to like a certain element of collecting nice visual artworks. But being Indian I was super cheap hahah and couldn’t justify spending a large amount, so I used to buy when someone had some kind of fire sale and do low ball bids.
- I believe the first artwork I bought was a bunch of Primal Cypher’s between 0.01–0.05 eth when eth was 200, and then Silvio’s works for something similar.
After that as my liquid capital increased I occasionally bought more works I like, and the cost basis for them started to rise and voila somehow I became a collector hahahha
Q-From your previous answer, I’m curious how the rise in ETH affected your NFT spending? And your opinion on pricing, since nowadays, no new artists keep art in that price range we used to see earlier
- So generally we are gonna think that when the eth price rises the NFTs prices are gonna drop, which is actually logical. But what happens is kind of the opposite and the reason is that when eth price rises it shows more people entering the market. This also creates a positive feedback loop as in price rises, people see the price going up and more people buy. So when this happens the number of users in the ecosystem increases. now generally following eth price rise, shitcoins also get traction and many people multiply the amount of eth that they have. This leads to more expendable eth in users’ hands . The combined aspect of more users and more expendable eth cause NFTprices to also rise in their corresponding eth value. So since the period since the last march, I made more eth from shitcoins and then from NFTs again. This increased my expendable eth so I tend to spend more than when eth was lower in price.
- In terms of pricing for artists, it’s a rather balancing act. I used to tell people that never price the pieces too low that gas is more, because whenever I see I’m paying more for gas than the piece, it’s kind of a turn-off. Also pricing too high especially when a new artist makes people second guess the decision. In terms of sale, it’s optimal when a person sees something “oo this is nice” and checks price and it’s at a range that impulsively buying it doesn’t make the person second guess the decision. Generally, a good price range on the lower end is 0.07–0.15 for people starting off.
Q- So how do you find artists?
This is rather chance-based tbh, so when I’m bored I browse Rarible and Twitter and sometimes just come by art I like. So I go check it out and if I like the piece and price I buy instantly. Occasionally I browse the other SuperRare, MakersPlace, and KO also and follow the same.
Barth likes art Barth buys the art
Lately, I’ve been monitoring the Redlioneye art drops also, he tends to select really good and new artists to do art for his drops. So if there is an aesthetic I like I go browse that artist and see if he got any other pieces
Q- Do you often chat with Artists you collect from or in general?
Not specifically, I’m generally a very spread-out person, so even in everyday life, I don’t have one person I chat with often.
Only very occasionally do I actually chat with the artists I collect from and that’s generally when they approach me to thank me for buying their work.
Q- Your thoughts on tagging, DMing, or shilling to collectors?
Not a fan hahhaha. I don’t mind the engagement when shilling an artwork below my tweets ahhaha and I have bought from some of the posts at times. DMing- I rarely take a second look at. Tagging in one’s own tweet also pretty much the same feeling as dm.
Some people DM me asking for opinions regarding the way they are doing it, and a lot of the times it's just shilling disguised as opinion. But at times it’s a genuine question to expand their understanding, and I always try to provide some form of value to them.
Q- What advice will you give artists on how to market themselves
Twitter twitter twitter. Network -talk to people, start with artists who have been in the space for a while (a lot of the time well-off artists will also buy from new artists). Consistently post and comment on other people’s Twitter and make genuine connections through memes and banter. A little shitposting goes a long way here . Have fun interacting with the players in the space and you automatically gonna be seen in a good light.
Clubhouse has also lately been a really good avenue to bring exposure.
If you're someone who loves to talk and interact through voice, getting in the right rooms and interacting with people can do well for your exposure.
Another rather a guerilla way to get exposure is doing profile pic renditions of individuals in the space, and sort of gifting it. The peeps always love different kinds of adaptions of their online persona and will tend to shill you and bring you more exposure (P.S- not saying this so I get free art 😂)
Also remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s gonna take time and effort. Be patient and consistent and one day the market will respond. Just to put into perspective all the high selling artists like Hackatao, Xcopy, Coldie used to sell their pieces for like 0.1 to 0.25 in the early days when eth was 200ish.
Q- Last question this is going to be the most difficult one.
Do you ever feel like being an artist? Honest answer please xD
Given how much artists made during the run-up fuk yeah😂
Other than the financial aspect, even before it was a thing. I used to like doing random abstract images, you know like when you’re sitting in school listening to boring class and you’re just drawing random images on your notebook
sometimes I still do that, to let my mind wander. Squiggles sort of. But that’s about it. the ability ends on a notebook ahhaha