With the growing interest in NFTs and the increasingly diverse range of digital art available, the collector landscape has become equally varied, reflecting an array of motivations and styles. We’ve created five collector personas to help you explore a range of motivations, strategies and perspectives for collecting NFTs to help you start your journey as a collector.
Whether you feel drawn to a particular persona or a combination of them, it’s helpful to start articulating why you want to collect NFTs and how you might go about it. Being aware of your preferences will help you know where to look for art and which communities to familiarize yourself with. The cryptoart market is vast and always in flux, so it’s also important to be thorough in your research before making an investment and once you start acquiring works, to protect yourself and your collection.
The PFP Enthusiast
PFPs, or Profile Picture Projects, are a popular category of NFTs on the blockchain. These projects involve the creation of a series of unique, usually algorithmically generated, digital art pieces that collectors can purchase and use as their profile pictures on social media platforms, forums, or in the broader online community.
PFPs often have a limited supply, typically ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of unique images, each featuring different combinations of traits, such as background, clothing, facial features, accessories, and more.
PFP Collectors see NFTs as an investment tool that connects them with a larger community motivated by similar goals. They view PFPs as the next frontier of blockchain adoption and are eager to join dynamic communities of collectors that navigate web3 collectively. These collectors often focus on acquiring iconic PFPs which capture the essence of the NFT movement. Their collections may include early CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, World of Women or other more recent PFP projects such as Azuki, Deadfellaz, or Moonbirds. For these collectors, the experience of collecting PFPs is more about forming connections and being part of a movement as it is about the artwork itself.
PFPs have become a status symbol and a way for collectors to signal their membership in a particular community or project. Owning a rare or sought-after PFP can carry significant social capital and prestige within the NFT ecosystem. Moreover, some PFP projects provide additional utility, such as access to exclusive events, virtual spaces, or even physical merchandise associated with the project.
The Grail Hunter
NFTs have introduced a new asset class to the world of art with the potential for long-term value appreciation. On the blockchain, a "grail" refers to a highly sought-after, rare, and valuable NFT. Grails are typically items that are considered the pinnacle of desirability within a particular niche of NFTs. A grail can be a rare digital artwork, a one-of-a-kind collectible, or an NFT with exceptional provenance or historical significance. Here are some examples of grails:
- Rare CryptoPunks, such as those with unique or scarce attributes like an alien or zombie appearance.
- The first-ever minted NFT, Quantum by Kevin McCoy, which holds historical significance as the genesis of NFT art.
- Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days," which was auctioned off for $69 million, making it one of the most valuable NFTs to date.
Grails are highly coveted by collectors due to their scarcity, cultural significance, or potential for appreciation in value. They often become the centerpiece of a collector's portfolio. Collectors focused on Grails aren’t just collecting artworks that have already achieved such status though. They are often also invested in the process of finding the next Grail artists, and will make an effort to promote artists in their collections who they believe will achieve such a status.
Grail collectors are also shrewd investors who know how to make the secondary market work for them. They might acquire multiple pieces from an artist whose works have achieved grail status or are about to, and list them on the secondary as they increase in popularity and valuation. This means that they typically have an active presence on social media platforms such as Twitter and Discord, sharing their listings, latest acquisitions, discussing trends and insights with the NFT community at large.
The Art Patron
The Art Patron is an individual who is driven by a genuine desire to support digital artists and champion the recognition of digital art as a legitimate and important medium. These collectors possess a deep appreciation for the challenges that digital artists face in the traditional art world, and they see NFTs as an opportunity to help create more equitable systems for artists to showcase, monetize, and gain recognition for their work.
Art Patrons often forge close relationships with the artists whose work they collect, offering not only financial support but also mentorship, resources, and encouragement to help them succeed and thrive in their artistic careers.
They often have a foot in both the traditional and digital art worlds, appreciating and collecting artwork in various forms. Their journey may have begun as a traditional art collector who later embraced the world of NFTs, or they may have started in the digital realm and expanded their interests into the physical art space. These collectors recognize the unique value propositions of a variety of mediums and appreciate the nuances that set them apart, ultimately contributing to a more diverse and inclusive art ecosystem.
Unlike some other types of collectors, Art Patrons may not necessarily prioritize short-term profits or market-driven strategies when building their collections. Instead, they are content to hold onto their assets out of genuine love for the artwork or a belief in the long-term potential of their investments. Their primary motivation lies in fostering the growth and development of the artists they support and contributing to the overall evolution of the digital art world.
The Thematic Collector
Thematic Collectors are individuals who are deeply passionate about a specific subject matter, artistic style, or medium and dedicate their collecting efforts to building a cohesive and collection around it. Their interests can span a wide array of themes, such as cyber-punk, nude portraits, generative art, pixel art, or even a particular artist's oeuvre. These collectors approach their digital art acquisitions with a keen eye for detail and a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of their chosen theme or medium.
Thematic collectors often possess an expansive knowledge of their area of interest, which enables them to identify valuable or rare pieces and make informed decisions when acquiring new NFTs. They are frequently engaged in ongoing research, staying up to date on trends, emerging artists, and new developments within their chosen niche. Their commitment to their chosen theme often leads them to cultivate an extensive network of connections within the NFT community, including fellow collectors, artists, and industry experts.
By engaging in these communities, thematic collectors not only enhance their own understanding and appreciation of their chosen theme but also contribute to the growth and development of the larger NFT art ecosystem. Through their passion, expertise, and discerning taste, thematic collectors play an essential role in shaping the cultural landscape and market value of their chosen niche within the world of digital art.
The Blockchain Connoisseur
Blockchain Connoisseurs are fascinated by the technological aspects of NFTs and the blockchain. These individuals are fascinated by the innovative ways in which artists leverage cutting-edge technologies to create unique, interactive, and engaging digital art experiences. They revel in the discovery of virtual reality masterpieces, augmented reality installations, or generative art pieces utilizing artificial intelligence, as these creations push the boundaries of what is possible in the digital realm.
These collectors often boast a background in technology, enabling them to fully appreciate the technical complexity and creativity behind the digital artworks they acquire. Their expertise in the field allows them to discern the intricate nuances and subtleties that set apart truly innovative works from the rest of the market. Blockchain Connoisseurs are by the intricate technological frameworks underpinning artworks as much as their aesthetics.
They also actively participate in discussions surrounding the evolution of technology and its impact on art. They contribute their insights to the broader conversation, helping to shape the perception of the NFT market and the digital art landscape as a whole. By doing so, they play a crucial role in the advancement of the NFT ecosystem and the ever-expanding horizons of digital art.