I’m an NFT Artist Who Made $57,000 in a Month Using Fiverr – Business Insider

  • Damian Augustyniak ran a successful business designing T-shirt and album graphics for metal bands.
  • Some customers on Fiverr began approaching him to ask if he could also design NFT collections. 
  • Augustyniak charges between $1,300 and $7,250 per collection creating between 100 and 10,000 JPEGs. 

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Damian Augustyniak, the 30-year-old founder of GuziKart living in Makarska, Croatia, about his business. It’s been edited for length and clarity.

When I was 20, I got my first job, making furniture in a factory in my home country of Poland.  The job was mind-numbingly boring. I loved to draw in my spare time, so I started to draw some T-shirt designs for bands. I found some local heavy-metal bands and some in the UK and United States and offered them my designs for free. I just liked their music.

A few bands liked the stuff so much they decided to pay me, even if I didn’t want any payment. I got fired from the furniture job, which was a blessing. I could now freelance for metal bands full time.

For five years I worked alone, designing T-shirts for the likes of Joey Ramone, Slayer, and Sabaton. But it got very busy, so I set up my own company, called Guzikart, and hired an assistant in July 2017. Every six months, I needed to hire someone else. I built up a team of five assistants who were able to create and manage the design process for T-shirts. By October 2021, my t-shirt design business was making $15,000 a month.

I’d had an account on gig-work platform Fiverr since 2017

In October 2021, people started contacting me to ask if I could produce NFT collections as well as T-shirts. I hadn’t done anything like that before, but the process seemed similar to making the designs for T-shirts.

I published an advert on Fiverr saying I could produce the artwork for NFT collections for people. My prices start at around $1,300 for one unique base illustration and 100 NFTs from that, with around 10 different traits. They go up to around $7,250 for 10,000 NFTs and 100 different traits.

I put an official advert up on Fiverr on October 13. The next day, I had one customer. Then things started to snowball. By November 10, I had 18 new NFT clients from Fiverr alone, and more from other platforms.

Advertisement on Fiverr

Damian Augustyniak first posted his NFT advertisement on Fiverr on October 13, 2021.
Fiverr

Right now, I have around 110 orders — about 80 of them are NFTs. We’re responding to around 100 or 150 messages every day asking about NFTs. 

In the beginning, I did everything by myself, but just like the T-shirts, I needed to hire assistants to design the attributes for the characters. I also can’t do 3D design, so I hired some designers to handle that. I have a few assistants who chat with potential customers in my inbox so I can focus more on the artwork I’m creating. And I have a manager who keeps track of deadlines. 

I did my taxes recently and figured out that I’ve hired 40 employees

I want to give all my employees the job security I didn’t have starting out. They are all on contracts, so they feel safer.

When customers approach me to ask about designing their NFT collection’s art, I ask a few questions, like what kind of style they want and what they expect. I charge $300 for creating a base character with a few traits. This way the customer can see if the character design works for them and I am still paid for my work. Ninety-eight percent of the time, people are happy. 

Then we move on to the full collection. The customer writes down every trait they need in a list. My assistants work on the traits and every attribute unless it’s very difficult to draw, then I do it. We work until we’ve got 100 traits completed alongside the base character, which we aim to do within 14 days.

Then we take all the artwork and run it through a Python program we bought from a developer that generates 10,000 NFTs from 100 traits. We also record the rarity of each NFT through that collection — very important information for when the NFT is minted.

Since October, I’ve been creating 10 or 15 NFT collections a month with my team

In December 2021, I made around $57,000 from designing the artwork for NFT collections. Just a month before that, I was worried the market would collapse, it was expanding so quickly.

I’m making my own NFT project called the Apes of Tomorrow. It’s a project that will include books and audiobooks for children that teach them about empathy.

I have a strange relationship with NFTs and cryptocurrency. I’m not a fan of people who are creating NFTs just to produce pictures and turn a profit. Although it’s very early to join the NFT market, I think if you invest in a project that has long-term ideas and applications, it can be worth it.   

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