Although some hurry to proclaim that the Non-Fungible Tokens niche has died, the activity in the crypto market, new NFT projects, and the community show us that NFTs are still going strong and waiting to resurface.
As art finds itself at home within the realm of crypto, more and more NFT artists emerge and show everybody that art can be profitable and affordable. Many artists are taking the road of NFT, but in this article, we will focus on the most popular NFT artists that have experienced surprising success and that the community looks forward to seeing.
What to Know First About NFT Art?
NFT art can consist of many types of digital artwork, but in general, it is a digital asset stored on a blockchain that, once purchased by an investor, is owned by them and can be transferred to their digital wallets.
NFTs are among the most popular ways of selling digital art, as they are a safe way to transfer and prove ownership from one user or creator to a buyer.
In the NFT world, digital art sales usually happen on NFT marketplaces, specialized platforms where users can explore NFT artwork from numerous artists. An NFT marketplace will provide extensive information about an NFT, starting with its digital artist, the blockchain where it is stored, the floor price, past related transactions, and many more.
In the digital art world, NFTs can take many forms. For instance, you can simply purchase a digital collectible that consists of a digital image, but you can also choose an NFT linked to a real-life asset. For instance, imagine you can purchase an NFT linked to “Poppies,” one of Claude Monet’s most renowned paintings. This way, you get ownership of the real-life asset, too.
Users can also purchase memberships in the form of NFTs. Remember Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the most popular NFT collections? Each NFT represents a membership for the club.
What Makes a NFT Artist Good?
There is no magic formula you have to follow to become a good NFT artist. Considering that the NFT space is still new and things can change pretty rapidly, one of the most essential things an NFT artist should do is be willing to adapt to new changes and trends.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to what is already seen in the NFT market. Another thing you should consider is being as original as possible. Creating unique digital art can help NFT artists step up and steal the show with new and remarkable concepts.
Good NFT artists usually stick to some types of digital art. This way, they can improve their technique and provide higher-quality content. For instance, while some artists might work with generative art, others focus on photography or hand drawing. The types of digital art you choose should match your goals, skills, and, most importantly, what you want to share through your art.
NFT art has to share something to generate emotion and make collectors think of a specific digital collectible so much that they get to the point where they have to purchase a piece of digital art.
Top 20 NFT Artists
Table of contents
- 20. Mae
- 19. Summer Wagner
- 18. Pako Campo
- 17. Josie Bellini
- 16. Punk6529
- 15. Mad Dog Jones
- 14. Fewocious
- 13. Monica Rizzolli
- 12. Grimes
- 11. Krista Kim
- 10. Dmitri Cherniak
- 9. Ross Ulbricht
- 8. Hackatao
- 7. Robbie Barrat
- 6. Tyler Hobbs
- 5. Trevor Jones
- 4. Snowfro
- 3. XCOPY
- 2. Beeple
- 1. Pak
- In Conclusion
Mae is a self-taught 3D NFT artist based in Australia who mainly focuses on landscapes that can generate a remarkable sense of serenity. While Mae also works in software engineering, her free time is entirely dedicated to the creation process of various projects.
After trying many hobbies, Mae stuck to 3D art and started creating various game assets with a focus on interior and architectural design. However, she experienced the limitations of centralized ecosystems; thus, she decided to move to NFT art.
19. Summer Wagner
Summer Wagner is a photographer based in the rustbelt region of the Midwest, United States. With several NFT collections created, she focuses on spiritual and psychological artwork that seamlessly shows everyday life combined with “the blur of poetry that is our society’s collective dreamscape.”
Summer Wagner’s artwork challenges users to see behind the photography and understand life’s complex concept and how many shapes it can take. The new, the old, the young, the colorful, the darkness, and the light, all these details are carefully combined in genuinely stunning photos that generate so many emotions that sometimes it is hard to choose the primary one.
18. Pako Campo
Pako Campo says, “Art doesn’t follow the water stream but fights against it.” Coming from Cenicero (La Rioja), Spain, Pako Campo creates stunning digital art that surprises users with bright and cheerful shades. Campo currently focuses on digital art, especially photo compositions, surrealist photography, and conceptual portraits.
Pako Campo’s art welcomes users into a universe where you can spend hours admiring the colors of city buildings and the dynamics and strong emotions of the portraits. One of the most intriguing NFTs developed by Pako Campo is #NovaY, a bright painting revealing an energetic part of New York. #NovaY and many other digital collectibles created by Campo can be found on Rarible.
17. Josie Bellini
Josie Bellini is a renowned artist and designer who started creating crypto art in 2017. Since then, she has made her art pretty popular, one of her artworks being part of a Christie’s auction and selling for approximately $400,000 on June 3, 2021.
Josie Bellini was born and raised in Chicago and might have become popular thanks to her iconic gas mask from Filter. She mainly creates art that “tells the story of the crypto ecosystem,” and an intriguing fact about her and her work is that most of the time, she first physically paints her art and only then mints it as NFTs. You can learn more about Josie Bellini and her art by following her activity on X (Twitter), Discord, YouTube, and Instagram.
Also known as “6529,” Punk6529 is a famous NFT artist who has remarkably influenced the market’s evolution. He constantly shares the latest news in the NFT space while helping his audience understand the magic of NFTs by offering practical advice.
While first interacting with the crypto world over a decade ago, when he started purchasing various tokens, Punk6529 has also developed multiple successful NFT collections now available on numerous specialized platforms.
Under his Open Metaverse project, Punk6529 created “The Memes,” a stunning yet unfinished collection that currently includes 2 seasons and has 8 meme themes. For this collection, Punk6529 relied on multiple techniques. To prove his dedication to NFTs, Punk6529 uses a CryptoPunk NFT (pixel art PFP NFT collection) as his profile picture on various platforms.
15. Mad Dog Jones
Mad Dog Jones (Michah Dowbak) is a Canadian digital artist who has become one of the top NFT artists, having started developing NFTs in 2017. Before working with non-fungible tokens, Mad Dog Jones expressed himself through various types of art, such as graffiti, painting, and musical projects.
In his artwork, Mad Dog Jones carefully combines cyberpunk elements with remarkable nature elements, thus expressing his love for the wilderness while offering a fresh twist to his interpretations of the metropolis. Some of the most popular NFT collections created by Mad Dog Jones include Deadmau5, Conor McGregor, Chromeo, and Maroon 5.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Fewocious (Victor Langlois) started creating art at the surprising age of 13. He gained popularity when he started to sell his art on major marketplaces such as SuperRare and Nifty Gateway.
One of the most popular collections created by Fewocious was “FEWO WORLD Open Edition,” a collection developed in collaboration with the Nike subsidiary RTFKT. The collection included a real pair of sneakers with each NFT purchased. The entire collection (NFTs + sneakers) sold in just 7 minutes after launch, reaching a value of over $3.1 million.
13. Monica Rizzolli
Monica Rizzolli is a Brazilian generative artist best known for her Art Blocks curated collection, “Fragments of an Infinite Field.” A surprising fact about Monica Rizzolli is that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) acquired part of her work and put it on show.
Monica Rizzolli’s art speaks to you, having become an inspiration for women all over the world. “Fragments of an Infinite Field” proves that NFT art can awaken long-forgotten emotions, each digital collectible playing with calm yet stunning shades to express the dynamism and empowerment that Rizzolli wants to share with her audience.
Grimes (Claire Elise Boucher) is well-known for contributing to the musical industry and her impressive NFT art. One of her most popular collections, “WarNymph,” was created in collaboration with her brother, Mac Boucher, and raised over $5.8 million less than 20 minutes after its official launch.
After selling her NFTs for surprising prices, Grimes sent a part of her profit (still undisclosed) to Carbon 180, a non-profit organization (NGO) focusing on removing carbon from the atmosphere for as much as possible. Her donation aimed to resolve one of the most concerning issues of NFTs: they are highly inefficient in electricity use.
11. Krista Kim
Krista Kim is a digital artist who founded Techism, a movement that seamlessly blends technological innovation with art creation. Her concept considers art and technology as “companions meeting the next wave of human expression – digital humanism.”
Krist Kim focuses on working both digitally and physically. While her signature language is shifting gradients using digital software, her physical objects consist of glass and plexi creations that hypnotize viewers into a trance of tranquility. Krista Kim’s art was featured in Times Square every midnight in February 2022.
10. Dmitri Cherniak
Dmitri Cherniak is a Canadian generative NFT artist who uses various algorithms to produce unique works of art. Cherniak first interacted with the crypto space in 2014, implementing Coinbase’s tripping widget to enable crowdfunding for Bitcoin journalism.
Dmitri Cherniak also developed a unique p5js script stored on the Ethereum blockchain, which produces a unique generation of art automatically. The script was created via ArtBlocks and made him a famous NFT artist. The most popular collection created by Dmitri Cherniak is “The Ringer”, a series of 1,000 NFTs consisting of different combinations of strings and pegs that can create unique geometric artworks.
9. Ross Ulbricht
Ross Ulbricht is the NFT artist who has gathered the most controversy around him. Ulbricht was arrested and is now serving life imprisonment for founding and operating a darknet market website called Silk Road. The website was built on top of the Tor network and was used to sell narcotics and other illegal products or services.
However, life imprisonment did not stop Ross Ulbricht from creating NFT art. Thus, he launched many NFT collections, mainly of hand drawings he created in prison or before being sentenced. According to his official website, “All proceeds raised from the Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection NFT auction will not be owned by Ross Ulbricht or his family, but by a legally separate entity that will redistribute them towards the Art4Giving fund and efforts to free Ross Ulbricht.”
Hackatao is a duo that has become extremely popular in the NFT world. According to them, “Hack” is for the “pleasure of going under the skin and discovering what’s hidden inside,” while “Tao” stands for Yin and Yang, the creative dynamic balance of the duo.
Hackatao’s story started in Milan in 2007, when S+N met and initiated a collaboration that would result in a creative balance and harmony. The duo focuses on animating their physical artworks while also introducing issues of society, environment, humanity, and crypto, along with references to art history, symbolism, and psychology.
7. Robbie Barrat
Robbie Barrat is a young digital artist working with AI (Artificial Intelligence) since he was 16. He primarily focuses on creating NFTs through AI fighting (using competing AI programs). Having worked with NFTs since 2018, Robbie Barrat got to the top and is now the 2nd best-selling artist according to SuperRare. The NFT artist has sold NFTs valued at around $9,000,000 in total.
6. Tyler Hobbs
Based in Austin, Texas, Tyler Hobbs is a visual artist who mainly works with algorithms, plotters, and paint. Aiming to create computational aesthetics and discover how they interact with and relate to the natural world.
Tyler Hobbs creates programs that can then generate various types of art. “I want to give the programs the freedom and ability to surprise me and escape my imagination’s limitations. Randomness is the ingredient that creates that opportunity,” says Hobbs.
5. Trevor Jones
Trevor Jones studied at various art institutions, getting an MA in Fine Art from the Edinburgh College of Art. His first encounter with crypto was in 2017 when he invested in Bitcoin and Ethereum. In February 2021, he launched “The Bitcoin Angel,” an open edition that had surprising sales, selling 4,158 editions in just 7 minutes after launching and reaching $3.2 million in sales.
Trevor Jones also collaborated with well-known NFT artists. The most intriguing collaboration was with Pak for “Collision.” Jones also partnered with Batman comics legend José Delbo for “Who is the Creator” and with Alotta Money for “EthBoy.”
Based in Houston, Snowfro (Erick Calderon) is an NFT artist who founded Art Blocks, an Ethereum-based NFT project that generates unique digital collectibles through a complex algorithm.
Besides founding Art Blocks, Snowfro is also popular for his genesis project, Chromie Squiggle, which has been featured in numerous galleries, auction houses, and various art-related shows. Calderon likes to play with various types of art, including LED art, 3D blocks, ceramics, and digital art.
XCOPY is one of the most popular NFT artists, creating stunning and truly intriguing digital collectibles available on almost 20 NFT marketplaces and other NFT-related platforms. One of the most popular pieces of art created by XCOPY is “Right-Click and Save as Guy,” which was sold for approximately $7,000,000 in December 2021.
XCOPY is an anonymous artist, and their art is one of a kind, fusing death, disorder, and crypto themes in “chaotic visual loops.” They first emerged as an artist on Tumblr, a social media platform that used to be extremely popular. There, they would post hundreds of individual works.
Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) is a graphic designer based in Charleston, SC, US. He works on numerous types of art, including short films, Creative Commons VJ loops, everydays, and VR/AR work.
Beeple is also famous for his collaborations with major artists, such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, One Direction, Eminem, Zedd, Nicki Minaj, and more. He also collaborates with renowned brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Apple, Samsung, Nike, Coca-Cola, Adobe, Pepsi, Sony Pictures, NBC, and Space X.
One of the most popular NFTs created by Beeple is “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days.” The NFT was sold at a Christie’s auction on March 11, 2021, for approximately $69.3 million.
Also known as Murat Pak, Pak may be the most popular NFT artist ever. Furthermore, Pak is known for creating the most expensive NFT ever sold, “The Merge.” “The Merge” was sold for $91.8 million in December 2021.
Pak is a digital artist, crypto investor, and programmer whose identity remains unknown. Just like in Satoshi Nakamoto’s case, some believe it may be a team rather than a single artist. Pak’s artwork is available on numerous NFT marketplaces, and most of his NFTs reach surprising prices.
What is an NFT artist?
An NFT artist is a graphic designer or digital artist who uses various methods to create digital artwork that can then be minted as an NFT.
Can artists make money from NFTs?
NFTs can bring their creators profits, especially when the artwork is sold for surprising prices.
Who is the best NFT artist?
There is no best NFT artist, especially considering that NFTs can consist of so many types of art. However, some of the most popular NFT artists include Pak, Beeple, XCOPY, Snowfro, and Trevor Jones.
What is the most expensive NFT ever sold?
The most expensive NFT ever sold is “The Merge,” a digital piece of art created by Pak. “The Merge” was sold for approximately $91.8 million.
NFTs have become surprisingly popular, and although we are currently experiencing a decrease in popularity, the concept and the NFT market in general are still maintaining high trading volumes and may recover, especially considering the end of the crypto winter.
NFT artists try their best to make NFTs great again, and their efforts can easily be noticed in their work. Each artist comes with unique approaches, new types of art, and new movements that have a high chance of stealing the spotlight.
We hope that our list helped you find your favorite digital artists or learn more about those you were already following. Now, let’s go discover some new NFT collections!