Minting NFTs: The Stumble-Footed Way…

So, I decided to make an NFT.

To be honest I did it just to go through the process of making one and see what the story was on them. The latter half of 2021 and the early part of 2022 has seen all my feeds overflowing with NFT news.

Another reason is that most of my friends are always asking why I haven’t made a million dollars with NFTs yet.

“Hey aren’t you an artist? Where’s your NFTs??”

Where, indeed?

Ok let’s do this.

Looking this up, I found this “How to mint an NFT” article here:

https://www.finder.com/how-to-mint-an-nft

It says I need 4 components to make this happen:

  • Unique digital file
  • NFT marketplace
  • Crypto wallet
  • Cryptocurrency for transaction fees

To break these down it went as follows:

Unique Digital File

Ok, so I’m an artist, with no need to go looking for a piece of art to use, so I grabbed one out of my archive, and this is it:

In context this is a character from an ill-fated comic/e-book hybrid project I created about a decade ago called How to Deal With Stupid Clowns Who Don’t Know What the Hell They’re Talking About!

Click the link to learn more about that, but for now let’s move on to my next requirement.

NFT Marketplace

When I first started hearing about these NFT’s, the OpenSea marketplace (https://opensea.io/) was the one that was always mentioned.

I signed up there many months ago, then promptly forgot about it. I’ll circle back to this one.

Recently I got the notification from Coinbase NFT (https://nft.coinbase.com/) that I could go ahead and create my account. They are not 100% open to all yet, so it’s kind of a beta/invite thing.

So I made an account there as well. This time I was ready to make my NFT…

… or was I?

Answer: No.

It turns out Coinbase NFT will not let you “Mint” an NFT. Minting is the process of creating an NFT… somewhere else.

Coinbase says they will allow minting “soon”:

https://help.coinbase.com/en/nft/creators/mint

Ok, so no help there.

Then I went back to OpenSea, where I can definitely mint an NFT, as described here:

https://support.opensea.io/hc/en-us/articles/360063498313-How-do-I-create-an-NFT-

I went through the process, but bottom line is I didn’t end up creating it because of a $135(!!) “gas fee” (to cover the cost of the blockchain processing).

Reacting much in the same way a vampire does to sunlight, I backed away, hissing fiercely.

To be fair (insert Letterkenny joke here)…

Three Wise Men Christmas GIF by Crave - Find & Share on GIPHY

… I was warned that fees were exceptionally high at that moment. Yeah, no kidding.

That’s when I searched for a way to mint an NFT without the gas fee, and came up with Mintable (https://mintable.app/).

On this platform you can avoid the up-front gas fee, but they will take it out of the back end of the sale.

Ok, that’s fine with me. I’m 99.99% sure this thing isn’t going to sell, so I’m fine with that.

To be fair (!), OpenSea has a “Gas Free” marketplace (https://opensea.io/gas-free), but instead of running on Ethereum like most of NFTs, it runs on the Polygon blockchain. I bailed on that one as I wanted to stick with Ethereum and keep up with the Joneses.

Anyway, Mintable lived up to it’s promise. I didn’t look up any docs on how to create the NFT on Mintable, I just kind of went for it, but looking now I see this link with a video walkthrough:

https://mintable.app/sellers-university/how-to-mint-a-nft

I’ll get into more on this later later, as this leads me into the discussing of the next piece of the NFT puzzle, the digital wallet.

Crypto Wallet

I’m a total newbie with NFT, but not so much with crypto. I’ve been in the Bitcoin game for many years, and I was even one of the dummies who lost access to his Bitcoin (one entire whole Bitcoin) when that first big surge happened back in 2017.

As I’m in the Coinbase ecosphere, I use Coinbase Wallet (this is a separate app from the Coinbase exchange app), although I don’t keep much in there. I have a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet where I send crypto from the Coinbase exchange.

So I was able to connect the Coinbase Wallet rather easily to both Coinbase NFT and OpenSea, with these directions:

https://help.coinbase.com/en/nft/start/wallets

https://decentralizedcreator.com/connect-coinbase-wallet-to-opensea/

Unfortunately, I discovered that Mintable will not accept Coinbase Wallet. Probably should have researched that first.

Therefore I had to back up and get a different wallet. The one Mintable suggests is called MetaMask (https://metamask.io/).

I really hate the name of this wallet. It seems to have nothing to do with anything. Try as I might I cannot find any info on why they decided to name it that, although having it mean essentially nothing might be the point. I made a site like that once.

Also, the icon reminds me of Firefox. At first I thought they were a spinoff or division of Firefox, but I couldn’t find any evidence of that.

None of this has anything to do with the way it works, so don’t worry… it works.

Anyway, I signed up for MetaMask and got the Firefox browser extension. Then I connected it using instructions found here:

I made sure there was no Ethereum or any other crypto in my MetaMask wallet, which brings me to the last part:

Cryptocurrency for Transaction Fees

So Mintable actually did create (mint) the NFT with absolutely no up-front money from me.

However, they’re going to take much more from me if the NFT actually sells than they would if I had paid the gas fee up front. I had no problem with this, as the whole point of this exercise was to just see how I could do it.

Honestly, I don’t see myself ever paying up front for something like this, unless the gas fees were $1.00 US or under. Anything more and just forget it.

When I was using the Coinbase Wallet I had been prepared to spend about $25 US worth of Ethereum, but that was not even close to enough.

I really can’t see why I would choose to use “gas” vs minting an NFT the gasless way. I found this article, but of course it’s from Mintable – they are going to be pro-gasless because it’s part of their brand.

Either way, I got the thing done and that was my goal the whole time.

The NFT

So here is the NFT itself via Mintable:

https://mintable.app/ART/item/Stupid-Clown-MINT/ySMyXpJs5s1xGJO

It’s listed for $999.00 US. I accidentally reversed the ETH (Ethereum) currency with USD (US Dollars) the first time I listed it.

This resulted in me putting it up for sale for 999 ETH… which turned out to be over 2 million US dollars! Oops.

You can’t change a listing once it’s minted, so I had to cancel that one and then re-mint it. This time I got the price right.

How did I come up with $999? Heck, I don’t know.

I saw most of these NFT’s going for at least $2000 US, so I figured approximately $1000 US was a steal.

Will It Sell?

It is a mystery…

… but it seems unlikely.

It’s always possible someone will stumble across it and take a liking to it, but if harsh past experience has taught me anything, it’s that you kind of have to bring your own following to things like this.

If you don’t already have a following, it’s hard to break through the noise and be seen. You need to concentrate first on building that following, and if that were easy, everyone would do it.

Still, I like monkeying around with new tech and such, as long as it doesn’t cost me my life-savings in gas fees, so it could be that more clown artwork will materialize in NFT form in the future.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.