If you know what Web3 is, you’re already doing better than I was when I first stumbled upon the concept in late 2021. What began as an innocent foray into domain name investment led me to discovering NFT domains, and later, the lightning-paced world of Web3 twitter.
One thing is certain: My visions for the future have not been the same since.
If you’re an artist, a designer or a creator of any sort, I’ll think you’ll be excited to learn what I have about what is an undeniable continuing shift toward a creator economy.
This shift involves new technology and it has a fair bit to do with the coming metaverse we’ve all been hearing about. However, that is only half of the story. While the metaverse is still a ways off before it is fully realized, you can actually get started with some of the new tools that will shape the future of the internet TODAY.
A little background:
I first heard about NFTs, like many people, in 2020.
I didn’t exactly go looking for this information. Instead, I first became aware of NFTs because I follow the art and design worlds, and there was a key event which took place around this time.
In case you don’t remember, in 2020 there was a pretty major event in the art world:
The first fully digital art sale by a major auction house happened at Christies. The work was by the digital pop artist icon Beeple, and it was sold as an NFT. This sale made history, famously fetching $69 million.
There is no doubt that this singular digital art sale will go down as one of the groundbreaking events in art history.
I had always been mildly curious about cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance, albeit from a distance. When this happened I knew that the technology was no longer fringe. If the stuffy artworld was embracing it, it had to have value to the mainstream. It was a zeitgeist moment.
When I later discovered that any artist could mint their work as an original using blockchain technology, I was even more intrigued.
Fast forward half a year and I have turned my attention from web development and a virtual interior design practice to designing for metaverse projects and learning how blockchain technology is changing the design landscape.
Besides my work on Design Baddie I am now an assistant Editor at Web3 Art Blog and am involved with several NFT projects, including a blockchain magazine called Zeitgeist Mag, as well.
Blockchain technology, NFTs and art and design are now my everyday.
Wanna catch up with me in the Web3 space?
Follow my Twitter @vonsassyx
Back to you and what this means for my readers:
What follows is my basic guide to getting started and taking your first steps to learning about web3 and the metaverse for yourself.
Just spending fifteen minutes on reading this article will put you in the small percentage of people that have a basic understanding of this important subject.
Before I continue with what I learned and how it can benefit you, a quick disclaimer. This article does not constitute financial or career advice, but is intended for educational purposes only.
Introduction to Web3: DYOR
Wanna be in the cool kids club? It’s not that difficult! People in web3 are incredibly welcoming to newcomers and many are eager to teach or help out if you have questions.
More than just a concept, Web 3.0 is also a thriving virtual community. This community, comprised of people developing operating in the blockchain space now makes up the underbelly of much of the current Metaverse.
Web3 users have their own lingua franca, as you’ll discover. There are certain slang words thrown around (many of them acronyms) that people in the space expect newcomers to learn.
–Some have a story behind them
–Some give warnings or are considered generally good advice when operating in the web 3.0 ecosystem
-Some are just downright funny and humorous.
Today the first one I want to introduce you to is : DYOR, which stands for “Do Your Own Research”.
Because the technology space is one that is continually moving at a really fast pace, a lot can change in a relatively short time. This is even more true for Web3, which is out in the leading edge, than other more traditional tech spaces.
If you thought fashion or media has fast turnover times, try decentralized finance, where it’s possible to conduct blockchain transcations involving “smart contracts” which borrow and return money in one transaction!
When emerging technology (and the plethora of tools it provides) are still so new it can be hard for anyone to make claims about the future with any certainty. Thus, the leading-edge of technology, the world of Web3, is subject to a lot of speculation on the part of investors and builders.
Bottom line, it’s always wise to research anything we or anyone else tells you about web3 before committing to it for yourself.
Okay, back up. What does the blockchain and cryptocurrencies have to do with web 3.0 and the Metaverse?
The Crypto Connection
Blockchain is a new technology being used to build a new internet, separate to, but also connected with our existing one.
The blockchain is a peer to peer network, originally built for sharing data and later, it birthed the world’s first fully digital form of money. After the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was deployed on the blockchain, many more have followed.
Blockchain networks are transparent and secure, and they also allow for permissionless and anonymous trading of digital assets. This is important because it affords certain rights to users, such as control of one’s own identity, currency and data. More on this later.
The blockchain also form the basis for the Internet of Things (IoT), which interior designers and architects are likely to have heard about, and the soon-coming three-dimensional web (a.k.a. ‘Metaverse’).
So, what’s all this about Web one , two, three? What’s the difference?
When we talk about Web 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 we are talking about different versions of the internet.
It is often explained this way:
–Web 1.0 which introduced us to the first websites ever, was mostly static pages featuring only text, simple images and links
–Web 2.0, which we use right now, is the dynamic, interactive web featuring video, and which is characterized by social media and e-commerce.
–Web 3.0 is the decentralized (peer to peer) web.
The Benefits of Web 3.0 for Designers, Artists and Creators
The most important thing to know is that where the present-day web 2.0 model puts the power in the hands of corporations who control your data and make money off creators, the decentralized web is putting the power back in the hands of the people.
Web3 adoption is helping creators to take back ownership of their representation, their identities and their work online.
Sound interesting? Let’s talk a little about how blockchain technology does this.
The simplest explanation is that web3 allows for verifiable ownership of digital assets on the web.
An example of the benefits of NFTs
Let’s give you an example. Let’s imagine that you take a photo or create a piece of digital art which you consider to be your intellectual property.
Perhaps you’d like to sell this piece of property to someone.
–What if there was a way to confer ownership rights over from you to someone else in the same transaction as the sale of that item?
-What if the transaction was permanently recorded on a public ledger, ensuring that it was fair and accurate?
-And what if the digital property was managed by a contract that ensured that any future sales of that item by the original seller paid a certain percentage back as royalties to you?
–What if you could see a permanent record of every transaction that occurred for that item, including previous owners and how much they paid for it?
This is what people are doing when they create NFTs of their creative work. They are taking advantage of a brand new way of buying, selling, trading, connecting, collecting and doing business. Experts believe all future assets, including assets like deeds to physical property, will be deployed in the blockchain in the soon coming future.
As we speak, works of digital intellectual property are being minted by artists and traded on open markets like Foundation, Rarible and Open Sea.
You yourself could be minting your own creative work and marketing yourself to an entirely new market.
This type of venture could supplement your existing creative practice, or become your new full time focus.
Either way, you will be an early adopter of a technology that is poised to take over the world in the next five to ten years. Why not come early to the party and reap the rewards of the early adopters?
There no denying it: NFTs are a revolutionary technology. Some are even calling it disruptive.
For artists, designers and architects they are a blessing.
They represent the first time digital artists have been able to make money on the sale of their works without going through a middleman.
Welcome to the Wild Wild West
Now, if, like some people, you associate the word NFT with “scam”, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
That’s where DYOR comes in. The NFT space is a relatively new one, and whenever technology gets ahead of legislation there can be some “gray areas”.
This is why we say that Web 3.0 and NFTs are still the “wild west.”
So, why would you want to get into such a risky space?
We’ll be honest: there are risks. We’re not giving you financial or any other kind of advice, any more than to say that having experienced the potential that this technology has for ourselves, we would recommend checking it out.
If you are highly risk averse, wait a couple of years until the technology sees mainstream adoption.
If, however, you are one of the pioneer types who wants to try some digital prospecting and you are willing to do your own research, this just might be for you!
Thousands of creators are finding new avenues of creative expression and the means to support themselves in an entirely new and exciting way through blockchain technology in the form of NFTs.
If you are keen about exploring a new opportunity and you like trying new things, keep reading!
First Steps for Artists, Designers and Creators Getting into Web3 and NFTs
Get started building your creative brand in the metaverse as an interior designer, artist or creator
- Claim your digital identity
- Fire up your twitter and follow the right people
- Do a deep dive on these YouTube channels
- Get your first wallet
- Find your first marketplace
- Buy or create your first NFT
- Congratulations, you’re in!
1. Claim (and Truly Own) Your Digital Identity
The first step to becoming a citizen of the internet version 3.0 is to claim that metaverse citizenship. How do you do this, you might ask? By securing your Web3 user name in the form of your own personal NFT domain. This domain has two important functions: It acts as your address on the 3D web, assigns you a permanent username, and it can send, receive and store digital tokens like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Bear in mind that web3 websites are still in their infancy, but you can get started using a lot of blockchain applications today by simply buying your name as an NFT domain (also known as a blockchain or crypto domain).
Blockchain domains, often simply called “wallets” have been described as domains with superpowers. Instead of simply being a human-readable name for a blockchain IP address as they are right now (i.e.: http://www.designbaddie.com), blockchain domains have multiple functions.
Some of these functions include:
-ONE TIME SIGN IN – Allowing you to sign on to decentralized applications
-ONLINE PAYMENTS – Send and receive cryptocurrency payments across multiple chains
-COLLECTIONS – Store and display digital assets in the form of NFTs
-PORTFOLIO – Buy, sell and trade digital assets (like your intellectual property or creative works) on the blockchain
-HOST YOUR BRAND ON WEB3 – Host your own decentralized, censorship-proof website
With some domain registrars you can also send and receive email with your domain, and link the domain to your regular web2 social accounts (like Instagram and Facebook..)
Where blockchain tech really shines, though, is in the ability to take your portable identity with you everywhere you go rather than create a new account for each website. Your identity is self-custodial, meaning you only share the information you choose with websites or applications.
The Web3 Community
Another sometimes overlooked benefit is that having a blockchain domain also gives you access to the web3 community.
Securing your personal blockchain domain in the form of a solid web3 user name shows other people in the space that you’re serious about web3. It will set you up with a community of other users who recognize your domain and will want to help you when you need it. Remember that domains start at only five bucks, and you can find many sign up deals like the one below, which gives you $10 of sign up credit.
And when you snag a cool name? That’s some serious bragging rights.
Okay, so lets say this all sounds pretty good. You’ve done your own research and you are keen to take the next step.
The good news is that you don’t actually need to have or buy any cryptocurrency to buy your blockchain domain for your personal brand or business. You can buy your blockchain domain with your credit card, Stripe or Paypal if you want to. You can even use a regular browser to do it.
This is possible because one of the best and most beginner-friendly companies offering blockchain domains, Unstoppable Domains, makes the process really easy for newcomers. As someone who has used no less than five different domain registrars over the last few years, take it from me: this is the easiest website to navigate. They also have pretty decent educational resources if you have any questions you’d regard as FAQs.
Blockchain or NFT domains from Unstoppable Domains are an unbelievable one time purchase and you own them for life.
Once you’ve purchased your domain, so long as you don’t lose the keys to your kingdom (which are yours to keep safe in the form of a seed phrase) your domain is yours to use, keep, sell to someone else or even rent out if you wanted.
Hey, you could pass them on to your kids one day.
It’s totally yours and this is verified permanently on the blockchain!
Web3 domain endings from Unstoppable Domains come in .x, .nft, .wallet, .crypto, .blockchain, .bitcoin, .dao, and .zil extensions (also known as Top Level Domains or TLDs, like .com, .net and .xyz).
The cheapest domains (usually a username combination of letters and numbers) can start as low as $5 and on up to $100 for the exclusive .x.
Keywords and company brand names are often priced high or are protected.
In my case, I started out by buying my creator name vonsassy in the .x extension (vonsassy.x has a pretty good ring to it, no?).
I have since then bought my brand names designbaddie.x, artbaddie.nft and saskiamedia.crypto as well as the names of my kids.
By being early you can ensure that you get the name you want, sans hyphens and extra words.
These names are being snapped up every day by investors, web3 enthusiasts and brands who want to protect their brand names in the soon coming metaverse.
You’ve been warned!
The Unstoppable Domains website is quite easy to navigate, but for those of our readers who want a step by step guide, that will be coming soon!
2. Follow the Right People on Twitter
In a world where the most popular social media platforms are the ones that connect friends and family and are the simplest to use Twitter is not usually top of the list. As such, it is often overlooked.
Many people who’ve never tried Twitter have a negative impression that it’s a place for people to get into heated debates, and that it tends to be toxic.
After all, dirty laundry aired on Twitter often makes the news.
Before I make suggestions about who or what topics to follow on Twitter, I’d like to say a few words in favor of the social media giant.
Twitter as a platform is incredibly intuitive, easy to use and for the most part, it is easy to figure out for newbies. It’s also the best place to make life-changing connections and friendships that can boost your career, your business and your mindset.
Where Twitter really differs from Instagram and Facebook is that most of our family aren’t on it.
For some people, not “knowing” anyone on Twitter is the biggest drawback to using it. If you think about the freedom this affords you, though, it might also be the most appealing thing about it.
I’ve heard Twitter described as being invited to the ultimate online “cocktail party”. All of the most educated, talented, accomplished and connected people on earth are at this party, but you don’t know anyone yet. The horror!
I understand. I’ve been brand new on Twitter. But I’m here to tell you that this “problem” is much less of a problem for the new Twitter user rocking a Web3 NFT domain profile name, so if you got your web3 ID you’re golden. You’re going to make lots of new friends very quickly. Seriously!
You can start by following me and following my Design Baddie account. I’ve been told that I’m very friendly and helpful. Wink wink.
Beyond that, as you learn about Web3, start engaging on the topic and asking your questions, you’ll start getting followed by a bunch of cool people all with the same interests.
No lie, Web3 Twitter and the #UDfam community are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people you’ll encounter online!
Another barrier I see with new Twitter users is that people start an account up with no real focus, and follow a wide variety of topics. They often have no real game plan or idea of what they want from the platform. Who knew that you even needed one? This is the story of my first two abandoned Twitter accounts, so I get it!
My suggestion for the artist, designer or creative looking to get into NFTs and the metaverse is to follow the types of accounts that will best serve you in reaching these goals.
It never hurts to follow a few people who have been in the business, marketing or tech game longer than you, and learn from them about how they have achieved their success.
You will also want to follow other designers and artists who are already in the space and become part of some communities.
There are three main types of accounts you can consider following if you are new to Twitter:
- General entrepreneurship accounts
- Design and art accounts
- Web3 specific accounts
Here are my personal suggestions for some good accounts to follow. There are plenty more!
The Best General Entrepreneurship Accounts on Twitter
Josh helps creative entrepreneurs start six figure businesses. He has also perfected the Twitter newsletter and he will teach you how! Josh’s content is very logical and his proven methods work.
Liz is the Author of ‘Anything You Put Your Mind To’ and hosts the ‘Keeping Curious’ podcast. She offers daily motivation and tips for blogging success.
Samantha is the mom you need on Twitter. She will get you off your lazy butt and encourage you to take creative risks. She is also very active and accessible. Samantha provides: “Daily inspiration to take action to live a life you love” and “Writing: Creators Guide to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome”.
Joe teaches how to build an audience and monetize it, with many of his resources offered for free!
If you need help with search engine optimization (SEO strategy) and marketing for your blog, site or YouTube channel you can’t really do much better than Neil. He has many useful tools and he dishes plenty of free advice on his Twitter. Look for him on YouTube and Google search as well!
Useful Design and Art Accounts on Twitter
Jeremy teaches logo, brand and identity design on Skillshare and YouTube. Follow him for bite-sized tips and tricks on Twitter.
I prefer not to suggest magazines and brands, since you will have your own favorites, but if you don’t know The Cool Hunter you’re about to get an introduction. Tons of inspiration, the latest gadgets and coolest trends.
This designer shares graphic design and photography tutorials, free resources and inspiration on Twitter, his own site, as well as YouTube.
Authored the book, “WHY DESIGN MATTERS: Conversations with the World’s Most Creative People”. Debbie will introduce you to women who are making the news in design and startups.
Leta’s account claims it is “music for your eyes”. Art and design abound.
Visual developer and concept artist for Gateway game worlds. You can also find his work on Art Station.
Arch Daily The one and only!
3D Artist and Art Director. His stunning 3D dreamscapes can be found on Pinterest.
Tyler Hobbs is one of those artists you might not have heard about, but you should fix that. Tyler’s incredibly successful generative art collaboration with Art Blocks have put him on the map, and his work is likely to be remembered for generations to come. Yes, he sells his work as NFTs. We just can’t afford them (yet)!
The Best Web3 Specific Accounts on Twitter
Coin Bureau Guy calls himself the Jack of Crypto Trades. He has the most comprehensive and high quality information on crypto you will find almost anywhere. He is also very beginner friendly.
Gregory will turn you into a Blockchain Master. His YouTube channel features live streams aimed at new developers looking to get into web3. Even if you don’t want to be a developer, just watching his channel a couple of times a week will keep you in the web3 loop.
Hasan is exactly what you’d expect to get if a university level interior design grad went into metaverse art instead of professional design practice. Realism and fantasy on another level! Get inspired by his interesting architectural compositions with insane attention to detail.
You’ll definitely want to follow some NFT projects and Flower Girls is one of the best examples of a fine art NFT project. They also support children’s charities and children’s art.
They call themselves the biggest, kindest movement in the metaverse. Another women’s project worth staying up to date with.
YOLO Holiday is a large-scale NFT project that hasn’t really seen its full potential since it was released at a quiet time in the NFT market. Still, this is a fun project featuring ladies the colors of the rainbow visiting tourist sites around the globe. This could be a good first NFT purchase as they are not too pricey and there are many to choose from.
Keep your web3 and regular Twitter accounts separate!
If you have other interests outside of web3 that you want to explore on Twitter you might want to consider creating a different account for those. The reason for this is that web3 is still quite niche and not everyone understands it or wants to be exposed to it (crazy, but true).
Web3 Twitter is very welcoming, but I think that’s because web3 people have the sense that they are early and so they tend to welcome anyone who are interested. This doesn’t always work the other way around.
If, for example, you have strong political or philosophical leanings, those don’t often mix well with business, startup culture and tech. You might also want to keep the lifestyle and celebrity stalking to a different account.
Consider yourself informed and keep those babies separate! You can switch easily between accounts within your profile.
In truth, there’s a lot to learn for Web3 beginners so being focused helps!
3. Do a Deep Dive on These YouTube Channels
You can learn a lot on Twitter and as I mentioned before, its the best place to get real time information and advice from some of the best thought leaders out there today. After some exploration, you might find you have some questions which need more thorough and in-depth answers.
The following YouTube channels are exceptionally good resources for learning more about Web3 and the metaverse, and each covers a slightly different aspect.
- Dapp University
- Coin Bureau
- Giancarlo Buys Tokens
- Silicon Valley Girl
- Tom Bilyeu
- Unstoppable Domains
4. Get Your First Browser Wallet
Before you can start collecting digital art in the form of NFTs or creating your own NFT collections, you’ll first need to hook yourself up with a wallet for storing your user name and cryptocurrency, as well as making transactions with it.
Although you can buy your NFT domain with regular fiat money, if you plan to actually take part in Web3 markets, you’ll eventually have to bite the bullet and learn about crypto. It’s not as scary as it seems.
You can actually buy your crypto through a wallet like the ever-popular Metamask using Moon Pay and the process is pretty straight forward.
You will want to set up an account, install the browser extension, and be sure to keep your private keys and seed phrase stored on physical paper in a secure place. Self custody of your digital identity on Web3 as well as your crypto is in your hands and you are responsible for them.
If some of this seems complicated at first, I get it. Most people feel that way when first learning about crypto.
Here are some good guides to help you out:
We will also try to cover more in future articles right here on Design Baddie.
5. Find Your First NFT Marketplace
After setting up your Metamask wallet it’s time to take that baby for a spin and see what it can really do. Your wallet is your portable identity and with it you can connect to decentralized apps (known as Dapps). A good place to start is Open Sea, since it is the largest open NFT marketplace in Web3 at this time.
Even if you end up deciding to use a different marketplace in the long term, Open Sea is the best place to get your bearings and a feel for the lay of the land. It is undoubtedly the most popular and broadly used marketplace for NFTs.
So, how do you use it? Sign into your browser wallet (Metamask, for example) and when you pull up the Open Sea website you can connect to it by signing on. You will need sign for each transaction on the platform, such as making changes to your account, and before making purchases or transferring NFTs.
Rather than filling in a user name and password as you would on most web2 sites, with Metamask you simply sign into your personal wallet and then use your wallet to connect and disconnect from apps that you visit.
I tend to think of having a portable ID as having my own little space pod that connects to different spaceships. Having my own portable digital identity also helps me by allowing me to share only what I wish to with each site.
6. Buy or Sell Your First NFT
Most people learn best by doing. If you want to get the full web3 experience and get a better grasp on how wallets, crypto and NFTs work, you’ll probably want to make some simple transactions.
You can create an NFT pretty easily on Open Sea, but if you are serious about starting an NFT collection for sale, you might want to graduate to more specialized platforms geared more to artists that have better smart contracts (like Foundation or Rarible, for example). We’ve heard good things about a few others. Will update soon.
An easier way to get started is to buy your first NFT. If you have an NFT domain already, you already own one! You can connect your Unstoppable NFT domain wallet to your Metamask wallet and then you can actually see it (along with any other NFTs stored in the wallet) on your profile. You can also browse popular NFT collections and follow your interests and your budget when selecting NFTs your might like to purchase.
If you’re just starting out with NFTs you might want to ignore concerns about the future value of your purchase (some people see them as investment opportunities and prefer to buy highly rated projects) and get something that gives you access to a community or just something you personally enjoy from a new artist. Support the small players!
NFTs are fun and I hope that this is your experience too.
Congratulations, you’re in!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about “How to Get Started in Web 3.0 and the Metaverse for Interior Designers, Artists and Creators”. Thanks for sticking through to the end.
I hope this has been helpful to you and that you’ve learned something new.
Look forward to more content on virtual interior design and architecture, design and creative endeavors for the metaverse, and the artists on the forefront of a digital renaissance.
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