In 2021 access to things like the Manifold Smart Contract Studio wasn’t as easy as it is today. I remember when I started minting my art as NFTs, the easier option on Ethereum, was the Opensea Lazy Minting Contract. While this is great for artists who are just starting out, once you start making some money, I do advise investing it back into the way you present your art.
Also, for security, some collectors prefer art that has been minted on the ERC 721 contract. It also shows seriousness and that you are willing to invest in yourself. Another thing is, with lazy minting, you do not have full control over the contract. This can be limiting.
While writing this I am assuming you are already familiar with what an NFT is. I am also assuming you know what a smart contract is. If not, I talked about how I deployed and minted my contract for my Legends Live Forever Collection, using Manifold, in this Podcast Episode.
Lazy Minting Vs ERC721 Smart Contract
Opensea Lazy minting smart contract is an ERC1155 contract. This allows multiple people, use and editions. You are not the only one on the contract and it is not unique to you. It is good for starters but beyond that, growth in web3 also means making an effort to scale up.
It is also wise to use your own smart contract because if anything happens to Opensea, your assets will be secure. Another reason I feel artists should use their own smart contract is that on the blockchain, presentation comes in form of what type of smart contract you use. The ideal smart contract for one of one art is an ERC721. If you are doing editions, you will want to look into an ERC 1155.
In 2021, hiring a developer to help you do write a smart contract was sometimes upward $4000. Now you can deploy a smart contract for less than $10. Besides financial limitations, I don’t see a reason why anyone wouldn’t want to take advantage of this.
Now, if you do not plan to sell your art on the Ethereum blockchain, this does not apply to you. Manifold Smart Contracts are only on the ETH chain, for now.
What is Manifold?
Although there are other Web3 companies that offer smart contract services, the one I have used and I am most familiar with is Manifold. According to their website “Manifold enables web3 creators to have true creative ownership, preserve on-chain provenance, and interoperate with all major NFT marketplaces.” If you plan on deploying your own smart contract using Manifold, you will need to familiarize yourself with Manifold Studio
Why is your own Smart Contract Important?
Freedom! This is the first reason. As a creative on the blockchain, I believe blockchain creative freedom is important. What do I mean by this? There are certain features using manifold will give you that lazy minting on Opensea wont. One of my favorite features is that, once you mint your NFTs on your own smart contract using Manifold, the NFTs show up on various platforms like Opensea, Foundation, Looksrare and Coinbase. It saves you the time it would take to have to manually import the contract. You cannot import Opensea’s Lazy minting contract because it does not belong to you.
Another feature I like is that you can easily update your metadata and take advantage of dynamic NFTs. There is an NFT that was created on manifold that changes with the time of day. This was done because of the ability to create dynamic NFTs. If you read through their docs, you will find so many useful information that will inspire your creativity. I also like that it gives you easier access to know what wallets collect from you and maybe at some point reward them with an airdrop. It allows you take snapshots of the wallets in your contract as well.
How to Deploy a Manifold Smart Contract
I have written about Jen in my article – Web3 Community Builders, Developers, Tech and Marketing Professionals You Should Know. She is smart and knows her way around a smart contract. Jen also has a Youtube Page called JENFTEACH where she shares Web3 and NFT related tutorials. She is also the brain behind Goblin Grlz NFT. She did this tutorial on how to deploy your first Manifold ERC721 Contract on Mainnet. I suggest you give it a watch. It is beneficial.
Growing as an Artist in Web3.
As an Artist, one of your goals should be growth. In a space like web3, you also have to move with technology. I like that manifold now has a feature where you can create claim pages to reward collectors. Certainly, we will see more features from the company as the months go by. One feature I am hoping for is the ability to add blind minting to a website.