What are they and why are they so popular?

What are they and why are they so popular?

Generative art NFTs have become a popular sub-sector of the crypto art market, showcasing visually appealing, algorithmically generated artwork.

Posted June 8, 2023 at 6:48 AM EST.

The non-fungible tokens (NFTs) industry became very popular in 2020, generating billions of dollars in sales for artists and creators. As the NFT market grew, artists became more creative, incorporating generative art—an artistic practice that had existed for decades but was overlooked—to create generative art NFTs.

The generative art NFT space has become a growing category within the crypto art sector. Read on to learn what generative art NFTs are and why they have become popular.

What is generative art?

Generative art is created using algorithms programmed to specific criteria by the artists. With generative art, an artist must define the general process – such as which colors, geometry or patterns to use – which is then fed into the algorithm in random quantities.

Simply put, generative art is art created using software, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to randomly design colors, patterns, and shapes, resulting in artistically delightful digital art.

For art to qualify as generative art, it must have three components – algorithms, geometry and randomness.

The creation of generative art must be random to prove that the artist did not think through the artwork before it was created. The incorporation of algorithms and geometry helps to add creativity and give the artwork a charming visual effect. It is no wonder that generative art is also often referred to as algorithmic art due to the use of algorithms in their creation process.


What are Generative Art NFTs?

Generative art NFTs are generative artworks produced via a smart contract and held on a blockchain as a non-fungible token. They follow a similar process to generative art, with the addition of NFTs.

Although NFTs emerged in 2017, sales did not increase until 2021, when they grew to $25 billion. And despite the 2022 crypto winter, NFTs still generated nearly $24.7 billion in sales. The continued growth of the NFT sector has helped artists incorporate generative art, making it a lucrative venture for artists and collectors alike.

Today, NFTs have made it possible for just about anyone to own or collect a generative piece of art. This is expected to have a positive outlook on the adoption and growth of the generative art NFT space. Interestingly, leading digital artists are already making millions selling generative art NFTs.

Examples of Generative Art NFT collections

Below are some examples of popular algorithmic art NFT collections that have been produced so far.


Autoglyphs was the first ever generative NFT art project. LarvaLabs, the creators of CryptoKitties, produced Autoglyphs in 2019. LarvaLabs are the creators of CryptoKitties. This collection saw the creation of on-chain art NFTs using code that ran on the Ethereum blockchain.

The collection limited the supply of the glyphs to 512 NFTs, all of which were made and sold. The Autoglyphys collection was estimated to have a total sales volume of $41 million.

Art blocks

Having recorded a total sales volume of $994 million, Art Blocks is considered the most successful generative art NFT project. The collection consists of abstract artworks such as the Chromie Squiggle and the Ringers series. The Art Blocks Collection also runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

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Lost poets

Pak, creator of Lost Poets, is one of the most successful and popular NFT artists of the 21st century. The lost poets is also revered as one of his most comprehensive non-fungible token projects to date. When launched, the project raised $70 million in initial sales by the end of 2021.

Why are generative art NFTs popular?

While NFTs grew in popularity as an independent subsector within the crypto industry, the inclusion of generative art helped popularize algorithmic art NFTs. And as more artists began creating generative art NFTs and selling them for millions of dollars, the sector has continued to experience growth.

Another factor contributing to the popularity of generative art NFTs is that they can be bought and sold on well-known NFT marketplaces, which just about anyone can access. In addition, they can also be created using popular tools such as Canvas, Sketch, JavaScript and openFrameworks, making them an accessible art form for budding artists and creators.

Generative digital art shows that crypto art is more than pixel art and monkey pictures, adding a real element of art to the crypto art market.

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