How to make NFT artwork - a beginner’s guide.

To some creatives, NFTs (or ‘non-fungible tokens) are nothing short of a digital revolution. Indeed, some digital artists feel they are reclaiming control of their careers and defining themselves with the tools they use. 


Learning what an NFT is may have made you curious about how you can start your own design process. In this guide, we’ll show you how to create your own NFT art. 

Start creating NFT art in Photoshop.

What are the benefits of Creating NFT art?

Creating an NFT brings with it a number of potential advantages. NFT art sits within an incorruptible public blockchain, a set of data code which makes a non-fungible token entirely unique. NFT art itself comes in many forms. For example:


  • Fine art
  • Graphic art

  • Online games

  • Memes and gifs

  • Literature

  • Digital music


Some of the main benefits of making an NFT artwork include:



First and foremost, the fundamental benefit of making an NFT is that they are completely unique. The token is non-fungible, so it cannot be replaced with something else or copied in any way. 


So, although it is possible to trade art, each is made up of its own unique qualities, so they are not directly interchangeable. 



Creating a piece of NFT art enables you to take complete ownership of that object. You become the sole creator and/or owner and that piece of art cannot be duplicated. Unique identification information in the NFT metadata can:


  • Prove that you own the asset

  • Prove that you are the creator of the piece

  • Highlight its authenticity


There’s also an option to own a fraction of an NFT, rather than the whole - so one piece of art could have multiple owners.


Artistic Self-Sufficiency.

Making NFT art allows artists to create, promote and share their work, without the need for a third party or a managing agent. 


This shift helps to level the playing field, especially for artists from minority or disadvantaged communities. People can equally benefit from the power of NFTs. In theory, they can help everyone tell their story and share their art, while remaining in control of their creation.

a woman sat in front of a computer, creating art using a digital pad and keyboard


Creative Control.

NFTs can allow creators to have greater control over the copyright of their asset and how it is used. This can be especially important for small and independent artists who may fall risk to others using their work without permission. 


Authenticity & Transparency.

NFTs allow artists to confirm their authenticity and ownership over their art. Every single NFT holds data on:


  1. Who created the art
  2. Who currently owns the art
  3. Previous owners of the art
  4. All interactions involving the art 


NFT movements can be easily traced via their unique blockchain code, allowing the owner to clearly see the journey of their NFT.



NFTs are in line with the trend of moving towards collecting assets in the digital realm. NFTs allow creatives to appreciate art within the digital space, through a smartphone or even an immersive reality experience for example.   



The digital signature of an NFT is transparent, so it’s easy to establish if the art is genuine or counterfeit and who the original creator is.


How to make an NFT.

You can make an NFT from your existing art or create something entirely new. It’s important to remember that there is no ‘one way’ to create NFT art from scratch. Just as different artists have their own distinctive styles in the physical world, there are just as many ways to get creative digitally.


The only ‘rules’ that come into play are after the piece of art, be it an image, item or video, is made. These rules cause the art to become part of the NFT online ecosystem.


Learn how to create an NFT in this Photoshop Masterclass.


Digital artwork is a popular choice with NFT creators. These may include:


  • Digital paintings

  • 2D renderings

  • Photography


But creating animated NFTs is also possible - for example, NFTs can be made from gifs and MP4s, too. 

digital artwork of a cityscape at sunset, with palm trees leading up to it


Steps to making an NFT.

Creating NFT art is very similar to creating digital art, as you would for social media or professional clients. Just try to get as creative as possible and push the boundaries with your pieces - don’t be afraid to explore and use as many tools or processes as you would like.


1. Concept ideas.

First, it’s time to get your creative juices flowing. Take inspiration from things around you or have a search online to find a source of inspiration. Existing NFT art examples can also start to get you thinking. Sites such as Behance, meanwhile, can help you to formulate some innovative design ideas and get you started creating your NFT. Read up on creative blogs and start sketching out some rough NFT drawing drafts in your chosen software.


2. Format.

Next, you need to decide what format your NFT will take. If you are more of a digital painter or photographer, you may prefer to create a JPEG. If you want to create avatars and digital assets, a PNG may suit you better. You could also get things moving and start crafting your own gifs with Adobe Animate.


To help decide which Adobe Creative Cloud application to use to create your NFT, we’ve broken things down for you:


  • Adobe Animate. Great for creating moving images and helping your creations come to life, which is why we would recommend it for making GIFs and interactive animations.
  • Photoshop. Perfect for editing beautiful photographs, creating stunning collages, designing social media posts and so much more.
  • Illustrator. Use for creating vector graphics and high-quality graphic design pieces like logos.
  • InDesign. Your go-to for creating portfolios. You can also create graphics, branding and logos with ease.


3. Resolution and size.

Quality is not just reserved for printed canvases. In fact, it’s essential to make sure that you decide on a file size and resolution that suits your final output. For example, are you working on a large, high-resolution digital painting? Or a small icon or mascot? 


The NFTs size and resolution will affect how effective your NFT art creation looks on screen, as well as how easy it is to store and share.


It’s also important to understand the difference between RGB and CMYK colour modes. RGB mode is usually used for digital images that are designed to be displayed on a screen. This means that RGB is great to use for:


  • Web or app design

  • Social media images 

  • Video or infographics

  • Photography for websites, social media or apps 


CMYK colour mode is usually used for printed assets. If you need to recreate your digital art with ink or paint, this mode is best for you. CMYK works well for:


  • Branding - including business cards, stationary and signs

  • Advertising - including billboards, posters and vehicle wraps 

  • Product packaging

  • Merchandise 


4. Get creative.

Now that you know what you’re designing, as well as the resolution and size to stick with, it’s time for the fun part. Experiment with all of the tools available to you - be it PhotoshopIllustratorInDesign and more. 


Use all of the techniques you usually would when creating your digital art, whether you are creating a piece of raster or vector art, including sketching, texture and shading. Add colour and gradients to help your creation stand out and allow it to really come to life.

an artist using a digital pad, laptop and colour swatches to create digital art


5. Save and Export.

Once you have created your own NFT design, you need to save and export it. Let’s say you’ve made your NFT art on Photoshop. In this case; go to File and click the Save command that suits you —either Save, Save As, or Save a Copy


If you click Save As, you will be able to select the format that you would like your artwork to be saved in. This could include PNG or JPEG, for example.


When saving your work, you will need to select whether you would like to Save to your cloud documents or Save on your computer. If you save to your computer, your art will only be available there, however, if you save to the cloud, you can open it on any device that’s connected to your cloud software.


To export your art, simply:


  1. Go to File
  2. Click Export
  3. Select Export As
  4. Attach an image to include content credentials
  5. At this stage, you can also choose what format you wish to export your art in


How to save project layers.

To preserve the layers in your piece, look for the Layers panel. Here, you can select the layers or layer groups that you want to save. Right-click the layers you want and click Quick Export as PNG and select the destination folder.


Tips for before you export.

Proof Set-up is a useful tool to see how your art will appear on different colour spaces and screens. You can open multiple windows of your image with different viewing profiles. This way, you can simultaneously see how your image will look on different outputs while you edit.


While in the process of creating your NFT, making notes against your art can be really helpful. A Photoshop document with notes can be saved as a PSD, PDF or TIFF format.


6. Choose a blockchain.

A blockchain is a place where NFTs are stored. Taking the form of a database, it stores data and keeps a secure record of everything related to your NFT. It holds information together in groups — blocks. These blocks have a storage allowance and, once filled, link to the previously filled block, forming a chain.


Ethereum is currently the most popular blockchain for NFTs, but others include Solana and Tezos. When considering which blockchain to choose, you should consider:


  • The network size

  • Creator costs

  • Consumer habits

  • Community input

  • Speed

  • Security



How to generate NFT Art.

While it is possible to partially automate aspects of the NFT creation process, there is currently no way to fully automate it — human activity and creativity, is always required on some level.


However, there are ways in which digital creators can automate more of the process through technology in order to speed up creating NFT art. 


Generative Art for NFTs.

Generative art is a way of algorithmically creating new forms, shapes and patterns with the help of a computer. It involves the human creator designing guidelines for the creation and then a computer follows this structure to generate the art. 

a blue and green abstract gradient piece of generative art, made up of lots of triangles

Generative art example

Want to refresh your skills to create NFT art? Take a look through the programmes and tools Adobe Creative Cloud has to offer.


Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe InDesign

Adobe XD

Adobe Animate

Adobe Substance 3D Stager


Creative NFTs: FAQs. 


Can I make NFT art for free?

Yes, it is possible to make NFT art for free  if you have access to the right creative software - for example, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. 


In order to upload your NFT for free, you will need to choose a free NFT platform on which to share your art. You may be able to choose a platform that does not charge a fee for adding your NFT to the blockchain.


What can I use to create an NFT?

You can make an NFT out of any digital file. This means that you can use whatever digital software you like to create NFT art. Consider using InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator for an NFT drawing or Animate to create an animation or gif.


How can a beginner start NFT?

To start with, you need good digital design software to make your digital art vision a reality. Begin by creating a piece of unique digital art that will stand out amongst others in the online NFT space. You will also need to choose a platform to upload your NFT art to.


Discover more information and guides on NFT design and creation