Building The Definitive Creatives and Collectors Hub in the Metaverse
It’s time we bring artists and collectors together into a definitive ‘creatives hub’.
Through my time as a royal and political photographer, involvement in DeFi and crypto, and my time as both an NFT collector and creator, I’ve seen growing and intense demand for one thing: a definitive creative and collector hub online.
Various galleries exist across the digital landscape, and there are pop-up events that unite different people together, but a definitive, permanent, self-sustaining camp, compound — area — isn’t yet established.
I want to change that.
With the help of my creative friends, my collector contacts, and other figures across the crypto sector, I want to spearhead the creation and maintenance of the definitive ‘Creators x Collectors’ estate, promoting new artist spotlights, advertising spaces, event and occasion spaces, spaces to meet new creators and collectors, educational hubs, and auction houses — among many other ideas, all in one digital compound, accessible by anyone.
I will work towards purchasing digital land to establish a permanent compound, estate, space, for both creators and collectors — there forever, evolving forever.
The Vision for a Better Creative Future
My goal is that, whatever is created, it can best reflect the community that will visit the area and utilise the services on offer.
The space will offer something for all creatives, with no discrimination on the art form on offer, from spaces for live performance arts, to more classic ‘framed’ traditional work, music exhibitions and support for music-based NFTs to welcoming the growing world of video and film NFTs. The creative hub I create will be welcoming to all types of art, all creations, big or small.
The space will focus primarily on socialisation and communication, being laid out (where possible) as a compound of buildings and inviting, safe open spaces — sort of like an old English village — that encourages exploring new sights and meeting new people.
Central to the compound will be five key factors:
- A permanent and rotating charitable, philanthropic supportive structure, allowing any visitors at any time to donate directly to either a trackable donation wallet, where every month the contents will be voted on in terms of which charitable endeavour to support with the proceeds, or directly through hyperlinks to external charitable endeavours. Where possible, there will be a tracker or large screen keeping count of the total amount raised by the community, and a digestive breakdown of the charities supported by the community.
- A place for artists and collectors to exhibit their best work, allowing visitors to purchase their NFTs directly within the estate by clicking on it. Different tiers will be features and supported, from permanent displays backed by NFT frames, to rotating artworks changed every week or two weeks. We will also feature larger advertising spaces, such as billboards and building posters, that can be rented out for a period of time, advertising work, collections, events and more.
- An educational and spotlight centre filled with up and coming artist profiles to learn about new creatives in the space, their backgrounds, and the work they create. This space will rotate regularly, and allow our community to discover new talents, supporting them by following their social media and NFT links, and opening up more communication avenues than ever before.
- A social, engaged space where communication, questions, answers, and just ‘hanging out’ will be encouraged to build connections, bridges, and meet new people with deeply similar interests to yourself. Communal spaces, like open air exhibits and areas, will encourage a flow of movement together, whereas quieter reflection areas will be established if you’d just like a temporary escape.
- A regular Auction House will be established, with auctions by the Art Gallery Auction House being hosted in that structure regularly. Artwork features in the auction will be present across the auction house, and during auction hours, visitors will be signposted to the AGAH Telegram group (join them!) to engage in the auction, ask questions, and hopefully purchase work!
The aim of the above is to create a space that is progressive, forwards-facing, welcoming, and not dictated by a hierarchy of how popular an artist is. To us, that’s an irrelevant number — our focus is on individual artworks, the creators and collectors behind them, and fostering a community environment that is engaged, philanthropic, active and happy.
This space is as much for the largest artists in the world as it is for the smallest ones. We want to uplift everyone equally.
A Focus on Philanthropy
NFTs solve a lot of issues in the art world, from questions over ownership, to accessibility by those who would previously struggle across the world. Charitable and social endeavours have begun to emerge, and we want to further this important and vital work.
The estate, the area, will focus heavily on philanthropy — from raising trackable donations to a charity chosen and voted on by the community, to raising funds for community members struggling at the time, supporting causes such as WOCA — a collective that welcomes artists who identify as women from all over the world — to emerging talents, this space will focus heavily on giving back.
Special events will occasionally take place with the specific purpose of raising charitable donations, such as art exhibits with work donated to raise funds, or events centred around global events (such as global warming, deforestation, poverty, etc.). While the estate will maintain profitability, donations made with the intention of philanthropy will 100%, traceably (thanks to the blockchain) be carried out with the intended purpose.
Our charitable wallet will be a new, unused Ethereum wallet (with other wallets added regularly to account for other tokens, such as Bitcoin) that can always be tracked and monitored. The contents will no be touched until a community vote has taken place on the recipient — and any movements will be fully documented and traceable, such as to a specific charity wallet, or if a chosen charity does not understand crypto, the estate will work — where possible — with the charity to educate them and guide them through the process to receive crypto donations.
Donations sent by individual users directly through hyperlinks to charity websites can be tracked in the normal manner by that user, typically as an email confirmation directly through them and therefore unconnected to the estate.
If deemed necessary, we can also look into multi-sig control of the charity wallet so that any one party cannot move the funds without the consent of the other multi-sig holders. Movements will be made by provable consent and foresight, and will be fully transparent with breakdowns of each outward movement, transaction or eventual resting place.
Permanent Support for our AGAH Friends
Thanks to the incredible support from the team and community at the Art Gallery Auction House, both morally and logistically, the estate will have a permanent AGAH auction house fixture — a permanent, ever-present building/ structure for the AGAH to utilise as they wish before, during and after individual auctions.
We will look at multi-sig control of the specific land space occupied by the AGAH Auction House for added longevity, but regardless, the estate will permanently feature that prominent structure throughout it’s lifetime.
I want to thank the team and community at AGAH for welcoming me, my work, my collective endeavours — and now this initiative — for their support and kindness, and offer of logistical support in raising the funds needed to turn this thriving vision into a thriving reality.
This permanent fixture is a reflection of their support, and I look forward to the estate — as it grows in popularity — driving more traffic and community to the AGAH team. They deserve it.
Branding, It’s In The Name
As this is a community endeavour, the name of the estate as a whole will be chosen by the community. I’ve dropped a few suggestions below that can be voted on, but I will also field suggestions at my Twitter or Telegram, and after a few have been gathered, we’ll host a vote to decide on the final branding.
Idea 1: Artist Plaza
Idea 2: Creators Compound
Idea 3: Innovators Estate
Please send me any suggestions! We want it to be simple, eye-catching, and understandable — you have to look at the name and know what we’re about!
Logistics, Funding, and Profitability
As with any endeavour of this size, a logistical and funding breakdown is necessary to both gain a sense of the scale of task at hand, and to keep track as funding comes through on the steps achieved along the way.
This project is no different, and there are a number of different factors that require funding — alongside a rough breakdown of each factor (though, understandably, final costs may be widely different).
The first major factor would be purchasing digital land.
Currently we’re most heavily looking towards Decentraland, as this is currently both the biggest virtual world, the longest lasting, as well as the most established option, with the native currency $MANA available across multiple exchanges.
The only down-draw to Decentraland is that, due to it’s longevity and absolute cap on total land available, land costs are fairly high. The average cost for one unit of land is around 9000–12,000 $MANA.
With this average in mind, we have to multiply this figure by how many units of land we’re looking to own for the estate as a whole. Ideally, to factor all the necessary buildings, artistic profile spaces, galleries, and auction houses, among other factors like advertising space, open air spaces, and communal areas, we’re looking at around 30 or so land. The more land purchased, the more options available to us to host creative work and exhibits, concerts, performances, and additional spotlight space for emerging talent.
At current market value, this would be around 270,000–360,000 $MANA, rising in price depending on the location of the land purchased in relation to the overall Decentraland map. In ETH value, that’s around 40 to 53 ETH just in land purchase alone for the estate.
For two options for estates we have scouted, we would be looking at around 360,000–400,000 MANA before negotiations.
Purchases of land/ estates will be transparent and recorded, will be the product of bartering and requesting offers where possible, and land will be focused on consecutive, ‘next to each other’ slots — we want this to be a connected estate, all part of a wider community.
We would also have to factor in development as we (mostly) outsource the building and coding work of the purchased land to build up the estate, the buildings, and the functions within in.
(Note that I will be personally pouring my own time into this in terms of building where needed, production of layouts and mapping, and overseeing every step of development to tweak as needed)
Assuming development is around 15–25 ETH, we can put the total ‘physical’ cost of complete development and implementation, making the estate go ‘live’ at around 55–78 ETH total, though of course this figure could be higher or lower on actual implementation and execution.
Remaining funds left over would be utilised for future development, marketing, operational costs, onboarding, and purchasing of artistic work to feature across the estate.
Once live, the estate would maintain profitability through a number of avenues:
- Advertising spaces of varying sizes and scales (simple posters and flyers, to billboard rental and/ or building poster space) — scaled to both size and duration of advertising
- Sponsorship of events, from auctions to large-scale demonstrations and concerts/ performance
- Donations to the estate to a separate ETH (and other crypto supported, such as Bitcoin) wallet that will be used to maintain the estate, support jobs in the maintenance and running of the estate, and purchase artwork by up and coming artists
- Sale of artworks owned by the estate and estate owner (me — there’s a reason I’ve been collecting so much breathtaking work!)
- Artwork and profile features — while some spaces will be free and chosen by the community to exhibit artists on a rotating basis, the estate will sell various spaces for exhibiting works, from rotating frames that can be purchased on an X-week basis, to permanent frames with ownership determined by NFT frame ownership, trackable via the Ethereum blockchain.
There are a number of profitability avenues available to us along the way, but these are the most obvious, common ways to maintain the estate for our creators and collectors.
As a reflection of the support shown by the AGAH community, commissions wont be taken during the AGAH auctions by Benjamin Wareing or the estate— all commissions will automatically go to AGAH as is the case currently. We won’t seek to reduce this or replace this. They deserve it!
Finally, to future-proof the estate, and only in the most extreme of situations, this estate will retain the flexibility — with overwhelming consent should the time and circumstance arise — to reallocate/ ‘sell off’ land to fund a move to another platform, say for the instance Decentraland opts to close down (I don’t see that happening), or if another platform offers overwhelming advantages over DCL.
Any such move will be a ‘1 for 1’ move to another platform and not represent a financial gain — it will be for the longevity of the estate and initiative (though hopefully such a step will never be required!). Any move will result in immediate ‘rebuilding’ on another chosen, leading platform, with absolute priority to establish the hub immediately. It is simply a failsafe clause to ensure the estate, initiative and overall idea survives even a platform closure or move — which is good news! And as above, this will require overwhelming majority consensus before reaching even the point of consideration.
We plan to dig in indefinitely.
How on Earth Will You Raise THAT?
With difficulty, perhaps! But determination.
Once broken down into an ETH cost, the $MANA and labour requirement seems significantly less daunting, and it is feasible to see that, through donations, artwork sales, and commitment, the total can be raised rather quite quickly (hopefully!).
I have already committed that any artworks that I sell will be fully committed to the funds needed to purchase the land and development costs. This, of course, includes my genesis artworks.
I am hoping that donations can be raised through generous members and supporters to see this vision become a reality. Donators will be reflected permanently in the estate, with either a mural or central statue/ plate permanently featuring the donators names for making the estate a reality. Where possible, they will also always have a permanent space to exhibit a work or profile, space permitting!
As the estate grows in popularity, this permanent recognition and space will increase in value — essentially lifetime advertising.
We have established a completely fresh, new Ethereum wallet to receive donations towards the establishment of this estate and the development costs towards it — any sized donation is welcome, and due to it’s nature as being on the blockchain, it is permanently accessible and viewable as proof of activity (or inactivity!).
Please, as always, double and triple check that the above address is correct before you consider sending any amount — mistakes can be costly and irreversible!
Artwork created by me that go on to sell will have proceeds forwarded to this above wallet.
Whether it takes a few weeks to gather the funds, or years of selling artwork, I am committed to this goal and will see it through — regardless of time or hardship.
This space is needed for the creators and collectors in the NFT world, and I will work tirelessly to make this vision a reality.
To the artists and creatives I’ve met on this journey so far, thank you for inspiring me daily. To the collectors and investors I work alongside with, thank you for showing me commitment, drive and passion in this field. To the AGAH family, thank you for being the best crypto community in existence.
We can do this together. For creatives, for collectors, for the future.
Bonus Section — Rough Estate Sketches
As a little bonus section, here are some rough estate sketches — feel free to send me any ideas you have about layouts, buildings, structures, or anything at all really!
The actual layout will be dependent on the land owned after accumulation, so results will likely vary wildly…
Upcoming exclusive works include additional political adaptations for my ‘Political Series’, expanding the “Political Series” to include more politicians, as well as the creation of the “Royal Series”, the first time in history official royal photography is minted as NFTs.
To stay tuned with all my developments and releases, follow me at my social media links here:
*Disclaimer: this initiative, idea, raise or production is not in coordination with Decentraland or any other party herein. The name and branding rights, including assets of the platform, remain the property of Decentraland and Benjamin Wareing does not intend to infringe on these in any way, shape, or form.