Non-fungible tokens are unique digital assets on the blockchain. They are especially popular in the GameFi , art and sports worlds, and can take on virtually any form. Originally introduced in 2012, sales of NFTs have skyrocketed, with one artist selling an NFT for a record-breaking $69 million. Want to learn more about these top NFT artists? As you continue reading, we will examine some of the top NFT artists that are responsible for some of our world’s most interesting NFT art, which exists both in the blockchain and in the physical world.
What Makes a Good NFT Artist?
While there are many factors for consideration, the best NFT artists tend to have these in common, namely:
- Have significant NFT sales and fill a unique art niche
- Are active in the NFT community with a sizable social media following
- Have NFTs available for minting on popular platforms, such as OpenSea
- Possess a consistent NFT release schedule
What Kind of NFT Art Sells the Most?
When it comes to digital art NFTs, the options are virtually limitless. Humans have been making art for at least 50,000 years, but crypto art brings it to a new dimension. Digital art gives us new ways to express ourselves through a fresh, exciting medium. Many of the top NFT artists, both new and well-loved, are experimenting with this new art form, but only some of these artists are currently soaring in popularity.
What does it take to capture the public’s attention in the world of digital art NFTs? Some of the more successful NFT artists have a few things in common with up-and-coming top NFT creators, including:
- A place in a unique art niche
- A sizeable social media following
- Impressive digital art NFT sales
- Presence and activity in the NFT community
- NFTs available for minting on popular platforms like OpenSea
Some digital art NFTs have a fine art feel, while others have a more collectible “Pokémon” quality; each type has its fans and followers. Regardless of one’s preferences, non-fungible tokens are taking the art and entrepreneurial worlds by storm. If you’re not yet familiar with some of the top NFT artists, it’s time to learn a little bit more. Check out our list of the 23 top NFT artists currently on the scene.
Who Are the Top NFT Artists?
Beeple, or Mike Winkelmann, is one of the most famous NFT artists today. His work includes a now-famous NFT collage, Everydays: the First 5000 Days, which sold for a mind-boggling $69 million. The piece took 13 years to create and includes 5,000 digital images which took a full year to create and post.
His digital art includes everything from whimsical giant flies swirling around a gladiatorial Mike Pence figure — a nod to the 2020 U.S. vice presidential debate — to a simple yet stunning pixelated Mona Lisa. In an increasingly connected world, top NFT artists like Winkelmann provoke, titillate, irritate and engage with his audience, producing works that are both relevant and timeless.
Pak is an anonymous artist formerly known as Murat Pak. As one of the best-known NFT artists, Pak has more than two decades in the fields of design, coding, programming, technology, design and digital art. Pak is perhaps best known for creating an Archillect to comb the web for images to share on various social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook. Archillect is a portmanteau of the words “archive” and “intellect,” indicating the AI algorithm that curates the images to share on its feed. Posts are selected to share widely through artistic bots, acting as virtual mood boards.
Not only has Pak produced an Archillect to share others’ images, but he’s also created his own art. In early 2020, Pak released Cloud Monument Dark, an NFT that later sold for 3.5 ETH (or $788 at that time). He then released a collection that was minted as part of the SuperRare series and Project X, offering 13 NFTs which were available for just 24 hours, a now-common practice for crypto art.
One of the most promising top NFT artists, Pak has recently launched a digital art platform called Sotheby’s Metaverse, designed to sell and curate NFTs. He’s also launched the sale of the Merge collection via the Nifty Gateway platform. Merge was only available for a brief period in December 2021, during which collectors could purchase as many mass units as they wanted. Nearly $92 million in sales were generated.
#3: Justin Blau
As one of the few top NFT artists to have a strong music background, Justin Blau is a Vegas-based DJ and producer who’s better known as 3LAU (pronounced “blau”). Although his background is in finance, his work as a performer is what’s garnering attention today and propelling him into the world of famous NFT artists. 3LAU took his inspiration from Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, its seventh album, which was released and auctioned off to a single bidder. The album was reportedly purchased for $2 million, and could only be played privately — rather than commercially — until 2013.
3LAU put his spin on that concept with the song “Waveform,” auctioning it as an NFT through Christie’s in collaboration with OpenSea. The buyer will own the only available copy, but they’ll be free to use the song as they see fit. In other words, unlike the owner of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the owner of “Waveform” has no restrictions and can use it as desired. 3LAU’s influence at the juncture of NFTs and the music industry has perhaps been most noticeable at the launching of OMF, the first-ever blockchain-powered music festival.
Once described as “the most expensive living Canadian artist” after selling his first NFT, Replicator, for an eye-popping $4.1 million, Mad Dog Jones has skyrocketed into the top 10 best-selling NFT artists in the world. His style might best be described as cyberpunk-meets-Japanese animation, and it might just be the most distinctive in today’s NFT space. Replicator has the ability to (as its name suggests) replicate or generate new and unique NFTs every 28 days.
In the first 24 hours that Replicator was on the auction block, bidding rose to $2.4 million.. Rather than a single work of art, Replicator is a singular “NFT experience comprising seven unique generations of artworks.” If the owner sells an NFT from the first generation, each subsequent replicant will transfer to the next new buyer.
Based in New York City, All Seeing Seneca is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She has a flair for brilliant colors, whimsical designs and vivid movement. All Seeing Seneca has received one of the most prestigious design accolades, the Silver Cube, from the Art Directors Club, and she is well-known for her work with big names such as Banana Republic, The New York Times and NPR. As a result, she’s recently become one of the most famous NFT artists thanks to her Bored Ape Yacht Club collection.
All Seeing Seneca has collaborated on a variety of projects, most recently including the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. Her first five-piece NFT collection debuted at Art Basel Miami in early December and netted $100,000 in sales, while the BAYC NFTs sold at Sotheby’s for $24 million. These works ultimately propelled her reputation to be one of the most well-known top NFT artists. All Seeing Seneca created the design and drawings of the apes, which are sold at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, and secondary sales of these apes are set to soon reach $1 billion.
#6: Larva Labs
Duo Matt and John are the popular NFT artists behind Larva Labs. Home to a wide range of experimental projects, including large-scale web infrastructure and genomics analysis software, Larva Labs began at an overnight hackathon. Their best-known project, CryptoPunks, is also one of the most popular NFT projects, netting more than $550 million in lifetime sales. Not content to rest on their laurels, Matt and John have recently unveiled a new project that they call The Meebits, featuring 20,000 three-dimensional characters which you can trade via the Ethereum blockchain.
New crypto art projects are appearing regularly, but few have captured the imagination and momentum of buyers as the CryptoPunks project has. The Meebits is predicted to fetch prices in the tens of millions of dollars, especially given that Ethereum has had one of its best weeks in recent history, reaching all-time highs and trading at well over $3,000.
#7: Gary Vaynerchuk
Founder and chairman of VaynerX, Gary Vaynerchuk may be better characterized as a visionary. “GaryVee,” as he’s known, often spots trends in business and culture quickly, and helps forward-thinking individuals better understand the broader implications and potential impacts of current trends on markets and consumer behavior. One of the most influential people in the NFT industry, Gary Vaynerchuk has taken NFTs to new and exciting places, and has certainly earned his place on our list of top NFT artists.
Although GaryVee is an angel investor who has substantially backed well-known tech companies such as Venmo, Snapchat and Uber, he might be better known for VeeFriends, an NFT collection designed around creativity and a sense of community. VeeFriends NFT ownership grants access to the VeeFriends community and VeeCon. Each VeeFriend carries messages and meaning and contains metadata with on-chain media storage. The smart contract that comes with each VeeFriend NFT is essentially the key that provides access to Gary’s world.
Cool Cats is an Ethereum-based collection of NFTs considered a “blue-chip” project. The first generation is limited to 9,999 cats, randomly assembled from more than 300,000 combinations of variable features that include bodies, faces, hats and clothing. NFT holders have access to the community, random airdrops and future events, as well as carte blanche when it comes to using their own NFTs.
The artist known as clon is the pseudonymous originator of Cool Cats, as well as the illustrator. In addition to bringing later generations of Cool Cats to the community, clon works with a team of members including xtremetom, Lynqoid and ELU to develop new projects, including gaming options.
One recent announcement includes the $MILK token, which will be used within the Cool Cats ecosystem as a currency for the rumored Cool Cats metaverse, a place where Cool Cats may have the ability to interact with one another, purchase items and change their environments.
#9: Blake Kathryn
Ethereal landscapes, vivid colors and futuristic designs are the hallmarks of Blake Kathryn’s art. Based in Los Angeles, Kathryn works with vibrant palettes to create surrealist works. She has collaborated with some big names that include Fendi, Jimmy Choo and Lil Nas X. Some of her top NFT artist work revolves around the music and fashion industry, but she’s most in her element when working with dreamscapes and nature themes.
#10: José Delbo
Argentinian-born artist José Delbo began publishing his art when he was 16. Delbo moved to the U.S., where he found himself inspired by westerns and classic TV shows such as The Lone Ranger. In the 1970s, he began immersing himself not only in television but also in comic books, adding sci-fi, cartoons and superheroes to his growing list of passions.
Never one to sit on his laurels, Delbo continues to evolve today. In 2020, he released his first digital art NFT. Entitled Death, this original comic was the start of something new and exciting for Delbo. Since then, he has continued to create breathtaking digital art and NFTs, making him easily one of the best NFT artists capable of capturing his fans’ attention.
As with many other top NFT artists in the digital space, “Hackatao” is a portmanteau. “Hack” refers to the joy of discovering what lies beneath the skin. “Tao” refers to the yin and yang of the creative dynamic balance, for Hackatao is a creative duo rather than a single artist.
Hackatao has a unique style. A team playing off each other’s strengths and working with one another’s weaknesses, they easily rank among the best NFT artists today. The colorful whirls, detailed motifs and overall graffiti-like feel of their digital art NFTs are harmonious, fitting perfectly within the crypto space. Each piece offers commentary on a different aspect of various issues within our modern world, from the environment to political commentary.
Don’t let the bubblegum colors deceive you: XCOPY’s digital art NFT is gritty, dark and dystopian, and the flashing imagery can catch you off guard. Pieces cost an average of $7,200, but XCOPY’s highest recorded sale garnered around $4 million. Entitled “Some Asshole,” the scribbled portrait features a character wearing a suit and tie against a garish red background.
XCOPY is based in London and has a prolific body of art currently worth more than $43 million.
This 18-year-old artist has an incredible 100,000 followers on social media, and has sold a mind-blowing 3,189 pieces. He has a bright, eye-catching, pop-surrealist style that brings to mind children’s collage art, but with a very definite adult edge.
Based in Seattle, FEWOCiOUS (born Victor Langlois) has been creating art since he was 13 and finally made his first breakthrough when he sold his first painting at 17. His digital NFT art is designed to mirror his heart, and if his NFT drops are anything to go by, the public adores him, making him one of the foremost NFT artists. His work is currently grossing just over $17 million each year, which isn’t too shabby when matched up against other top NFT artists.
#14: Trevor Jones
You’ll find Trevor Jones at the place where art and tech collide. This Scotland-based visual artist has been fascinated with crypto technology since buying his first Bitcoin in 2017. His earliest art was on canvas, but he has since collaborated with some of the industry’s top NFT artists, including José Delbo, and has sold more than 5,200 pieces of art, averaging more than $4,000 per piece. Now he’s become one of the most popular NFT artists and is currently working on a larger project involving paintings and NFTs.
Robbie Barrat, who creates under the name VideoDrome, has sold 41 digital art NFT pieces, with the average price of each an incredible $331,264. In fact, Barrat sits at 10th place for all-time sales when it comes to NFTs. His AI Generated Landscape Paintings have collected $1,336,187.70. VideoDrome’s pieces are highly coveted — especially since he’s not currently producing NFTs, given the speculative nature of the market. Nevertheless, he remains one of the best NFT artists to grace the scene.
As one of New York’s top NFT artists, street artist WhIsBe has made a name for himself in gallery art and NFTs. His pseudonym stands for “What Is Beauty” and reveals just a glimpse of his approach. Armed with New York’s School of Visual Arts degree, WhIsBe developed many of his own digital art NFT techniques, which have been heavily inspired by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat and refined for modern audiences. His iconic Vandal Gummy Bear NFT series plays with color and texture, and has sold more than 1,650 NFTs, averaging more than $4,500 per sale. The highest-grossing piece featured a caged golden gummy bear skeleton, priced at $1,000,000. His creative approach has earned him a spot on our list of the top NFT artists.
Mike Parisella is a Boston-based digital collage artist who has sold 6,790 NFT artworks to date. While his work explores a variety of often uncomfortable and potentially boundary-pushing topics, he’s garnered more than half a million followers on social media. Slimesunday has also collaborated with other well-known NFT artists such as 3LAU, form the SSX3LAU duo. Together, they’ve created Gunky’s Uprising, for which Parisella created the visuals to 3LAU’s music. His highest-selling solo piece is The Process, which, as its name suggests, is a work which reveals his approach to collage-making digital art NFTs.
#18 Refik Anadol
Turkish-American artist Refik Anadol’s work is fluid and alive with movement and rich colors. His digital art NFT installations can be found at both the Portland Building in Oregon and Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and now he’s earning well-deserved success as one of the top NFT artists in the digital world. So far, he’s sold 536 NFTs at an average of just over $16,768 each. His highest-earning piece, a series of eight animations entitled Machine Hallucinations, was sold through Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for approximately $5 million.
#19: Micah Johnson
Micah Johnson is a former Major League Baseball player, and today he’s one of the most famous NFT artists — as well as one of the top NFT artists on our list. His pivotal Aku: The Moon God features a series of digital images with a young boy in an astronaut hat and sneakers. Since the unveiling of his work, Johnson has sold 1,534 pieces, averaging $2,244 each.
Johnson’s NFT work is unique in that each piece comes with a physical counterpart in the form of a sculpture. The Vault,, which as his highest recorded sale went for more than $996,800, also features Aku. It’s currently maintained in a temperature-controlled gallery in the Art Angels Gallery, where the NFT owner has exclusive access rights which can be resold at any time. Not just one of the most famous NFT artists but also one of the most community-minded, Johnson works to give back with pieces that promote donations to educating children in African-American communities.
The pseudonymous Fvckrender specializes in colorful geometric architectural art. His highest-selling work — entitled “Self_Help//” — features a human face pushing through liquid metal as hands reach toward it. The artist describes the piece as an attempt to “rewire the brain.” The 1,970 digital art NFTs that he’s released have sold for an average of about $4,541 each, making him one of the top NFT artists.
Edward Snowden might be better known as a whistleblower, but he’s also created a significant digital art NFT. So far, he’s only sold a single piece, but at $8.8 million, that’s valuable enough for him to rank among the most successful NFT artists. Titled Stay Free, the piece features a silhouette of Snowden’s face, along with his signature and the landmark decision of his court case. The proceeds from the auction went to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, making him not only a famous NFT artist — but also a charitable one.
#22: Alotta Money
Dogs playing poker is one thing. But have you ever imagined a cherubic cyclops dancing around framed portraits of chaos — complete with tentacles, pixelated houses, glue and feet? Money’s digital collages are a little bit delightful, a little bit ethereal, and a whole lot of nonsense, making him a prime candidate for our list of top NFT artists. They’ve also netted him an average of $4,500 apiece, making him one of the most popular NFT artists. He’s sold 1,580 works since he’s been in the marketplace, and he’s not finished. A big fan of movies, gaming and science fiction, Money is eager to move in a new direction, engaging and collaborating with other artists and potentially adding metaverse avatars to his body of digital art NFTs.
Dmitri Cherniak is a well-known name in the world of crypto, but he’s no newcomer to the art world. Melding his two passions seems to just make sense. Although he’s only sold 17 NFTs, their average sale price is $459,357, making his addition to the list of popular NFT artists a simple choice.
His art has a simple yet magnetic feeling, with clean lines, primary colors and gentle movement. This ultimately distinguishes him from other more edgy and aggressive top NFT artists in the scene.
The Bottom Line on Top NFT Artists
As these top NFT artists have demonstrated, NFTs give artists new ways to engage and connect with their fans, as well as gain a stake in the crypto space. While digital art is still an emerging art form, it offers new and exciting options for all kinds of artists. Keep an eye on digital art NFT spaces and popular NFT artists to see what developments come next in this important and rapidly expanding sphere.