Introduction to JPG's Indie Collections Canon

Creating and selling art as NFTs has rewritten assumptions about the distribution networks which were traditionally the domain of galleries, and has unleashed creative experimentation in formerly niche programming applications. Further, much of the art in this canon would have remained unseen without the permissionless creation and markets underpinning it.

Many independent projects have a spirit of DIY, experimentation, weirdness. Some are, in spite of or maybe because of their small teams, highly polished executions of a single-minded intent. All demonstrate expansion of assumed expertise into other lanes. For me personally, this is a liberating and vulnerable way of releasing work. Liberating in that it encourages new artists to experiment in public, vulnerable because the learning process reveals gaps where I depend on other creators for help.

The Indie Collections Canon celebrates creators who have engaged directly with the multiple facets of a project, fading the division of labour between making and selling.

Indie project creators may be individuals or small teams. They are not supported by VC or institutional funding, and probably don’t have a road-map, although some have bootstrapped multiple stages of a project through initial NFT sales. Voting a collection into this canon asks us to consider all the parts of an art NFT project and the new roles of creators participating together in this lifecycle, including:

  • Conceptualising and making the art

  • Shaping the collection scale and price for the market

  • Making a website

  • Deploying on an independent contract

  • Promoting and selling the project

  • Managing social media / building discord community

Of course, the success of independent projects is enabled by the overlapping networks of support and open source collaboration that are a feature of the crypto space. Introducing the Indie Collections Canon (tagline: there are no independent projects).

Canon Criteria: Art NFTs (excluding collectibles and gaming) whose concept, design, production, contract, front end and promotion are the work of individuals without platform or institutional support.

Everyone is welcome to propose NFTs to the Indie Collections Canon, and independent creators especially are encouraged to propose their own projects. To do so, you'll need a free mint soulbound NFT, the Canonicon. Please ask in the JPG Discord, and they will guide you through the process.

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