In its early stages, the metaverse has shown benefits for creators, ranging from the ability to do what they love and make money in new ways, to seamless collaboration and more.
Yet because of its unknowns, the metaverse can also be intimidating to artists. As someone who is building creative tools for this yet-to-be-fully-explored metaverse, my hope is that it can be a home for all creatives, where they easily adapt and understand how the metaverse can serve as a tool to achieve their goals.
As Web 3.0 and the metaverse continues to evolve, there are some primary benefits to creativity in this new space.
1. Collaboration and connectivity will drive creatives to go digital.
At the heart of the metaverse is social connection, which is driving many to this digital realm. For creatives, connectivity goes hand-in-hand with collaboration, and I believe the digital canvas will become both dimensional and social as creatives work better and faster together, remixing each other’s work.
Professional photographer and creative Jeremy Cowart sums up how collaboration and connectivity in the metaverse will allow for more opportunities for creatives, noting, “I’m doing more collaborations than I ever have in my entire life/career. I’m also more connected to other artists than I’ve ever been. I think we all realize that this Web 3.0 space is brand-new and kind of hanging on by a thread. So, we all need each other, and we need each other to win. A rising tide truly lifts all boats in this new industry.”
Imagine having one piece create an entire world or even a series of worlds—we see it often now in physical fandoms. An author writes a book, which then inspires fan art, which gets the eyes of producers who make a movie, which captures the hearts of children who hand-make Halloween costumes, who then raise kids to read the original books, and so on. In the metaverse, all of this can live in one collaborative, digital place where creatives can express their relative art to those that can remix it as many times as they want, seamlessly transitioning between artist and consumer.
As everything becomes a canvas, creatives will face new learning curves navigating how to merge the physical and digital worlds together, which brings me to my next point.
2. The lines between 2D and 3D artwork will become blurred.
Many creatives face a steep learning curve when navigating 3D art creation, especially traditionally 2D artists attempting the move to create 3D work in a digital space. Adding to the challenges they face, these creatives are usually short on time and budget due to strict freelance timelines or side hustles. To be successful in this immersive realm, creatives need to learn how to leverage 3D technology that can do the work for them. With existing technology that detects form and shape, creatives can create in a dimension they know and automatically have their work rendered in 3D.
Take for instance the recent, popular Van Gogh immersive exhibits. Being able to see each brush stroke of “The Starry Night” larger than life on a projector screen brought new meaning to the piece. Now, imagine an entire world like this where you can dive into the layers of a piece and, keeping accessibility in mind, be able to touch the bumps in the canvas; hear the brush strokes and crickets chirp; see beyond the canvas into the actual landscape Van Gogh saw. 3D activations can bring art to life beyond our wildest dreams.
Further, in the metaverse, recontextualizing content will become the norm, where avatars (electronic images commonly used online) will be used to represent people. Avatars will become part of the whole—acting both as a standalone piece as a sign of the times, and simultaneously a glimpse at your broader, all-encompassing online masterpiece. Identity will play a key role in how people experience the metaverse. With new options to decorate personal VR spaces, avatars, and more, there will be an increased need to generate content for these experiences and allow users to build unique digital identities.
3. Creatives will enjoy total freedom to create.
Artists who have previously had to worry about copyright laws and protecting their work will be free to create without fear of their work being stolen or shared without attribution with the unconditional rules of sharing art in the metaverse. Systems and marketplaces in the metaverse will allow easy transfer of rights through attribution models and make sure those who created it are getting properly compensated.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR CREATIVITY IN THE METAVERSE?
As the metaverse continues to develop, creatives can apply learnings from building the original world wide web and tap into all the benefits this digital realm offers that the physical realm doesn’t. Many creatives are scared to enter this unknown space and are unsure of what’s to come, which is why I encourage them to take control of their creative future. Obstacles are unavoidable and artists will always face new challenges, especially when entering a new creative realm, but I’m hoping more creatives will feel empowered to take advantage of what the metaverse has to offer.
The metaverse will bring collaboration, identity, and creativity to new heights all while preserving and enhancing the romanticism and realism of physical art. Jeremy’s sentiment on the future of creativity in the metaverse accurately portrays what many of us are feeling: “It’s changing every day. I’ve never been a part of an industry that moves so fast. But I’ve also never had more fun. It’s the wild, wild west, and anything goes.”
I believe it’s safe to say the metaverse is defining—and disrupting—the future of creativity, and I’m excited to support creatives in not only adapting to this new platform but learning to thrive in it.
Brooke Hopper is principal designer, drawing & painting at Adobe, and a speaker and champion for artists.