The future of illustration is virtual. Here's how to turn it into a career.

In 2021 digital artist Beeple sold his work for a staggering $69 million dollars at Christies, one of the world’s most revered auction houses. Now digital art is set to continue to dominate the art market, with Web3 levelling the playing fields for artists all over the world. And it goes beyond that ubiquitous ape – museums and galleries are hosting full virtual exhibitions

VR also allows a sensory immersion with visual, sonic, and textural elements that offers artists an even broader virtual canvas to work with, as in Canadian artist Ahnahktsipiitaa’s affecting work, This is Not A Ceremony.

Web3 has the potential to create growth in every imaginable industry, including the art world. So what can 2D artists do to get a piece of the 3D pie?

1. Get to grips with 3D art software

As a starting point, play around with some of the most popular 3D art tools to try to create a 360-degree version of your favourite 2D artwork. 

If you already use Adobe Illustrator, explore its 3D function (there are plenty of video tutorials online). You can learn to rotate assets, investigate lighting and transparency options, animate, add texture, and more.

If you’re looking for free software, Blender is an excellent tool for experimenting with textured brushes, world-building, animation and sound synchronization, modelling and storyboarding.

If you’re an emerging games designer, Unity Pro is fully equipped to help you bring your creations to glorious life, including Bolt Visual Scripting, prototyping and versioning tools. Pro users also get access to a comprehensive range of art, icons and assets to elevate gameplay.

2. Enjoy as many VR experiences as you can

Approaching VR as a consumer first will help you understand what kind of experiences are currently available, and inform and inspire your own efforts. You don’t need to drop a ton of money on an expensive kit - grab a cheap cardboard set to turn your smartphone into a VR headset. Download Discovery VR to explore the remotest animal kingdoms, or explore space with Star Chart.

3. Ready to share your work? Share it with EyeEm 

We bring you open creative briefs that offer you the opportunity to work with some of your favourite brands, earn some money, see how other artists interpret the same brief, and be seen by other creatives who submit. You'll be joining a network of 14 million! You could even have your work licensed and sold on our marketplace.

So what are you waiting for? Brush up your 3D skills, browse the open briefs, and get busy!