There is good news for India’s emerging digital art scene as it is poised to witness a surge in demand with the growing popularity of Cricket art. Recently, a group of young artists collaborated with a gaming company who are using digital cricket art as in-game assets on their platform. With the help of this, the artists have not only been able to showcase their digital art to a large audience but also monetize their work effectively.
Hailing from different parts of India, artists like Raaj Rufaro, Pakhi Verma, Midhundas K.S, Vishnu Venu, Christhika Lakshmi and Najeeb Thottungal came together to create interesting cricket art capturing some of the legends of cricket on their canvas. They successfully married art and technology seeking inspiration from sports and used stylized treatments to create interesting fan art portraying the heroes of cricket. These artworks are not just a manifestation of their artistic inspiration but also great art collectables for cricket fans. Given the fact that fan art enjoys tremendous popularity among the youth, if combined with cricket this will have takers among millions of fans.
Striker, the gaming platform that they collaborated with, is a fantasy digital sports card platform. Striker uses digital cricket artworks created by these independent artists as game cards which can be traded by the users while playing the game. The use of such interesting game assets by Striker enables the artists to exhibit their work and also offers them the opportunity to hone their skills further.
Speaking of the collaboration, Najeeb Thottungal, one of the artists, said, “Working with Striker was a huge leap in learning for me. Not only did I get better insights into character anatomy but also got a deeper understanding of other aspects of illustrations such as lighting, shadows, rendering, materials etc.”
Cricket art holds great potential and collaborations like this show promise in the sector. Partnerships like this not only support talented artists by providing them with a platform but also help them monetize their art and get both commercial success and recognition. This breaks the common perception that artists need years to establish a name for themselves before they can pursue art as a full-time profession.
Sharing his thoughts on this, one of the artists, Raaj Rufaro, said, “Using Cricket Art as game cards is a brilliant idea that will empower artists like us and revolutionise the way we monetize art, how we create new projects and take ownership of our art.” He also added, “ With the help of this collaboration we could also dive deep and create multiple pieces of cricket art which were inspired by the cricketers but the representations were unique to our imagination”.
India is one of the world’s most cricket-crazy countries, with more than 500 million fans while art on the other hand is still considered to have a niche audience. Unlike in the past, when technology and the arts were seen as two distinct fields, cricket art is paving the way for an amalgamation of the two. It is possible that more collaborations like these can increase the number of people who appreciate art and support artists to receive much-needed recognition and remuneration.