VR painting apps + NFTs: Beginning of an artistic renaissance?

Ade M. Campbell
5 min readAug 1, 2021

It’s difficult to say how the art of painting will translate into the digital world. It’s a medium that was designed for the real world: for ‘seeing’ the physical effect of paint on canvas, and marveling at the reproduction of natural forces, people, places and emotional abstracts or moods. Painting was once the selfie and photography of the past. It also allowed painters to convey subtle messages about class and society.

What role can it play in the digital? Memes and games are the eye-candy art in the digital, for our throwaway culture, and artistic designers and painters are getting paid a lot of money for creating stylistic interactive masterpieces. But these painterly video games are very specific projects with whole teams behind them. What about just creating paintings in the digital? What about the voice of the individual?

Well, there will always be room to use Painting (and VR) apps to produce creations that can be sold as NFTs and displayed in the ‘metaverse’, or in virtual galleries. Vivid paintings, designs and messages; they can still find value there, if less so than when printed out, or physically produced and displayed in the real world, like Damien Hirst’s recent cherry blossom bonanza.

For we mustn’t forget that painting is also a process, an exercise, an expression. And this is where the digital world — and now VR painting apps — can still play a part. In fact, VR apps are bringing the painting process to new heights. Not only do they remove a ton of time, effort and money spent on acquiring materials, studios etc… but it’s no bad thing simply to replicate the joy of physical painting.

And this has been enabled — 3D immersive creations — via groundbreaking apps like Tilt Brush and VR tech. They have arrived, and it could be the next level for ‘painting’, blurring the lines between sculpture, installation art, video art, conceptual art…

Will there be a renaissance of painting and art thanks to VR, and marketplace NFTs which allow artists to achieve instant, global sales? It’s possible to an extent, but more importantly there could just be a renaissance in the process of painting, for painting’s sake. It will certainly be easier, more accessible, even more social (within VR?) — and make it exciting…

Ade M. Campbell

Writer, artist, permaculture explorer of new tech, generative AI, VR, web3, NFTs: Ade’s Press: adespress.blog