INDIA IS HOME to some of the most passionate cricket fans in the world, while appreciation of the arts is still confined to 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. With fantasy sports, especially fantasy cricket, becoming popular in India, the in-game assets or NFTs are providing a new canvas for budding artists in the form of game cards.
Recently, several young artists collaborated with digital sports collectibles gaming platform Striker, backed by esports company Mobile Premier League (MPL), which is using digital cricket art as in-game assets on its platform. The artists are not only showcasing their digital art to a larger audience but have also monetised their work effectively.
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Artists Raaj Rufaro, Pakhi Verma, Midhundas KS, Vishnu Venu, Christhika Lakshmi and Najeeb Thottungal came together to create a digital art series in the form of game cards, capturing some of the legends of cricket on their canvas. They successfully married art and technology, using stylised treatments to create fan art portraying the heroes of cricket. Given that fan art enjoys tremendous resonance with the youth, and fantasy sports is a growing category in India, this is likely to have many takers.
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 deeper understanding of other aspects of illustrations such as lighting, shadows, rendering, materials, etc.”
Striker uses these digital cricket artworks as the game cards. Besides using these game cards to create their fantasy cricket teams and play fantasy cricket matches, players can sell them in the marketplace to earn real money. The app uses blockchain technology to verify ownership of these NFTs.
Cricket art holds great potential and collaborations like this show the promise in the sector. These artworks can be art collectibles for cricket fans. Another artist, Raaj Rufaro, said, “Using cricket art as game cards is a brilliant idea that will empower artists like us and revolutionise the way we monetise art.”
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A NEW PITCH
* The digital art series were made for fantasy sports platform Striker
* These game cards can be collectibles for fans