Metageist comes from a digital illustration background but has recently been swept up in all the excitement around VR. He shares and teach many Virtual Reality art programs on multiple VR platforms. He believes VR and Augmented Reality are going to revolutionise many sectors of society, and is firmly be a part of the story when it comes to VR’s impact on the creative industries and within contemporary art circles.

Digital artist, illustrator, sculptor

Metageist comes from a digital illustration background but has recently been swept up in all the excitement around VR. He shares and teaches many Virtual Reality art programs on multiple VR platforms.

He believes VR and Augmented Reality are going to revolutionise many sectors of society, and is firmly be a part of the story when it comes to VR’s impact on the creative industries and within contemporary art circles.

Can you share a brief overview of your creative journey, from when you first started pursuing your creative career to where you are now?

I left college at 18 and went straight into work. I was lucky enough to get a job designing websites for a small company with some big clients. Soon I decided to start my own creative design business. It was a rocky start and I ended up working for various other companies, as a designer, photographer or illustrator, on occasion but I’ve now been running my own creative business for 16 years. Most of this time was spent as a graphic designer and digital illustrator. I got into VR art programs and taught those for a few years. I then discovered NFTs and have been creating and selling my own surreal digital art successfully, without a single customer or deadline, for over three years.

What inspired you to become an artist, and how did you decide to pursue it as a career?

I don’t think I could do much else. I have an overactive imagination that makes it hard to focus on anything, but have an edge when it comes to creativity and love storytelling and world building. I was diagnosed with ADD at 40 years old which made a lot of sense when I look back at how I struggled with a lot of menial tasks and being told what to do. I wanted to be an artist from an early age and right now I feel extremely fortunate to be earning a good living creating and selling digital monsters to collectors around the world.

How do you balance your creative pursuits with the practical aspects of being an artist, such as marketing, networking, and financial management?

I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that the marketing and admin are half of the work. What I’ve found helpful is to think of the wording, social media and networking as part of the creative task. The story you tell is of utmost importance and if you make it creative it becomes a lot less tedious. When it comes to finances I have learned a lot about crypto and other investments and see that as a game to be played as well. Half of my recent success has come from being at the forefront of technology and enjoying those first-mover advantages. Being a bit of a non-conformist punk at heart has meant that I found it easy to understand the benefits of earning borderless non-sovereign global currency with my digital art.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a creative person?

I am happy with my own company. I can always escape the drudgery of everyday life and entertain myself with my daydreaming. I’m infinitely curious and can be inspired by anything. I fill the day with little wins when I’m on form, and it’s very good for my mental health to end the day having created something, anything.

What keeps you motivated and passionate about your craft?

I’m excited about the future. I love trying out brand-new technologies and processes. I am especially excited to bring AI into the mix and bring my characters to life in the coming months. I love surprising myself. I also just feel I have no right to be negative about being in this privileged position. It can be very hard at times, but then I step back and give myself a good telling-off for being so spoilt. I’ve worked very hard but I’m also extremely lucky.

What advice would you give to young artists who are just starting out and considering a creative career?

Stay true to your vision. But don’t worry if that vision is blurred. You don’t need to know where you heading you just need to keep pushing. Draw every day. Embrace new technology.

How important is it for artists to find their unique style or voice?

If you don’t find and share your unique voice you’re more of an artworker and not an artist. Put brush to canvas, or pen to tablet and see what comes out. Everyone has their own story to tell. It doesn’t have to be technically amazing, it just has to be honest.

How did you discover and develop your own artistic identity?

I drew every day as a child, and the same themes still emerge now. I allow myself to relax into the art and be surprised by the outcome rather than worry about needing a specific purpose or idea. Just keep doodling until something starts to form.

Can you talk about the role of failure and perseverance in the life of an artist?

Oof. Failure is inevitable. It’s also essential. And subjective. Sometimes a failure can later be seen in a different light and becomes a success. You’re your own worst critic. Nobody will ever hate your art. You owe it to yourself to accept the failures and move on. Never fear them. If you fear failure you’ll never start, and that’s a tragedy.

What are some misconceptions or myths about being an artist that you would like to debunk?

That creativity just happens. That it’s easy. That you’re supposed to struggle financially. That you’re born with innate talent.

How do you navigate the art industry and find opportunities to showcase your work or collaborate with others?

I contribute. I reciprocate. I actively build communities. I share. I collect art (over 1000 artworks collected so far). I travel and I network subconsciously because I go to all the art events and parties I can. Never underestimate how many opportunities can come from being VISIBLE out in the world and online. For all its failings Social Media is incredibly powerful when used properly. In 2023 you have no choice but to embrace it and make it part of the art!

What are some common challenges artists face in terms of recognition and financial stability, and how can they be addressed?

People underpay artists at all levels of society. Very few people really appreciate how hard it is to answer creative briefs. Broaden your market. It is great to support local initiatives but go global!! Don’t box yourself in. Give the blockchain a chance. There’s a lot more love and magic to be found in the global crypto art community than the tabloids would have you believe.

How do you stay connected with other artists and the larger creative community?

Twitter for conversational interactions. Instagram for behind the scenes and sharing images and videos. I host local art events and support other people and it’s generally reciprocated. The community is one of the best things about being an artist. Surround yourself with weirdos and dreamers and you’ll never be bored.

Can you share any tips for artists to market and promote their work effectively in today’s digital age?

Be vulnerable. Share your mistakes, fears and face. Be a human. Tell other people how much you love their art.

Are there any specific resources, workshops, or organisations you would recommend for young artists who want to further develop their skills and knowledge?

I use YouTube to learn almost every day. You want to learn Photoshop for instance? Have tutorials running the background even when you can’t watch them properly. You can learn about the capabilities of software or processes almost subconsciously.

How do you approach self-criticism and growth as an artist?

It’s an unending battle. I often realise I am beating myself up for being a bad artist on days where I have not had enough sleep. You’re never really a bad artist. There’s no such thing. You’re just not being very kind to yourself. Improving takes longer than you want it to, but when you look back it’s actually quite fast if you can stay consistent.

What strategies do you use to continually improve your craft?

Always trying to learn new tools and processes. Consciously avoiding too much repo.

Have you ever experienced creative blocks or periods of low inspiration? If so, how did you overcome them?

It’s a cliche but getting away from the desk, tablet or canvas and enjoying nature, even if it’s horrible weather in the depths of winter, really does help. Log out of social media if you’re comparing yourself to your peers. It’s terrible for your self confidence to just scroll and consume but not be putting anything out. Doodle.

Do you believe it’s necessary to have a degree in art to succeed?

I never went to uni. It wasn’t necessary 20 years ago and it definitely isn’t now. I think the education system is broken and largely irrelevant BUT I think going to uni is great for inspiration, having fun and building friendships.

Can you share any memorable experiences or achievements in your artistic career that have had a significant impact on your journey?

I was exhibited in New York, London, Paris and Miami Beach last year. Tapping into a new global community has been a dream. My TED talk was a highlight. I made half a million £ selling my art in 2020/21. But winning a clown drawing competition when I was 10 is still up there. I’m also very proud to have all my drawings from when I was 6 years old.

Is there anything else you would like to share with young artists aspiring to pursue a creative career?

Do it! Chances are you don’t have much choice anyway. But know it isn’t easy. But it’s worth it. If you’re a digital artist don’t shy away from all the new technology or you may be left in the dust. Support other artists!

Metageist can be found at: