Speak to Sable to showcase your illos alongside other top creators.

Galleries around the world are closed. People’s belts are tightened. You’re stuck indoors meanwhile, addictively playing Earth’s hottest game, wondering if you’ll ever be able to show off your art in public again.

A tricky dilemma for illustrators and artists everywhere, but a solution lies in your hands all thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizons .

Some talented folk have already taken to customising their cute little space in the Nintendo game, including Stephanie Unger (below) and Timo Kuilder. The former is even offering other players a chance to trade in-game currency like Nook Miles for a chance to ‘take home’ a piece and display it in your own abode.

But what kind of dark sorcery is this, you ask? Well, it’s all down to a custom Animal Crossing Pattern Tool, as we’ll explain.

Head to https://acpatterns.com/editor on a Chrome/Chromium/Firefox/Android/iOS browser.  This Animal Crossing Pattern Tool lets you draw a graphic which you then export as an ACNL file; you can even upload an image.

As the FAQ explains, to create a piece click a colour on the 3×5 palette and ‘draw’ on one of the pattern representations.

When you want to import to ACNL, simply scan the QR code at the bottom using the QR machine at the Able Sisters game within Animal Crossing.

To get that QR machine, talk to Sable the quiet sister in the back for 10 days in a row in order to unlock it. Or, as Timo has told us, you can also use the Nintendo’s Switch online app (iOS or Android) which you connect with the Nook Link and make patterns via the Tool editor.

The download ACNL file button lets you save the pattern to your computer for later use. You can also upload ACNL files or images containing QR codes.

There is a video tutorial on this in case you get stuck, thanks to user TrueAsianGamer.

Once you get the hang of this, you could also perhaps pay tribute to your own favourite artists, like PinkieOats did here in honour of digital clay weirdo Mushbuh.

We’ve also seen bizarro animator/cult musician Jack Stauber get his dues in ‘ACNL canvas’ form.

Perhaps this craze might see artists like Mushbuh and Julian Glander retroactively labelled as ‘ACNL art’, with their diminutive Crossing-like cutesiness and warm, woozy worlds? Well, anything is possible these days.

Related: Digital watercolours and anime spellbind for Nintendo’s Haven, the latest game to mix rhythm and romance

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