The Biggest Digital Art Collection in the World Makes it to the Metaverse

The real story of how a simple online drawing tool was a smash hit, made the biggest digital collection in the world and its future plans

2 min readAug 6, 2022
Negative of 500k. Check it out on

It all began with a drawing pad

In 1999, two of our team members, Louis and Peter, launched the B&W-only “drawing pad” online tool

Their initial idea at launch was to collect 50,000 drawings for a planned book, with a planned print run of 12,000 copies.

But, the project drastically evolved when the founders discovered how popular YouDraw was becoming. Everyone under the sun was scribbling away on this iconic canvas:

The original drawpad was very advanced as you can see!

The community of YouDrawers grew massively, with contributions from over 170 countries. The result is what is now the largest body of hand-drawn digital art in the world.

A total of a whopping half million pieces!

Assembled, the collection measures 125,000 x 125,000 pixels.

Altogether, it contains 15,625,000,000 pixels.

Presented in square shape, that’s an approximate 15 stories high.

Or to put it in better perspective: the height of the Statue of Liberty.

The 500K Collection makes it to the Metaverse

While YouDraw may no longer be operational at the moment, it’s very much alive in spirit. It lives on in the 500K collection.

Back in 1999, Louis and Peter would have never predicted the current state of the internet. Non-fungible token? Wait, what? But they always held on to the 500K collection and made sure to carefully preserve it.

Over two decades later, the collection is now making it to the metaverse. We’re happy to announce that VERTIKAL will be the permanent home of 500K!

The collection will be shown through temporary exhibitions curated either by theme, artist, or in tandem with other ongoing projects. At the very top of VERTIKAL, a permanent space titled the “Hall of Notorious Draws” will feature the most iconic works from the collection. A timeline of digital art history, starting from 1999

While you wait for your access to Notorious Draws, head to the 500K website to browse some of that history.

And of course, join our Discord community for more news from VERTIKAL.



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Vertikal is a new frontier for artists, NFT collectors and pioneers of the omiverse.