Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the peaceful escape we’ve all been hoping for, a video game that allows players to design a dream island lifestyle from the comfort and safety of their homes. You can plant and grow fruit trees, trade clothing with friends, design your house, invest in stalks, and collect bugs, fish, and fossils for your island’s natural history museum. And now you can add museum artworks to your game with a new tool we’ve developed: the Animal Crossing Art Generator.

(For step-by-step instructions on how to use a QR code in Animal Crossing, jump down to the end of the article.)

A screenshot from Animal Crossing that shows a very happy character beaming with joy wearing a shirt made from a Getty pattern. In the background, the wallpaper and floor feature a Getty artwork.

You can now wear Van Gogh’s Irises on your shirt, add a Renoir or Monet to your wallpaper, rep Rembrandt on your island flag, or host your very own art exhibition sure to catch Blathers’s attention.

Animal Crossing emulates the joys of the real world, and we especially love going to art museums—so a small team of us banded together to create a way for users to bring museum artwork into their own virtual homes.

The generator makes it possible for any image in the Getty Museum’s open-access collection to be transformed into a mini artwork fit for Animal Crossing. You can search art and artists from the collection or choose from some of our favorites in one click, then scan the generated QR code to bring the artwork into your game where it can be used on clothing, wallpaper, canvas, and more.

A sample of what the downloadable QR code looks like that will bring Manet’s 'Spring' into your Animal Crossing game.
An additional feature is a IIIF manifest converter so that open-access artworks from other museums can be easily transformed and shared. (IIIF is an image framework being adopted by many institutions, used to navigate and share images of art and archives.)

From a technical standpoint, we started this project by using open-source code published by the Animal Crossing Pattern Tool, a site where users can upload or draw images to generate a QR code. From there we added the ability to search through and select from the Getty Museum’s open-content images, and also added a converter to process IIIF manifest data from any institution to generate a shareable artwork QR code.

You can find the Art Generator Tool here, and step-by-step instructions below.

A screenshot from Animal Crossing showing a character standing in front of their home with a Getty artwork, Manet’s “Spring,” on an easel.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Adding Art to Animal Crossing Using a QR code

1. Download the “Nintendo Switch Online” app.

A view of the app store showing the Nintendo Switch Online app for download.

2. Sign into your Nintendo account.

3. Select “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” under “Game-Specific Services.”

A view of the Nintendo Switch Online app open.

4. Connect to NookLink.

A view of the NookLink welcome screen.
5. Get your Nintendo Switch, and open Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

6. From the home menu, hit the – button to access game settings.

7. Follow the prompts by Tom Nook to access “NookLink settings.”

A screenshot of the Animal Crossing settings featuring Tom Nook and a speech bubble that reads: "Now, what settings would you like to talk about today?"

8. Once your mobile device and Switch are connected, use your mobile phone to access NookLink.

9. Tap the pink “designs” icon.

A view of NookLink on the Nintendo Switch Online app.

10. Generate your QR code if you haven’t already. Tap “scan a QR code.”

11. Scan the QR code of the custom pattern you want to add to your game.

QR code: scanning this QR code will let you add van Gogh's "Irises" into your custom designs on Animal Crossing.

12. Open Animal Crossing on your Nintendo Switch.

13. Access your Nook Phone.

Screenshot of Animal Crossing and a character accessing the NookPhone and selecting "Custom Designs"

14. Select “Custom Designs.”

15. Hit the + sign to download any new patterns.

16. Select a blank design pattern to replace with your new pattern.

Screenshot of Animal Crossing, a system prompt reads "Are you sure you want to overwrite 'Design Pattern?" And user selecting "Overwrite it."

17. Use!

A screenshot from Animal Crossing showing a character standing in front of their home with a Getty artwork, Manet’s “Spring,” on an easel.

We can’t wait to see where your creativity takes you. Share your QR code creations and screenshots from your Animal Crossing game with us: tag @gettymuseum and use #ACArtGenerator.

This project is not affiliated in any way with or endorsed by Nintendo Co., Ltd. or Nintendo of America Inc. Animal Crossing™ and Nintendo Switch™ are trademarks of Nintendo.