From humble beginnings, pixel art has grown into a recognised art form and internet phenomenon.
By working with individual pixels, digital artists are able to build incredibly complex images and animations – from GIFs to complex dioramas and character portraits.
One of the best things about pixel art is how accessible it is. It doesn’t require advanced software or tricky programming, just a considerable amount of patience and creativity.
So prepare to feast your eyes, because we’ve scoured the net to bring you the work of the very best pixel artists around.
Waneella produces some of the most original pixel art we’ve seen. Her mesmerising animated landscapes are brimming with colour and detail.
Spend some time browsing – and getting lost in – her collection of expansive pixel worlds. Her commission for the Desolar Twitch channel (above) is a particularly striking example.
Waneella’s continuously looping GIFs will have you poring over each design to look for hidden details.
From bustling cityscapes to tranquil nature scenes, Waneella’s atmospheric work really celebrates pixel design as an art form.
Melbourne-based animator Ivan Dixon operates at the opposite end of the scale, in terms of detail. Using a 32×32 pixel canvas, his aim it to capture the likeness of his subject in as few pixels as possible.
On his Tumblr and Twitter pages, he regularly posts minimalist “bopping” animations of well known figures, such as the two GIFs above created to commemorate David Bowie and Gene Wilder.
In his day job, Ivan co-runs the animation company Rubber House. They typically work in a 2D drawn style, but Ivan enjoys making his pixel art as a way to relax:
“Pixel art is actually how I got into animation in the first place. When I was in high school I designed little games, and I needed artwork. Pixel art was really the only option, and I soon fell in love with the medium.”
eBoy is the collective name for pixel artists Kai Vermehr, Steffen Sauerteig and Svend Smital, who’ve been building these complex “pixoramas” together since 1997.
“The basic idea driving eBoy was to have fun – and use new digital tools and the new media. The decision to directly work on, and for the screen, led to the use of pixels. A modular based work system started to evolve and resulted in complex, object rich artwork.”
Famous for their illustration, web design, fonts, and toys, eBoy have produced work for some huge clients and partners. Among them are Adidas, Coca Cola, DKNY, Google, Kidrobot, MTV, Nike, Pepsi, Paul Smith, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, and Yahoo to name but a few.
You can read more about the story of eBoy here.
Paul’s lively, characterful pixel animations vary greatly in content – “Sometimes it’s cute, sometimes cosmic and psychedelic, and sometimes weird nightmarish stuff” – but the quality of his designs is consistently excellent.
We simply had to include him in our list though, the intricate detail of his isometric illustrations is staggering. Rod has built a reputation for his award-winning landscapes, teeming with characters.
Check out the level of detail in this city illustration, which Rod was commissioned to create by Saatchi & Saatchi in London as part of the Toyota Aygo ‘Go Fun Yourself’ campaign.
Rod’s aim when designing this piece was “to create a bright, buzzy, colourful and provocative image, with a sense of the Japanese culture from which the car came”. We’re sure you’ll agree he succeeded on every count!
Our in-house graphic designers created some pixel designs of their own for our Design Your Future webinar about developing your career in the creative industries.
See their designs and catch up with the whole webinar here:
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