I'm happy to announce that I will be interviewing some of the best pixel artists on deviantART, to get their detailed and in-depth view of this form of art, their experiences, knowledge etc.
My first choice of Pixel Artist to interview is
has been on DA for about a year and we have all seen his amazing work. Now let's see what he has to say about himself!
Q. Hi! First of all tell us a bit about yourself you'd like us to know. A. Hello Liza, Hello Fellows. Q. How did your interest for pixel art develop, and how did you learn how to pixel?
My name is Thomas, some of you maybe know me as Cyangmou. I am 20 years old and I am living in central Europe in Austria. Currently I am visiting the final year of an environment engineering school. I like each form of art and that’s why I am here at DeviantArt. I especially like pixel art and this is why I joined this group – and today I have the honour to give an interview
A. As I was young I played several video games on my N64, not really games which used pixel art. Pixel art came into my life through my GameBoyAdvance. I played lots of great games on it like Fire Emblem 7 and 8, Final Fantasy Tactics, Sword of Mana, Yoshis Island and Castlevania – Dawn of Sorrow. I was fascinated with how less that games were achieving that much and I was really pleased by all that great animations – especially if I am thinking back to the fire emblem battle scenarios or the castlevania bosses.Q. Do you remember/ have the first pixel pieces you made? Tell us how long it took to make those!
Than January 2010 a friend of mine explored the RPG maker VX tool and he asked me several weeks to create him some pictures called “sprites” or “frames” for his main hero. I wasn’t really fit with drawing back than – I drew only 5 things from 2007-2010 – however he nerved me that much and somehow he got me back to the brush.
I just started with creating things, at first it was not really pixel art, more somewhat digital. It took me till May 2010 to understand the difference between the stuff I was doing and “hard pixels” as I called them back then. But as I discovered that all my favourite games used pixel graphics I gave them a try.
A. The first true pixel art pieces I made were tiles with a 32x32 resolution (for the VX maker). Every texture took somewhat of about 2h, and I made lots of environment sprites too, the creating time dangles between 5 minutes and some hours for big things. Then the interests of my friend changed and he don’t worked on our game longer. I released nearly all the tiles and called them “chibi-sized” - you can find some old screenshots with light effects in my gallery. Q. So how long have you been a Pixel Artist?
I also created some enemies – the first non tile related stuff and I uploaded all of them here at DeviantArt – the first one was a seasnake and I remember that the resolution for it was far too big considering that it was the first thing.
A. I started to pixel back in May 2010. This means I am creating pixel art for 20 Months now.Q. Show us some of your favourite pieces in your gallery.
A. I like my animations and my artworks most – all of them have fairly a big resolution in terms of pixel scales.Q. Have you managed to pursue Pixel Art professionally?
This animation shows better what I had in mind for my first sprite. I sticked to the dimensions and it was also meant to be a milestone for animation – because of this I like it
Gregory faces the dragon
I had lots of help with this thanks to all those great guys on Pixeljoint and Pixelation. It came out pretty nice. One day I want to animate a huge bossy dragon
Animated character art – it always reminds me that I should draw more (animated) humans. Most of my humans don’t leave the pencil stage.
my latest big piece – it shows pixel art for an imaginative game, also the first piece on DA which I pixelled with my tablet.
A. Yes I am working currently on more than one project and I also made some smaller commissions – If I am not uploading personal stuff to my gallery it means that I am pretty busy with game art. This year will get quite interesting. If there is an important release I’ll write a journal entry. Q. What programs/ tools do you use for your art?
A. I am using for all my pixel pieces gimp, at the moment the current version is 2.6. Q. What inspires you to create pixel art?
It’s a pretty comfortable program for pixel art because it has a pretty nice selection tools and a bunch of other very useful functions you need for work at the pixel level.
I chose Gimp because in my opinion Photoshop is to overpowered for pixel art. And I didn't feel comfortable with PaintDotNet or Graphics Gale.
A. My never ending quest to reach perfection – not that anybody reached it but some people got pretty close Q. How do you compare pixel art to other forms of art? There has been dispute over whether pixel art is actually a form of art.
Pixel art asks the artist why he is doing the stuff how he does it and it carries one to his limit. Every piece is a new challenge and I am also learning every day something new – this really motivates me.
I am getting my inspiration by everyday life, by old and new masters and by the nature.
What is your opinion on this?
A. Pixel art is art, but so is an exaggerative pouring out of a bucket of color on canvas. Q. Any tips for beginner pixel artists?
I define pixel art as a mosaic technique with a strict grid. To create successful pixel art pieces you need a solid knowledge of all the basic art techniques and pixel art also offers its own specific techniques – like every art style. Another thing is that you can animate pixel images too – animating is a form of art itself, whether it is a cartoon, a 3D movie or pixel art.
Depending on the artists pixel style and the resolution I’d say pixelart is somewhere between abstraction, symbolism and realism. “Pixel art” and “created by using pixels” are two things. I think true pixel art means that every pixel is at its position because the artist wanted to have it there. Pixel art was developed due to old computer limitations and today there are still games which are using pixel sprites.
Another aspect would be that pixels are only the medium to create whatever we want to create. Art is not limited on a sheet of paper or canvas. Art lies in everything. Writing, modeling with clay or metal, architecture, blowing glass, minecraft, et cetera. Every object and every creation process is art. And if someone has a different opinion than you can punch him in the face, because we know that blood splatter is art too. Just because someone else doesn't enjoy it, doesn't mean it's not art.
A. Pixel art fools your eyes. Something pretty simple can be hard to make – compared to traditional art forms pixel art doesn’t even give you the chance to paint 1:1 from nature – you’ll have to learn how different effects work and how they work with three or four colors – this takes lots of time.Q. And finally, any words of wisdom?
if you are new stick to smaller resolutions, 64x64 is pretty fine to display anything you want – and you won’t lost tons of time – you still can scale it up if you really like your idea
a graphics tablet really speeds up the early progress in a piece and brings you a more natural feeling.
If you are interested to pixel-art you should visit the Pixelation-Board and PixelJoint – you’ll find there tons of pixel friends.
A. Don’t give up, do what you want and have fun. Don’t care to much about what other people are thinking – as long as you have fun you have a good time. Experience comes with time.
has received the following Daily Deviations
I would like to thank Thomas for taking the time to answer these questions for the group and for all of you and show him the appreciation that a great artist like him should get for his work!
I definitely recommend watching him and taking a look in his Gallery
cause surely you won't be disappointed!
Good day to you all!