What made you start creating pixel art?

How did you find out about pixel art and what made you decide to start creating it? Is there anything interesting you learned from your influences?

For me, it goes all the way back to when I was a kid, seeing how crisp and detailed the artwork for Gameboy and arcade games could be even within such strict space limitations. Back when I started pixeling the term “pixel art” hadn’t really been popularized yet and the amount of resources were extremely sparse (imagine a time before Lospec or even Cure’s tutorial) so I learned a lot by looking at game assets. Joust, Bubble Bobble, Sword of Mana, Pokemon GSC+RSE, and The Minish Cap were some early inspirations of mine. Even with a lot of directly studying the assets, I didn’t start to fully understand how the artists knew “where” to place the pixels to make the art look “so detailed” until I developed my traditional drawing skills more.

Oh, that's a great topic to discuss. It's like my whole life has led to pixel art. A little later, I will try to return to this discussion, and expand this topic of conversation.

Retro games growing up, and the love to do so much, with so little.

I'm always impressed with a small pixel art canvas. The retro games is also why I have a strong tie to chiptune music

When I was a kid, my friend d-puff and I discovered games were made out of "sprites" which we could download off the internet and edit in paint. I was very into sonic at the time (Sonic Adventure/Advance era), so we started downloading and editing sonic and chao sprites. I eventually found a site cool of sonic sprites, called the Mystical Forest Zone. They also had sprite comics and a forum, which I joined immediately. There I found a place to show off my sprite edits, and learned to make them better. They had some tutorials to follow, and some were for big sprites, called "pixel art". I then somehow became a very active member and posted lots of art, and got lots of feedback through the comments section and forum which helped a lot. I always liked the idea of making games and made plenty of sprites but only finished a small handful of games (turns out games are hard to make). I entered lots of PJ weekly challenges (since the first one!). I think at some point I became the user with the most points on PJ (pretty cool, I know). I did art for a few games over the years, but didn't find it very fun, so I mostly just do my own thing whenever I feel like it.

I guess, the short story of it is, I started because I could, and I kept going because I loved it.

We had this Mah Jong program on our computer when I was a kid, and it had a little program built in to make custom tiles, and that was really the first time I made anything that would be considered pixel art. And I found that it is a fantastic feeling to see your art in a game, even something as simple as Mah Jong. A feeling I have continued to chase throughout much of my life and probably the thing that gives me the most joy.

When I was a teenager I got really into dolling, which is when I really started to develop my pixel art skills. Then later I started to focus mainly on game art. I've dabbled in all kinds of art forms, traditional, digital, 3D, crafts, but I keep coming back to pixel art. It's just my favorite thing.

undertale was my inspiration for all of my art (including pixel art) at first, then i started getting more into other pixel art, while still doing so many sans sprites, until i branched of the path of undertale and started getting into all the "rules" of pixel art (jaggies, doubles etc.)

Kind of have a similar story: I played a ton of Gameboy games, stuff like Megaman Battle Network and all the Pokemon games were really influential for me. By this time emulators were super common and I played some classics like Chrono Trigger and Metal Slug on CRT monitors, which blew my mind. Because of all that I wanted to develop games and make the art for them, but I didn't get around to learning programming until high school.

So instead, I started messing around with pixel art in middle school, and made a couple sprites. I think when I started "pixel art" was a thing but it still was very often in the context of video games, not as much of a separate medium. I took some (not very good) art classes earlier, and some of those skills transferred. But due to self-doubt and comparison to my friends who did art all the time, I stopped drawing for probably, eight years. Instead I picked up piano and stuck with it, which I still really enjoy thankfully.

Finally decided to give art a shot after developing a few jam projects, and I've enjoyed it a lot to the point it's most of what I do in my free time now. Still know I have a long way to go, but now that I'm a bit older and more disciplined I'm not nearly as intimidated as I once was. Mostly I just want to hone pretty much every aspect of solo game development so I can make my dream project one day.

this credit literally just goes to one image

saw this image when i searched pixel art and i ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH IT so then i bought aseprite and used it ever since
also i used to play pixel art games with my gameboy advance but i don't think that impacted that much


Great topic idea, My inspiration for starting pixelart, came from a few different things, one was grid paper pixelart I did when I was in grade 7, I had to do it for a assignment, and it was fun, later I learned more about pixel art and did it on applications from my phone, later I was extremely inspired by a game with really nice pixelart, called Vibrant Venture, I wanted to get good at pixel art back then, however I didn't stick with it for long. Last year I got motivated again and finally got a good pixelart editor, but this time I was serious, and here I am today. Another big influence for me getting into pixelart was retro games that I love.

I started ages ago as a kid when that was the only option for creating digital art. Came back into it when working on a game project that uses pixel art, and then really got into it when I got into this love-hate relationship with old hardware palettes. Spent a couple of hours burning out my retinas on the ZX spectrum palette. It's horrible, I love it.

I have a sort of interesting story I think. There were a lot of factors that drew me to pixel art, and one which I totally forgot until I read Skeddles post, holy crap The Mystical Forest Zone was so cool to me as a kid. Anyway, I have a bunch of early memories regarding pixel art. But the one I would say that got me actually into pixel art would be a little online social game called Graal Online. Specifically the in game server called Unholy Nation. You could play the game with a free account, but you would lose every thing if you logged off, and you would start out as the "noob" character. It was a cute little dude with a mohawk. Now I think it's cute but back then I never wanted to be seen as a noob! So you could type in-game "changehead_???" and change your head, or your body into another sprite! It was really fun, and there were so many options. My brother then figured out you could make your own, and he showed me how he edited someone else's sprites in MS paint. I was so fascinated by the idea that something he created was now in the game. So I started doing it. It was the first time I was ever really creative. I created probably over a hundred different heads and bodies, weapons, accessories etc. I started to become a little famous in-game because people were wearing my stuff, and it was a pretty consistently good quality. I became friends with the guy who uploaded the skins and he would help me animate and things. I wish I had kept the old sprites I made because I had some awesome stuff. I made a body once that was just the "noob head" that rolled around on the ground. So people could set their head to be invisible and just be a rolling head haha. Anyway that got too long. Great topic.

Hmmm... Probably the desire to adapt my art into a digital form back when I was 13ish . I think I was also browsing newgrounds a lot at that time with a desire to post stuff on there but I didn't have flash or photoshop so pixelart seemed more accessible.

To be honest, I wasn't inspired by any of the things you guys were. I just wanted to find a way to make game art. Then it was like a pain to make. But now that I make it, it's a greater than a hobby.

I was really into animated tv shows and short films when I first found out about pixel art. I really wanted to animate something for some reason so I looked online and stumbled across Piskel which aloud you to animate sprites. I wasn't ever interested in videogame sprites before then it simply was me finding a resource to animate.

I soon found out that animating was really hard so I kinda moved away from that and focused more on making better art since I was really bad at the time. But pixel art slowed it down and made it simple and small enough for me to start understanding shading and overall shapes. It was when I found the website fydoTiles that I really got into pixel art. It was this experience that made art way more fun and sparked my love for indie games. The best thing about it was that you had a limited palette and time limit, it helped me become a better artist. I remember the first couple of times I made a tile, I was so nervous that I was gonna mess it up that I was shaking. Believe it or not there are several cringy tiles (still on the website) I created that for sure messed up the tiles around me. But it was all a learning process and I had to take those steps to improve.

Anyways, the question "What made you start creating pixel art?" for me is the same as asking me why I decided to start making art, and my simple answer is because it was fun. And I guess I decided I wanted to improve and keep going because stuff like fydoTiles made if fun.

I got furloughed from my job when the pandemic started, Found this little game called Simple MMO and found out i could make my own pixel avatar, i had dabbled in pixel are a little because a buddy of mine wanted to make a gameboy game, i learned Aseprite and he disappeared lol, People on SMMO will pay for custom avatars and i needed the extra cash so here i am.Satansamademoncard.gif the avatars are 52x52

In my case I did not grow up with retro games, I have never had a console so my first interaction was with flash games.

In 2018 I found out that one of my favorite games, called Intrusion, had a sequel for Steam that I never tried. It was amazing.

Later I found out that the creator moved away from the world of videogames, and I thought: many people ask for it but it will never be an Intrusion 3.... so why not ... do it myself?
(What a genius, with null knowledge about game development).

I started making assets. Due to not having knowledge of digital art, I wiped out a clean slate many times, reducing the size of the canvas, over and over again until one way or another, I started doing pixel art.

Fun fact: the game never came to fruition because I have no idea of programming.

When I was in high school, I had the determination to start making games. I always wanted to make games but I'm never good at making art. I was a music kid, so music and programming are the skills I'm good at. But I'm not good at making good stories or even making art. Heck, my art is so simple I was mocked by my siblings. At that point, I have a choice, either to get good at making stories or get good at making art. The obvious choice, get good at art.

When making games, I know that there are 2D and 3D games. However, I'm a Construct user, so 3D isn't possible. I will try to make 3D art (in the future), but I just focused on 2D for now. I started to try making pixel art characters, which were ghosts. And yeah, I was only good at making Pacman-like ghosts, Minecraft-like grass blocks, and boring repetitive tiled background. At that point, I knew I needed to step up my game and I started to create pixel art for both my games and simple artworks.

I've always loved the aesthetic of pixel art. the ability to discern important details from only a few coloured pixels, its amazing!. I never thought I could be a pixel artist, but when 2020 came along and I was furloughed, I needed something to do. So started the journey into pixel art and have loved every minute of it!

Since my hands tend to shake a lot, I had to give up being a concept artist.
It was quite rough for while, but then I discovered the wonderful world of pixel art.
So yeah, I would have never have turned to this medium if it hadn't been for my anxiety.

I had free time. 👍

Undertale and Deltarune! These two games inspired me to make pixelart 🙂 I started like 5 days ago and i'm lovin' it!!!

Undertale and Deltarune were my main inspirations, since late 2019, I've been making pixel art, and now I've improved a lot compared to 2019.

for me personally... i have almost 40 years old in me, and of course i grow up with the nes and the others, the pixelart is in my veins XD i really like it and i really like to draw so the pixelart and the animations i can do with it are really part of me, i started in tis road arround 2003 or 2004 when i discovered the marvelous tool known as rpg maker 2k3, i wanted to make my games, but i needed graphics, so i should say that's the start of my journey 😛

@race-car-69 Wow! that's very specific and really awesome!

If anyone's interested, I started pixel art by making a grid in google sheets and coloring in the squares. I should have been listening to my teacher, but I'm glad I was making art during class! I was entranced with my own work so I explored other people's art and just... like everyone else, fell in love with it!

Nice topic and answers! 🙂

For me it started in university. (I've played old games in pixel art before, but at that time I wasn't thinking about making it myself someday.) We had this short and sweet 2D and pixel art course where I discovered how much fun it is - and I was amazed (and still am) how quickly you can create something just out of a few blocks of color. I think at that time I also searched for pixel art on the web and fell into a rabbit hole full of pixel goodness. It certainly got my attention.

But I remember really getting into it a few years ago. I was working full time in this Indie Game Studio - and maybe you all know this feeling of 'not being creative outside of your job'. I just didn't have much energy left to create art in my free time. One day I started doodling around in pixel art and it just sparked something. From then on I kept going and I just love being inspired by all kinds of pixel art(ists) out there. I still discover and learn something new everytime I stumble across pixel art - that's the beauty of it. ❤

@stahli-5 said in What made you start creating pixel art?:
My first interaction with pixel art was with metal slug, i was from the playstation era and used to play metal slug with my cousins, it was one of my favorite game, but i never payd atention to the artstyle.

I started making pixel art when i discovered the zoom feature in paint, i did a really bad and big sword, but i never tried do anything more, until a friend showed me the magic world of emulation, he teached me how to use emulators and gave me a pokemon rom, i played pokemon everyday and aways thinked about the art style made out of squares, this was whe i started making pixel art.

I still remember searching for "pokemon game boy cores" (cores mean colors in portuguese) i tried to imitate the pokemon art style and that was it, i slowly improved and i'm doing pixel art until nowadays.
metal boy.png

i started making pixel art in high school because i was making a mock-up game in RPG Maker XP: i was trying to make a horror parody game featuring me and my friends fighting off the bullies in our high-school! then high-school ended and only a few years ago i decided to come back to pixel art and it's been awesome!

when i found Pixilart ^_^ it was the only app that let me create decent art on a school based chromebook. i tried digital art, but i wsas harder than it seemed

It really started with Minecraft, but I shifted to making Mari0 tilesets after a while because it was more what-you-see-is-what-you-get and easily shared. I spent a lot of time on the Stabyourself.net forums (home of Mari0 and some other games) for various reasons, and made a lot of garbage that never got released as well as my second-largest project to-date, a large Mario-themed tileset using a particular palette - I think it was a later Atari console one? And a fairly lax color limitation along the lines of... any 4+black+transparent for each tile? I don't remember. It was limited, but not strict at all.

After I quit Mari0, I had a good long stint of just nothing at all, then I found an art Discord. I started practicing pencil-and-paper art, but eventually I started doing pixel art again just for practice and fun. I eventually got back into Minecraft and started a new resource pack for that, and I've been going for a mix of style somewhere between Painterly Pack and Beta/Alpha textures. I often check both for reference, and I've totally let go of palette restrictions because they just don't fit the way I draw. I only feel like I've really gotten my workflow nailed down recently, mostly because of palette restrictions - even when I'm trying to do limited-palette stuff, I just ignore the restrictions until it looks nice and have the restrictions as a final pass rather than a persistent limit.

All of this was over the course of a little under a decade. So that's my entire pixel art journey, as I remember it - I'm sure there's some stuff I'm leaving out simply because it's slipped my mind.

This post is deleted!

@sophie-a-h said in What made you start creating pixel art?:

We had this short and sweet 2D and pixel art course where I discovered how much fun it is - and I was amazed (and still am) how quickly you can create something just out of a few blocks of color. I think at that time I also searched for pixel art on the web and fell into a rabbit hole full of pixel goodness. It certainly got my attention.

Omg, We took a fast 2D and pixel art class slope game, and I was astounded (and still am) at how quickly you can make anything out of a few blocks of color. I believe I was also looking for pixel art on the internet at the time and ended myself in a rabbit hole full of pixel bliss. It certainly piqued my interest.

I played a lot of minecraft, so that naturally led to me trying to make textures for the game. The textures came out pretty bad, but I now had a growing interest in pixel art.

My Terraria gaming memories made me want to draw, paint, or 3D model Terraria bosses. Currently in my room are 6 of the 7 pre-hardmode bosses and 6 of 12 hardmode bosses of Terraria.

@annoying-martian Minecraft is AWESOME! I also play Minecraft.

I got in to pixel art from the app pixel art and started waching brandon james greers you tube chanel

When I was a little kid I played "Super Mario World" on an old SNES I found in a cabin back in the day.
By that time I was making crusty little games and programs on scratch.mit.edu (My usernames were "cs316735" and "316735test". I started with the offline editor back in 2012 (age 6) but it wasn't until around 2016 when I figured out what I was doing. I am now sixteen years old, and I've outgrown scratch.mit.edu since then but still draw sprites occasionally.