Tell us about your user name, Does it have special meaning for you? Is there a story behind the name?
My username is play on my name, meant to sound to like skittles. I don't even like skittles... I saw some other people with awesome usernames based off their names so I wanted one for myself. I think usernames are much more interesting and creative when they are like that.
What drew you (pun intended) to DA? How did you hear about us?
I think I first got a DA just to have another place to show my pixel art, but in time I started to do more forms of art, so DA was even better! I'm sure I found it by looking at other peoples galleries. Fav'ing things is fun.
Have you always been artistically inclined?
Not exactly, but my mom does a lot of art things, so that probably gave me the idea to be an 'artist'. "MOM I'm bored"-"Go draw a picture or somethin'". I really wouldn't consider my early spriting art, they were pretty bad and unoriginal and uncreative. I started drawing about 3 years ago, and I'd say that kind of merged with spriting to create pixelarting. (yes, that's a word).
Where are you from? Have you traveled much from your home town?
USA. East Coast. Northish. I don't travel much, and when I do, it's mostly to the same place over and over again.
Are you Male or Female? Many of us may already know this, but some of us are quite unsure! Perhaps were just too amazed by your skills to pay attention.
Male. It's true. You can tell because I'm too afraid that if I try to draw females I'll screw something up.
Did you go to school/college for the artistic medium of your choice? Where did you choose to go? Are you self taught?
Self taught. I actually go to a high school with an art program, but I went into computers instead. Why? Who knows.
Lets learn more about the Pixeled side of you, What got you into pixel art?
I started as a spriter, making bad recolors and edits, namely sonic sprites. I eventually got better and started making custom sprites and such. I somehow found out about pixel art which seemed more fun than spriting, so I started doing that.
What is your art program of choice?
For pixeling? Microsoft Paint. From Windows XP. I've used it forever, and can't seem to switch. I used it all the way through XP, into Vista, and now on Windows 7. I've tried just about ever other pixel art program out there, but I always go back to paint. Sometimes I use other programs to help out, like Pro Motion for colors, Paint.Net for layers, or Graphics Gale for animation, but I hardly ever do a complete piece without my trusty Paint.
Do you find new projects challenging, frustrating or relaxing?
All three. New projects just seem to come out of nowhere. I'm always in a rush to empty my head onto paper(or pixels) of all my crazy ideas. Usually when I'm working I just feel like I want it to be done, but I still enjoy it.
What helps you focus when your pixeling? Do you listen to music? Snack on sweets? Chat with friends?
Haha, I wish I could focus on pixeling. When I'm pixeling I'm almost always doing something else at the same time, listening to music and chatting is very common. But patience is very important, I can spend countless hours in a row on a single piece.
Do you use a thumbnail when you pixel, or do you zoom in and out to preview your work? How far in do you zoom? Does it vary from piece to piece or detail to detail?
Since I use paint, that'd be zoom in and out. It is nice to have a preview, but zooming isn't impossible. I always just use the default zoom.. what is that? 6x maybe?
As a pixel artist, where do you plan to apply the experience you have gained. For example, are you considering a possible future career in pixel art?
Game art and design is something I'm considering, but it would most likely be for 3D games. As much as I enjoy and support pixel art, there is just not much of it being used commercially anymore, especially since Nintendo's in Japan. In the best of situations I would like to start my own game design company, but we'll see how that goes.
What motivates you to finish a project? Contests? Company deadlines? Perhaps how well the image is coming along?
Motivation is the hardest part. Sometimes contest deadlines are enough for me to work on a piece, otherwise I have to convince myself that the piece will be worth it. That's usually just "If you finish this piece, you'll be famous and all your dreams will come true!". For some reason I believe myself everytime!
We all have some pieces that we've abandoned due to various reasons, do you mind sharing some of them with us and your reasons as to why you left it? Please provide links if you can
Oh there are so many. If my pixels all lived in a city together half of it would be a graveyard. I seem to get many ideas, whether it be for a game, or a challenge entry, or just something I though would be cool. But they just somehow lose their appeal. Or I just can't seem to work on them, or let go of them for that matter.
Here's an example of a deserted challenge entry from not two long ago: [link]
And here are two examples of games I had started: [link] [link]
I know, so sad ='[
Please choose 3 deviations from your own gallery that you feel are your favorites. We'd love to hear more about why you chose them and why you made them
Number 3: "Computer of the Dust"
Everyone seems to like this one, It think it just looks really cool. The clash of technology and nature is interesting, yet they just seem to fit. The colors work well together too. And I really like CRT monitors. They are oh-so-cool. I can't take all the credit though, considering it was for a challenge where the main idea of the piece ("Nature vs. Technology") was already presented, but I think it came out well because it is something I have a lot to say about.
Number 2: "Flowers Through"
This one was an experiment. Every color I used is at max saturation, which I think is pretty cool. This piece also conveys a simple to understand yet somewhat complex and strong emotion, as well as well as a display of irony.
Number 1: "Stand by Me"
This pixel is my favorite. And will probably be for a long time. This piece represents me in every way. It's very much my art style, and it encapsulates so much of how I feel and think. I just put so much into this piece.
"As long as you put emotion into your art, it will be ok."
What is your favorite thing to do in pixeling? Is it shadows? Light sources? Skin? Fur?
I really just like pixeling. It's hard to explain. But taking a piece that already has lighting and colors set up and just letting pixels fly is the funnest part.
What do you hate or loathe to pixel?
Hair. It's just so tedious and annoying, and I have no clue what's going on.
If you were stranded on a pixel island, what 5 pixelated Items would you have to have with you?
A pixel tree full of pixel fruit, a pixel shelter, a pixel-fire (clearly fire made of pixels would never burn out), a pixel well, and a pixel someone-to-talk-to. And I never want to leave.
Say you're half way through pixeling a new image, and BAM the power goes out, or your computer blue screens. You don't remember when you last saved, and there's nothing you can do. What is your first reaction?
Oh trust me. It's happened. But it's usually my fault. My first reaction is of course shock. Then "AAHHHHHHHHH". Then despair. Then "I really don't feel like doing that all over again." But I typically do it over, and I think every time it's come out better than the original.
How do you work out a pixel piece? Do you sketch it first? or work in small sections making adjustments as you go?
I do just about everything. I usually sketch it out on paper and scan it, then trace it somehow. From there, I typically blot out what colors I want, then lighting. Then I clean it up. THEN I pixel. The last step is the hardest to learn, but is what makes pixel art pixel art, and the more you know the longer it takes.
Thank you so much for this opportunity Is there anything else you would like to ad before we wrap this up?
Be critical, question everything. Experiment! And please, for the love of art, PRACTICE.