I was recently browsing Behance to look for inspiration. I decided to search for Pixel art because I know a lot of pixel artists use themes and colors that I like. One of the first pieces that caught my eye just happened to be by an artist from Taiwan. He made a piece featuring a neon-lit betel nut stand. I really liked the color and animation.
Here are a few other of my favorite pieces by Jeff:
I recently reached out to Pixel Jeff to ask a few questions about his work. Lucky for me he was happy to respond.
How old are you and what led you into making pixel art?
I'm 24. I just graduated from University and I'm serving in the Army now. I've been creating pixel art since 2014. Making pixel art makes me feel very happy! I just love it! It's interesting to be able to create art using a simple method such as this. Since I made my first pixel art, I've been studying 80's culture. I focus mainly on video games, movies and other retro stuff.
How did you learn?
I learned through YouTube tutorials by myself and then keep practicing. I use Photoshop to create the art and edit the animations.
Where do you usually get inspiration from?
I sometimes get my inspiration from other pixel artists whose styles and animation I like. But if I want to create my own work about Taiwan, I'll observe around some shops or streets near my home or in Taipei.
How long does it usually take to make one piece?
It depends on how complex it is. I'd say about 5-6 hours for one piece (including the animations).
What is your dream or plan for your artwork?
I've always wanted to hold my own art show and publishing my own art book. Those are two of my major life goals.
What are some of the most difficult things about being an artist?
Being an Artist can be really hard sometimes —like when you don't have any ideas for your concepts, have issues with your clients, or if artwork isn't a hit. But I would never give up despite all these difficult issues, you just need to face them.
What is the most rewarding and best part of it?
The best part of being a pixel artist is the joy of the journey. There're so many goals to achieve.
If you had a billion dollars would you still do your art? If not what would you do instead. If yes would you anything differently?
I think Pixel Art is part of my life now, it's my hobby and it's also my career. I would still keep doing pixel art and try to get recognized internationally, not only for the fame but also to prove that Taiwan has this kind of artists. I would encourage people to persevere in following their dreams. It's worth it.
I was happy to learn that Jeff gets so much joy out of his artwork and is living out his dream. In my photography I've been so focused on 'making it' that I've lost much of the joy that simply doing it used to bring.
Daoists often seek this feeling of '無爲' (Wu Wei), which is basically being in the zone or trying not to try. I feel like Jeff has a very Wu Wei approach to his work. He studied and works hard at what he does, but at the end of the day he seems to do it simply out of joy. As artists it seems like there is so much pressure to ‘make something out of’ our work and quit our day-jobs, but these pressures can rob us of the happiness art is supposed to bring. Jeff is lucky to experience both happiness and commercial success from his work, but probably because he never tried too hard or compromised to achieve the latter.