Things I Miss: Pixel Art

‘Things I Miss’ is an occasional segment on my blog about things that I miss. It could include places I have been, things I bought as a child, things I used to do, things that have become obsolete or are no longer produced like old television shows, foods, toys, and the like. Other posts in this segment are under the Things I Miss category.

Today is James’s birthday, happy birthday James! ♥️

A while ago, Cat asked me if I miss my previous websites. Of course I do. I don’t miss them for their quality, really, because my skill in graphic design was extremely basic, and I built things in MS Paint. The reason for this was because my website was mostly centred around pixel art and I didn’t really need anything fancier to paint with.

My pixel art was not very good, but I think that is mostly what I set foot in. I was terrible at designing a website, and I would use crappy backgrounds and photographs, but I did try to use my own photos and personalise my website as much as possible. Pixel art just became a thing I did on the side, and a small section of my website (merely a page or two) was dedicated to the sub-hobby.

Some old pixel art pieces I made
Some old pixel art pieces I made

This is a very old website layout I created in about 2005, based on simple lines and 88×31 pixel buttons that were popular around the time. I pixelled little robots and I made the entire layout look like a rail network, even though the scaling is extremely off. If some of the stations are marked out by the large buttons, I have no idea what the little rectangles are supposed to be…

The names printed are the names of my friends whose websites I linked to. The content of the website appeared in the centre box, and yes, for those avid web designers out there, I did use iframes for the site’s build at the time.

Out The Window version 9, Terminal
Out The Window version 9, Terminal

It was around 2007, the time I moved from a freeserver to being hosted by my friend Bennilyn, that I stopped building “cute” websites and became more focused on a blog. I stopped making cute pixel icons, and this layout was the last large piece of pixel art work that I created.

It is a bit off, and you can tell my style changes and deteriorates a bit. Some of my older pixel work had a lot of effort put into making them shine and look more realistic, and my more recent work became simpler and bland. The notes on this notebook were created long before I drew the actual notebook.

Out The Window version 28, Notebook
Out The Window version 28, Notebook

I noticed my style was changing, and that I was not putting as much effort into my art as I had before. Around the time, I focused on blogging, and my designs became more photography-based and utilised a lot of textures and adopted a scrapbook-like style.

The next time I did touch pixel art, it was to make the smilies that used to be available for download on my blog.

Old smilies I created that I allowed people to download
Old smilies I created that I allowed people to download

I no longer have the patience for pixel art, nor the skill. I tried, but I cannot really progress and draw anything better than simple circles, squares and other shapes. Picking colours and shading is a massive pain in the backside. I tried using a graphics tablet to help me out but I couldn’t be bothered.

That being said, I do miss the days when I was able to do pixel art, didn’t make a fuss, and people actually liked what I drew.

If I ever go back to anything, it will be the smilies, which I had many ideas for.

But other than that, I don’t think it’s something I see as worth my time anymore. Which is kinda sad, but I have found other things to occupy my time with.

Comments on this post

I no longer have the patience for pixel art, nor the skill. I tried, but I cannot really progress and draw anything better than simple circles, squares and other shapes.

I’ve only ever made a single pixel art layout, and that was version 1.5 of my site. I don’t have a screenshot handy at the moment, but I suppose if I ever do a write-up of my old site designs or something, I’ll be sure to put one up.

Suffice it to say that I do not do pixel art anymore. Out the Window version 9 is way better than NOVALISTIC 1.5 :P

I can remember looking at your pixels and thinking they were so awesome (still do). It is kind of a weird thing to like. Even a simple thing can take a bit of time and if you are not creating them for some purpose it can seem kind of pointless. I like to make them as free avatars and smilies so they can be used an I do enjoy it. I can see how you would outgrow it though. I am sure if you did make some new things they would be cool. deviantART has a lot of tutorials available! :D

I remember your smilies! I think I even recognise a few names on your layout based on iframes as well, which reminds me of the pixel community with the whole “affie” affair a couple of years back. Pixel art can be very time-consuming, and as Kya said, I understand how a person can outgrow it. You have other priorities now compared to when you were a wee teen, I imagine.
In a way, I’m glad you focused on your blogging, because I enjoy visiting your blog from time to time. This post was quite nostalgic, I have to admit.

Good times, good times…I used to have one of those sites too. I still have my adoptables, scribbles, and CG vectors! Never forget those moments when we used I-Frames. My goodness, I almost forgot that I used that until you reminded me! Now we’re just using WP. xD So.Much.Nostalgia!!!

Your pixel art is so cute! I never had the patience nor skill for pixel art. I always liked viewing other people’s pixel art instead :) I remember coding a lot of my sites in iframes. That was before learning how to do PHP, so iframes were the easy way to have the navigation shared across the site in one file. I like that you still have screenshots of your old works! I think it’s fun to look back on things we used to make :)

You and me both. I still make pixel art every now and then, I love the medium too much to quit it, but I miss the golden days when half the internet (or so it seemed anyway) used pixel graphics. Now it’s just used for games and a few enthusiasts. :(

Love that rail design! Must have been amazing to navigate, like a puzzle, haha! XD And now I remember how all layouts used to have version numbers too. Wouldn’t that be fun to implement again? I must be on like version 4682.7 by now.

Pixel art is really popular in online trading card games. Sometimes it’s in the cards, but most of the time it’s in the currency. The shading portion really is a huge pain. @_@

The first large piece of pixel art (the terminal) is amazing! I wouldn’t have had that kind of patience to ever design something like that. :p I think I’m one of the few people who never used iframes — I could never figure them out, and I only learned what they were when I realized others’ navigation and that it made the navigation work all weirdly.

I do miss the cutesy pixel-y stuffs. :p

Wow!! I actually really love all the stuff you made. I never got into pixel art, I wasn’t that talented with it, but you made some lovely stuff! Those layouts are actually extremely adorable, how long did it take for you to design/draw them? I’m so impressed!! You should make some more pixel stuff sometime, Georgie ;)