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Squid's Pixelart

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Hello, it's me, Squid

my favourite pastime is to imagine things, but sometimes that's not enough, and so I draw, or compose, or film. or edit, or model etc.

I'm sort of a jack-of-all trades in terms of art, not really specialising in anything and doing OK at a few things. One thing I've been getting into is pixelart, which is loosely described as a digital drawing where every individual pixel has been placed with purpose and no anti-aliasing (auto-blur/blend) has been used at any point. It's a nice, quick form I think, so it allows me to quickly 'sketch' an idea I've had in relatively good quality.

If you'd like to know where I come from thematically here is a little breakdown;



I grew up with Star Wars - the originals on TV and the prequel coming out in cinemas. The Star Wars universe I still consider the best ever conceived, and the astonishingly detailed 'used-future' of George Lucas is to me the golden standard of universe creation (Blade runner ties into this, I consider it another pinnacle of used-future and of sci-fi in general). My belief in a used-future was augmented by reading Isacc Asimov, which has forced me to always ask for a used, working future. After Star Wars came the logical next step: Indiana Jones. This is my No.1 favourite series in terms of aesthetic, the browns and whites, the gorgeous costumes and the mind blowing music all fuse to form a masterpiece. If Star Wars is the foundation of my style, Indiana Jones is the infrastructure, the piping and electrical cables.

I still love modern Hollywood movies - such as Oblivion or Exodus; Gods and Kings - but my cultural focus has shifted to that obscure art form; vidya games.

I've played many games but generally stay away from multiplayer titles, I don't like that they always breed competition (which I'm adverse to). My creative juices have been altered by the great 90's single player games; system shock, deus ex, half life, etc, while my ideals for what games should be capable of have been set high from the early days of Minecraft.

Fallout 3 and NV are my second favourite games ever, the fallout universe being a recent, massive influence on my themes. I find that my current theme is altered by whatever I'm playing at the time, Skyrim, the Bioshock games (which still affect me emotionally though their settings and music), Anno 2070, Tropico etc.

My early game experience was with RTS's - Age of Empires, Rise of Nations, Warlords Battlecry, Tiberian Sun - which slotted neatly into my growing fixation with apocalyptic and cyberpunk visions -, Red Alert 2, and my next major artistic idol: Rise of Legends. This game is my No.1 favourite of all time, not for its gameplay (which was only really decent), but for its universe and art. This game got me into steampunk (sort of - I loath the modern scene-punk where people dress up Victorian and wave nerf guns at each other) as an art form, and really kickstarted my fascination with the industrial, as well as bleak natural landscapes.

This fascination with landscape has been aggravated twice in recent memory: visiting the southern island of New Zealand, which is breathtaking beyond words; in a fantasy way (wildflowers grow by the street), and my trip into Outback Australia, which is barren and apocalyptic. The land in general is a major focus for me, as humans work to shape and form the landscapes, they also work to form us - people from a desert are naturally different to those who live atop peaks.

While the foundation of my style may be firmly set in place, what forms the walls and really keep me going is music. It sounds a bit stereotypical but I can't be travelling without my earphones and I can't be at my computer without background music. Music is the art form of sound, the engagement of the imagination and emotions via moving waves of air. I play Trombone (just passably) and compose infrequently, but always listen to music.

I try to seek out music with a purpose behind it, a strong sense or feeling it is trying to get in your head. Generally I'll be listening to soundtracks (both game and movie), - which are designed to compliment visual scenes, but work sometimes better on their own - or orchestral. My years of Trombone have left me partial to big band or jazz music too...

Some favourite soundtracks of mine are, surprise surprise, from my inspirations, Bioshock (all of them), Fallout (all of them), Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Ender's Game etc.

Music is the ultimate force that sparks my imagination, all throughout my film and television studies I always placed the music down first, and edited the video to match the tempo and timbre of the sounds.

You may have noticed a theme in my favourite works - that theme is retro-futurism.

I'm not yet sure why, but my absolute favourite theme to work in is history, or specifically, a different history. Games such as Bioshock 1 or 2, set in a alternative art-deco underwater city, Fallout, set in a 1950's version of the 2100's, or Rise of Legends, set in a steam powered renaissance world; these are my favourite.

Older films or games also managed this inadvertently, Tiberian Sun is a 1990's future.

Thanks for having a read, if you're interested in any of the same things, post here, we can have chat :)


I try to get as many pictures done as I can to work on my ability, so if you have any requests please fire away!

As a quick aside to all the purists out there, while many of these pictures are true pixelarts there are some that are not. I have used gradients or transparency tools on some of these pictures - often for backgrounds. You should be able to tell which are which :p







































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Also, if you don't mind, I'd like to see a recreation of my avatar, but with a smoking battlefield and a pile of bodies.


This may take a little time, but I'll get on it after the above :)


Hey Squid, I still love your pixelart work.

If you ever feel like continuing on HeroesX or actually starting a real time strategy game, I'm up for it!


Thanks :)

If you've got anything for me to work on, I'll be happy to!

I don't know about spriting a whole game, I could do textures but drawing hundreds of animated sprites for infantry might be a tad over my limits :stare:

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Awesome! Thanks Squid!

No problem :)


Remarkable work. Thank you, Squids!

There's only one of me, but thanks :)


I think that obtaining a pixel-art avatar from Master Squid should be a requirement to join this forum :D


I had noticed that basically all requests are for avatars...



Here's a small little art-y thingy




I'm going away next week and won't have any computer access so if you have anything you want quickly you've got about 24 hours!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lol that's awesome squid... What software do you use?


If you say ms paint I'll come and personally high five you wherever you are. if not, well done anyway, your art is amazing.


Just read your blurb and it's nice to see someone else interested in retro-futurism. There's something about it that captures the imagination. Those 1950s sci fi movies, and their idea of the future is fascinating.

Edited by Shnappz
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Thank you everyone!


Lol that's awesome squid... What software do you use?

If you say ms paint I'll come and personally high five you wherever you are. if not, well done anyway, your art is amazing.

Just read your blurb and it's nice to see someone else interested in retro-futurism. There's something about it that captures the imagination. Those 1950s sci fi movies, and their idea of the future is fascinating.



It's paint.net - a free program that's sort of a midpoint between photoshop and ms paint. Thanks for being interested in my blurb! I have a book called 'future transport' from the early 60's that's full of bizarre claims for how a person in the distant 2000's might travel around; things like personal flying saucers, nuclear car, tiny planes, moving sidewalks etc. It would have been an interesting world to live in!

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retro-futurism. There's something about it that captures the imagination. Those 1950s sci fi movies, and their idea of the future is fascinating.


Reminds me of the twilight zone! I could watch shows / movies that fit in this niche all day!

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Well I was thinking a camo'd general. Idk just be awesome and make art at the same time :)


Or better yet, ask him lol. Since I kinda....didn't :p I just wanted to see what you would come up with honestly. I like your stuff!


Well if Generalcamo wants one himself I'll be happy to give it a go!


I spent a week up at the beach with some mates but unfortunately a cyclone struck and we spent a few days stuck indoors. Luckily someone brought an Xbone and the Halo collection so we played a few tournaments, and that's why this guy I drew is pretty much a Halo Spartan...



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