8-bit Stories elicited an immediate emotional response when I first discovered it. The meme-esque images 8-bit creates can be heartbreaking or inspiring, but all seem to provide a human connection through pixelated art. Whether it be the nostalgic properties, the heartfelt messages or just the overall visual of the pieces, 8-bit Stories has created something viscerally important. Suffering from depression, 8-bit Stories managed to pull through and continue to create. As a creator still experiencing and learning to share my own art, 8-bit Stories provided motivation not to give up. 8-bit prefers to be unknown in terms of name and location, so it was an honor speaking to this reserved artist.
Exploring Pixel Art
ComicsVerse: What inspired your pixel/digital style of art?
8-bit Stories: Initially, everything was a matter of familiarity. Since I played Nintendo when I was a kid, seeing game screenshots online brought back something nostalgic in me and I decided to play with it. Plus, the 8-bit based pixel art’s simplicity gives a lot of freedom to modify it and allows you to create fantastic things if you really have the patience to go through this whole process of modification.
CV: How would you describe your creative process? What programs/methods do you use?
8-bit: I always use Photoshop CC. I give a lot of praise to this program in general because it is a wondrous application that allowed me to evolve the project [8-bit Stories] and keeps evolving it to this day. To explain, from a project of simple NES screenshots accompanied with sentimental musings, I managed to make unique thematic collages, ranging from surreal space imagery to distant fantasy worlds. All of this done by cropping, editing and pasting a lot of game images into one artwork. Doing this art allows me to escape from my daily problems for a little while.
The Influence of Comics
CV: Do comics have any influence on your designs? You create single images, but I can’t help feel they relate especially with words added?
8-bit: I used to read a lot of comics when I was young. I was especially obsessed with Lucky Luke and Mr. Men and Little Miss from Roger Hargreaves when I was very young. Now, I can’t really say I’m influenced by any kind of comics but many of those background artworks found in many of them, including the words you mentioned, have this similar concept.
CV: Your work conveys a lot of personal reflection and vulnerability. Have you always felt comfortable expressing this or is the art your outlet?
8-bit: I’d say it’s the second probably [art as an outlet] it’s more about expressing other peoples’ feelings rather than my own. In my personal life, I’ve become a very cold and distant individual due to many unfortunate events and thus, I struggle to connect with people. Fortunately, the page has created this connection with many people from the outside and I’m starting to have this warm feeling that there are always good people that can bring your good self out. This surely had an impact on me cause I’ve changed the concept a bit and my words became more humane and nostalgic.
Art Being Therapeutic
CV: Is creating art therapeutic even when you are particularly down and depressed? What has kept you motivated to create?
8-bit: I find it impossible to create when I’m in a bad mood. I’m always making art when I’m feeling motivated and ready to give my whole being and potential to it. And, fortunately, I have had enough motivation to keep on doing this. It’s the world with humanity as a part of it, the cosmos and the stars, and the questions of existence that will probably remain unanswered and most importantly, the sadness in us. All and all, this project is a vehicle to explore the strange world of human mind and heart.
CV: Do you feel any responsibility to continue to create such beautiful heartfelt messages being so outspoken and honest with depression, love, and life, especially with the following you amassed?
8-bit: Yeah, I certainly do. I don’t know, but I feel obliged to post at least daily and answer all of those sweet, sentimental messages I receive from people all over the world. I feel like I owe to the peoples’ support – a lot.
CV: Are you surprised by the support you’ve gotten or just the following in general?
8-bit: I am and I’m happy it is growing. This support is actually the factor that gave rise to my latest works. To be honest, I wouldn’t let myself express like I want if it wasn’t for the hundreds of messages I received a month ago. It was a day so black that I almost decided to take a permanent hiatus. But people reminded me of the power of human connection – empowering one another is a rare thing in our days and I’m thankful for that.
CV: How long did it take for you to notice that your work was making an impact?
8-bit: Ah, I’m not quite sure. Maybe towards the end of 2016? I really can’t tell hehe.
The Future of 8-bit Stories
CV: Where do you see these pieces going? Do you like them as is, or do you look to evolve in style, format etc.?
8-bit: I’m happy with the project and the pieces are pretty awesome the way they are now. I love making digital collages of pixel art since last October. It was an idea I had when I was really bored and tried something different for a change. So I took an image of a girl playing basketball and added a big moon behind the courtyard. People found it strange and cute so I’m still doing the same concept since then, keep evolving my knack on it and experimenting with surreal imagery. As I said above, all of this, is a form of escapism both for me and the people that browse my social media, but, who knows? It may or may not change at all. The only thing for sure is that the main format will be the same.
Follow 8-bit Stories on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr. Support them on Patreon! They post pieces almost daily. 8-bit Stories is also the creator of Mitsuyuki Art which is just like 8-bit stories without words.