An experimental journey
This time we bring Elena Nazarenko to the blog, better known as Nazaire. Elena is from Latvia and has been working in Coldwild Games for the last 6 years. Apart from loving all forms of escapism,
such a reading books, watching movies or playing games, she is also a fantastic pixel artist.
What's your first memory of Pixel Art?
First time I came across the notion of pixelart in 2015, when I was preparing some marketing materials for a local multigenre convention.
"Right now I’m into “oily”, less polished textures, with higher colour count."
When and how did you end up making Pixel Art professionally?
It’s kinda hard to pinpoint the moment when it stopped being an experiment and became a profession. Maybe with my first freelance projects tho. I started making pixelart when my friend showed me a pixelart course on udemy made by Marco Vale. I was a student at that time (2017), and I wasn’t working, so I decided to give it a try. Then we started to make games, but it was more of experimenting. Later, when I felt a bit more confident, I started to take freelance jobs, at the same time my friend established a company, and I was given an official position.
How would you describe your Pixel Art style?
Ugh, that’s a tough one :D I think I don’t have any style, or I haven’t found it yet. It’s always changing. It differs mostly project to project. I also like to experiment, and try out different things. Well, I can say that right now I’m into “oily”, less polished textures, with higher colour count.
What sort of pixel art content are you creating the most (scenarios, characters, assets…)?
Most I guess is game art, quite unspecified because for a long time I was the only artist in the studio, who needed to make all of that. Apart from that I prefer making landscapes or some kinds of dioramas and characters.
What software/s do you use?
Which of your creations was the biggest challenge and can you tell us why?
I think it was Merchant of the Skies, because I have set a very particular style and needed to match it throughout all sprites. I can’t say I’ve done it 100%, but I am satisfied with the result.
You have also created art for games like ‘Merchant of the Skies’ and ‘Luna’s Fishing Garden’.
How was your experience creating assets for such beautiful games?
It was challenging and awesome. I am extremely happy with both projects.
"Study art basics, like lines, shapes, colour theory, composition, perspective."
Do you use a particular color palette? Which one?
No, I don't. I make my own palettes.
Can you tell us the artist/s that you admire the most? (from any discipline)
Oh that is quite impossible to name them all. First who come to my mind are Andrew Mar, Tommi Laurila, Thomas Feichtmeir, illufinch and 6VCR.
What advice would you give to other artists who are starting in the world of pixel art?
Analyze and study other artists' works. Get a pen tablet and learn hotkeys :D. Study art basics, like lines, shapes, colour theory, composition, perspective. If you can find a mentor, do it, I think it speeds up the process. Even if that is a 1h session in a month, if a person can point out your strong and weak points - it will make a difference. I wish someone has told me about colour shifting ages ago :D
What’s your favourite pixel art game and why?
Oh no :D Well funny enough its Stardew Valley and Terraria, but both not for their art :D Other games which in my opinion have a fantastic pixelart I haven’t really tried out because I’m not much into their genres :D
Question made by Merrigo: Working in pixel art initially came with a lot of restrictions as a product of its time. Do you find sticking to any kind of restrictions in your work helps or hinders your creative process?
It actually can work both ways for me. But in general I think it helps more than hinders, because I need to find different, nontrivial solutions. Actually, either way is fine, because both provide different possibilities which I feel curious to explore.
We hope that you liked reading about . Share with your friends, like and comment below! More artists & developers coming soon 😉
-- If you want to know more about Nazaire --