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This week The[Crafty]Gamer features Donna Pike from the U.K. Donna, also known as "Arcade Artist", has a collection of retroactive pieces that turn contemporary games such as Half-Life and Resident Evil into 8-bit masterpieces. Classic games are thrown in the mix as well. Read on to learn about Donna and check out her awesome paintings, magnets, and more.
The[Crafty]Gamer: Donna Pike (a.k.a. Arcade Artist)
Hometown: Somerset in Southwest U.K.
Occupation: I’m actually lucky enough to work on my art full-timeCreation: Retroactive Art
Tell us about your work. What’s the inspiration behind it?Ever since I was a kid I've always been fascinated with video games. Being a fan of old school games I figured it'd be cool to pare down the classics to their bare essentials and transform them into 8-bit versions. This is where the Retroactive series of magnets came from and also my new Resident Evil painting Los Illuminados (first image above).
How much time do these pieces take to create?My paintings take 50 hours to paint on average. The Los Illuminados piece I made recently for the Child's Play Charity auction took well over 50 hours to paint, but it also takes a lot of time to design the pixel art. It raised $1,000 for the charity! I was so pleased that something I'd made could encourage such a generous donation.
For the retroactive magnet sets, a lot of hard work goes into designing the sprites. I have to make sure I capture the essence of a character in 8-bit where every pixel counts! Each set also includes a collectable card of how the 8-bit game's retro box art might have looked, this always takes some time.
Is your work available for purchase anywhere? If so, where and how much?I sell my paintings, beadsprites and keyrings direct through Etsy where prices start from $4.50. I also take commission requests through e-mail. Commissions generally start from around $200, but it varies depending on size and complexity. Some of my bead sprites will also soon be available through the Supercombo website.
Any other information you’d like to share about yourself (your background in arts/crafts? favorite games? etc.)?I’ve always loved all aspects of art and design. After high school I went to art college, but found it hard to pin down exactly what I wanted to specialize in. That's why I eventually went into animation. It meant I could do a bit of everything and this has carried into my work today.
Favorite games is a tough one, rather than a long list here are just a few highlights: Burger Time, Pac-Man (of course), Mario Kart, and adventure games like the Gabriel Knight series (especially fun to play with a friend).
Any Web links to other work?There's more about my paintings and commissions on Arcade Art or you can catch me on flickr. I must just mention that I'm currently selling limited edition canvas prints of Los Illuminados through Etsy with 50% of the profits going to the Child's Play Charity.
The[Crafty]Gamer is currently looking for entries. Take a look at the Submission Guidelines or for more information (or to send tips) e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.