I can't find the original image for this, but I can find the tutorial that I followed to a t.
The first pixelart character I created that I have on my computer was in April 2013. There may have been others before that, but I cant really find them. I started doing pixelart on a regular basis in January 2016.
It's fun to see the progression between following a tutorial religiously and just spinning something out without references. Looking forward to seeing where this continues in the future.