Pixel Artist - Fool

You all know who he is…  Fool. He recently killed the monthly top by getting 5 out of 10 trophies, and will probably make a killing again for last month.  He is a master at animating, and in his short year of pixeling, has become a legend of sorts.

He is 43, and was born in Moscow, Russia.  He moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1990, where he is currently working as a violin maker/luthier.

I recently had a chance to interview him, and I jumped at the opportunity.


PJ (Ensellitis):  What got you started in pixel art?
Fool: A friend of mine had talked me in to it. I had been involved in a car crash around then and had my leg in bandages, all that fun stuff with a drain pipes sticking out - and couldn't really do anything else so I tried pixeling and eventually get addicted to it for good.

PJ: That sucks!  How long have you been pixeling?
Fool: For a little over a year, that unfortunate event took place last thanksgiving.

PJ: So how did you discover Pixel Joint?
Fool: Sedgemonkey invited me over.

PJ: Yeah, he is not only admin, but a recruiter as well.  So, what inspires you?
Fool: I don't think I have an answer to this one, it happens somehow... Like an itch or something. Probably when working on project it somehow helps me out.

PJ: What pixel artists inspire you?
Fool: Oh man, whom should I start with?  =) There is a small army of artists amassing here - Ptoing, Pkmays, big brother, Helm, bulought, Lawrence, The B.O.B, Larwick, jalonso, Mirre, somebody stop me - there are a lot more.)) I think I've stolen a bit from each in technique or paletting or other things. Well, except from Helm - it very hard to steal something you not able to lift up, his understanding of colors still makes me feel like a fool.(I wonder why =)). Besides that, I'm studying every piece in Pixel Joint which in one way or another interests me, not matter on the artist's level, spending time on doll makers forums - I eat pretty much everything I like and could digest.

PJ: Did you get any schooling for art?
Fool: No, I used to draw in kindergarten - a lot, less in school. Later in life I took private lessons in watercolor and oil media, but successfully failed all - that's about it.

PJ: What are some of your major artistic influences outside of pixel art?
Fool: I guess closest to visual art, it would be wood carving.

PJ: What do you find hardest to do while pixeling?
Fool: Coloring. I still don't get it how all the values work, most of the time my work with palettes reminds of side dancing with a shaman's tambourine. =)

PJ: What is your favorite thing to pixel?
Fool: It all pretty much new to me, still learning to try things that seem to be interesting or challenging. Most of it probably is character design.

PJ: How would you describe your style of pixeling?
Fool: I don't know, I've never thought of it. Maybe - whatever came out? =)

PJ: Have you ever made any game graphics?
Fool: Yes, that friend of mine I mentioned before is a game coder, so that’s what I began with. I made 3 game graphic sets for the mobile platform, but none of them had been published and all of it is held up in coding right now – He has some tough turns on life's road. The other two game projects are in working progress - for mobile and pc platforms.  I did some freelancing work, but not much, very few projects - I have to do it after work which is sometimes exhausting, especially if the project is rushing up.
PJ: Were you surprised at all the trophies you received?
Fool: I guess so; I'm not quite familiar yet with all the fun stuff in here.
PJ: Your animation skills are just amazing, what are the steps do you take when making one?
Fool: When I get a visual - the rest just a technical. Cutting it down into pieces and work on each part separately - it's easier to get control over the process this way (well, it works for me, but I’m not pro - all my experience on animation comes from emoticons, which was huge fun for awhile).  Then put already animated pieces together and make it work as a whole. Some times I use a rough pencil sketch underneath, just to guide it, sometimes - just go as it appears in my head, adding pieces and changing moves on a fly. That's usually more fun, but also - good chance to screw up. =) If I can't see damn thing moving - I’m totally blind and helpless if that what you call a skill.

PJ: And what program do you use to do all that?
Fool: Adobe Photoshop and image ready - those programs were on my first computer so I have been sticking with them since.  I tried other programs, but I don't know much about that stuff either and all the differences in tools, and being located in other places just to make life interesting looking for it.=)  But that would based on personal preferences, I guess.

PJ: That is an excellent process.  Any tips to the new pixelers out there to get them started in the right direction?
Fool: Do not go for the style thing right away, study the basics.  Learn from the best, perhaps. Over at PixelJoint and Pixelation, there are a lot of talented and highly skilled artists, who are willing to help.  Just try listening to what they have to say and put some effort in your work could to get a solid step up. Of course I'm wrong example here - I’m missing a lot of knowledge, but still trying to catch-up.

PJ: Thank you for your time, is there anything else you would like to add?
Fool: I could, but I don't know what. =)

Posted by Ensellitis @ 2/11/2007 12:50  |    42


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Neela (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 3/26/2012 11:31

You have a real gift for pixel art. I don't even think you could create something ugly even if you tried. =) 

Mathias (Level 6 Garbage) @ 10/18/2011 03:39

@ Riva    Haha!

neuryel1314 (Level 1 Rookie) @ 9/25/2011 12:03


Scarodactyl (Level 8 Marshal) @ 4/4/2011 20:00

Man, if his art looks like this, and it isn't even his main profession, I wonder what his violins look like?

Riva (Level 6 Commander) @ 3/11/2011 11:32

I cant really say you are an inspiation for myself
One - I cant seem to learn squat from you. and not that Im not tryin :)
Two - for an artist who has his art as a job, like me, its really depressive and dreadful that somebody so much better (and probably also faster) exists.
Oh well, its time to move on and become a php programmer or goldsmith :)

Come on, create a video capture of your work on next piece, so I can hang myself :D

arkan-ark (Level 1 Rookie) @ 3/5/2011 02:41

dude you are awesome - and 1 year?! WOW 0.O

Ergg (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 7/6/2010 08:12

 I hope you continue pixel-art one day...

Celri (Level 4 Ensign) @ 6/24/2009 06:07

Yours was the first pixel art I was ever shown!  You are totally my yardstick - thanks for making such beautiful works for us all to enjoy

taquito143 (Level 5 Killer Klown) @ 4/19/2008 00:57
So talented, so young and so modest!... you're cool artist.. i admire you! (translated text =S)

Larwick (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 10/24/2007 08:53
Pah, you're too modest.

Fool (Level 6 SWAT) @ 10/24/2007 01:41
Thanks guys for kind words=)
Guts, sure=)

Fool (Level 6 SWAT) @ 10/24/2007 01:39
Dogmeat, thanks, man, for the words of confidence, most of the time i have no clue what i'm doing or saying.=))

Fool (Level 6 SWAT) @ 10/24/2007 01:38
Lar, there is no reason to get excited, it's not like you've been mentioned  in rich dude's last will.

Larwick (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 8/23/2007 17:28
OMG i just realised i was mentioned here again. So awesome.

rats (Level 1 Gangster) @ 5/10/2007 06:58
Fool you are just too good .

Guts (Level 2 Corporal) @ 4/12/2007 07:27
I love your works ! Can I use your animated dog as an avatar on some forum ? Thanks.

cerealkiller54 (Level 6 Made) @ 2/28/2007 21:59
Fool is teh roxxorz! lol.

PlasticOrchard (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/15/2007 22:02
you must be really modest. What an artist, everything looks incredible!

Icon (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/13/2007 13:22
Fool, your work is amazing.  You really are an inspiration for us all.  Keep it up.

jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 2/12/2007 16:30
shut up young'ns

Opacus (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 2/12/2007 15:15
You got a point there...hormones >,<
haha, no, Jalonso is not 70 :P The B.O.B is joking...I hope :E

Afflict (Level 4 Lieutenant) @ 2/12/2007 11:11
Congrats Fool! You deserve it your art is amazing! I think your an inspiration to all of us!

Fool (Level 6 SWAT) @ 2/12/2007 06:13
Here we go - my moment of fame=)( Is any medal does with it?=))
And not so much corrections in my english wich is totally surprising=) Thanks, Ens.=)

Skeddles, it wasn't broken, just some  riped tissues - go easy on yourself=))

Ensellitis, my "fool" is not about being stupid or smart or anything social at all, it's more a way of life...Closest probably would be a tarot card meaning. No way I could explain this in english, but i'm trying to fit the whole concept of fool's way in to my game project for pc i'm workin on.=)

7even, it is actually more true than it could sounds=) - whatever i'm doing relays mostly on feeling than on knowledge, wich makes me one-leged sort of speaking. Ideally knowledge should back up curiosity and intuition, otherwise results are unpredictable  since the judgment of right and wrong might be messed up very easily.

Jalonso, Is that really so what The B.O.B yellowpressed about  you?=) if it is - just amasing, kind of giving me hope - i still got time.=)

Mykola, that makes two of us - talking about rational explanations=))

Opacus, it not a phisical time that counts, I think it 's more about intense and involvement. Let say, in my present stage of life not so many social event are doing on, lesser hormone attacks free up my mind resources a bit more futher and so on. What is time really?=))

Chrone, spasibo (with a german accent=))

Raynoa, I'm not sure about perfect - i've seen better=)) Most of the time i don't like labors of my work against the work of other artists, probably because i stear too much at it diring working process. =)

Thank you very much, all you guys, for  the kind words, I'm really touched.=)

raynoa (Level 5 Soldier) @ 2/12/2007 02:24
Man, you really deserve featuring, and your artwork is great  example of perfect pixeling =)

Chrone (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 2/12/2007 01:02
Fool rules. Molodetcz'! ;)

rabidbaboy (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 2/12/2007 00:48

Darn fast learners...

At this rate, you'd be flooded by game companies in a little over six months.

buloght (Level 6 Centaur) @ 2/11/2007 23:54
Yes, Fool is an inspiration, I share B.O.B.'s opinion.

Opacus (Level 7 Ichikyu) @ 2/11/2007 23:52
1year??!! I now officially hate you.

Mykola (Level 3 Corporate Drone) @ 2/11/2007 23:16
Yeah.. Fool makes the most intricate ever pieces and animations look easy. I just can't get a rational explanation for what he's doing.

The B.O.B. (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 2/11/2007 22:14
Jalonso IS 70 years old

Oh, and true, Fool is probably the best pixel artist to grace this website yet. I consider it an honor to even be mentioned in this interview. Can't wait to see more of this fellow's art in the future!

jalonso (Level 11 Godfather) @ 2/11/2007 21:35
So talented, and so young.

Shawn (Level 9 Federal Agent) @ 2/11/2007 20:06
You were already one of the greatest spriters around but for only one god damn year, you're just amazing. o_o

7even (Level 9 T-rex) @ 2/11/2007 19:51

"Of course I'm wrong example here - I’m missing a lot of knowledge, but still trying to catch-up."
Now that's a big lie XD

Fool certainly is a reference to anyone here.

Ensellitis (Level 11 Sensei) @ 2/11/2007 19:47
hell yeah...  his name may be fool, but he sure aint no fool :P

it has been a pleasure talking to him.  it is pretty obvious by all his responses, but he is not only a great pixeler, but a great person as well.  not to mention modest as all hell XD

Zhou (Level 1 Rookie) @ 2/11/2007 19:35

Only a year?


OMGFossil (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 2/11/2007 18:07
theres a lot of evil in this world

but with people like fool i think we'll be okay

Larwick (Level 8 Regional Boss) @ 2/11/2007 17:19

That was a fantastic interview! Lovely to hear some cool stuff about Fool. And omg my name was mentioned, my ego's just gone sky high..


Quait (Level 1 Gangster) @ 2/11/2007 17:17
those pixels are disgustingly good.

i've been pixeling for a while, longer than a year. and after reading this, i feel so... retarded?

i dunno. practice, i suppose, is the key...

skeddles (Level 11 Sphinx) @ 2/11/2007 16:28
i wish i was that good! quick, someone break my leg!

khorin (Level 3 Enforcer) @ 2/11/2007 16:10

It's definitely inspiring to see (great and beautiful) work from someone new to pixel art especially to a newbie like me.

Badassbill (Level 11 Psychopath) @ 2/11/2007 16:03
Fool definatly is fantastic at what he does. And only 1 year in the making? Wow.

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