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. =)