"Susan Kare, the artist who gave computing human face"
The very first pixel artist is unknown but was a Xerox Corporation employee. THIS image shows the very first true pixel art. After Apple bought the OS to develop the first MacOS, it was Susan Kare who led the creative team that developed the icons we all know today and is credited as the first pixel artist.
So now you know!
*Some links and copy added by jalonso since iLLke's original submission was lacking a little back info.*