I love how, each week, artist Kristof Saelen takes on a theme and then creates these mini-pixel characters to fit within it. Such a simple yet fun concept.
I reached out to Kristof to ask him a few questions about this project:
What's your background?
I have been working as a designer since 2001. Mainly focusing on the web but also doing some print.
What was your inspiration?
As a product of the 80s, I feel nostalgic about a lot of stuff from that era. Including the old computer games like King's Quest, Indiana Jones and Leisure Suit Larry. I've always been fascinated by the way real life elements can be represented in a very small miniature size.
How did you come up with the concept?
Back in 2003 or so, when the company I work for asked me to design their new business cards, I thought it would be fun to draw a pixel version of each employee. It was my first challenge to create tiny but recognizable faces. While new people came in over the years, I maintained to create a pixel version for all of them.
A few months ago when they announced that Michael Jackson had passed away, and as a fan of his music, I wanted to make a (literally) small tribute to him. My first VIP had been pixelated.
What kind of attention has it received?
Before the idea of creating Very Important Pixels as a standalone website, I posted my pixel guys on Flickr. I was surprised to see the number of views they got on the first days and decided to make another batch, and another… While the success kept going, the actual site was launched in August 2009. It was amazing to see how fast it got spread on Twitter and appeared on blogs all over the world.
What do you hope people will get out of it?
A good laugh and possibly some inspiration.
What's coming up next?
An important part of VIPs is the surprise effect so I don't want to give away too much up front! But there are a few ideas on how the pixel guys can be applied to other forms besides blog posts, framed prints and t-shirts. And of course, a new set of VIPs is in the pipeline as we speak!
Which one is your favorite?