P1x3lboy Interview

“Sunset in Paradise #3” by P1x3lboy

Who are you?

I’m a creative coder living in Liverpool, England with my wife and two kids. I have an MSc in Computer Science coding Java, and neural networks and come from an artistic family. I have worked in data, technology and marketing for most of my career.

When did you start making art?

This goes right back to when I was nine, making pixel art on my Amstrad CPU 6128. This advanced to making rt and even my own front-end operating system for my BBC B computer at the age of 11, before my mind was blown when receiving a Commodore Amiga 500 with Deluxe Paint 2 for my 13th birthday. My walls were filled from top to toe with full-page images and adverts for computer games from the latest game magazines.

I used to recreate these images using Deluxe Paint 2 and went on from there making Amiga demoscene style animations, graphic designing and coding for fun mostly. I have worked in web development in a number of job roles and started making generative art back in 2020.

“Smiley Bubbles” by P1x3lboy

How did you hear about Tezos?

I had heard mention of H=n fairly early on. But at first, I was a little skeptical of it. Initially, I started as a collector after seeing work from people like @eddietree back in July 2021. It was a month later that I thought it was time to list some of the pico-8 works I had created. I was overwhelmed by the response so started to study p5.

Your Genesis mint on FxHash was “Globlins”. What is the story behind this project?

Back in September, I set up a second HEN account “Eyecandy” which was to show some of the p5 works I had made. One of the works is a precursor to Globlins, featuring squares continually appearing on a screen that is responsive to screen size. When I heard about FXHash I wanted to get a project on there as soon as I could, as I realized the potential the site had. Just creating different color palettes didn’t seem exciting enough, so I decided to feature differing amounts of rounded edges and eye sizes and project #100 “Globins” was born.

“Globlins #1” by P1x3lboy

Treasured quilt is a very colorful and tactile work. What was the process of creating this?

The gap between Beta and 1.0 versions of FXHash came at a great time for me. I had had a lot of fun creating the types of projects that I like making such as the Runemakers and had a chance to see how each type of my work was received. With the 1.0 version imminent I suspected there would be a renewed interest in the platform, so I knew I needed to raise my game going into 1.0 if I was to produce an outstanding piece. So I spent more or less two weeks tweaking this grid project to get it exactly how I wanted. This included painstakingly whittling down palettes from approximately 50 to 20. Each square on the quilt features one of three colors, plus gaps showing the background, all of which can have varying degrees of rotation. I would suspect that no two tiles are the same across the entire collection. I took a lot of advice from fellow artists, family and even collectors on this piece and spent a day mulling over the name. It was the first time I had a project sat perfectly finished and ready on the shelf waiting for FXHash to open again.

“Treasured Quilt #12” by P1x3lboy

I had a few extra days due to the delay in opening back up live, so that is when I started to work on my ‘Impression’ series of text-based art.

What do you love about pico8?

Pico8’s appeal for me is that it is so restrictive. One of the worst issues you can have as an artist of any medium is complete brain block. In Pico8, of course, you start with a blank canvas, but your screen-size and palette are already predefined so really, in my practice, it’s a little like the Amiga demoscene days where you think, “How can I push this 128 x 128 grid to it’s limits?”

“Contact” by P1x3lboy

Your most recent work “Dither Gang Relay” is a generative pico8 piece on fxhash. What are some of the biggest differences of how you create with p5 and with pico8?

With P5 there are so many opportunities to be creative in usual ways, so some of my works, for example, feature random walkers, others feature Moire effects and some of my more recent works feature typewriter-style concrete poetry. Most of which are not really possible in Pico-8.

Dither Gang Relay was so much fun to make because it is part of a collection of 4 pieces in a tweetcart relay. Talk about restrictive, the code is less than 280 characters! I like to showcase what can be done in just a few lines of code, but also with the tweetcarts, show how just a few tweaks can make a huge difference to the output.

“Dither Gang Relay #4” by P1x3lboy

You also make works on 8bidou. Care to share any of your favorites?

I have a 9-year-old, son and we have been playing around in pixel-art software such as Asesprite and Piskel together for the last year, so I had a few pieces more or less ready to drop when I heard about 8bidou.

I really embraced the 8bidou platform when it came out, again I love the restrictiveness of the platform. I guess my favorites: are 1878 (Smol Chromie), 1884 (Inverted Smol Chromie) and 4725 – Tribute to Ellsworth Kelly.

What do you have planned going forward?

I feel like I have just got started on this journey and have a list of projects I have either half completed or plan to start. I have very much enjoyed making the “Impression” series so you will be seeing more based text work in the future.

The Pico8 tweetcart relay has been a really interesting and fun project to be involved with so if the team vote to continue I see more work coming in that style and I’m working on a couple of long-term collab pieces yet to be announced.

I also have a second work, selected by Kate Vass, being exhibited at NFT Liverpool in August (after the first was selected by Paris Hilton) so I look forward to visiting the gallery again for this event.

“Hypercolor Weavemaker #30” by P1x3lboy

Is there anyone you want to shoutout?

Firstly I want to shoutout to all collectors, who are allowing me to live my dream. Secondly, huge thanks to the FXHash team, who are doing an incredible job paving a way for generative artists.

A big shoutout to the pico8 relay group @Aebrer, @alexthescott and @CarsonKompon, who I’m sure will echo my thoughts that we are having such a blast riffing off each other’s ideas.

Next, to fellow artists, a big shoutout for continually pushing and inspiring me with your creativity and collecting my work. Finally, I would like to thank my supportive family for allowing me to take the risk in making generative art full-time at this stage of my life and career. I won’t say they fully understand it, but they see how much enjoyment and fulfillment I get from working in this space right now.

“ROYGBIV #1” by P1x3lboy

Anything else?

To finish, it was great to meet up with a good few members of the FXHash team as well as collectors and fellow artists at POP London earlier in July. So I encourage everyone, if you get the chance, to go to these type of events IRL. Thanks again everyone for being so encouraging!

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