Some people knit; others weld. I make robots out of pixels. Since roughly June 2005, I've filled my spare time creating robots, pixel by pixel. Hi, I'm Jared Benson. (@benson)
How are they created?
I create the Pxlbots using a pixel editor ("Sprite Something") on my iPad. Each bot is built pixel by pixel, and takes about a week's effort to create and refine. When I'm happy with the result, I export it to the computer and convert the pixels into a vector format which I can then use to scale bots up for vinyl stickers, woodblocks, etc.
Some pixel artists use the full spectrum of colors on their computer; I prefer working in strictly black and white. There's something pure about the binary nature of it, and I love how pixels readily translate to other digital and physical mediums, from Minecraft to sticky notes.
Where did the obsession with pixels begin?
I bought my first computer, a Commodore 64, at 15. I created my first graphics and ran my first BBS on that machine. And I've been in love with pixels ever since. After landing a BFA in Graphic Design and a stint at Razorfish, now I run the internationally acclaimed mobile design company Punchcut, here in San Francisco, as well as online typography community Typophile. In my role as Executive Creative Director at Punchcut, I oversee our design team of visual, motion and interaction designers. Punchcut's work on smartphones, tablets, TVs and smartwatches has reached nearly 400 million people worldwide.
Nearly 25 years later, we've got higher resolution displays on our phones than the computers of yesteryear, but I still love zooming in at 1600% magnification and pecking away images pixel by pixel.
My 11 year old son Isaac has been very involved along the way and helps run Pxlbots.com, prepping vinyl and fulfilling orders. Despite being born in an age of high polygon count, he's caught the bug. He's an awesome young man and Pxlbots wouldn't exist without his excitement and partnership.
That Commodore 64? I've still got it right here, within arm's reach.
Find us on Twitter: @pxlbots or Instagram: pxlbots