A History of Me and Tiny Squares

Embellishing my nerd haven (that sounds a little uncomfortable, but I’ll roll with it) is one of my favorite pastimes. Ever since I got my own room in 8th grade, my walls have been absolutely plastered with just… stuff. It began with notes from friends, funny birthday cards, posters, and little drawings. But once I had some time in the summer before college, I was determined to upgrade. I was, after all, becoming an adult — and that was the perfect excuse to sit down and color like a kindergartener.

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Made with Crayola markers, graph paper, and “laminated” with contact paper.

I was too busy for the first few college years to make any more than I had already, but the love of drawing pixel sprites was very much alive. Because my poor little self didn’t know anything about laminating, the contact paper I’d used as a substitute for laminate began peeling and yellowing by sophomore year. I vowed to myself that I would remake my beloved Mario sprites properly someday… and then, like the wish of some horribly literal genie, I had all the time in the world due to my unexpected surgeries. Hooray!

Over the next year and a half, I experienced severe anxiety and depression after my surgeries. Luckily, pixel art was one of the biggest things that pulled me through the rough patches and helped me focus through the anxiety. This, partnered with my new Prismacolor markers (a birthday/Christmas gift from the best aunt ever) and my brand spankin’ new laminator (only $25!), made me a square-colorin’ machine. I even ventured from the typical game sprites into some commissions — two classroom banners for a few teachers from my hometown. One of my favorites experiments was this framed sprite for a guy I matched with in a Reddit gift exchange. He never got the Charizard collectible card as a child, so I sent him this. He was so excited to get it!! It’s currently still hanging proudly by his computer desk 🙂

The final stage of the evolution began when Jenny, my third older sister and biggest cheerleader, surprised me with a gigantic box of beading supplies. I’d been wary of getting into bead art because of the base expenses and my fear of clumsiness-induced injuries (I have a bad history with irons…) But, thankfully, her leap of faith led to an even bigger delve into pixellated madness. After lots of practice (and yes, a few burns from my iron…) I began taking commissions, selling on my Etsy store, and even selling from my own booth at NerdCon in Boston, my first ever convention!

Nowadays, between international shipping and access to supplies, my shop has taken a bit of a hiatus. But for now, I’m perfectly content to work on my own little projects and make some personal, more quirky sprites I’ve had my eye on for a while. My happy little Korea Hole (the tiniest studio apartment you’ve ever seen) is approximately 10% beads and little squares, and I wouldn’t have it any other way~

Stay tuned for updates from my decorative endeavors and other spritely shenanigans (which I’m sure will include loads of flubs, accidentally destroyed projects, and probably more iron burns… *sigh*)

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