Approaching a blank canvas, 16x16 pixels at a time

I have the following goals for my personal projects:

  • I want the end-product to be approachable.
  • I want it to feel effortless for me to make progress on the project.
  • I want the project to remain useful for a long time.

In my lightning talk at Offline Camp Oregon 2019, I share how these goals led me towards 1990s aesthetics.

“90s Aesthetics in Modern Tech” as presented at Offline Camp Oregon, September 2019

These design principles have guided several of my recent projects. For example, my pixel art emoji stickers are clearly inspired by the 90s aesthetic.

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Pixel art emoji stickers

Likewise, I craft the HTML for my personal website by hand, similar to what folks did in the early web. …


Upgrade to the latest google-cloud-bigquery and google-cloud-bigquery-storage packages to download query results to a DataFrame 4.5 times faster compared to the same method with version 1.16.0. If you aren't using the BigQuery Storage API yet, use it to download your query results 15 times faster compared to the BigQuery API. (31 times, if you don’t mind using the default Arrow to pandas conversion.)

This speed-up also works with the pandas-gbq library. Update, the google-cloud-bigquery and google-cloud-bigquery-storage packages and install pyarrow, and set the use_bqstorage_api parameter to True.

Code samples

To use the faster method to download large results, use the BigQuery Storage API from your Python programs or notebooks. …

Alexandra and I attended Pixel Art Park 5 in Tokyo on December 9, 2018. I loved seeing so many pixel art pieces, chiptunes, and retro-style video games in one place and meeting other artists.

We got to the venue shortly before the festival opened and joined a long line to enter! Organizers announced (in Japanese) that we needed ¥ 1,000 in cash to pay for a ticket. A few minutes past 11 am, we all streamed into the building.

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Inside, Alexandra and I explored three stories worth of art, music, games, and merch. The ground floor was quite crowded, so we went up to the second floor shortly after buying our tickets and commemorative t-shirt! …

A year ago, I drew fox emoji for Alexandra’s birthday. I’m grateful for custom emoji as a unique way to express our love for each other.

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We’ve enjoyed these a year together. Now, I’d like to share our fox emoji pack (ZIP) with everyone.

Octobit 2018 recently finished up. I’m quite pleased with how all the art I drew turned out!

an outer space collage of pixel art

Grey, you will be missed. Rest in peace.

a pixel art image

A #hologram of the space salmon. Someone is scoping out a fishing spot. Drawn for #octobit day 31. Feedback welcome. #pixelart #ドット絵 🎨

a pixel art image

I think #punk independence may be well suited for life in the final frontier. Drawn for #octobit day 30. Feedback welcome. #pixelart #ドット絵 🎨

a pixel art image

A #toxic sugary drink. Drawn for #octobit day 29. Feedback welcome. #pixelart #ドット絵 🎨

a pixel art image

For those living off of Earth, oxygen is a precious #treasure. Drawn for #octobit day 28. Feedback welcome. #pixelart #ドット絵 🎨

a pixel art image


Tim Swast

I code and draw pixel art. Developer Relations @googlecloud Views expressed here are my own. Homepage:

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