The pixel art community got a breath of fresh air when Octavi Navarro, an illustrator from Barcelona, started his second tumblr blog Pixels Huh. Branching off from his traditional art roots, Octavi joined the ranks of Tumblr’s New Wave pixel artists such as Waneella, Valenberg and 1041uuu that aren’t afraid to break off from the gaming origins of the medium. Using pixel art mainly as a stylistic choice, their environments would feel more at home in animated movies or books rather than games.
Octavi’s background in children’s book illustration surfaces in the storytelling nature of his pixel works. On the darker side, the colors, motives and flat perspective continue the style of his personal artwork.
Armed with a Wacom Intuos 3 and a desire to act on his reminiscence of DOS games (and a Commodore 64 childhood), Octavi attacked 2014 with the start of a very consistent body of work, his signature Scenes.
While he doesn’t animate the scenes, Pixels Huh does include an occasional, but no-less well done animated GIF to accompany or inspire new works.
Besides animating parts of his scenes, the timelapse GIFs and videos provide a look into his process.
Octavi’s excelent tutorial The Making of: ‘Ben’ dives into deeper details, explaining things like sketching, narrative, composition and lighting.
Navarri isn’t without variety though. He would pixel the Cobra spaceship from Elite: Dangerous …
… celebrate the successful return of NASA’s Orion spacecraft …
… and pay a more direct homage to the Golden Age of point and click adventure games.
At other times he would come out with client work like these literary characters made for the biggest department store chain in Spain!
He also doesn’t fail to surprise with his more recent venture into animations.
In fact, if you decide to support his Patreon campaign, you might just find out what he’s up to in this area.
Let’s end with two of the most colorful scenes from his series.
Holy crap, it’s an iceberg and a submarine, people! Ah, Octavi, you rule our hearts.
For a full selection of scenes, as well as links to social network profiles and the merchandise shop (including artwork prints), visit Pixels Huh webpage at pixelshuh.com.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey and my image-heavy misuse of Medium in the first ever expanded Artist Feature! In case you were wondering, Artist Features are a recurrent series of posts on Retronator’s tumblr blog, but I am toying with the idea of Retronator Magazine, which would complement the dashboard-scrolling nature of my presence there.
Retronator Magazine initially started as an experiment on the Stampsy platform, but discovering that Medium offers the same and more, I think I might have found its permanent place. While I haven’t written anything here until yesterday, I’ve been a fan and daily reader since the early days; it just took me an insanely long amount of time to realize that I don’t have to follow the long-form standard of the platform if I want to write something here. And there you have it.