Retronator Community Feature
Octobit is a journey, a quest of willpower to draw 31 images during October. Unlike Pixel Dailies or Pixel Joint’s weekly challenges, it happens once a year. Yet, it’s still a marathon—a one month pilgrimage to see if you can beat … mainly yourself.
Octobit was started by Bruno Moraes in 2016 as a pixel art alternative to the very popular Inktober. Bruno posted a set of suggested themes and off he went.
Bruno wasn’t alone. The movement picked up and we got a load of great art.
Thanks to Bruno’s suggestion of the NES and Gameboy palettes, we got quite some works in 4 shades of green.
Even Raynoa came out of hidding!
Octobit 2016 was a success, but nothing compared to this year. Attendance grew so big I had to write a custom tool to search Twitter and organize the entries. I’m sure I missed some and even so I found way over 1,000 tweets.
As with Inktober, many people came up with their own things to draw. Others followed prompts created by Bruno; we’ll get to those in the second part of the article.
Best of the best
First, here are some of my and your overall favorites (as in, my selection from works that you gave the most likes on Twitter).
We were delighted by campfire lit jungles, astronauts, and shady characters.
It wasn’t all deep space and aliens, we got plenty of colors and light as well.
And everything in between.
Test of endurance
Making a single image that people liked was not the hard part of Octobit. The focus of the event (and my coverage) is really on those that attempt to stick with it for the full month.
Plans were made …
… but never realized.
Less and less people in my feed stayed on board as the thing known as ‘real life’ threw hurdles in their way.
On the other hand, some came in late, but totally made up for it with almost full sets by the end.
Then again others completely missed it.
Some of the beginners had more willpower than experienced artists.
It was great to see people stick with it. It was a testament to their love for art making.
Not all works come out perfect when you gotta finish at least something every day, but there are plenty of days when you surprise even yourself.
This holds true for both beginners and advanced artists. Many people with experience managed to go all the way and create some standout works during the process.
One of the tricks was to keep things simple instead of going for full blown scenes, an approach perfected by people doing Pixel Dailies.
Choosing a small canvas size was one of the keys to achieve this.
Or working within a certain template.
People that chose a consistent style absolutely shined.
Sometimes the works were held together by a playful palette …
… other times by a very graphic one.
Some artists went for dark backgrounds …
… some for white …
… with many going strong on colors.
Even content matter can be the unifying theme, as was the case with movie posters by George Marshall.
In a month-long marathon the best artists made a body of work that unmistakably communicated their style while reaching (or coming close to) 31 entries.
Benji Campbell is a great example:
Zack Keys focused on sharp pixels with loads of style:
Kolya Podivilov chose bold, saturated colors:
Johnson Sadao made cute characters:
Quarzo de Lyud attacked game references:
How could we not develop a crush on Bruna Negri’s adorable art style:
Diego A. Torres kept to earth tones:
Charnelle Schindel merged #octobit with #31yokais themes (Japanese folklore supernatural creatures):
1 bit works from JustyKilly_ did so much with so little:
Pixel Dailies master SalamiChild crushed it at Octobit as well:
Another Pixel Dailies regular, scribble, was the master of greens:
Sarah Duffield-Harding, the artist behind Theropods, kept the themes in line with the game:
We got a lot of fan art from Blazed:
Finally, Daniel Ximenes did an RPG monster every day:
I know we’ve seen a shitton amazing art already, but I wanted to close with a timeline of themes created by Bruno. You’ve seen many artists above do them already, so here is more great art that didn’t make the cut so far.
Unlike 2016, this year we had two prompt lists to choose from: cute and not cute.
Most of us jumped from one to another to fit our interests. Combining themes was also quite popular. And then there were clowns. Clowns are just clowns.
2. Astronaut and alien
3. Prey and predator
4. Fresh and rotten
5. Four legs max and too many legs
6. Crush and creep
7. Tree house and ghost town
8. Good witch and bad bitch
9. Breakfast and poison
10. Playground and isolated
11. Theme park and freak show
12. Dolls and possession
13. Cartoon and horror movie
14. Sushi and kaiju
15. Road trip and road kill
16. Babies and teenagers
17. Flora and thorns
18. Tea party and cult
19. Butterfly and hurricane
20. Rainbow and monochrome
21. Blanket fort and basement
22. Puppy and savage
23. Mushrooms and radiation
24. Tiny house and claustrophobia
25. Coral reef and deep sea
26. Baby pink and ash grey
27. Birthday cake and old
28. Campfire and urban legend
29. Nap and insomnia
30. Old friend and bully
31. Happy ending and everybody dies
See you next year!
Alright, I think I’m done with community features for a while—by now everyone should have made some new friends on Twitter. I’ll also make a YouTube video about Octobit when I get a chance with my thoughts and timelapses of my entries. Subscribe to my channel won’t you?
Till then, happy pixeling!
This article was brought to you by patrons including Reuben Thiessen, Qinapses, Magnus Adamsson, Jeff Chang, … (dot dot dot), CarbonBond, Fernando Matarrubia, and Robert ‘Pande’ Kapfenberger. Thank you so much to everyone for support!