The road to pixel town
Never have I been so smitten with an art medium, and I've tried a lot of them over the years. Pixel art offers the control I demand, while its restrictions help funnel my rampant creativity into visions I can capture with efficiency. Meanwhile, its deep-rooted connection with video games serves to enliven the art form with an energy of unlimited potential. I could pontificate all day about the aesthetic purity of carefully placed tiny dots. It's obvious, I love making pixel art. And like everybody else, I just want to earn a living doing what I love.
Patreon is something I had in the back of my mind for quite some time. My inspiration has been too off the charts lately to hold back any longer. The floodgates are open and I want you to ride this wave with me.
After a couple months in the making I've come up with a regime of content I feel comfortable I can sustain alongside my work on Thyrian Defenders. But most importantly, it's a nice balance of content that offers aesthetic and educational value to everyone, while satisfying my creative needs. I welcome all to practice my weekly routine with me, so we can grow together. Ultimately, I aim to inspire creativity in others, as I continuously grow.
To kick off the week I post an original mini pixel artwork every Monday #pixelminis. These small but detailed compositions pack a lot of charm into 64x64px. I will explore a theme for a few months to make up a series, then I will move on to a new theme. The first theme is naturalistic landscape and architecture based off my local surroundings. Following that I have a variety of themes patrons we be able to vote on. Here are some ideas to anticipate.
Pixelcast is a series of process videos I post every Wednesday #pixelcast. In these fascinating time-lapse screen recordings you can watch me create an original pixel artwork from start to finish. This provides great insight into my methods and approach to solving creative problems.
I first thought of creating more traditional tutorials, and even toyed with audio commentary. But in the end, I decided to offer a more organic form of observational education that serves to inspire self-discovery, which I believe is the best way to learn art, or just about anything. Furthermore, my straight-forward style clearly illustrates the importance of pixel placement, color choice, and layout. It's even revealing new ways for me to improve.
I also want these videos to be entertaining. Therefore, I carefully edit out idle actions, jerky zoom movements and try to make it as smooth and well paced as I can without compromising the natural sequence of creation. For the audio I'm using original music tracks from myself and any composers who wish to share their music. Please submit your tracks so I care spare you from having to listen to my tunes :)
ATTENTION COMPOSERS: If you would like some free exposure, I will feature your music track in an Episode of Slynyrd Pixelcast. Your track will be highlighted with titles in the video, and I will include a link to your portfolio in the description. It's best if the track is at least 3 minutes long or loops seamlessly. A variety of music is possible but up-tempo and game related music seems to fit best.
Submit your tracks by emailing an audio file to firstname.lastname@example.org, Thank you!
Every Friday I post an original pixel artwork created at 264x264px #pixelweeklies. These are highly detailed illustrations I put a lot of thought into. Not only do I want each artwork to be a deep work of beauty, but they also make up a series and tell a broader story over time. Forming a cohesive series brings in a narrative game-like quality that fills me with plentiful ideas, and further engages the fans. In some cases I'll even post polls where patrons can vote on the direction the story takes.
Each series may last a few months, and can be extended or shortened at the request of patrons. The first series is a deep psychological dark fantasy. After that I have a wide variety of ideas on the table. Here's a handful of concepts to anticipate and prepare your vote for, as patrons will be able to vote on upcoming series.
Hero – a hero’s journey across a fantastical landscape to rescue his love
Juncajar – whimsical space tale of cosmic and erotic discovery
Rainbow Fiction Wonderland – cute but complex cartoon world full of unique creatures
Mondo – Japanese monster movie meets young adult struggles in romance.
Beast Planet: gory sci-fi thriller drags a man through hell in a story of redemption
be a producer
Another perk of becoming a patron is being credited as a producer in Slynyrd Pixelcast, and Thyrian Defenders. This privilege is only for Pixel Insider patrons, the top membership tier, which unlocks all content for only $5 a month. Your name will appear in the credits of Slynyrd Pixelcast within a couple weeks of becoming a Pixel Insider member, and will continue to be included each episode for as long as you remain a Pixel Insider.
In order to have your name committed to the credits of Thyrian Defenders, you must remain a Pixel Insider for 3 consecutive months, or pay a reward amount of $15 or more. This beautiful pixel art shoot em' up is currently expected to release early 2018 on mobile, followed shortly by a Steam version.
Well, that covers the core regime of content. You may notice that most of my content is time locked. I've taken this approach because I would like to share my art with as many people as possible, and I especially don't want to completely lock out anyone from educational content. However, I would like to foster a culture that understands digital content isn't supposed to be free. Moreover, as I settle into the routine, I would like to offer more truly exclusive content to patrons, such as behind the scenes material, and resource files. I'm strongly compelled to follow my personal vision, but it doesn't make sense if the fans aren't on board. I'll be listening and working to build this pixel art utopia together. I welcome all interested in making pixel art to join in on the weekly routine with me. But if you just want to kick back and enjoy some pixels you are in good hands.
Allow me to recap the weekly posts.
Monday - #pixelminis 64x64px size limitation. Super fun practice. Limit colors for bonus points.
Wednesday - #pixelcast Record your work and post it. Amazing way to improve.
Friday - #pixelweeklies Make an original pixel artwork with significant thought and time. I like to work with a 264x264px canvas, but there are no strict guidelines.
Hop on over to Patreon to see what reward tier suits you best. For less than a fancy cup of coffee you can unlock all content. I look forward to seeing you there!
All earnings directly support the continued production of these Patreon contents, and the development of Thyrian Defenders.
- Raymond Schlitter