I haven't done that much pixel style art, but I love it. People are doing some incredible pixel art out there. I aim to carve out a little time to explore this style more, but it's just not that high on my priority list at this very moment. These are my favorite few that I have personally done.
I got the chance to live in the woods of Washington state for a little while. It was a dream come true for me, and I spent as much time while there studying the flora and fauna as I could. One of my favorite observations were the silver haired bats. They used to fly across the porch, and I could stand in the dark as they hunted insects right next to my head. I went to take the recycling out one night and collided with one once. We were both startled, but politely apologized and went about our activities. On other nights I would stand out in the open under the moonlight and play guitar. I began to notice that the bats would tend to hunt in circles more consistently around where I was emitting guitar sound, especially acoustic bass guitar. I ran many experiments over the course of a year’s time and I don’t think they would flock to the sound, but would concentrate around it if they were already out and catching bugs.
I would move around and found that they would move to where I was and circle overhead. I theorized that they were perhaps using the sound waves emitted from my guitar as extra “light” to find their prey. I know that the sound waves are in a very different frequency than their sonar systems, but their sensitivity to sound likely incorporates any sound within their field of perception. It felt a little like I was emitting a soft general light that brightened the overall vicinity, while they still emitted their own headlamps for direct tracking. I worried that I was perhaps interfering with them so I kept my experiments brief, but the results were consistent. They were generally drawn closer to the externally emitted sound, despite having a fully open sky to continue hunting in.
I did not get recordings of any kind, so I made this artistic depiction of the experience. I hope to try again some time. Bats are important creatures as both insect regulators as well as pollinators. Bats are responsible for some very specific plant pollination, yet still get a bad reputation from media and ignorance. They face some serious dangers of their own like white nose fungus, and human habits of habitat destruction. Do some research if you are averse to bats. They are adorable, helpful, and fascinating creatures.
I have an originality complex.
Commonly I draw without any reference imagery other than what is in my mind. It has it's benefits, and it's limitations. Working from reference is SO important as an artist. Everything I draw is technically pulling from the visual library within, which is just an archive of experiences stored in memory.
I think drawing from the mind is the best way to develop a "personal style" as it is a direct draw from your personal perception. However, using reference images for drawing/painting from life teaches us so many valuable lessons. I am no anti-reference artist or originality elitist by any means. In fact making a habit of drawing directly from reference is one of my current goals as I return to my work and develop a new flow. I simply always encourage artists to focus on generating something original, to leave a legacy all their own.
Here are some of my sketchbook pages from reference.
I have so much artwork including sketches that I love, but don't show very much. In an attempt to keep my website and portfolio tidy, I leave out a lot of work.
I am going to share some of it here so it has a place to be seen. Most of these sketches are actually collected from very beat up sketchbooks, and compiled digitally for composition and cleanliness. Lately drawing has taken a backseat to rebuilding a life and all that that entails, but I am getting back to it slowly but surely.
Remember that even if you only draw one little doodle, play that instrument for ten minutes, write one paragraph, go for a short walk, or whatever you are focused on, a little bit each day builds something great over time. A habit. Building habits that lead you toward your goals is imperative in actually reaching them.
Explore your heart and mind. Not every day has to be a masterpiece. The masterpiece is all of them put together.
P.S. You can also see more archived artwork on my discord channel. Check it out:
Reef cooling towers
The rapid bleaching of coral reefs on Earth is another in a long list of modern ecological catastrophes. A major contributor to coral bleaching is an average rise in oceanic temperature. Theoretically, to counteract this rise in temperature, self-powered refrigeration towers can be set up in grids within and surrounding reefs to bring local temperatures to optimal conditions for reef health and regeneration.
Above-water portions of the towers will house solar and wind generation devices, as well as service and monitoring panels. Below-water portions will include tidal generators and reinforced shrouding to prevent refrigerant leakage. Each tower will emit a temperature colder than target water temperature, and the cumulative radiating effect of the network of towers will theoretically bring localized water temperature to optimal conditions for coral health. The network of refrigeration nodes will remain in constant communication in order to monitor flux in natural conditions, weather events, and to compensate for towers in need of repair or calibration.
Small platforms and storage capacity above water provide surveyors and field scientists with access to work surfaces, and stored equipment for ongoing experiments and maintenance. Periodic cooling towers (perhaps 1 in 20) within a network of cooling towers, will be equipped with subaquatic observation capsules. These capsules will allow human beings to enter an oxygenated and climate controlled pod to conduct observatory experiments, and as emergency shelter to endure storms.
The experimental technology can be tested in a very small grid, and extended only if positive result is yielded within the climate controlled area of reef. This is a possible local solution to protect critical reef habitats as the overall oceanic temperature continues to rise. This will not necessarily reduce overall oceanic temperatures, but will shield these diverse living areas from the increasingly harsh natural conditions on Earth.
An optional warming ability would aid in combatting any but the most extreme conditional variances. Should some unforeseen cooling event occur in reef restoration areas, the towers would be able to warm the surrounding water in order to maintain stable ambient temperatures and protect the local biome. Coral reefs will still have a myriad of adversities to overcome, like water PH variation due to industrial spills, leaks, and runoff, constant and rampant pollution, the possibility of fallout from nearby warfare, and gross diminishing air quality on Earth. These units would simply be a gentle shield in an effort to guard the biodiversity within and among coral reefs.
The concept is simple, and the towers can be designed in innumerable forms. The more important factors are reliability of onboard systems, durability, and most importantly a positive proof of concept. This is simply a concept generated from personal contemplation. I am not a manufacturer, and have no access to oceanic regeneration labs. This is speculation on a possible solution to a pertinent, contemporary catastrophe.
I encourage those of means and with access to resources to test the concept, and even begin development of such devices. I would love to see more steps taken to protect Earth’s fragile coral reefs.
Artist, designer, musician, writer, craftsman, nature geek...